Teach at the Beinecke Library

Update for Fall 2020, for Yale Faculty

The Beinecke Library stands ready to assist faculty, as best we can, in making collections material available digitally to support online instruction.

The Beinecke Digital Library already contains more than one million images and we continue to add new images regularly. Explore this resource for course planning and to recommend it to your students.

While the Beinecke Library’s classrooms are not available for on-site teaching with students until further notice, library staff will aim to assist Yale faculty who would like to record virtual sessions (live via Zoom or pre-recorded sessions) with materials. Yale faculty interested in virtual recording on-site should complete the survey here and library staff will follow up directly. Yale faculty should complete the survey as early in advance of the desired virtual taping date as possible. The library may not have the capacity to fulfill every request.

If you need materials not found in the digital library, we have created a websform that should be used to request digitization of materials for Yale courses for the new academic year (requires CAS login): https://beinecke.library.yale.edu/YaleFacultyDigitization. Please use this form to request material to be digitized for each course for which images are needed. Request for high priority and early-semester scans should be submitted no later than Monday August 3rd.


Welcome! We are happy to host your class at the Beinecke Library. Whether a one-time visit or a semester-long course, we welcome the opportunity to partner with you in student learning. Engagement with primary source material inspires original scholarship, enhances critical thinking skills, and provides a unique opportunity to deepen students’ knowledge and appreciation of a subject.

Beinecke Library is committed to supporting instruction with its collections, in keeping with the teaching and research mission of Yale University. We encourage faculty and student instructors from throughout Yale to consider teaching with our collections. We also collaborate with instructors from institutions around the region.

Our staff collaborates with instructors to integrate collections into the curriculum at a variety of levels, whether for in-depth research projects or an introduction to primary sources. We have collaborated with instructors representing nearly every Yale program, department, and school, including but not limited to: African American Studies, Anthropology, Arabic, Classics, Directed Studies, English, Environmental Studies, History, History of Art, History of Science/History of Medicine, and Religious Studies.

We are eager to facilitate hands-on sessions in which students learn approaches to using rare materials. Examples of such approaches include:

  • understanding ways in which ideas were transmitted in various formats across time and cultures
  • interrogating concepts through an encounter with the material object
  • exploring documentation of the creative process and historical lived experiences
  • imagining how and why texts survive, and the unevenness of the historical record
  • accessing historical data through rare materials

We reserve classrooms on a first-come, first-served basis, and popular class times fill quickly, so please request your classroom space as early as the preceding term, and no later than two weeks in advance. Staff from our department of Collections, Research, and Education offer consultations and support for faculty planning individual sessions or full semester courses. For general questions regarding our teaching services, please contact our reference staff at beinecke.library@yale.edu