Permanent Exhibitions

Note: The Beinecke Library reading room and exhibition hall are open at present only to Yale University students, staff, and faculty authorized to be on campus. A valid Yale I.D. is required for entrance to the building at all times.

Visitors are welcome throughout the year to the Beinecke Library’s ground floor and mezzanine public exhibition areas, to see the building, permanent exhibitions, and varied special exhibitions.

The Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed from movable type, and John James Audubon’s Birds of America are on permanent public display on the mezzanine. On the ground floor, visitors can see the 1742 Library of Yale College, the first books in the original Yale library, as well as a collection of incunabula, the earliest printed books in the West, from 1455 to ca. 1500.

An information sheet about the library’s history, mission, architecture, collection, and services is available at the security desk at the entrance and the building and exhibitions can be enjoyed on a self-guided basis. Please check the Hours and Accessibility page on this website for detailed information on daily hours and for schedule holiday closures.