Henry Trotter in front of Yale stained glass windows

Yale University Campus


Sterling Memorial Library

Sterling Memorial Library is the main library at Yale for the humanities. Along with over 40 other libraries on campus, boasting some 11 million volumes in total, Sterling is where most students find their research materials. Inside this cathedral of learning is the Franke Periodicals Room, the Gilmore Music Library, the Starr Reading Room, the Newspaper Reading Room, the Division of Manuscripts & Archives, a microfilm access center, cluster of research computers, and 15 floors of bookstacks. In conjunction with Sterling, there are a host of other libraries which may be of use, especially those associated with the Law School, the Schools of Art, Architecture, Divinity, and Medicine, and programs in Public Health and the Social Sciences.

Beinecke Rare Books & Manuscripts Library

The Beinecke Library, a modernist masterpiece of translucent marble, houses the oldest and most precious books in the Yale library system. The extensive collection, specializing in the fields of literature, theology, history, and the natural sciences, includes impressive holdings of German and American Literature, Western Americana, Medieval & Renaissance texts, and Modern literature.

Most prized, of course, is the original Gutenberg 2-volume Bible housed in a special temp/humidity-controlled display case (as shown in the picture bar above). The staff even turn a page each day, just in case you feel like reading through it on a daily basis! The building was designed by Gordon Bunshaft, of the famous New York City architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Work began on the building in 1960 and was completed in 1963.

Luce Hall : MacMillan Center for International & Area Studies

This is where the African Studies office is located, where my MA program was headquartered. For students of such international programs, it is where they collect their academic mail, meet with staff, and talk to the Director of Graduate Studies. The building also houses other area studies councils as well as offices for the Cambodian Genocide Program, United Nations Studies, and International Relations. There are classrooms inside, as well as social spaces for reading and socializing. Luce Hall, located on beautiful Hillhouse Avenue, constitutes an important grazing site for Yale students interested in international topics.

Hall of Graduate Studies

Many aspects of graduate life take place in the HGS. Inside the central tower are student residences; the surrounding buildings house the graduate dining commons, classrooms, and the administrative offices of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. The History department and its faculty offices are scattered throughout the structure.

Some graduate courses and activities are also organized here. Inside, the McDougal Graduate Student Center acts as a major resource for students, organizing teaching workshops for graduate Teaching Fellows, writing workshops for students who speak English as a second language, and so on. The Dean of the School hosts many receptions in the courtyard for students, and the Blue Dog Cafe, inside, offers respite from the cold during the winter. Lots of graduate students congregate here for the First Fridays @ Five parties, which are a highlight of many recluses' social calendar.

The Professional Schools

Besides Yale College (for undergraduates) and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, there are 10 professional schools at Yale. All of them have their own programs, but all are open for students from other disciplines. Most are within easy walking distance of each other, allowing for broad exposure to intellectual discussions about almost every conceivable topic. I frequently attend colloquia and lectures sponsored by the Schools of Law, Art, Architecture, and Music, as there is no end to the number of guest speakers that are giving presentations to the Yale community on a daily basis. To keep abreast of the happenings at these various schools (including the guest lectures where free food is provided!), check out the Yale Office of Public Affairs' weekly bulletin.

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental ScienceHumanities students can take courses in the Schools of Art, Architecture, Music, Divinity, Epidemiology & Public Health, Forestry & Environmental Studies, and the Law School. They can also participate in activities at the Schools of Drama, Management, Medicine, and Nursing.

Pictures by Michael Marsland
Courtesy Yale Office of Public Affairs