Libraries and Archives
The Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library contains both primary and secondary sources relevant to the study of the 18th century. Catalogues raisonnés and artist monographs as well as broader explorations of art and architecture of the time period are found in the circulating collection. Arts Library Special Collections contains 18th-century imprints on art, architecture, color, and perspective. Additionally, the Arts Library administers The Bibliographical Press, a teaching and demonstration space in Sterling Memorial Library, which features a hand press and related technology to introduce students to 18th-century printing practices.
The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is one of the world’s largest libraries devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts, and is Yale’s principal repository for literary archives, early manuscripts and rare books. The Library’s extensive textual and cartographic collections, in print and manuscript, complemented by important resources of visual media, support the study of Britain, Europe, and America in the eighteenth century. For further details on collection strengths, consult Curatorial Areas on the Beinecke website.
Eighteenth century resources at the Divinity School Library relate to various aspects of Christianity, including church history, theology, Biblical studies and Bible translations, hymnody, worship, and the missionary movement. Both Protestant and Catholic resources are represented, including reports of early Catholic missionaries to Asia and Latin America.
The Rare Book Collection in the Lillian Goldman Law Library boasts the world’s most complete collection of the English jurist Sir William Blackstone, author of the single most influential book in the history of Anglo-American common law, and more generallyfeatures exceptionally strong holdings in eighteenth-century English, American, Italian, and German law.
The Lewis Walpole Library is a research center for eighteenth-century studies, and an essential resource for the study of Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill. Its collections include important holdings of eighteenth-century British prints, drawings, manuscripts, rare books, paintings, and decorative arts. The Library is located in Farmington, Connecticut, in several eighteenth-century buildings, and a modern, state-of-the-art library facility, on a fourteen-acre campus. It is a department of the Yale University Library, open to researchers by appointment.
Eighteenth-century sources in Manuscripts and Archives consist chiefly of correspondence, sermons, diaries, account books, business records, and printed ephemera, documenting the political, military, educational, and social activities of Yale-affiliated individuals from New Haven, Connecticut, and throughout New England.
The Medical Historical Library in the Harvey Cushing / John Hay Medical Library includes a rich array of medical and scientific works from the 18th century, largely by European and American authors. The collection includes texts of many well-known figures in medicine, such as Benjamin Rush and Victor Albrecht von Haller, and covers a wide range of topics, such as anatomy, inoculation/vaccination, and much more.
The Irving S. Gilmore Music Library is particularly strong in American and European music. Eighteenth-century resources include manuscript and printed music: scores and parts for instrumental and vocal music, chamber music, and larger ensembles; hymnals and tune books; and popular sheet music. The first large-scale histories of music and biographies of musicians, as well as theoretical treatises and instrumental methods are also present. Early periodicals contain both music and writings on music and performances. A collection of engravings has portraits of composers and musicians, representations of musical instruments, caricatures, and works of art. Several collections include manuscript letters of 18th-century musicians and composers. In addition, a number of historically-informed performances exist in sound and video recordings.
Paul Mellon Centre (PMC), an affiliated institution of the Yale Center for British Art (YCBA), based in London, is committed to promoting original research into the history of British art and architecture of all periods. For the eighteenth-century, its research library collections on British artists and architects, the British and Irish country house, and the eighteenth-century Grand Tour, are particularly strong. The PMC also collects the research papers of art historians, may of whom were pioneers in the study of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British art.
The Centre also maintains a reference collection to support the work of its fellows and staff, and which is also open to the public.
Primary Contact: ,
020 7580 0311
Sterling Memorial Library is Yale’s principal library for general research and collections in the Humanities and the Social Sciences, including an extensive collection program in support of eighteenth-century studies. In addition to extensive holdings in monographs and serials, the library also provides access to key database resources, such as Electronic Enlightenment, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, the Burney Collection of 17th and 18th Century British Newspapers, Early American Imprints, and many more. In addition, subject specialists in the library are happy to provide research consultation and advice in finding materials at Yale or elsewhere.
Primary Contact: Michael Printy, Librarian for Western European Humanities, Sterling Memorial Library
The collections of the YCBA, a public art museum and research institute for the study of British art and culture, are particularly strong in the 18th century, including paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, rare books, and manuscripts. The YCBA’s Reference Library, Prints & Drawings Study Room, and Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts, all provide direct research assistance to students and scholars.