The Yale library system has a rich collection of original papers and primary sources for Senior Essay Projects. Below are a small sampling of those extensive and diverse collections. Click on a library to see potential collections that might be of use. For further information, contact the relevant reference or collection librarian for your topic.
U.S. History, 19th century
- American trade cards: The Arts of the Book Collection, part of the Arts Library, houses a large collection of late 19th century American trade cards. Organized roughly by subject, these small colorfully-printed collectable advertisements illustrate the range of products consumed by the public and the messages used by the companies to sell their wares.
U.S. History, 20th century Society and Culture:
- Fine press and artists’ books: The Arts of the Book Collection, part of the Arts Library, houses a substantial number of fine press and artists’ books. These works of art in book form often contain intriguing illustrations, typographically interesting layouts of poetry and prose, or unusual formats and media. The works show that the message can be enhanced by the way the words are put on the page, not just the words themselves.
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscripts Library
U.S. History, Colonial and Early Republic:
- Jonathan Edwards Collection: The Edwards Collection consists of writings, correspondence, documents, printed materials, photographs, and artifacts documenting the lives and work of Jonathan Edwards and his family. Jonathan Edwards’ papers contain the great majority of his surviving manuscripts. These include over one thousand sermons; private theological and philosophical notebooks, including the nine volume “Miscellanies” and four volume “Notes on the Scripture;” Edwards’ interleaved Bible. In addition, there is a box of Jonathan Edwards’ correspondence; principal correspondents include Joseph Bellamy and Thomas Foxcroft.
U.S. History, 19th century:
- Savage Mining Company & Associated Records: These records document the mining of the Comstock Lode, focusing on the operations of the mines, but including information of the San Francisco stock market and court cases involving the mines in both Nevada and California. The collection consists of the corporate records of the Savage Mining Company, the Hale & Norcross Mining Company, and other Comstock companies. As one of the largest mining ventures in the western United States, the Savage Mining Company records document the impact of technology on the environment as well as the relationship between capital and labor in 19th century America.
U.S. History, 20th century / Environment:
- Rachel Carson Papers: The Carson Papers consist of manuscripts, notebooks, letters, newspaper clippings, photos, and printed material relating to the life, research, and publications of biologist and environmental activist Rachel Carson. The collection spans the years 1921 to 1981, with the bulk of the material covering the period from 1950 to 1964. The collection is especially rich in material relating to the writing, publication, and reception of Silent Spring, Carson’s final and most controversial work.
African American History:
- James Weldon Johnson Papers: Correspondence files span the years 1904 to 1973 and include not only the correspondence of James Weldon Johnson, but also that of his wife, Grace Nail Johnson, and other members of his immediate family. For most of his life, James Weldon Johnson was at or near the center of black political and cultural activities in the United States; he counted among his friends and associates many leading blacks and whites who were involved in issues of race relations. His brother, J. Rosamond Johnson, was an important musical comedy performer, appearing in both the United States and Europe, and John B. Nail and John E. Nail, his father-in-law and brother-in-law, were leaders in the social and business life of Harlem. Johnson’s interests and activities were centered in three principal areas: black literature and music, the political and social advancement of blacks, and education. The correspondence in the Johnson Papers touches most frequently on some aspect of one of these subjects, but also often refers to other facets of Afro-American life in the first four decades of the twentieth century.
- The Boswell Collection documents the lives, activities, and interests of more than ten generations of Boswell family members. The papers span the dates 1428-1936, but the bulk of the material dates from the eighteenth century. The collection is divided into two parts. Part I, the James Boswell Papers, contains the papers of Johnson’s biographer James Boswell. Part II, Boswell FamilyPapers, consists of material relating to the Boswell family. The Boswell Collection contains the correspondence, diaries, and manuscripts of James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish lawyer, diarist, and author of the Life of Johnson (1791), as well as estate records, letters, personal and professional papers, and other materials documenting the lives and careers of ten generations of Boswells and their possession of the barony of Auchinleck.
Early Modern Europe (1500-1800):
- The Spinelli Archive: The Spinelli Archive comprises over 100,000 documents produced by the residents of the Palazzo Spinelli in Florence between the fifteenth and the eighteenth centuries. It includes original research materials for the study of economic, banking, agricultural, diplomatic, papal, political, and family history.
- The John Gerassi Collection of Jean-Paul Sartre consists of manuscripts by Sartre, and interviews with Sartre and his contemporaries. Gathered by John Gerassi during the preparation of his biography Jean-Paul Sartre: Hated Conscience of his Century (1989), the collection spans the years 1964-1985. Sartre was a close friend of Gerassi’s parents, Fernando and Stepha. As an adult, Gerassi’s friendship with Sartre continued. Sartre eventually asked Gerassi to write his biography and agreed to a series of interviews recorded between 1970-1974. A companion series of interviews with Sartre’s friends, contemporaries, and enemies was made in 1973. The collection also includes Sartre’s notes for lectures at the Gramsci Insitute in Rome and Cornell University.
