Zoom image | View original size
Cloistered by a protective shell of stone, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is one of the world’s foremost collections of rare manuscripts. Opened in 1963, the library is renowned for its translucent marble façade and the world-renowned glass book tower sheltered within – a dramatic arrangement resulting from the particular requirements of a repository for literary artifacts. This unique design, very much in the Modernist lineage but in contrast to the revivalist styles of the rest of Yale’s campus, has only become appreciated thanks to the passage of time; the same bold choices which are now celebrated were once seen as a cause for contempt and outrage. Yale’s collection of rare manuscripts began in 1701, when ten ministers met to found a college in Connecticut Colony. The books they donated were the first of many gifts to follow over the next three centuries, including the cryptic Voynich Manuscript and one of the twenty one original Gutenberg Bibles known to exist, which was given to the university in 1926.[1] Originally, the rare books collection was stored on special shelving in Dwight Hall, which served as a library until the late 19th Century; in the 1930’s, it was moved to the Rare Book Room in the Sterling Library. A gift from Frederick and Edwin Beinecke, a pair of Yale alumni, allowed the university to construct a purpose-built library building for its growing collection in the 1960’s.[2,3] View more View full description
Share Share