Yale University Divinity School Memorabilia Collection
Scope and Contents
The official archives of the Divinity School are housed at Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library. This collection represents primarily non-official documentation of life at the Divinity School, with some material documenting university-wide student religious organizations and activities.
Series I, Material Regarding Faculty, contains biographical and ephemeral material arranged alphabetically by faculty name, followed by folders that contain compilations of biographical information about Divinity School faculty members. There are no individual folders in Record Group 53 for faculty members whose personal papers are contained in Record Group No. 30, Miscellaneous Personal Papers, or in a separate manuscript group. Writings of faculty members are located with their personal papers (when separate collections exist) or in Record Group No. 27, Yale Faculty Publications and Writings. See Related Archival Materials for more information.
Series II, Material Regarding Alumni/ae, is arranged chronologically by year of the class. This material contains class lists, letters, and other news of Yale Divinity School alumni/ae. Preceding the chronological folders are some topical folders: Yale alumni in foreign missions, 1701-1921, Methodist YDS graduates, 1930-1959; Occupational statistics of early Yale College graduates; Ph.D.s in field of religion, 1930-1960; Wisconsin Association of YDS alumni minute-book, 1900-1934.
Series III, Material Documenting Life at YDS, contains miscellaneous printed material related to the life of Yale Divinity School. Whenever possible, contents of individual folders have been listed; however, the folder description is not exhaustive. The folders often contain several items, including correspondence, commencement and symposium programs, handbooks, information about entering students, and newspaper articles referring to YDS. Programs from important anniversaries of the school can be found in the folders corresponding with the year of the event. Also included, when available, are course listings and syllabi. The first part of this series consists of chronologically arranged documents from 1835 until the present. Following the dated material are several folders of material grouped by topic. Some topics are arranged chronologically, while some material is not dated.
Series IV, YDS Publications include annual bulletins, student handbooks, student and staff directories, newsletters, opinion journals, as well as full color publications. There are several opinion journals produced during various years by students. These vary in length and format but seem to have a constant presence at the Divinity School since 1950. Some of the opinion journals include, "In Context", produced in the 1950s; "Signs and Times of Yale Divinity School", an "unofficial" publication produced from 1960-1965; "The Limb", published from the mid-1960s until 1970; "Eschatology Today", published 1977-1978; "Holy Smoke", from 1978-1980; and "Dear Theophilus", printed sporadically from 1983 until the present. Shibboleth is a student publication of creativity. Some publications have gone through format and name changes over the years. The Dial, a student weekly published on gold paper matching the color of Dial soap, provided news and announcements to the YDS community from 1951-1995. In Fall 1995, The Dial underwent changes in its name, to "Q-Source," and its color, from gold to white. As announcements began to circulate virtually by "Dale Mail," a daily email blast to the YDS community, affectionately named for Dean of Students, Dale Peterson, printing of the Q-Source slowly petered out. After Dean Peterson's retirement, the daily email communications took a more generic name of Divinity Mail.
The Yale Divinity Quarterly (1904-1920) was continued as the Yale Divinity News from 1921-1965. In 1965/66, it was continued as Reflection, a journal of opinion produced by the YDS faculty. It was published in conjunction with the Berkeley Divinity School beginning in 1965/66, and with the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, beginning in 1986 when it was renamed Reflections.
The alumni publication Spectrum, and Prism, published by the Institute of Sacred Music, are located in this series. It also includes some issues of wider university publications containing articles related to Yale Divinity School.
Series V, Audio-Visual Materials, contains photographs,audiotapes, and videotapes. Photographs of Yale, the Divinity School and of faculty, alumni, and students are alphabetically arranged by the following topics: Alumni, Buildings/Grounds, Faculty/Staff, Students, Special Subjects and Negatives/Contact Prints. Large panoramic photographs of various classes are located in oversize folders. The audio tapes and compact discs are available for some faculty lectures and other special lectures including those given during the annual Convocation. Origial audio and video media is restricted; digital files are available for many titles or can be digitized upon request.
Series VI, Material Regarding Women at YDS, highlights over sixty years of women admitted to degree programs at YDS. There are studies conducted on women at YDS from various years. A lengthy oral history project consisting of taped interviews and written transcripts is also included in Series VI. The binder from the history project has been placed in an oversize box. From that project, the collection includes audio cassettes, correspondence and a file folder for each of the women interviewed - alumni, students, faculty and staff. Records and minutes of the Divinity Wives Organization which later turned into the Crescent Community are stored in this series, as well as a collection of articles regarding women's ordination and women at theological schools. Copies of Reflection with articles pertaining to women have been cross-referenced here. Finally, there are individual folders with historical information about women's speakers series and women's ministry at YDS.
Series VII contains documentation of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Bisexual Coalition at YDS. The material in this series comes from the efforts of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Bisexual Coalition (commonly referred to as "the Coalition") to document the presence of gay and lesbian persons at Yale Divinity School, and the history of the Coalition itself as a symbol of the struggles of gay and lesbian persons within the Divinity School, the Church, and the world. The collection was developed as a group project through Professor Letty Russell's class "Readings in Liberation Theologies: Gay and Lesbian Liberation Theologies."
The material is organized first according to the chronology of Coalition events and consists primarily of posters, flyers, newsletters, budget records, photos, and some correspondence. Following this material are various writings from the students and faculty of YDS pertaining to issues of gay and lesbian persons in the Church. All members of the community were asked to reflect upon the presence of the Coalition and how it has affected their semesters at YDS; the folder of "Student Reflections" contains the responses received from current and past students. The folders containing "Student Papers" represent a sample of the kinds of research and work that some students have completed as part of their degree programs. There is also a cassette tape entitled "God and Other Unanswerable Questions" by Doug Shontz (Div '98), submitted as his main contribution to the collection. The faculty papers represent some of the opinions of the YDS faculty as they have been made known both at YDS, through campus mailings and memos, and in other communities, through publication. The "Dear Theo's" found in this series are only those issues that specifically pertain to the work of the Coalition. Other "Dear Theo's" can be found in the YDS Publications series.