The History of Science and Medicine:
- The John Vance Lauderdale Papers contain correspondence, journals, photographs, drawings, programs, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia documenting the lives of 19th century army medical officer Dr. John V. Lauderdale and other members of his family. The papers span the dates 1838-1931, but the bulk of the material covers the years 1852-1916. They document Lauderdale’s service on the Mississippi River during the Civil War and at numerous posts throughout the American West in the decades after the Civil War.
Women and Gender
- The George W. Wilbur Family Papers consist of correspondence, case files, financial papers, notebooks, documents, writings, diaries, maps, photographs, and printed material which document the life of Chicago attorney George W. Wilbur and his family. The collection spans the years 1737-1954, but most of the material dates from the period of George Wilbur’s adult life, 1870-1931. The Papers document Chicago history, nineteenth century family life, women’s history, and life in the West. Within 31 boxes of family correspondence are extensive files for Sarah Ann Cook Wilbur, Susan Wilbur Jones, Ellen Rice Wilbur, and Susan W. Rice. The files record correspondence between parents and children across three generations of the family, including George Wilbur’s daughter Susan Wilbur Rice, a 1913 graduate of Wellesley College. Additional correspondence of Susan Wilbur Rice can be found in The Susan Wilbur Jones papers.
Center for British Art
- Housing approximately 30,000 volumes, the Center’s Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts focuses on material relating to the visual arts and cultural life in the United Kingdom and former British Empire. The astonishinglydiverse collection is comprised of works that describe all aspects of British life, customs, scenery, and travel, from the 16th century to the present. It includes artists’ manuals, sporting books and manuscripts, works on costume, the military, entertainments and theatrical events, transportation, natural history and popular science, and illustrated children’s books and games. While the collection is strongest in its eighteenth and nineteenth-century holdings, some of the first books printed in the English language can be found, as well as individual leaves from books printed before 1501.
Private press books-such as those produced by William Morris at his Kelmscott Press-complement a growing collection of contemporary artists’ books by Ron King, Ken Campbell, and others. Researchers may also consult the broad collection of archival material relating to British artists of all periods. The extensive James Bruce archive, for example, contains journals, letters, drawings, and watercolors relating to his eighteenth-century expedition to discover the source of the Nile.Map lovers will find much of interest; the collection includes a comprehensive collection of early maps and atlases by all the great cartographers. Amongst the treasures are a unique pair of terrestrial and celestial globes made for the Bishop of Brixen, around 1521-22. The terrestrial globe is the third earliest surviving. Other riches include the earliest surviving manuscript map showing Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation (ca. 1587).
U.S. History, Colonial and Early Republic:
- Enoch Hale Papers: : Hale, born in Coventry, Ct in 1753, was the brother of the famed Nathan Hale. Collection includes correspondence and diaries contain brief daily entries describing the weather, notable activities and events, sermons written and preached, town meetings attended, marriages performed, visitors received, journeys taken and chores performed, etc.
- Simon Backus Papers: Simon Backus (1701-1745), and his son Simon (1737-1823) were Congregational clergymen in Connecticut. Their papers include manuscript sermons, account records, and correspondence.
U.S. History, 19th century:
- Henry S. Huntington Family Papers: Correspondence, writings, and collected material in the Henry S. Huntington Family Papers provide documentation of an educated clergy family’s life in New England, particularly during the Victorian era. Huntington (1836-1920) was a Congregational minister in New Hampshire, Illinois, Maine, and Massachusetts. Three of his children were involved with mission work in Turkey.
U.S. History, 19th & 20th century:
- Archives of the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions: The Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions was an organization that sought to recruit college and university students in the United States for missionary service abroad. It also publicized and encouraged the missionary enterprise in general. These archives provide valuable information on various aspects of American religious life during the period 1886-1964. Religious conditions on American college and university campuses are documented. Vast files of student volunteer application, information and health examination blanks provide personal data on thousands of prospective missionaries. The financial records and correspondence provide documentation related to philanthropic support of religious causes in America.
U.S. History, 20th century:
- Archives of the Wider City Parish: The Wider City Parish was an inner-city Christian social ministry organization in New Haven, Connecticut, which existed from the early 1950s to the mid 1980s.These archives document the work of a nondenominational Christian social ministry agency during three decades of rapid urban change and upheaval in New Haven.
