An exhibition celebrating the 250th birthday of lexicographer Noah Webster has opened in the Memorabilia Room in Sterling Memorial Library. Titled "Noah Webster: American Patriot and Yale Loyalist," the exhibition demonstrates that Webster, Yale class of 1778, M.A. 1781, and Honorary Doctor of Laws 1823, was far more than just a brilliant compiler of dictionaries. His astoundingly various contributions to his country and his proud identity as a Yale man are vividly displayed in this collection of manuscripts, books, and artifacts, reflecting a lifetime of accomplishment, innovation, and unflagging patriotism.
Webster played a major role in the drafting and ratification of the Constitution and played a crucial impact on the development of the American educational system. The father of copyright legislation in the United States, Webster also served in elected offices both in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and played an important role in the creation of Amherst College.
These diverse achievements and more are represented in the sections like Webster the Yale Man, Webster the Patriot, and Webster the Historian, but Noah Webster was also a lawyer, a teacher, an ecologist, a geographer, a moralist, and above all a founding "uncle," if not a founding father, of his country. His triumphant achievement as a landmark lexicographer of the English language has hitherto overshadowed his many and important accomplishments in other areas.
The exhibition will be on display through the end of November. It is free and open to the public during scheduled library hours. Sterling Memorial Library is located at 120 High Street, New Haven, Connecticut.