Collaboration at the Beinecke

January 10, 2018

By Nancy Kuhl

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

On the occasion of our new exhibiton, + The Art of Collaboration, we wish to highlight the very collaborative work of all Beinecke departments in creating our exhibitions.

Exhibitions are one of the principal ways the Beinecke shares the richness of our collections with library visitors. Each new installation requires the participation of staff at all levels. Exhibition Curators begin planning and researching their exhibits at least 18 months in advance (or more), often with the support of other Beinecke Collections Staff and with the aid of Student Research Assistants. The Access Services Staff pages and tracks hundreds of objects for consideration and inclusion in each exhibition. Some of those materials must be treated in our Conservation Lab before they can be safely exhibited; others will need to be photographed in our Digital Studio for exhibition-associated promotional materials. Members of our Technology Department program digital touchscreens. A curator may acquire books or manuscripts specifically for the exhibition, requiring rush orders from vendors and rush cataloging or description in our Technical Services Department and the swift attention of the Administration and Finance Department. These and other activities are scheduled and planned by our Exhibitions Coordinator, and materials are safely transferred from one department to another (sometimes in buildings miles apart) by our Preservation Department. Explanatory texts are carefully reviewed by Copy Editors and transformed by Graphic Designers into labels and publicity materials, which are distributed far and wide by the Library’s Communications Director. Curators work with Yale Faculty and the Library’s Events Coordinator to create series of events to engage the community in the exhibition’s topics. Even small exhibitions are big productions, and the curators of this exhibition thank all of our collaborators for their contributions to the + The Art of Collaboration.