Celebrating Dictionary Day at the Beinecke Library

Event time: 
Sunday, October 16, 2022 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (BRBL) See map
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

Stop by the Beinecke Library to celebrate “Dictionary Day,” the birthday of American education and language pioneer Noah Webster (1758–1843). At this drop-in event, visitors can browse original manuscripts and publications documenting Webster’s life and work, including the groundbreaking American Dictionary of the English Language (1828).
Born in what is now West Hartford in 1758, Webster is best known today for his contributions to the standardization of American English through his dictionaries, the “Blue-Backed Speller” with which millions of children learned to read and spell, and other textbooks. However, Webster was a polymath, writing prolifically and influentially on topics including American independence and politics, slavery, public health, and Christianity. He also lobbied for copyright legislation in the United States and founded a number of newspapers. A graduate of Yale, Webster lived much of his life in New Haven and is buried with his wife, Rebecca Greenleaf Webster, in the Grove Street Cemetery.
The event will be held in the reading room on the library’s courtyard level. When you arrive at the library, you will need to store any and all bags, hats, coats, and other personal belongings in a locker on the library’s ground floor before heading downstairs. No ink pens are permitted in the reading room, but visitors may use the yellow pencils available in the library. Visitors are welcome to take non-flash photographs.
In accordance with Yale University policy, COVID-19 vaccination (including a booster, if eligible) is required for visitors five and older. You may be asked to present proof of vaccination.
Note that the library exhibition hall is open on Sundays from noon to 5pm and you are welcome and encouraged to visit the current exhibition, The World in Maps, 1400-1600, before or after the Dictionary Day drop-in.
And be sure to start your Dictionary Day celebration early on Saturday, October 15 with a visit to the New Haven Museum, 114 Whitney Avenue, where a selection of the Museum’s collections on Noah Webster will be on display from 12-5 PM. Items on display will include Webster’s notes on the letters A and B, photographs of his home in New Haven, and a bust of Webster by Chauncey Ives.

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