Yale University is a private Ivy League research university located in New Haven, Connecticut.
Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Originally chartered as the "Collegiate School", the institution traces its roots to 17th-century clergymen who sought to establish a college to train clergy and political leaders for the colony. In 1718, the College was renamed "Yale College" to honor a gift from Elihu Yale, a governor of the British East India Company. In 1861, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences became the first U.S. institution to award the Ph.D. Yale became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. Yale College was transformed, beginning in the 1930s, through the establishment of residential colleges: 12 now exist and two more are planned.
Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (BRBL) was a 1963 gift of the Beinecke family. The building was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Gordon Bunshaft of the firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and is the largest building in the world reserved exclusively for the preservation of rare books and manuscripts. It is located at 121 Wall Street in the center of the Yale campus in New Haven, Connecticut, in Hewitt Quadrangle (more commonly referred to as "Beinecke Plaza"). It is one of the largest buildings in the world devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts. The library has room in the central tower for 180,000 volumes and room for over 600,000 volumes in the underground book stacks. The library contains roughly 500,000 volumes and several million manuscripts. The library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. In order to access materials, there are a few forms and policies that users must read, located here.
The Library is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013 and the various events to celebrate can be found here. All exhibitions and events are free and open to the public. There are two full-year exhibitions that explore the library's architecture and people as well as a series of showcases of rarely-seen manuscripts, printed works, and visual objects from across all curatorial areas.