- Archives of the Washington Office on Africa: The Washington Office on Africa was founded in 1972 to support the movement for freedom from white-minority rule in southern Africa. Its activities have included the monitoring of Congressional legislation and executive policies and actions, as well as the publication of action alerts and other documentation designed to advance progressive legislation and policy on southern Africa. Supported by church bodies and unions, the WOA has worked in partnership with colleagues in Africa, the Africa advocacy community in the United States, and grassroots organizations concerned with various aspects of African affairs.
- Issues of Peace and War Pamphlet Collection: This collection includes material from more than 170 organizations as well as topically arranged materials. While the majority of the material is related to the issues of the Second World War, documents from as early as 1818 and as late as 1970 are included. The collection is particularly valuable for its focus on the contributions of American religious organizations and church leaders to the discussion and action surrounding such issues as conscientious objection, civilian public service camps, military training, disarmament, and reconstruction.
- Archives of British missionary societies: The archives of numerous British mission agencies are available on microfilm or microfiche, include those of the Church Missionary Society, London Missionary Society, Baptist Missionary Society, Presbyterian Missionary Society, Methodist Missionary Society, and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.
- Horace Waller Papers: Waller went to Africa in 1861 as Lay Superintendent of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa. These papers document the Zambezi expedition of David Livingstone (1813-1873) and the early history of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa. In 1864, Waller returned to England and became a member of the committee of the Anti-Slavery Society.
- Archives of the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia: Extensive correspondence, minutes, reports and publications document the formation and development of thirteen Protestant colleges and universities that operated in China between 1880 and 1950. Detailed reconstruction of life on the China college campuses is made possible through statistical records, student essays and transcripts, faculty reminiscences, publicity releases, and documentation of the Colleges’ physical plants, administrative procedures, curricula, extra-curricular activities and financial affairs. The impact of political events on the programs of the China colleges is well documented.
Native American history:
- Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Mission to American Indians: Microfilm collection of more than 14,000 written by Presbyterian missionaries describing their work among native Americans in the United States.(1833-1893). The Board of Foreign Missions, in addition to the Indian Territory missions, established missions among the Chippewas, Ottawas, Dakotas and Sioux in the North; among the Iowas, Omahas, Otoes, Sac and Fox tribes in the Midwest; among the Nez Perce, Sioux and Spokans in the Northwest; among the Navajos, Apaches, Pueblos and Pimas in the far Southwest.
Women and Gender:
- Abbie G. Sanderson Papers: Sanderson was an American Baptist missionary in South China from 1918 to 1937 and 1946 to 1953. She was held in solitary confinement for twenty-one months prior to her release from Communist China in 1953. She later taught at a girls’ school in Sendai, Japan, and retired in 1959. Detailed family correspondence, writings, and collected material document the life and work of a single woman missionary in South China.
- Archives of the Asian Women’s Institute: These records provide fascinating documentation of the creation and development of an organization devoted to the self-realization of women in Asia through education. The AWI and its American support agency emerged at the same time, but now the AWI continues only as an Asian-led organization. The evolving interchange of leadership and power between Asian and American women documented in these records is of interest. The issues addressed by the AWI during the years documented by this collection included career options for Asian women, peacemaking, and leadership development. The AWI published the periodical Asian Woman, sponsored research projects, and in many other ways contributed to mutual exchange and cooperation between the Asian women’s colleges it supported. This record group also includes much valuable information about the individual women’s colleges in India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, and the Philippines that were AWI members.
The History of Science and Medicine:
- James Claude Thomson Papers: Thomson was an ordained minister, missionary, scientist, and educator. He was Professor of chemistry and later Dean at the University of Nanking in China from 1917 to 1949. Although he began his career pioneering in the analysis and extraction of Chinese wood oil from the tung-oil nut, he began to feel a deep concern for the hungry and poorly nourished people of Asia. Mid-career, he sought the education and training needed to enter into the fields of public health and nutrition. During his long career as a medical nutrition expert and biochemist, he taught in universities and advised governments in China, Japan, Korea, and the Mideast. Serving as a nutrition consultant for the World Health Organization in the 1950s, he conducted major nutritional surveys of Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey.
Manuscripts and Archives, Sterling Memorial Library
U.S. History, Colonial and Early Republic:
- Eli Whitney Papers:The papers consist of correspondence and business papers relating to Eli Whitney’s interests in developing the cotton gin and the manufacture of firearms employing a system of interchangeable parts. The papers include land records relating to the acquisition of property for the mill site, patents on inventions, account books and other financial records, and contracts and drawings concerning firearms production. Also included in the papers are records of Eli Whitney’s estate, papers of Eli Whitney’s nephews and son who succeeded him in producing firearms, and personal papers of Whitney and other Whitney family members.
