Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

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Address and Contact Info

Mailing Address: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, P.O. Box 208240, New Haven, CT 06520-8240

Street Address: 121 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511

Telephone & fax: [ph] (203) 432-2977; [fax] (203) 432-4047


Principal contacts for the collection:

Librarians and curators in the Beinecke Library are available to assist researchers in identifying and using materials in the Beinecke Library. Librarians are available during reading room hours: Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Researchers are encouraged to contact curators in advance to schedule appointments.

On-site readers may wish to discuss their research needs in person with a public services librarian or curator. Off-site researchers may submit reference inquiries regarding Beinecke holdings and policies to the Public Services Department via:

Reference inquiries are answered in the order in which they are received.

Hours and Usage Restrictions


Reading Room
Mondays – Thursdays: 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Fridays: 8:30 a.m.– 5:00 p.m.

Exhibition Gallery
Mondays – Thursdays: 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Fridays: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

For more information about hours and closure dates, please see


All researchers whose work requires use of its collections are welcome to study at the Beinecke. Yale community readers need only bring their Yale ID to register by card swipe. New non-Yale library patrons may register onsite or pre-register online at . Please bring two forms of identification with recent photographs and a current address to validate your pre-registration. Undergraduates not enrolled in Yale College who are interested in manuscripts or archival collections should present a letter of introduction from their academic advisor or college librarian. Permission is required for access to some materials.

NOTE: Certain collections may be closed for processing. Please consult the Closed Collections Schedule, also available from the Beinecke homepage, for a list of closed archival collections.

Online Catalogs and Finding Aids

Orbis - Yale University Library Online Catalog.

May limit search to materials held by the Beinecke.

Consider ORBIS your first stop when searching for materials held by the Beinecke. Virtually all of the Library's cataloged printed materials, as well as many of its manuscripts and archival collections can be found by searching ORBIS. You may apply various limits (location, type of material) when searching. ORBIS help screens are available.

An archival or manuscript collection's record in ORBIS will include a hyperlink to its corresponding finding aid in the Database of Archival Collections and Manuscripts if a finding aid is available online.

To find additional printed material not in ORBIS, search Uncataloged Acquisitions; for manuscripts and archival collections, search Uncataloged Acquisitions and the Database of Archival Collections and Manuscripts.

Database of Archival Collections and Manuscripts - Yale University Library Finding Aids

Contains finding aids (tools known also as registers, inventories, lists, calendars, etc.) for Yale archival and manuscript collections as well as records for Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. Finding aids provide a level of detail not found in an ORBIS catalog record, often including biographical or historical notes, a narrative description of the papers, a detailed listing of contents, and appendices with ancillary information. When retrieving finding aids in the database, be aware that some files are quite large and may require several minutes to load. Finding aids for very large archival collections (such as the Langston Hughes Papers) have been divided into separate files to ease access. Searching instructions are available.

Multiple repositories at Yale hold archival and manuscript material. Search in ORBIS and contact other Special Collections at Yale to explore Yale's extraordinary collections.

Uncataloged Acquisitions - Database of Uncatalogued Materials

Database containing records with brief information for material that is not cataloged; these materials include printed, archival and manuscript material not found in ORBIS or the Database of Archival Collections and Manuscripts. In general these uncataloged materials were acquired from 1985 until the present although the database includes some earlier acquisitions. Records for cataloged material are removed annually.

Digital Images Online

Digitized materials from throughout the Beinecke Collections (over 70,000 images): photographs, manuscripts, correspondence, artwork, objects, illustrations, and selected pages from printed works. The majority of images are scans of original material in full 24-bit color. Approximately 1200 images are added every two weeks. About 20,000 images are scanned images from the Beinecke's Photonegative File, which contains negatives and color transparences of images selected for reproduction or study by patrons over the last twenty years.

Data describing these images is brief in most cases, but generally includes a call number and subject or author.

Additional Stand-Alone Databases

Collection Summary

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library is Yale University's principal repository for literary papers and for early manuscripts and rare books in the fields of literature, theology, history, and the natural sciences. In addition to its general collection of rare books and manuscripts, the library houses the Yale Collection of American Literature, the Yale Collection of German Literature, the Yale Collection of Western Americana, and the Osborn Collection. The Beinecke collections afford opportunities for interdisciplinary research in such fields as medieval, Renaissance, and eighteenth-century studies, art history, photography, American studies, the history of printing, and modernism in art and literature. Books and manuscripts at Yale have been extensively described since 1926 in the "Yale University Library Gazette," which is available in many libraries.

More information about the Beinecke's collections may be found in the "Overview of the Collections" section of the Library's website:

Usage Discussion

Suggestions for approaching the material:

Housing and getting by for less in the area:

Fellowships and Funding Opportunities

The Beinecke provides fellowships for visiting scholars and graduate students. A listing of fellowships, as well as application guidelines, is available online at

Major Topic Areas

Personal tools