Environmental Studies


The collection’s primary function is to support research and teaching programs in the Yale School of the Environment (formerly the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies) and was begun by Henry S. Graves, the School’s first Dean. Dean Graves purchased the initial collection of forestry books from the famous German forestry family, Hartig (Georg, Theodor, Robert).  The Library was administratively incorporated into the University Library in 1956 and became a full University Library unit in 2000.

Historically the Environmental Studies collection has been strongest in forestry and forest sciences.

Present collecting emphasizes environmental studies, sustainability, and conservation.

Departments/disciplines/programs/subject areas supported

The Environmental Studies collection supports the mission of the Yale School of the Environment and the Forest School at the Yale School of the Environment.


  • Environmental Management
  • Forestry
  • Forest Science and Environmental Science

Subject areas include environmental and natural resources science and management. Also acquired are a considerable number of gray literature publications to document the practice of forestry, natural resources management, environmental protection, environmental studies, and environmental sciences.

Programs offer Masters and Ph.D. degrees.

Joint Masters Degrees include:

  • African American Studies Joint Degree (MA)
  • Dual Degree program with Tsinghua University
  • East Asian Studies Joint Degree (MA)
  • European and Russian Studies Joint Degree (MA)
  • Management Joint Degree (MBA)
  • Law Joint Degree (JD)
  • Architecture Joint Degree (MArch I or II)
  • International and Development Economics Joint Degree (MA)
  • Global Affairs Joint Degree (MA)
  • Divinity Joint Degree (M.Div. or MAR)
  • Public Health Joint Degree (MPH)
  • Joint Masters Program with Universidad de los Andes

There is a Joint Doctoral Degree in YSE/Anthropology and a Joint Doctoral Degree with the New York Botanical Garden.


Forestry materials are collected in depth. To complement subject collections in other Yale libraries in environmental studies and in sustainability, underlying biophysical sciences aspects are left to life sciences, business and social science aspects to social sciences, global climate change to geology. (See Collaborations within Yale section below.)

Formats collected

Formats and materials acquired generally

All formats are collected within the subjects covered but reprints are usually excluded as are most textbooks. Current collecting includes both print and electronic.

Formats and materials not collected

  • Ephemera
  • Instructor’s materials
  • Juvenile works
  • Preprints
  • Software manuals unrelated to specialized scientific software or applications

Languages collected

English is the primary language of materials collected. Other languages are acquired at patron request.

Chronological and geographical focus

As a rule, contemporary subject coverage is collected, i.e., “history of…” is not collected.

The studies and issues covered within the subject areas are worldwide in importance, therefore, geographic focus is not limited.

Collaborations within Yale

Environmental Studies crosses most subject boundaries as it is a true interdisciplinary study area. Environmental is an adjective and therefore acquisitions of “environmental” titles are made carefully, with due regard for the collecting policies of other Yale Library subject areas. Collaborative work in collection development includes many contemporary subjects.

  • Within Marx Science and Social Science Library, collaborative collection development is especially strong between FES and the librarians for the School of Management, Anthropology, Economics, Engineering, Chemistry, Geology, Biology, Ecology, Natural History, Botany, Zoology, Public Policy, Sociology, International Relations, and Government Information.
  • Bass Library obtains core undergraduate and popular materials in environmental studies areas that are used within the Environmental Studies undergraduate major. Recommendations of appropriate core undergraduate materials are referred to the Bass Library.
  • The Art and Architecture Library collects materials on landscape planning, urban planning, landscape architecture, land use planning.
  • The Divinity Library collects in ethics and social justice areas that overlap with FES.
  • The Medical Library collects in Epidemiology & Public Health, as FES does in some aspects.
  • The Law Library collects in Environmental Law.

Subject Librarian

Rachel Sperling
Librarian for Environmental Studies
Marx Science and Social Science Library
(203) 436-5912