Divinity Library

Special Collections


Strengths of the library's special collections include documentation of the Protestant missionary endeavor, documentation of religious work among college and university students, records related to American clergy and evangelists, and unofficial records related to the life of the Divinity School. These holdings form part of the Day Missions Library, North America's preeminent collection documenting the missionary movement and world Christianity.

Special Collections Seal

Locating materials:

Information for researchers:

  • Exhibits and publications
    Current exhibit: An Ecumenical Community of Students: Archival Documentation of the Worldwide Student Christian Movement

Hours /access policy

It is important to note that many collections are stored at an off-campus shelving facility. If you wish to examine material from these collections in the Special Collections Reading Room on the day of your arrival at the Divinity Library, you must submit an electronic registration and request form in advance. Requests received by 3:30 p.m. will be available the next business day.

The Special Collections department is open Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. See the Divinity Library hours page for exceptions. Original format materials can be used only when the Special Collections department is open but microfilm and microfiche collections can be used whenever the Divinity Library is open. Microfilm and microfiche collections may be available via interlibrary loan to qualified users, by permission of the Special Collections Librarian.

Access to the Divinity Library's Special Collections is normally granted to qualified undergraduates, graduate students, faculty members, and independent scholars or authors from both within and outside Yale. Family members of those who have donated their personal papers are welcome to use family papers. All researchers must agree to the terms governing use of the Divinity Library's Special Collection.

Planning your visit

  • The Special Collections Reading Room is located on the ground floor of the Divinity Library. If you have questions about access, please call (203) 432-5301 or email divinity.library@yale.edu.
  • Detailed information about the scope and content of particular collections is available in finding aids that are searchable as a whole via the Yale Finding Aid Database, and are linked to individually within the guides noted above. If you have questions about the relevance of particular collections to your research topic, please contact the Special Collections Librarian (Phone: (203) 432-5289) for more information.
  • Directions to the Library
  • Lodging possibilities

Research assistance

We encourage researchers to visit the Library in person in order to take advantage of its valuable complementary collections but we recognize that in-person visits may not be possible for all. We are willing to respond to remote requests for information and for copies of materials according to our stated policies. Due to the volume of requests and staffing constraints, the Special Collections staff typically can spend no more than one hour assisting patrons at a distance in identifying materials to answer a reference request or to be reproduced. Patrons who submit reference or reproduction requests requiring more than one hour of staff time will need to do the additional work in person or to hire a research assistant.

David M. Stowe Fund for Mission Research

Research fellowship available: The David M. Stowe Fund for Mission Research is intended to support visiting researchers who come to the Yale Divinity Library to use its missions-related collections. The fund is typically made available to a researcher who plans to attend the biennial Yale-Edinburgh Group meeting hosted by the Divinity Library and intends to spend at least one week in residence in New Haven to use the Divinity Library's collections. Contact Martha Smalley regarding application procedures. For more information on the Yale-Edinburgh Group see: http://www.library.yale.edu/div/yale_edinburgh.


This file last modified 7/29/14 .
Please send comments and questions to
the Divinity Library at Yale University.