SOM

SOM

6/29/10

SOM in the Press

Classics: Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Photo Ezra Stoller © ESTO

Source: ArchDaily

Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is the largest building in the world dedicated to the containment and preservation of rare books, manuscripts, and documents. It was designed by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill and is located in New Haven, Connecticut. Prior to the completion of this project, Yale University placed its rare books on special shelving in Dwight Hall, which was the Old Library in the late 19th century. In 1930 these special books were relocated to Rare Book Room collection in the Sterling Memorial Library. The Beinecke library was a gift from the Beinecke family, and since 1963 has accomodated six major collections in its rare and marvelous structure that coincides with the literary gems it stores, including those from the Rare Book Room. The major collections are the General Collection, which are divided into the General Collection of Early Books and Manuscripts and the General Collection of Modern Books and Manuscripts, the Collection of American Literature, the Collection of German Literature, the Collection of Western Americana, and the Osborn Collection of British Literary and Historical Manuscripts.

More information and images of the library after the break. The main concern that both SOM and Yale University considered in the design of the library was the preservation of the documents within it. The challenge was to provide ample lighting in the interior for people to study and read and to make it a pleasantly habitable space while limiting the amount of light that affects the stored volumes. The response became a beautiful choice of classic materials gleaming amongst the neo-Classical and neo-Gothic buildings surrounding the library in the Hewitt University Quadrangle on the campus.

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