Yale launches LUX, a powerful new search tool for cross-collection exploration

June 10, 2023

LUX: Yale Collections Discovery—a new cross-collection search tool—provides users worldwide with online access to more than 17 million items within Yale University’s museums, libraries, and archives.

“The LUX project is an incredible way to bring together the diverse collections across the cultural heritage units at Yale,” said Barbara Rockenbach, Stephen F. Gates ’68 University Librarian. Her comments were included in a short video introduction to the LUX platform, which the university launched on June 1.

Using LUX’s single, targeted search, users can, for the first time, trace related artistic, cultural, and scientific objects across the university’s many collections. Yale’s museums, libraries, and archives contain vast troves of cultural and scientific heritage that fire curiosity and fuel research worldwide. LUX offers a new way to discover and make connections among these millions of objects, which include defining specimens of dinosaur fossils, illuminated medieval manuscripts, paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and J. M. W. Turner, and the archives of Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, and other renowned literary figures.

Free and easy to use, the platform—a powerful kind of database that maps relationships—helps users find pathways through the collections and uncover links between objects that might otherwise seem unconnected. Previously there was no easy way to search museum collections together with library collections or to discern associations among the objects within different collections. More than just a database, LUX provides a simple way to explore, discover, and make surprising connections.

For example, Yale Library has vast collections of papers, photographs, and other archival materials related to the artist and collector Katherine Dreier, who co-founded the Société Anonyme in 1920 to promote modern art. A simple search in LUX would reveal all these materials across three different libraries—Beinecke Library, Haas Family Arts Library, and Lewis Walpole Library—as well as related materials and hundreds of original works by Dreier and the artists she championed in the Yale University Art Gallery.

The name LUX is derived from Yale’s motto, Lux et Veritas, “Light and Truth.”

Read the Yale News story. Try the LUX: Yale Collections Discovery search tool.

Image: Archival photo of Katherine Dreier in the Yale University Art Gallery, Katherine S. Dreier Papers / Société Anonyme Archive, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library