Manuscripts and Archives International Collections
The international collections in Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, are primarily acquired through the area curators in Sterling Memorial Library. They identify and select materials in their respective geographic or language areas-Africa, East Asia, Judaica (Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ladino languages), Latin America, Near East, Slavic and Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia-with much of the material in the language of that region.
The regions with the greatest strengths are sub-Saharan Africa, especially modern South Africa, and colonial and revolutionary Latin America. Recent acquisitions have increased our holdings related to the Near East. In some cases, individuals or organizations created these area collections, but the bulk of the collections are ephemera in traditional formats such as pamphlets, broadsides, photographs, and political memorabilia.
The Cuban Collection, consisting of over 5,500 photographic images and 99 movie reels, documents the activities of Fidel Castro and his followers in their mountain camps in Cuba between 1957 and 1959 and early post-revolutionary years.
These areas are also documented in the many collections of personal papers of individuals and families. A few examples include Louise Bryant (Russia and Turkey), Percival Farquhar (Brazil), John Hays Hammond (South Africa), Ellsworth Huntington (Chinese Turkestan, among other areas), Bronislaw Malinowski (New Guinea and Trobriand Islands), Aleksandr Ivanovich Spiridovitch (czarist Russia), David Peck Todd (Japan, Angola, Russia, Indonesia, Chile, and Tripoli), Samuel Wells Williams (China and Japan), and the Yale-Peruvian Expedition Papers (Hiram Bingham III).
Manuscripts and Archives has a long tradition of acquiring primary source materials in diplomatic and international affairs. Beginning in 1923, Yale began collecting papers related to the negotiations for peace during and after World War I. Most of these personal papers are of individuals who represented either the United States or Great Britain. Even though the materials are primarily in English, the content focuses on international diplomacy. Another important international collection is the War Poster Collection; the posters were published in nations (Great Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Canada, Australia, Ireland and other nations) involved in World War I, 1914-1918, the Spanish Civil War, and World War II, 1939-1945.
Twentieth-century diplomacy is also documented in the personal papers of Henry Lewis Stimson, Dean Gooderham Acheson, William C. Bullitt, and Cyrus Vance. The activities of international organizations are documented in the papers of former United Nations General Secretaries Javier Pérez de Cuéllar and Boutros-Boutros Ghali and a collection of United Nations oral history project interview transcripts and tapes.
The Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, a collection of over 4,300-videotaped interviews with witnesses and survivors of the Holocaust, is part of Manuscripts and Archives. Many testimonies are in the native tongue of the survivor or witness. The Video Archives has affiliate projects located in North America, Europe, Israel, and South America, and collaborates with international research institutions on holocaust-related projects.
Records in the University Archives document Yale's international activities
and research. For example, the records of the Yale China Association, an organization
begun in 1901, and a small collection of papers related to Yung Wing, the first
Chinese native to receive a degree from an American college in 1854, document
some of the earliest Yale ties to international activities.
International outreach activities of Manuscripts and Archives
The staff of Manuscripts and Archives is active in international professional
associations, such as the International Council on Archives, with participation
in meetings in foreign countries as well as hosting archivists and students
from other countries.