- Gibbs Family Papers: Collection includes correspondence, financial papers and memorabilia of members of the Gibbs family. Of principal interest are thirteen letters (1783-1796) from Roger Sherman to his brother-in-law, Henry Gibbs, of which five (1789-1790) discuss the deliberations of the first Congress of the United States.
U.S. History, 19th century:
- Beecher Family Papers: Correspondence, writings, speeches, diaries, clippings, printed matter , sermons, and other papers of two centuries of Beecher family members. The papers relate principally to Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), popular 19th century clergyman and orator, and members of his family. Among those represented are his father, the Reverend Lyman Beecher (1775-1863), clergyman; his brothers, Edward Beecher (1803-1895), educator and antislavery leader, and Thomas Kinnicut Beecher (1824-1900) and Charles Beecher (1815-1900), both clergyman and antislavery activist; and his sisters, Harriett Elizabeth (Beecher) Stowe (1811-1896), author, Catherine Esther Beecher (1800-1878), pioneer educator and writer on ‘domestic economy,’ and Isabella Homes (Beecher) Hooker (1822-1907), well-known suffragist. Also included are papers relating to the Scoville family (mainly Annie Beecher Scoville, 1866-1953, teacher and lecturer), as well as other related families. The papers cover an extremely wide range of cultural, political, social, and religious issues and topics of 19th and early 20th century America and include correspondence from a large number of well-known men and women. The papers were previously known as the Beecher-Scoville Family Papers.
U.S. History, 20th Century, Society and Culture:
- Walter Lippmann Papers: Walter Lippmann was born in New York City on September 23, 1889. Following graduation from Harvard College in 1910, he began his career as a reporter, author, and political commentator. He served on the first editorial board of the New Republic and was secretary to The Inquiry, a group of experts assembled at the request of Woodrow Wilson to collect data in preparation for a peace conference following World War I. Lippmann was editor of the New York World from 1922-1931. In 1931, he began a column for the New York Herald Tribune, “Today and Tomorrow,” which would later be syndicated nationally and which continued until 1967. Lippmann was the author of numerous books of political commentary and philosophy. He died on December 14, 1974, in New York City. The papers consist of correspondence with an international array of scholars, journalists, heads of state, government officials, and friends. Also included are manuscripts and drafts of his books, columns, and speeches. In addition there are diaries and engagement books, photographs of Walter Lippmann with family and friends, requests to speak or write, honors, and film and audiotapes.
- William Sloane Coffin, Jr. Papers: William Sloane Coffin, Jr. was born June 1, 1924, in New York City. He attended Deerfield Academy and Phillips Academy Andover before beginning his studies at Yale University in 1942. After one year at Yale, Coffin joined the U.S. Army, in which he served until 1947, when he returned to Yale, graduating with a B.A. in 1949. He went on to study for a year at Union Theological Seminary before joining the Central Intelligence Agency in 1950. In 1953, Coffin began studies at the Yale Divinity School, which he completed in 1956, when he was ordained into the Presbyterian ministry. Coffin spent successive years as the chaplain of Phillips Academy and Williams College before returning to Yale to serve as chaplain from 1957 to 1975. While chaplain at Yale, Coffin became a public figure active in the civil rights movement and protests of U.S. military actions in Vietnam. Coffin served as senior minister of Riverside Church in New York City from 1977 to 1987, when he became president of SANE/FREEZE. Coffin retired to Vermont in the mid-1990s, but remains active as a teacher, lecturer, and writer. Summary: The papers include correspondence, subject files, writings, clippings, audio and video recordings, and other materials that document the career of William Sloane Coffin, Jr. The collection includes documentation relating to the civil rights movement, Vietnam War protests, amnesty for war resisters, the Peace Corps, Operation Crossroads Africa, and Yale University during the time when Coffin served as chaplain of Yale University.
- Sir William Wiseman Papers: Sir William Wiseman (1885-1962): international banker working at Herndon’s in London before World War I; during World War I served in the infantry as a lieutenant colonel, then in military intelligence; acted as liaison between British government and Wilson, and as advisor at the Paris Peace Conference; after World War I joined banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. in New York. The papers pertain to the period 1917-1919 and specifically to diplomatic relations between Britain and the U.S. during that period. Includes correspondence between Wiseman and Edward M. House; official telegrams of the British Foreign Office and of U.S. officials; British and American official and private memoranda on war matters and on problems of the Peace Conference; and reports and correspondence on Russia and on the Zionist movement. Important correspondents include: Gordon Auchincloss, Arthur James Balfour, Winston Churchill, Thomas G. Masaryk, Ignace Jan Paderewski, the Marquis of Reading, Cecil Spring-Rice and William Tyrrell. During World War II Wiseman was again engaged in intelligence operations for Great Britain and also devoted himself to war-relief work. A small amount of papers document some of these activities. Business and financial papers from his partnership in the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Company (1929-1955) include correspondence, particularly in relation to the promotion of capital investment in underdeveloped countries. Among the few personal items are several photographs, memorabilia, and letters from friends and his three daughters.
