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. Following 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, Yale Divinity School publications including annual bulletins, student directories, and the alumni publication Spectrum. The publication from the Institute of Sacred Music, Prism, is located in this series as well as the journal of opinion produced by the YDS faculty, Reflection, which has been published since 1965 and was renamed Reflections in 1986.
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 from 1983 until the present. Shibboleth is a student publication of creativity.
Some publications have gone through format change while some have changed their names over the years. For instance, the Yale Divinity News is a continuation of Yale Divinity Quarterly and most recently, the publication formerly known as "The Dial", is now the "Q-Source". This series also includes some wider university publications when the articles deal with Divinity related news.
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. CDs of Convocation lectures are now available for purchase from the Yale Divinity School Bookstore.
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.