Saturday, January 29, 2011

Yale's Library Buildings


I was the recent recipient of a copy of the book Yale Library Studies: Library Architecture at Yale edited by Geoffrey Little (Yale University Library, 2009).  The well documented and illustrated publication covers the history of library architecture at Yale over its 300 plus year history. Two buildings in particular stand out from the rest. The first is Sterling Memorial Library which was dedicated in 1931(making this year its 80th anniversary), and the second is the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library completed in 1963. Both libraries are the result of the generosity of Yale alumni. Sterling Memorial Library is named for John W. Sterling, class of 1864, who donated $18 million to Yale upon his death in 1918. I have an 1867 envelope addressed to Sterling in my collection of postal librariana (see above).  In 1951 Yale featured Sterling Memorial Library on the slogan portion of a meter stamp (see above).  The postcard to the left dramatizes the massive nature of Sterling which was built to house 5 million books. The Beinecke Library is named for donors Frederick and Walter Beinecke. It is featured on a first day cover for the 1982 architecture stamp issue (see below). I have an earlier post about Yale Librarian Addison Van Name.

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