Online Exhibits@Yale

Student Curators' Favorite Library Resources

Andrew Cordova, History, Silliman College '15

Go-to Librarian

Bill Landis, one of Manuscripts and Archives archivists, has guided many of my inquiries. Through casual conversation, I have appreciated his advice on where to find sources that provoke important historical questions and how to turn those ideas into paper topics.

Favorite Place to Study

One of my favorite study spaces on campus is the Starr Main Reference Room in Sterling Memorial Library.  As someone who is distracted easily, I appreciate the quietness of the room. And, Starr has to be one of the most beautiful spaces on all of Yale’s campus.

Manuscripts and Archives

Yale’s collections at Manuscripts and Archives have been essential to my research not only for my senior thesis but also as a history major. The wealth of primary sources has influenced the ways in which I conduct historical inquiry and the subjects that interest me.

Miranda Melcher, Political Science, Branford College '16

Go-to Librarians

Melanie Maksin has been incredibly helpful, teaching me to access papers, government documents, and databases. Her subject guides are my first research stop. She is always approachable with questions, vague or specific. Robin Dougherty is an expert on all things Middle East. She taught me to use newspaper archives, which is not only useful for my Middle East research, but helpful in manipulating search engines and databases for other research topics.

Favorite Place to Study

By far my favourite place at Yale, the Linonia and Brothers Reading Room in Sterling Library is both comfortable and quiet. This is my go-to spot for when I have to do a lot of reading, and is also the best place to curl up with a “just-for-fun” book on a rainy day.

Subject Guides

The Chinese Primary Sources Subject Guide, an online resource, is a great way to see all of the Chinese language sources at Yale—which otherwise can be difficult to find and difficult to access once found. The most useful resource to me has been the archives of Chinese newspapers, introduced to me by librarian Tang Li at the East Asia Library. 

Scott Stern, American Studies, Branford College '15

Go-to Librarian

David Gary, Kaplanoff Librarian for American History, has been simply indispensable to my research. Whenever I have trouble finding an obscure source, he is the first person I go to. With his help, I have acquired countless rare or esoteric books, articles, and reports I surely could not have found otherwise. 

Favorite Place to Study

When I really need to concentrate on my research, I go to the American Studies Reading Room on the sixth floor of Sterling Memorial Library. Equipped with large tables, comfortable leather couches, and beautiful stained glass windows, it is my favorite spot to get work done.

Historic Newspaper Databases

I am an avid user of many of Yale University  Library’s historic newspaper databases, including ProQuest’s Historical Newspapers and Readex’s America’s Historical Newspapers, 1690-1922. Through such databases, I have found articles that provide on-the-ground stories to back up (and spice up) my findings.

Caroline Sydney, Humanities, Silliman College '16

Go-to Librarian

I first knew Nancy Kuhl as the organizing force behind the Yale Literary Magazine’s Small Press Open Reading Rooms at Beinecke Library, but have since learned to turn to her for suggested research topics in any class. Her knowledge of and enthusiasm for the poetry collections and in particular the modernist holdings means that I can count on any box called at Nancy’s recommendation to trigger productive and often unexpected research.

Favorite Place to Study

Rain or shine, the view of Isamu Noguchi’s  The Garden (Pyramid, Sun, and Cube) allows me to shift my focus from the world at street level to the materials and atmosphere of the Beinecke Reading Room. Surrounded by the smell of paper and the sound of turned pages and  shuffled folders, researching acquires a sense of rhythm and the quality of choreography.

The Digital Collections

When I cannot access the reading room, the pleasure of the handwritten document need not be withheld. The Digital Collections at the  Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library  bring letters, manuscripts and photographs within a click’s reach, allowing me to pursue my research off campus or after library hours.

Student Curators' Favorite Library Resources