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Yale University Corporation and Prudential Committee minutes

Call Number: RU 307

Scope and Contents

The materials consist of meeting minutes of the Yale Corporation and Prudential Committee.


  • 1701-2022


Conditions Governing Access

While this collection as a whole is available for research, parts of it may be restricted due to law, university policy or fragility. Any restricted material will be noted as such.

Existence and Location of Copies

Minutes of the Yale Corporation (1701-1990) are available on microfilm [reels 1-12, 1701-1957, are open for research use; reels 13 and higher, 1958-1990, are restricted] (19 reels, 35 mm.) from Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, at cost. Order no. HM49.

Minutes of the Prudential Committee (1800-1952) are available on microfilm (5 reels, 35mm) from Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, at cost. Order no. HM50.

Yale Corporation minutes, 1904-1962, and Prudential Committee minute, 1903-1950, are carbon copies of original minutes.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are required to use the microfilm copy of the materials.


The records are arranged in two series: I. Yale Corporation Minutes, 1701-1990; II. Prudential Committee Minutes, 1794-1952; and subsequent accessions.


31.25 Linear Feet

9.42 Megabytes

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The materials consist of meeting minutes of the Yale Corporation and Prudential Committee.

Biographical / Historical

"An Act for Liberty to Erect a Collegiate School," passed by the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut on October 9, 1701, established the ten founders to stand as "Trustees, Partners or Undertakers" of the school and set out the framework for the role of the Trustees. These ten fellows select their successors and are known as the Successor Fellows. Subsequent acts of the colonial legislature and the state assembly provided for additional responsibilities and duties as well as the makeup of the body. On May 9, 1745, an act passed by the General Court of the colony established that the Trustees become a corporation called The President and Fellows of Yale College. On June 26, 1792, in order to receive substantial financial assistance from the state, "the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and six senior assistants in the Council of this State" became members of the Corporation "ex officiis." On May 12, 1819, an act substituted the six senior assistants with six senior senators. On July 6, 1871, the General Assembly provided for the election of six graduates as Fellows of Yale College "in the stead of the six senior senators of the state. . ." which was accepted by the Corporation on July 11. These fellows are known as Alumni Fellows and serve one six-year term. They are elected on a staggered basis, two per year. The governor and lieutenant governor continue to serve "ex officiis."

In 1737, Rector Elisha Williams created "a standing committee of trustees to conduct certain college business between the regular annual meetings of the entire board. This committee ultimately became the Prudential Committee, which performs the same function today.

Yale's Charter provides that its governing body, known legally as "The President and Fellows of Yale College" – or, more simply, as "The Corporation" – "shall have the government, care and management of the College... and make such reasonable laws... as they think fit and proper for the instruction and education of the students."

The Corporation comprises 19 members:

Three members ex officiis: the President of the University and the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Connecticut.

Ten "Successors to the original Trustees", who elect their own successors. Their terms on the Corporation are limited by their own vote to two six-year terms, except that upon recommendation of the President in special circumstances a Successor Trustee may be elected to an additional term of up to three years. Successor Trustees must retire upon reaching age 70.

Six Alumni Fellows elected by the alumni as provided in the Miscellaneous Regulations.

In addition to the President, the officers of the University are: a Provost, a Vice President and Secretary, a Vice President and General Counsel, a Vice President for Finance and Administration, a Vice President for Development, and a Vice President for New Haven and State Affairs and Campus Development.

General note

Forms part of Yale Record Group 1-A (YRG 1-A), Minutes of meetings and administrative records of the Yale Corporation.

Processing Information

Yale University records are arranged and described at the accession level by the creating office. The University Archives creates collection level descriptive records, but typically does no further arrangement and description at the accession level.

Guide to the Yale University Corporation and Prudential Committee Minutes
Under Revision
compiled by Daniel Hartwig
January 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
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