- Brown vs. the Board of Education Collection: Interview notes, correspondence, clippings, copies of court transcripts and briefs assembled by Richard Kluger for his book, Simple Justice: Brown vs. Board of Education. Kluger’s interview notes, taken either in person or by mail, with over one hundred people make up the core of the collection. Especially full materials are available for Alexander Bickel, Hugo L. Black, Esther Brown, Linda Brown, John W. Davis, Felix Frankfurter, William H. Hastie, Kenneth B. Clark, Charles H. Houston, Thurgood Marshall, William H. Rehnquist, and Earl Warren. Kluger’s copies of the correspondence files of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) relating to this case are also included in the collection, as are two unpublished manuscripts by Phyllis Kluger: an article, “A Short History of Education in the United States,” and a book, A Long History of Negro Education.
Native American History:
- John Collier Papers. John Collier was born on May 4, 1884 in Atlanta, Georgia. He served as editor of the journal of American Indian Life from 1915-1919 and as executive secretary of the American Indian Defense Association from 1923-1933. Collier also served as United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs from 1933-1945, established the Institute of Ethnic Affairs and served as its president in 1945, and taught sociology and anthropology at City College in New York City (1947) and Knox College in Illinois (1955-1956). He published several major books and articles on the American Indians until his death in Taos, New Mexico, on May 8, 1968. The papers consist of correspondence, subject files, writings, memoranda and reports, research materials, and miscellanea, documenting the personal life and professional career of John Collier. His service with the American Indian Defense Association (A.I.D.A.), as United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and as a teacher and author is detailed. Correspondence files include materials with leading political, literary, and social figures. Drafts of books, articles, essays, reviews, and poetry are supplemented with extensive subject files and research materials. Files relating to the Institute of Ethnic Affairs include substantive correspondence and memoranda.
Modern European History:
- The Inquiry Papers: Correspondence, organizational records, reports containing historical and statistical material, maps, and other papers of The Inquiry, a group of experts assembled at the request of President Wilson to collect and collate data in preparation for a peace conference following World War I. Members of The Inquiry included Edward House, Sidney Mezes, Isaiah Bowman, Charles Seymour, David H. Miller, Walter Lippmann, James T. Shotwell, and Clive Day.
- Benjamin Pogrund Papers: Benjamin Pogrund was born in Cape Town, South Africa, on May 5, 1933. He obtained degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Bachelor of Social Science at the University of Cape Town between 1950 and 1956 and Bachelor of Arts in African Studies at Witwatersrand University in 1971. From 1958 to 1985, Pogrund worked in a variety of capacities for the Rand Daily Mail. He achieved acclaim and notoriety for his reports on prison conditions and for his coverage of black South African individuals and groups who organized resistance to apartheid. Pogrund also wrote on South African affairs for many publications abroad, including the Boston Globe, Economist, Today, New Republic, and Sunday Times (London), and published several books, including a biography of Robert Sobukwe. Pogrund collected extensive materials documenting the struggle against apartheid and donated them to research libraries around the world. He moved to London in the mid-1980s, where he worked in the foreign departments of several newspapers and commented widely on South Africa. He lived for a short while in the United States during the 1990s before moving to Israel to establish the Center for Social Concern in 1997. The papers include correspondence, writings, subject files, scrapbooks, clippings, legal documents, photographs, and other materials created and compiled by Benjamin Pogrund, South African journalist. The collection extensively documents prison conditions in South Africa, the South African Communist Party, the Rand Daily Mail, the South African Coloured National Convention, the South African press, and many other organizations and individuals who worked to subvert apartheid. Featured individuals include Robert Sobukwe, Laurence Gandar, Raymond Louw, John Rees, and Norma Kitson; featured organizations include South African Coloured People’s Congress, Pan Africanist Congress, South African Institute of Race Relations, Congress Alliance, and Search for Alternatives.
Latin American History:
- Latin American Pamphlet Collection: A collection of pamphlets from Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Uruguay, Venezuela, the West Indies, and other Latin American and South American countries. The pamphlets document the agricultural, economic, legal, military, political, religious, and social activities in these countries.
The History of Science and Medicine:
- Silliman Family Papers: Benjamin Silliman was born in Trumbull (North Stratford), Connecticut on August 8, 1779. He graduated from Yale College in 1796, studied law with Simeon Baldwin, was appointed as a tutor at Yale College (1799), and was admitted to the bar in 1802. He was appointed professor of chemistry and natural history at Yale College in 1802. Silliman taught, lectured, and published until 1853. He died in New Haven, Connecticut on November 24, 1864.
