Renovating Manuscripts and Archives

August 1, 2016

This coming spring, Manuscripts and Archives (MSSA), an important special collections repository within Sterling Memorial Library, will receive its first major renovation. The department houses over 85,000 linear feet (more than 16 miles) of archival material, incorporating the University Archives as well as strong collections in international affairs, contemporary architecture, and LGBT studies, among other areas. Researchers make use of MSSA collections—and the staff who provide access to them—heavily: in 2014-2015, MSSA staff received 6,500 reference inquiries and provided patrons with 55,000 pages of PDF digital reproductions.

The renovation of Manuscripts and Archives will revitalize a beautiful space within Sterling Memorial Library, provide for better stewardship of materials through environmental control and security upgrades, and enhance the researcher experience with improved lighting, reduced noise, and improved consultation space. The project will also transform the former Gutenberg Chapel, originally the purpose-built home in Sterling Memorial Library for Yale’s Gutenberg Bible, into a secure classroom to meet increasing faculty demand for teaching with Manuscripts and Archives collections. The non-functional stone fireplace in the future classroom will be lifted to create a door into the Linonia & Brothers Reading Room (L&B)

This important renovation will require significant investment from Yale alumni and friends, and fundraising is just beginning now. To learn more, please speak with Basie Bales Gitlin, Director of Development for Yale University Library, at (203) 432-9851 or