The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library contains the principal rare books and literary manuscripts of Yale University. The entrance level and mezzanine function as a showcase for rotating exhibitions that highlight the Beinecke’s collections. The Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed from movable type, and Audubon’s Birds of America are on permanent display. The building, of Vermont marble and granite, bronze and glass, was completed in 1963. Its five stories of translucent marble “windows” provide a dramatic backdrop for the glass-enclosed central book tower. From the exterior, the building’s powerful stone geometry serves to dominate the space it occupies in Hewitt University Quadrangle, amidst neo-Classical and neo-Gothic neighbors. Also visible in the plaza are Isamu Noguchi’s sunken sculpture garden and Alexander Calder’s kinetic sculpture “Gallows and Lollipops.”
The Beinecke Library is open to the public Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Saturday, noon-5 p.m.