Site URL: Beinecke.Library.Yale.edu
Content: Here, users can find information on the library itself as well as many of its more famous and historically important holdings.
Design: The site is simple, yet dynamic. Users are not inundated with images, nor are the pages of the site devoid of graphical elements. Instead, the online experience educates while also providing an engaging framework for the information.
One of the simplest elements on the page is the primary left navigation. This inconspicuous collection of links appears on every page and provides instant access to all major areas of the site.
Review: The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is one of the world’s largest libraries devoted entirely to these artifacts. The library’s Web site provides a wealth of information on these holdings in the form of news postings, blogs, podcasts and other publications. These areas of the site are all-encompassing, in that they are not bound by any specific timeframe or medium. Users will find podcasts about the letters written between Mark Twain and Walt Whitman, as well as blog posts about Shakespeare’s First Folio or the Voynich Manuscript.
The titles housed at the Beinecke are so impressive—and in many cases so old—that the information on this site can be incredibly valuable to both language arts and history teachers. Of interest to engineering teachers, there is even an area of the site dedicated to Beinecke’s unique architecture.
Bottom Line: A library first and foremost, the Beinecke Web site is a tremendous tool for a myriad of classes.