FAQs

Who can use the rare book collection?

The rare book collection is open to any individual doing research in the collection, whether based at Yale or not.  Yale students in particular are encouraged to come and discover the collection, whether for research or sheer curiosity.

What is permitted in the collection?

Computers and personal electronic devices, including cameras.  You are allowed to take your own photographs.  The Rare Book Room is set up for wireless access as well.  Pens, however, are not permitted - pencils only please!

Can I request items in advance?

Yes, we recommend that items are requested in advance, to make sure they are available for use on arrival.  Drop-in requests can be accommodated, though some rare material is stored off-site or may be in preservation. 

Can I hold items aside after I use them?

Yes, we can hold aside items which have been consulted, for future use.  We can hold material aside for a few weeks; after which time, please re-submit your request to make sure it is ready on arrival.

Are there particular guidelines for handling the material?

The collection comprises material that is rare or unique and often quite old and delicate.  We ask that care is used in handling individual items, and we have cradles for books and weights to keep pages open.  The Rare Book Librarian will also provide assistance in setting up items for patron use.