Benjamin Silliman, Jr. was born on December 4, 1816. He graduated from Yale College in 1837, and assisted his father, Benjamin Silliman. He held several teaching positions at Yale College, edited scholarly journals, and published works on chenistry and geology. He died in New Haven, Connecticut on January 14, 1885. The papers consist of correspondence, lectures, notebooks, diaries, journals, and other material documenting the personal lives and professional careers of the Silliman family, including Benjamin Silliman (1779-1864) and Benjamin Silliman, Jr. (1816-1885). Personal material details family life, relationships, social activities, and cultural pursuits. Professional material details the academic and literary interests of the Sillimans, particularly in chemistry, physics, and geology. The evolution and development of science, the beginnings of scientific instruction at Yale, and many related topics are documented. Material relating to John Trumbull and the Trumbull Art Gallery at Yale is also included. Family letters and journals offer observations on local and national events, as exemplified by Maggie Lindsley’s journal and letters with Benjamin Silliman relating to the Civil War.
- Harvey Williams Cushing Papers: Harvey Williams Cushing was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 8, 1869. He graduated from Yale College in 1891 and in 1895 received his M.D. and A.M. degrees from the Harvard Medical School. He served on the staff of the Johns Hopkins University Hospital from 1901 to 1912, where he devoted himself to neurological surgery. In 1912 he was appointed professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and in 1913 surgeon-in-chief of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, posts which he held until 1932. During World War I Cushing served with medical units in France, where he advanced the treatment of gunshot wounds of the head. Later he developed methods for the study and treatment of intracranial tumors. He was also an ardent bibliophile and prolific writer, winning a Pulitzer Prize in biography in 1926. Cushing died in New Haven, Connecticut on October 7, 1939. The papers consist of correspondence, subject files, writings, and artifacts which document the professional career of Harvey Williams Cushing. The papers highlight Cushing’s years on the staff of the Harvard Medical School and Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. The papers also document his activities in various professional organizations, his research and writing, particularly on brain tumors and on Sir William Osler, and his book collecting. The papers include a large correspondence with prominent physicians, medical educators and administrators, former classmates, students, assistants, and patients, World War I colleagues, and book dealers, librarians, and book collectors. The papers also include material relating to several Cushing family members, many of whom were active in nineteenth-century Cleveland, Ohio.
- Paul Bigelow Sears Papers, 1910-1969: Sears was chairman of the Yale University Conservation Program from 1950 to 1960. He pursued research in paleobotany, specifically fossil pollens, while also publishing many works on conservation and ecology directed to a more general audience. The papers consist of correspondence; writings; topical research files; minutes, agendas, and other organizational papers; and teaching files, which document Paul Bigelow Sear’s career as an educator, conservationist, author, and spokesman for the environment.
- Henry Lewis Stimson Papers, 1846-1966: Stimson served as Secretary of War under William Howard Taft, and was a special emissary to Nicaragua in 1927. Stimson was Governor General of the Philippines from 1927-1929. He was Secretary of State under Herbert Hoover, and was Secretary of War under Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. The papers consist of correspondence, letter books, speeches, articles, letters to the editor, statements prepared for presentation to Congress and substantial subject files with clippings, printed matter, reports, memoranda and photographs related to Henry Stimson’s various public offices.
- Hanson Weightman Baldwin papers, 1900-1988: Hanson Baldwin was a writer for the Baltimore Sun (1928), the New York Times (1929-1968), and Reader’s Digest (1968-1976). He reported extensively on World War II, and in 1942 he became military editor for the New York Times. Baldwin was co-chairman of the armaments group of the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as editor of many books and authored numerous articles. Baldwin died in 1991. The papers consist of correspondence, writings, subject files, research materials, publicity for books, and other papers of Hanson W. Baldwin, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and military affairs reporter and editor for the New York Times from 1929-1968, and editor for Reader’s Digest, 1968-1976. The papers relate to Baldwin’s work and interests as a journalist and author and include correspondence with many high-ranking officers of the armed services, government officials, and writers and historians, as well as other members of the staff of the New York Times and Reader’s Digest. Of particular interest are the subject files of printed materials and clippings which Baldwin collected and maintained for his own use. Included in these files are a number of important reports, transcriptions, and other items, some of which are not easily obtainable elsewhere.
