Beinecke Library Web Site Redesign Improves Access to Rare Materials

January 15, 2013

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library launched a new web site on January 15, 2013. The new site unites the cutting-edge standards of web design for both function and form. The Beinecke’s redesigned site plays a key role in the Library’s core mission of creating access to a unique body of resources.

The site was created using responsive design, making it friendly to all mobile platforms. The interface also allows all Library staff to correct and update content directly. If you would like to provide us with feedback about the site, you can leave us a comment here.

The web site now hosts the curatorial blogs, which give context to the Library’s collections, and will feature online exhibitions. The site highlights upcoming events and exhibitions for visitors, and points to a wealth of resources which lead to new scholarship by researchers from around the world.

Congruent with the launch, the Beinecke Library is introducing a new Digital Library (DL). The DL now incorporates audio and video files in addition to a vast collection of digital photographs, textual documents, illuminated manuscripts, maps, works of art, and books from the Beinecke’s collections.

The Library’s digital resources are now more accessible and functional through a greatly improved search function. Like the new Beinecke web site, the DL functions on all mobile devices. The improved DL is part of a larger effort within the Yale University Library to create greater access to digital resources.

The Beinecke Library web site redesign began in May 2012 under the leadership of Raymond Frohlich, Head of Technology and Digital Assets. The site was developed and designed by Message Agency in partnership with Tabula Creative and supported by the Beinecke Website Redesign Working Group: Lisa Conathan, Kristy Dixon, Moira Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Frengel, Raymond Frohlich, Kathryn James, Zoe Keller, Meredith Miller, Stacy Smith, and Molly Wheeler. Thanks to Tobin Nellhaus, Librarian for Performing Arts, Media and Philosophy, for his help with transitioning collections highlights and exhibition content. The Beinecke extends special thanks to the Office of the University Printer for work on the Beinecke 50th Anniversary visual design and support throughout the project.

The Beinecke new web site coincides with the beginning of the Library’s 50th anniversary year. Established in 1963, Yale’s Beinecke Library celebrates its first half-century with a yearlong series of exhibitions and special events, from lectures and conferences to poetry readings and concerts. Exhibitions include a celebration of the Beinecke’s building and its people, and a series of exhibitions of rarely seen manuscripts, printed objects, and images from across all curatorial areas. In addition to ongoing musical and literary series, lectures include architect Robert Stern, U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, and Umberto Eco.