Redesign of Beinecke Library Website

March 7, 2019

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library recently launched a new website, redesigned by Yale ITS. The new Beinecke website is now part of the YaleSites web publishing platform and features a reimagined visual design evoking the building’s iconic architecture.

It was the first time such a complex website project was managed completely in-house at Yale ITS. The project team, led by Dana Lipnickas, also included Franz Hartl, J’Vaughn Johnson, Taber Lightfoot, Chao Hang Lu, Vincent Massaro, Sylvia Perez, Julie Ramaccia, Mark Saba, and Heather White. Following the 2016 renovation of the library’s physical space, this website redesign brings more than a fresh visual identity to the site. Visitors to the site can now enjoy an improved search experience, more intuitive navigation, and enhanced readability. In addition, the library now also benefits from the security and support provided by the YaleSites platform.

“It’s been great to bring the Beinecke Library website home, working with Yale ITS and the University Printer’s Office to develop a refreshed and renewed site that now lives in the YaleSites environment. The new site has a look and feel more consistent with and evocative of Yale and the library, meeting a goal we have that our digital infrastructure provides all who enter virtually a level of service, accessibility, and inspiration on par with that enjoyed by visitors on-site at 121 Wall Street,” said Beinecke Library Communications Director, Michael Morand.

This site redesign was one of the largest and most complex website redesigns completed by ITS to date, taking place over a 16-month span. Throughout the course of the site’s development, the project team engaged in several content working sessions with the Beinecke Library team, during which, they closely and carefully considered and examined the broad categories of material on the site—including collections, curatorial areas, blogs, news and others. Their focus involved searching for ways these categories could be combined, consolidated, or deprecated. The team also worked in close collaboration with the Office of the University Printer.

The result is a site that not only provides a better user experience, but improved content management for the library staff responsible for the day-to-day operations of the website. By keeping the development entirely within Yale, the Beinecke did not need to engage a costly third-party vendor.

“Our partnership with Yale ITS brings many practical benefits for the library and our patrons – achieving new levels of accessibility for visitors to the website, for example, and improving security. The Yale ITS web team have been wonderful and dedicated colleagues from start to finish, with excellent communication throughout the process. It’s good to have a new homepage, and it’s good to have done it all right here at home with the home team,” said Morand.

The refreshed and redesigned Beinecke Library website is available at beinecke.library.yale.edu. Thank you to everyone who helped make this site launch possible!