Women and Gender:
- Anna Strunsky Walling Papers: Anna Strunsky Walling, author, was born in Babinotz, Russia in 1879. She emigrated to the United States in 1893, and received an A.B. degree from Stanford in 1900. In 1906 she married William English Walling, and became active in the Socialist Party. Walling spent two years (1906-1908) in Russia studying social and economic conditions. She lectured on social and literary topics, and co-authored a book with Jack London. Walling also wrote Violette of Père Lachaise, 1915. The papers consist of correspondence, diaries, writings, memorabilia and photographs. The correspondence (1897-1964) which includes family, friends and political associates documents Walling’s involvement in political causes. The letters also reveal Anna Walling’s feelings on personal matters, social questions and her reactions to meetings with prominent persons both in the United States and abroad. Her trip to Russia (ca. 1905-1907) with William English Walling where they toured the provinces and met many literary and political figures is described in her letters home. Important personal correspondents are Melville Anderson, Gelette Burgess, Harry Cowell, Hutchins Hapgood, Ray Nash, Charles Edward Russell, Katherine Maryson, Jane Roulson, James Graham Phelps Stokes, Rose Pastor Stokes, Upton Sinclair and Gaylord Wilshire. There are also a number of letters from prominent political and literary figures of the period, among them Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Zona Gale, Arnold Genthe, Jesse Jackson, Vida Scudder, Irving Stone, Henrietta Szold, Norman Thomas and Rabindranath Tagore. Despite her prolonged love affair with Jack London only a few copies of his letters are in the correspondence.
Medical Historical Library
The History of Science and Medicine:
- The Medical Historical Library has many large collections of pamphlets from the 19th and early twentieth centuries including: patent medicine almanacs, patent medicine advertisements, hospital annual reports and ephemera, medical college catalogs and addresses, spas and mineral waters, and pamphlets from various organizations. These are little-used fascinating primary sources on popular medicine, public health, personal hygiene, child health and rearing advice, and sex education.
Pamphlets on public health issued by state government agencies, 1905-1942: Pamphlets on public health issued by state boards or departments of health and related state government agencies. Most are addressed to the public on topics related to infectious and chronic diseases, and personal, family, and community hygiene. Sex education is among the many topics covered. Also included are some reports and texts of public health laws. Many, though not all states, are represented in this collection.
Women and Gender:
- Hospital annual reports and ephemera collection, 1805-1969: This collection of reports and ephemera from hospitals in the United States and Great Britain especially London) contains many reports and ephemera from nineteenth century hospitals for women, and, in particular, from lying-in hospitals. Wealthy women typically gave birth in their own homes. The hospitals, unlike today, were free and used primarily by poor and unmarried women, posing a moral issue to hospital administrators. Also in this collection are numerous reports from insane asylums where women were sometimes committed by family members against their will.
U.S. History, 19th century:
- Lowell Mason Papers: Mason(1792-1872) composed hymns (including “Nearer My God to Thee”) and was his era’s most influential proponent of music education in the American public schools. The Lowell Mason Papers contain sketches, manuscript scores, and published editions of Mason’s musical compositions, including hymns, songs, and choral music. The Papers also hold piano music composed or arranged by Mason’s son, William Mason. The correspondence includes letters to and from Mason and family members, musicians, theologians, and educators. Mason’s life and work are further documented by: diaries and scrapbooks; photographs; programs and clippings; and miscellaneous biographical materials. The Lowell Mason Papers do not include Mason’s vast personal library of music manuscripts, printed scores, hymnals, and theoretical works. These items have been cataloged separately at the Music Library and the Divinity Library.
U.S. History, 20th century, Society and Culture:
- Charles Ives Papers: Ives (1874-1954) is regarded by many as the most important American composer. The Charles Ives Papers contain the manuscript scores and sketches of Ives’s musical works, including 4 symphonies, 3 violin sonatas, string quartets, piano sonatas, and other major compositions and smaller pieces. The Papers also hold Ives’s collection of music by other composers and his writings on musical and political subjects. The correspondence contains letters to and from Ives and his family, business associates, and other musicians. Ives’s life and work are further documented by: scrapbooks and diaries; photographs; programs; and articles and reviews.
- Virgil Thomson Papers: (1896-1989) was renowned for his operatic collaborations with Gertrude Stein, and for the witty and acerbic reviews that made him the leading American music critic in the 1940s and ’50s. The Virgil Thomson Papers contain the manuscript scores and sketches of Thomson’s musical compositions, including music for 3 operas, 7 films, and other major compositions and smaller pieces. The Papers also hold printed copies of books and music by Thomson. The correspondence is voluminous and contains letters to and from important American and French cultural figures since 1920: composers, musicians, artists, authors, and theatrical personalities. Thomson’s life and work are further documented by: writings by and about Thomson; photographs; family and personal documents; financial records; private recordings; and other materials.
