Sterling Memorial Library

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Sterling Memorial Library (SML) is the main library building of the Yale University Library system in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Opened in 1931, the library was designed by James Gamble Rogers as the centerpiece of Yale's Gothic Revival campus. The library's tower has sixteen levels of bookstacks containing over 4 million volumes. Several special collections—including the university's Manuscripts & Archives—are also housed in the building. It connects via tunnel to the underground Bass Library, which holds an additional 150,000 volumes.

Quick facts: Sterling Memorial Library, General informatio...
Sterling Memorial Library
Facade and tower of Sterling Memorial Library
General information
Architectural styleCollegiate Gothic
Address120 High Street
Town or cityNew Haven, Connecticut
CountryUnited States
Coordinates41.3113°N 72.9291°W / 41.3113; -72.9291
OpenedApril 1931[1]
Cost$8 million[1]
OwnerYale University
Height150 feet (46 m)
Technical details
Floor count16
Floor area441,651 square feet (41,030.7 m2)
Design and construction
Architect(s)James Gamble Rogers

The library is named for John W. Sterling, a lawyer representing Standard Oil, whose huge bequest to Yale required that an "enduring, useful and architecturally beautiful edifice" be built. Sterling Library is elaborately ornamented, featuring extensive sculpture and painting as well as hundreds of panes of stained glass created by G. Owen Bonawit. In addition to the book tower, Rogers' design featured five large reading rooms and two courtyards, one of which is now a music library.

While the library's nave and main reading rooms can be visited on guided tours, its collections are restricted to cardholders.