Yale Bulletin and Calendar

January 26, 2001Volume 29, Number 16

Long familiar with the Beinecke Library as a researcher who has used its resources, Barbara Shailor (center) will take up her new duties as director this summer. She is shown here during a recent visit to the library with President Richard C. Levin and William Beinecke, whose family's donation helped create the renowned Yale library.

New director of Beinecke Library named

Barbara A. Shailor of Rutgers University will be the new director of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, President Richard C. Levin announced.

Since 1996, Shailor has been dean of Douglass College at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where she is also professor of classics. Douglass College is the largest undergraduate women's college in the United States. She has also taught at Bucknell University and served in senior administrative positions there.

Born in New Haven, Shailor attended Hamden High School before continuing her education at Wilson College and the University of Cincinnati, earning a Ph.D. at the latter in 1975. She is a specialist in Latin manuscript studies, the transmission of classical texts in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and women in classical antiquity and the Middle Ages.

Shailor has long been associated with the Beinecke Library. From 1970 to 1995 she spent most of her summers and two sabbatical leaves in New Haven completing her three-volume "Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library." In 1988 the library published her award-winning exhibition catalogue "The Medieval Book." In 1989 she joined with Robert G. Babcock, the Edwin J. Beinecke Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts, to direct a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar on paleography and codicology. Shailor is a member of the Comité International de Paléographie Latine.

In announcing Shailor's appointment, Levin noted that the new director was particularly attracted to the teaching functions of the Beinecke Library and wanted to extend still further the library's central involvement in the academic life of Yale.

"The Beinecke Library is one of Yale's greatest jewels," Levin said. "It houses truly remarkable collections in dozens of fields. Barbara Shailor brings to this great library a working knowledge of one of its great collections, distinguished scholarship, administrative creativity, a passion for the book and manuscripts, and a deep and abiding commitment to teaching."

Shailor will take up her work at the Beinecke Library in the summer of 2001. Until then, Patricia C. Willis is the acting director of the library. Willis is the Elizabeth Wakeman Dwight Curator of the Collection of American Literature. Ralph Franklin, who directed the Beinecke Library for 18 years, retired in December. Levin acknowledged the distinction of Franklin's leadership of the library and expressed his gratitude to Willis for her service as acting director.

Since its opening in 1963, the Beinecke Library has assumed a leading role among the world's major rare book and manuscript collections as a center for advanced research in the humanities. It is Yale's principal repository for literary papers and for early manuscripts and rare books in the fields of literature, theology, history and the natural sciences. With collections ranging from ancient papyri to the avant garde, the Beinecke's holdings cover a wide variety of authors and subjects, many of them in great depth.

The library is especially renowned for its resources in the areas of incunables, pre-1600 Western manuscripts, British, American, and German literature, Western American history, and modernism in art and literature.

The library, located at 121 Wall St., is open to the public 8:30 a.m.­5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.­5 p.m. Saturdays. A Gutenberg Bible -- one of 12 in the world -- and two volumes of John James Audubon's life-sized "The Birds of America" are on permanent display on the mezzanine floor of the library, along with temporary exhibits from the Beinecke collections.

Other Beinecke Stories

Nuns' library donation reveals new aspects of artist's life

Beinecke exhibit explores 18th-century views of theater


Dean David Kessler awarded Public Welfare Medal for leadership on health issues

Psychologist Karen Wynn cited for pioneering study . . .

New director of Beinecke Library named

Fossil sheds light on rare branch of birds' evolutionary tree

Yale-funded center helps bring start-up companies to city

Lilly Endowment grants will help fund initiatives at the Divinity School, ISM

Directors, actors take part in symposium on Irish film

'A Yale Album' captures century of history in photos

Benson reappointed to second term as dean of School of Art

Talks trace the evolution of the 'democratic soul'

Nuns' library donation reveals new aspects of artist's life

Beinecke exhibit explores 18th-century views of theater


Illustrator is inaugural Theodore Fellow

Exhibition will feature paintings by Gelernter

Historian David Kennedy to discuss World War II

Grant supports nurse's effort to prevent diabetes in teens

ITS announces appointment of new CMI director

Art gallery appoints its first deputy director

Musicologist Claude Palisca, scholar of Baroque opera, dies

Bulletin Home|Visiting on Campus|Calendar of Events|In the News|Bulletin Board

Yale Scoreboard|Classified Ads|Search Archives|Production Schedule

Bulletin Staff|Public Affairs Home|News Releases| E-Mail Us|Yale Home Page