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Collections Support

Yale University Library requires skilled staff trained in a wide range of subject specialties and languages to make the Library's vast range of rich and diverse collections accessible to students, faculty, and researchers from around the world.  Our staff select, acquire, and arrange the Library's holdings across 20 campus locations, as well as online.

The Library collections require expert cataloging, as well as up-to-date, broad-based discovery and access tools to facilitate use.  Online cataloging and indexing systems also increase user's ability to discover, retrieve, and re-use Library collections in new ways.

The Library's exceptional special collections require sophisticated descriptive and access tools.  These collections include primary sources (many of them unpublished: for example, personal papers and archival materials); rare maps and contemporary geospatial data; large data sets (e.g. from census and economic sources); image and audio-visual materials; and much more.

The area studies and other international holdings of the Library require  specialized subject and language skills as well. The Library acts as a repository of last resort for much of the world's otherwise fugitive and endangered information, some of it expressed in languages that themselves are or are becoming endangered.

The Library seeks expendable gifts and grant support at all levels. We also seek to meet substantial endowment goals to ensure the continuity of key Library programs for collection support. Among our priorities are:

Architectural Archives (gifts towards a $3 million endowment goal)

The Architectural Archive at Yale is one of the most important repositories of modern and contemporary architectural records in North America. The Library houses records documenting the work of prominent and influential architects who trained or taught at the Yale School of Architecture or who were commissioned to design University buildings. Among them are Eero Saarinen, King-lui Wu, Robert A.M. Stern, Richard Kelly, and Louis Kahn. $2 million of the endowment goal will go towards the position of Architectural Archivist. A priority program for which we seek support is:

  • Yale Architects Papers The department will embark on a major program to preserve, catalog, and digitize and make accessible the papers of Yale-related architects, including drawings and other renderings. (gifts or grants of $200,000 for a two year start-up project)

Map Department (gifts towards an $8 million endowment goal)

The Yale Library Map Department, with 255,000 maps, is one of the largest and most important cartographic depositories in the United States. Its holdings include 10,000 antiquarian maps, 4,000 atlases, 30 globes, 900 cartographic reference books and journals, and over 2 terabytes (2 trillion bytes) of digital data. $5 million of the endowment goal will go towards the positions of Department Head, GIS Specialist, and Map Conservator. Among the programs for which we seek support are:

  • Technology and Cartographic Data The Map Department seeks funding to incorporate technology to increase map utility and access through geo-referencing (a process where contemporary and historical mapping data are compared through overlay) or creating bounding coordinates, a type of information that allows geographic searching. ($50,000 per year)
  • Printed Maps Cataloging, digitization and preservation of printed maps are high priorities for collection support. Funds are sought in particular to catalog and digitize 10,000 rare print maps and make them accessible worldwide online ($120,000), complete the cataloging of the print map collection ($68,000), provide geo-referencing for 7,500 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Connecticut ($60,000), and catalog and digitize the 1,600 CIA map collection ($6,000). (gifts or grants up to $255,000)
  • Field Mapping Equipment and Support The Library will provide GPS hand-held devices and support services for students and faculty conducting field research and other projects requiring cartographic data. ($50,000 per year, including $25,000 per year for a campus-wide software site license)

South Asia Collection (gifts towards a $5 million endowment goal)

The University's South Asia initiative has led to increasing demand from both undergraduate and graduate programs in South Asian studies, particularly those in anthropology, history, political science, economics and religious studies. The geographical reach is broad, encompassing Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. $ 3 million of the endowment goal will fund collection support and acquisition, especially of hard-to-get overseas and out-of-print materials. $2 million of the endowment goal will go towards the position of South Asia Collection Curator.

Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies (gifts towards a $1 million endowment goal)

The Library plan to preserve the more than 12,000 video cassettes comprising the Fortunoff Video Archive includes the highest quality equipment and trained staff to guarantee authenticity and longevity going forward as new technologies are developed. In addition to preservation, digitizing will provide easier access to the collection, and enable the streaming of testimonies to classrooms and institutions outside the Yale library's four walls.