Haas Arts Library, Art & Architecture Collections


The collection development policy for Haas Family Arts Library guides the development and management of the The Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library’s collections. This policy is for the use of the Art & Architecture subject specialists and appropriate Yale constituents.

The Arts Library’s collections support the instructional and research needs of Yale University’s School of Art, School of Architecture, Department of the History of Art, and the Yale University Art Gallery. Primary patrons include undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff in the history of art, architecture, studio art, and in various interdisciplinary concentrations and art-related programs, as well as research support for the curatorial staff of the Yale University Art Gallery and to a lesser extent, the Yale Center for British Art.      

The majority of Yale Library’s working Art and Architecture collection is housed in the Haas Family Arts Library, which also holds the contents of the former Drama Library. A significant number of art and architecture titles are also housed in the Sterling Memorial Library, and in the offsite Library Shelving Facility in Hamden. The Haas Arts collections include printed books, exhibition catalogs, and periodicals, as well as significant holdings of other media. Subscriptions are maintained for electronic resources of the major indexing and abstracting and reference resources for current visual arts literature. 

Departments/disciplines/programs/subject areas supported

The Art and Architecture collection reflects the interests of the Department of the History of Art, the School of Architecture and the School of Art. Primary areas of art history include: Ancient Greek and Near Eastern, Ancient Egyptian and Coptic, Roman, Early Christian and Byzantine, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque; American, African, African-American, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Islamic, and Latin American. Architecture collections include Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, and are especially strong in Modern architecture and urban planning from around the world. Fine arts collections focus on offerings in the School of Art curriculum that include graphic design, photography, painting, drawing and printmaking.

Related departments and programs for Department of the History of Art

  • African American Studies
  • American Studies
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Religious Studies
  • Medieval Studies
  • Renaissance Studies
  • Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Related departments and programs for School of Architecture

  • School of the Environment

Formats collected

Art reference materials may include:

  • Bibliographies
  • Biographical reference tools
  • Concordances
  • Directories of museums, galleries, libraries and art professionals
  • Guides to artists’ monograms and signatures, hallmarks and other identifying marks
  • Indexes to art reproductions
  • Indexes to periodical literature
  • Reference books on artists’ techniques and material

General reference materials may include:

  • Biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias
  • Foreign language dictionaries
  • Historical and current atlases and gazetteers
  • Indexes to dissertations
  • Selected basic reference works on religion, mythology, literature, performing arts and humanities
  • Standard reference sources for emblems, heraldry, iconography, genealogy, monuments, buildings, churches, sculpture, and museums

Print collections include:

  • Academy publications
  • Autobiographies, memoirs, biographies, interviews
  • Collection catalogs (extensively, of both public and private collections)
  • Conference proceedings: collected selectively, usually as a result of faculty recommendation
  • Dissertations accepted by major publishers (unpublished dissertations acquired when they directly relate to current research of museum staff). Master and Licentiate Theses, Diplom- and Staatsexamensarbeiten accepted by major publishers. Post-doctoral research accepted by major publishers
  • Essays
  • Exhibition catalogs: collected extensively from museums, art galleries, foundations and other venues
  • Facsimiles of important books, such as illuminated manuscripts: acquired selectively in consultation with faculty or curatorial staff
  • Festschriften/Memorial volumes
  • Inventory catalogs
  • Mixed media (Book+CD-ROM, etc.)
  • Monographs: current trade, university press, and institutional publications. Subjects include artists or architects, iconographic studies, artistic movements, thematic concepts, artistic genre.
  • Oeuvre catalogs, catalogues raisonnés and corpora: collected extensively
  • Papers, lectures
  • Surveys
  • Travel guidebooks: selectively
  • University lectures and publications

Series: Monographs published in series are purchased individually based on relevance

Videos/DVDs:primarily as requested by faculty to support instruction. Preferred medium is DVD.

Periodicals: in print and electronic formats

Electronic Resources: collected based on scholarly value and anticipated use. CD-ROMs are collected very selectively; they are added when accompanying a printed publication. Electronic resources may include:

  • Bibliographic indexes, biographical resources, dictionaries, encyclopedias, other reference
  • Full-text books, journals, newspapers

Languages collected

Materials collected are written in English, Italian, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, and various Scandinavian and Asian languages. Limited acquisitions are made in additional languages when the publication has a unique value to the collection, i.e., when treatment of the subject is not available in English or in one of the major Western European languages, or when the quality of the visual reproductions is in high demand by the Library’s constituency.

Chronological and geographical focus

Chronological periods collected in terms of publication dates: Current material is primarily collected. Earlier material is purchased to fill in a series gap, to replace a significant work that is missing or damaged, or in response to faculty and student recommendations.

Chronological periods covered by the collection in terms of intellectual content, movements or schools, and specific periods: The Haas Arts Library collects materials on art and architecture from all time periods, from the proto-historic era to art and architecture of the twenty-first century.

Geographical areas covered by the collections in terms of intellectual content and publication sources: No geographical areas are excluded with the exception of all areas of the United Kingdom and selected materials from Australia and Canada, which deal specifically with British art materials collected by the library of the Yale Center for British Art. Note: Sterling Memorial Library’s International Collections librarians also collect limited amounts of unique art-related materials particular to certain geographic areas.

Collaborations within Yale

Established YUL departmental relationships for book purchase and vendor relations:

  • Classics Library (Department of Area Studies and Humanities Research Support)
  • SML Humanities Collections (Department of Area Studies and Humanities Research Support)
  • SML Area Studies (Department of Area Studies and Humanities Research Support)
    • Latin American
    • East Asian
    • African
    • Judaica
    • Near East
    • Slavic and East European
    • South Asia
    • Southeast Asia
  • SML Music Library (Part of Arts Area Libraries)
  • SML Manuscripts and Archives Division
    • Architectural Records
  • Center for Science and Social Science Information
    • Economics, Anthropology, Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
    • Forestry and Environmental Studies
    • Various management and business subject areas
  • Library and Archives: Yale Center for British Art
  • Nolan Center for Education Library: Yale University Art Gallery
  • Medical Historical Library 
  • Divinity School Library 
  • Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library 
  • Historic Sound Recordings (Part of Arts Area Libraries)

External collaborations

Member of IVAAG: Ivy Plus Art and Architecture Group

This collaborative collection development group formed in 2009 has a mission to foster cooperation between art and architecture subject specialists from the following institutions:

Brown University, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library
Columbia University, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
Cornell University, Fine Arts Library
Dartmouth College, Sherman Art Library
Harvard University, Fine Arts Library
Harvard University, Frances Loeb Library
Princeton University, Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology
Princeton University, School of Architecture Library
University of Pennsylvania, Anne and Jerome Fisher Fine Arts Library
Yale University, Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library

A statement of intent was completed in 2012.

Subject Librarian

Heather Gendron
Director of Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library
Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library
Arts Library, Robert B. Haas Family
(203) 432-2642