Yale University

The International Room at Sterling Library.

The International Room at Sterling Library, Yale University

Yale University Library Collections, continued

Law Library

The Lillian Goldman Law Library provides one of the world’s finest collections of printed legal materials. These collections are complemented by access to a growing array of online sources, as well as the strong interdisciplinary collections housed at other campus libraries.


Libro llamado Consulado de mar (Valencia, Spain, 1539). A translation from the original Catalan into Spanish of The Book of the Consulate of the Sea, the basis for much of Europe’s early maritime law.

Lewis Walpole Library

The Lewis Walpole Library is a research library for eighteenth-century studies and the prime source for the study of Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill. Housed in a historic building in Farmington, Connecticut (one hour north of New Haven), the collections include significant holdings of eighteenth-century British books, manuscripts, prints, drawings, paintings, and important examples of the decorative arts. The Library is open by appointment.


“Military Portraits—or a BRace of Heroes.”

Maps Department

The Library’s Map Department contains one of the largest university map collections in the United States. Its collections are geographically comprehensive and consist of over 11,000 rare map prints and manuscripts, 200,000 map sheets, 3,000 atlases, and 900 reference books.


Sebastopol et ses environs: vue prise à vol d'oiseau (A Bird’s-eye View of Sevastopol and Its Surroundings), drawn and lithographed by Eugène Cicéri and Philippe Benoist (Paris, London, Berlin, New York: Goupil & Cie., ca. 1855).

Medical Library

The Medical Historical Library, part of the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, contains a large collection of rare medical books, medical journals, pamphlets, prints and photographs, as well as current works on the history of medicine and over 300 early medical devices. Special strengths are the works of Hippocrates, Galen, Vesalius, Boyle, Harvey, and S. Weir Mitchell, and works on anesthesia and smallpox inoculation and vaccination.


Illustration from the Paneth Codex, manuscript on vellum written in Bologna, ca. 1300.

Music Library

The Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, one of the largest collections of music scores, sound recordings, and music research materials in the United States, reflects the importance of musical performance and scholarship to the University throughout its history. It holds a vast collection of scores, books, recordings, and other materials.


Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809–47), “Lied ohne Worte” (Songs without Words), Op. 19., No. 2, Manuscript, 1830, p. 1 recto.

Near East Collection

The Near East Collection, one of the oldest collections in North America, contains extensive materials that are mostly in Arabic but also in Persian, Turkish, and Western languages. Spread across numerous facilities at Yale and including more than 400,000 items, the Collection is particularly strong in classical texts, Islamic law, history, philosophy, and Arabic literature.


Shara'ic al-Islam (Tehran: Shaykh Rida, 1311/1894). A Shiite treatise on Islamic law by al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli (d. 676/1277).

Slavic and East European Collection

Yale University Library was among the first in America to collect systematically Slavic materials. The Collection now is one of the major holdings in the West, with over 150,000 volumes concerning central and southeast Europe, as well as some 600,000 volumes relating to Russia and the states of the former Soviet Union.


Commemorative piece showing the last czar and czaritsa, Nicholas II (1894–1917) and Alexandra, on the occasion of their official visit to France in October 1896.

Social Science Library

The Yale Social Science Library includes economic surveys and statistical reports issued by governments, research institutions, and associations in developing countries, as well as the Government Documents Collection of historical and contemporary materials from numerous sources, including the United States and Canadian governments, the European Union, and the United Nations.


Suez Canal Report, 1964. United Arab Republic, Suez Canal Authority.

South and Southeast Asia Collections

The Collections emphasize primarily social sciences and humanities with materials in both Western and vernacular languages of the countries covered. Substantial collections on South and Southeast Asia can also be found in other library facilities at Yale.


“Tom Raw mounts an elephant for the first time.” One of twenty-five engravings illustrating Charles D’Oyly’s Tom Raw, the Griffin: A Burlesque Poem (London: Printed for R. Ackermann, 1828).

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