Teach at the Beinecke Library

Welcome! We are happy to host your class at the Beinecke. 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