What Early Yalies Read
Catalogue of Books in the Linonian, Brothers' and Moral Libraries, Yale College. New-Haven: Printed by Oliver Steele, 1814.
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This catalog inventories three Yale libraries arranged by subject: history, biography, divinity, politics, miscellanies, travel, poetry, etc. The total number of volumes in each library is listed for an impressive total of 2,017. The Moral Library’s holdings were, as was to be expected, heavy on the theological; it even included an entire section “On the Evidence of Revelation.” Among the more frivolous titles (not in the Moral Library, of course) were novels such as Tom Jones, Man of the World, and the quintessential Gothic romance, The Mysteries of Udolpho. Women were represented on Yale’s bookshelves in a number of biographies and about half a dozen works actually written by British women, including Lady M.W. Montague, Lady Rachael Russel, and Hannah More.