Series VII also contains various collected material of relevance to the Coalition. Most of this material was kept and passed down by Coalition student leaders. This material has been arranged alphabetically by material type: bibliographies and catalogues, clippings, pamphlets and articles, related organizations, and worship and educational material. The "Related Organizations" folder contains invitations, posters, and information about activities and organizations at Yale University and outside Yale which are of interest/relevance to the Coalition.
While it is not clear exactly when the Coalition began, we know of a group called the "Gay/Straight Coalition" existing from at least 1985. The group later became the "Gay/Lesbian/Straight Coalition" and, in Fall 1993, the "Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Bisexual Coalition."
Series VIII, Save the Quad, contains documentation of the controversies surrounding the deterioration of the Yale Divinity School campus buildings and the various methods for addressing the problem (e.g. relocate, renovate, rebuild). The initial discussions began as early as 1996. After a long process, it was decided to do a renovation based on the principle of "adaptive re-use". The renovation of SDQ was ultimately completed in 2003.
Series IX. Marquand Chapel, contains chapel programs and announcements arranged chronologically, dating 2000-2012.
Series X. Institute of Sacred Music, is a sampling of printed material relating to ISM events. For more information, contact the ISM directly.
Series XI. Berkeley Divinity School, is one box containing a sampling of duplicate ephermeral material, for purposes of ready reference.
- 1701 - 2020
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
- I. Faculty
- II. Alumni/ae
- III. Life at YDS
- IV. YDS Publications and Lectures
- V. Audio Visual Material
- VI. Women at YDS
- VII. Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Bisexual Coalition
- VIII. Save the Quad
- IX. Marquand Chapel
- X. Institute of Sacred Music
- XI. Berkeley Divinity School
50 Linear Feet (100+ boxes)
Language of Materials
A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog
This collection represents primarily non-official documentation of life at Yale Divinity School. The official archives of the Yale University Divinity School are housed at Sterling Memorial Library. The Yale University Divinity School was formed as a separate department of the University in 1822. Since 1972 Berkeley Divinity School has been affiliated with Yale University Divinity School. The Institute of Sacred Music, founded at Yale in 1973, is also affiliated with the Divinity School.
Biographical / Historical
Founded in 1701, Yale College was a place "wherein Youth through the blessing of Almighty God may be fitted for Publick employment both in Church and Civil State." In 1822 the Divinity School became a separate school within the University and now is one of eleven graduate and professional schools, which, with the College, comprise Yale University. Yale University Divinity School provides three degree programs: the Master of Divinity, the Master of Arts in Religion, and the Master of Sacred Theology.
Since 1971, Berkeley Divinity School, an Episcopal seminary, has been affiliated with Yale University Divinity School. Berkeley Divinity School at Yale retains its identity through its continuing board of trustees, its dean, and the Berkeley Center. Episcopal students come under the care of the Dean of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale for spiritual formation and counseling, but are not differentiated from other Yale University Divinity School students.
The Institute of Sacred Music, founded in 1973, is a center for graduate and professional students and for faculty dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of liturgy and the liturgical arts. It exists in relationship to both the Yale University Divinity School and the Yale School of Music. The Institute's primary focus is the training of musicians with vocations to the churches, particularly in organ performance and in choral conducting. In 2017, Andover Newton Theological School and Yale Divinity School formally agreed to join. By 2018, ANTS faculty and administration, as well as the Trask Library, moved to New Haven and became partners on the Sterling Divinity Quadrangle. Degrees are granted by Yale University Divinity School, while students affiliated with Andover Newton also receive certificates.
The following individuals have served as Dean of the Divinity School:
- 1888-1895 George Edward Day
- 1895-1901 George Park Fisher
- 1901-1905 Frank Knight Sanders
- 1905-1911* Edward Lewis Curtis (Acting Dean)
- 1911-1928 Charles Reynolds Brown
- 1928-1949 Luther Allan Weigle
- 1949-1962 Liston Pope
- 1961-1963* Charles William Forman (Acting Dean)
- 1963-1969 Robert Clyde Johnson
- 1969-1979 Colin Wilbur Williams
- 1979-1989 Leander E. Keck
- 1989-1990* Aidan Kavanagh (Acting Dean)
- 1990-1996 Thomas W. Ogletree
- 1996-2000 Richard Wood
- 2000-2001* Harry Baker Adams (Acting Dean)
- 2001-2002 Rebecca S. Chopp
- 2002-2012 Harold Attridge
- 2013- Gregory E. Sterling
- Guide to the Yale University Divinity School Memorabilia Collection
- Compiled by Joan Duffy
- Description rules
- Finding Aid Prepared According To Local Divinity Library Descriptive Practices
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
- 2016: [revision description not specified]
- 2010-02-03: Transformed with yale.addEadidUrl.xsl. Adds @url with handle for finding aid. Overwrites @url if already present.
- 2009-06-08: Transformed with yale.stripEadheaderID.xsl. Strips @id from eadheader if generated erroniously in FACT clean save.
- 2007-07-27: divinity.053.xml converted for compliance with Yale EAD Best Practice Guidelines with divinity-migrate-02.xsl (yn2007-07-27).
- 2007-03-20: divinity.053.xml converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 with v1to02.xsl (yn2007-03-20).
Part of the Yale Divinity Library Repository
409 Prospect Street
New Haven CT 06511 US