Services and tools available to support research

Library Catalogs & Databases

Use these tools to explore the Beinecke Library’s collections:  

Orbis – Yale's Online Catalog

Virtually all of the Yale library system’s cataloged printed materials, as well as most of its cataloged manuscripts and archival collections, can be found by searching Orbis. Here are some tips for navigating the database.   
Complex searches are most successful when you use the Advanced Search tool, which lends more flexibility and precision. Here are some guidelines for building successful advanced searches. 

Yale Finding Aid Database

Finding aids are descriptive guides for archival and manuscript materials held in Yale Libraries. They provide information necessary to identify and request specific materials within an archive, such as box and folder numbers and format descriptions. These tips will help you navigate the database.

Please note: Most medieval and Renaissance manuscripts are indexed in a separate database, as are papyri held in the Beinecke collections.

Beinecke Digital Collections

This searchable database offers thousands of partial and fully digitized items from a wide range of materials from the Beinecke’s collections: photographs, manuscripts, correspondence, artwork, objects, illustrations, and selected pages from printed works. 

Uncataloged Acquisitions

Search this database for brief records of material not found in Orbis, the Finding Aid Database, or the Digital Library. In general, materials indexed here were acquired from 1985 until the present, although the database includes some earlier acquisitions. 

For more on identifying primary sources and other discovery tools at Yale, please visit Primary Sources at Yale.

Cary Playing Cards

A searchable catalog, with digital images, of the playing cards, card sheets, wood blocks, metal plates, ephemera, and prints held at the Beinecke. For more information, consult this brief description of the collection.


Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

This searchable database is based largely on the Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, edited by Barbara Shailor et al.

Yale Papyrus Collection

A searchable catalog, with digital images, of the papyri held at the Beinecke. For more information, consult this brief description of the collection.

American Drawings

Contains information on more than 2,200 original sketches, drawings, and watercolors by Americans or about America. The database was created in the mid-1980s and has not been expanded since, but it includes information not found in Orbis or the Finding Aid Database.

Art Storage

Contains information on works of art stored at the Beinecke. Many of these items are not found in Orbis. Some are available to view in the Digitial Collections.

College Pamphlets

The College Pamphlet Collection consists of approximately 2,197 volumes containing approximately 24,000 titles.

Western American Prints

Contains records of more than 1,000 individual prints from the Yale Collection of Western Americana.

Western American Sterocards

Contains records of more than 2,000 photographs from the Yale Collection of Western Americana. (Orbis provides access to the stero series but to indivudal cards.)

Western Americana Filmscripts

Contains information about more than 430 Western movie scripts in the Yale Collection of Western Americana.


Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
121 Wall Street | New Haven, CT 06511
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Tel: (203) 432-2977    Fax: (203) 432-4047

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The exhibition gallery is closed while the library's building is under renovation.

Temporary Reading Room Hours 
Monday - Friday: 9 am to 4:45 pm

The temporary reading room is located in Yale's Sterling Memorial Library, across Wall Street from the Beinecke.

Beginnig September 1, 2016 our hours will be

Monday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tuesday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. to 5

Holiday Schedule and Closed Collections Schedule