What is the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University?
The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University is one of the largest and most prestigious academic repositories in the world. Beginning in the 1940’s, Yale began expanding its collections related to Mormonism through a large donation from William Robertson Coe. Since that time the library has continued to expand its Mormon-related collections with particular emphasis on early Mormon history, various schismatic sects, the Utah War, and controversial Mormon intellectuals. The Beinecke is the principal holder of the papers of James Jesse Strang, one of the early candidates who lobbied to succeed Joseph Smith Jr. as president of the church.
Visiting the Library
Mon-Thurs: 9:00am – 4:30pm
Normal Reading Room Hours:
What Researchers Should Know
- Patrons must register for an appointment in the reading room at least two business days prior to their visit.
- Patrons must request materials through Orbis or Archives at Yale at least two business days prior to their visit.
- The best point of contact for researchers of Mormon Studies is the current curator of the Western Americana Collection, George Miles.
*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the library and reading room are currently closed to non-Yale students, faculty, and staff. For more information and updates see: https://beinecke.library.yale.edu/exhibitions-visiting/hours-accessibility.
Utilizing the Library Digitally
The Beinecke has a vast digital collection of more than one million images available to view through their Digital Collections page. Many of their Mormon-related collections are available digitally through that page. The library has also produced a helpful research guide on different external resources pertaining to Mormonism.
Other Helpful Resources
One of the most important treatments that highlights the Mormon-related collections at the Beinecke is an article written by George Miles for BYU Studies Quarterly entitled “Mormon Americana at Yale.” The article is available digitally and contains a plethora of collections at the Beinecke that would be important for Mormon Studies researchers.