- Deems Taylor Papers: Taylor (1885-1966), the composer, critic, radio personality, and President of ASCAP, was among America’s most prominent musicians from the 1920s until his death. The Metropolitan Opera commissioned and performed two operas by Taylor, both of which achieved popular success. He gained even greater celebrity as intermission commentator for the popular Sunday radio broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra from 1936 to 1943. Scripts for the broadcasts, as well as his reviews for the New York World (1921-25) and the New York American (1931-32), are included in the Papers. They also contain the autograph manuscripts of most of his compositions, extensive correspondence, a large number of photographs, and some recordings. Researchers can find additional Taylor materials at the Beinecke Library in the papers of his second wife, the poet and playwright Mary Kennedy.
- John Rosamond Johnson Papers: Johnson (1873-1954) and his brother James Weldon Johnson composed “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The John Rosamond Johnson Papers document Johnson’s varied career as a composer, actor, vaudeville performer, and administrator. The Papers contain sketches, manuscript scores, and published editions of Johnson’s musical compositions and arrangements. The correspondence includes letters to and from Johnson and family members, musicians, writers, and political figures. Johnson’s life and work are further documented by: programs, newspaper clippings, and advertisements; diaries and scrapbooks; photographs; business and financial records; and miscellaneous items. The Beinecke Library holds James Weldon Johnson’s papers.
- Thomas de Hartmann Papers: The Russian-born composer Thomas de Hartmann (1885-1956) is best known for his collaboration with Wassily Kandinsky and for his association with the spiritual leader G.I. Gurdjieff. The Thomas de Hartmann Papers document de Hartmann’s life and work through musical sketches, manuscript scores, and printed music; librettos and scenarios for stage works; correspondence with composers, conductors, and musical performers; photographs; and miscellaneous materials relating to de Hartmann, Gurdjieff, and Kandinsky.
Women and Gender:
- Kay Swift Papers: Swift (1897-1993) was the first woman to achieve success as a Broadway composer. She is also remembered for her personal relationship with George Gershwin. The Kay Swift Papers document her life and career in the American musical theater through manuscript and published music, scripts, and lyrics. The Papers also contain correspondence, programs, clippings, photographs, sound recordings, and other items.
Oral History, American Music
U.S. History, 20th century, Society and Culture:
- Interviews with Aaron Copland: The Oral History, American Music archive (OHAM) holds hundreds of interviews with leading figures in American music. Aaron Copland (1900-1990), composer of such well known works as Fanfare for the Common Man, Appalachian Spring, and Lincoln Portrait, was interviewed numerous times by OHAM’s director, Vivian Perlis. OHAM holds audio tapes, transcripts, and video tapes of Copland’s interviews as well as numerous interviews with those who knew and worked with Copland. Students and scholars point out that hearing the sound of the subject’s voice brings a human dimension to their study.
- Interviews with Eubie Blake: The Oral History, American Music archive (OHAM) holds hundreds of interviews with leading figures in American music, many of whom are African Americans or ethnic Americans. Eubie Blake, the son of slaves, grew up to be a leading ragtime pianist and composer. OHAM’s director, Vivian Perlis, conducted a number of interviews with Eubie Blake, and OHAM holds all this material. Students and scholars point out that hearing the sound of the subject’s voice brings a human dimension to their study.
Women and Gender:
- Interviews with Pauline Oliveros: The Oral History, American Music archive (OHAM) holds hundreds of interviews with leading figures in American music, including many women. For example, several interviews have been conducted with Pauline Oliveros, a major composer of experimental music. Her works include microtonal accordian improvisations, meditative works, improvisation schemes, and the notable article, “And Don’t Call Them ‘Lady’ Composers,” which first appeared in The New York Times in 1970.
Yale Art Gallery
Ancient and Classical History:
- Dura-Europos and Gerasa excavation archives: Paper, photographic, and excavation archives from Yale excavations of ancient Graeco-Roman/Near Eastern cities in Syria and Jordan in the 1930s.
20th century, Society and Culture:
- Lydia Winston Malbin Archive on Collecting Futurist Art in America: charts the formation of her important collection, dispersed in 1990; contains correspondence between Malbin and major art world figures, including Alfred Barr.
- Société Anonyme objects/ Dreier archives at Beinecke: A great number of topics can be pulled from these materials, such as: Jewish artists in the 20th century; art in Revolutionary Russia; women artists; art of the Bauhaus; exhibition strategies of modern art in America in 1920s and 30s; European artists and WWII, etc.)
Handouts from Library Research Colloquia
- Generic handout
- U.S. History: Colonial and Early Republic
- U.S. History: 19th Century
- U.S. History: 20th Century, Society and Culture
- African American and Ethnic American
- Europe: Great Britain
- Europe: Modern Europe (19th and 20th century)
- History of Science & Medicine
- Women and Gender