Conversation: David A. Richards, author of “I Give These Books: The History of Yale University Library”
I Give These Books: The History of Yale University Library, 1656–2022, by David Alan Richards, presents a comprehensive history of one of America’s oldest university libraries, from its founding through the present day.
The library began with the books brought over from Europe and England by Puritans seeking to found their own colony. It then grew through donations from overseas donors, with books from the personal libraries of faculty members, and with the support of alumni endowments.
Librarians in the 19th century worked to organize and retrieve the growing collections, and in the 20th century the library became a workshop for faculty and student researchers. The library is today working to pioneer new methods of preservation and transmission of digital materials as it faces new challenges in the digital age.
About the author:
David Alan Richards ’67, ’72 JD, is a retired real-estate lawyer with undergraduate degrees in history from Yale College and Cambridge University, where he was a Keasbey Scholar, and a law degree from Yale Law School. He is also the author of Rudyard Kipling: The Books I Leave Behind, Rudyard Kipling: A Bibliography, and Skulls and Keys: The Hidden History of Yale’s Secret Societies. He is also the president of the Kipling Society in London and a former officer of the Grolier Club of New York City.