Mission + Vision and Aspirations for 2027


The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library collects, catalogs, preserves, and makes accessible rare books, manuscripts, and other formats from ancient to modern times in support of the teaching and research mission of the students and faculty of Yale University and visiting scholars throughout the world. To support intellectual communities at Yale and beyond, the library sponsors conferences, classes, fellowships, symposia, digital initiatives, and print publications related to its collections.  Beinecke Library exhibitions, lectures, concerts, and other cultural events seek to enliven and enrich the Yale and New Haven communities.

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library: Vision and Aspirations for 2027

In the spring of 2017 the Beinecke Library solicited input from students, faculty, scholars, and staff regarding the future of the library. Taking inspiration from those ideas, we set out the following vision and aspirations for the Beinecke Library of 2027.

Visitors to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library are greeted by a dedication declaring it “an inspiration to all who enter.” The magic of Gordon Bunshaft’s building at 121 Wall Street is breathtaking but only one facet of the library. Our staff of unparalleled dedication and expertise and collections of exceptional depth and breadth are equal catalysts for reflection, scholarship, and community. We welcome students, faculty, scholars, neighbors, and travelers to join us in engaging, confronting, and building on the rich record of human experience and cultural achievement that we steward. 

Since 2007, the Beinecke Library has greatly expanded our capacity to acquire, catalog, preserve, and provide access to our collections through an increase in staff; expansion of teaching spaces; construction of offsite storage; and development of a new technical services space for cataloging, digitizing, and conserving the collections. 

We seek to build on these accomplishments and enhance our mission as a center for scholarship and creation of knowledge with four primary goals for the next decade:

•             Implement an integrated approach to building, describing, and managing the collections in order to provide appropriate levels of access for all collection materials within two years of receipt.

•             Execute a comprehensive renovation of the library’s digital infrastructure to provide all who enter virtually a level of service, accessibility, and inspiration on par with that enjoyed on-site. 

•             Create an exemplary workplace culture geared toward recruitment and retention of the best staff by prioritizing the inclusion of diverse people and perspectives, supporting training and professional development, promoting creative thinking and collaborative decision-making, and fostering mutual respect and frequent, open communication within and among all departments.

•             Bolster collaborations and connections within Yale and the broader scholarly community, and welcome a broad local and regional audience for exhibitions and public events, and so expand our influence in affirming the centrality of the humanities in an open, pluralistic society.

Achieving these aspirations will strengthen and expand the Beinecke Library’s impact, significantly advancing our ability to support the teaching and research mission of the students and faculty of Yale University and scholars throughout the world and to enliven and enrich New Haven and the region. 

Successfully meeting these goals will require significant and continued investment in key resources:

•             Staff: The Beinecke Library’s most valuable asset is our dedicated and knowledgeable staff. We must be an appropriately-staffed, nimble, diverse, and collaborative workplace that encourages innovation and provides opportunities for education and training.

•             Academic Partners: We are enriched by close relationships with Yale students, faculty, staff, and colleagues throughout the library system. We must support and grow these partnerships.

•             Facilities: We are fortunate to work in recently expanded and renovated facilities. We must ensure they continue to meet our evolving space and technology needs.

•             Systems and Workflows: As an organization of information professionals, the systems that support the creation, management, and dissemination of our work are critical. We must continue to invest creativity, expertise, and financial resources in their maintenance and development.

•             Collections: The broad scope and unique treasures of the library’s collections are renowned globally. We must build upon their strengths and anticipate emerging areas of research.