The Yale Family at the Yale Club

The Yale Club is holding a number of activities and events during 2015 to celebrate one hundred years at its current address. The Library has contributed in its own style by mounting a small exhibition celebrating publishers, writers, and composers linked to the Club’s 1915 opening. Members have also been contributing to the celebration through some targeted book donations.

On May 6th, for instance, I accepted a donation from club member and professional genealogist, Charles Mackenzie. Mr. Mackenzie presented a hard copy of The Yale Genealogy and History of Wales for addition to our Yale History and Publications Collection. The book was written by Rodney Horace Yale and originally published in 1908; our copy is a reprint edition of the 1908 setting. The real treat, however, is Mr. Mackenzie’s donation of an extended Yale genealogy based on his own research.

Charles MacKenzie presents his donation to the Librarian.

Charles MacKenzie presents his donation to the Librarian.

Mackenzie is a 9th great grandnephew of Elihu Yale.

Although Eli had no known children, Mackenzie is related through Eli’s sister Mary, who married Joseph Ives. He has been a genealogist since 1986, and is currently researching whether Yale alumni composers, and club members, Charles Ives and Cole Porter are also related to Eli. In addition to conducting ancestral research for private clients, Mr. Mackenzie serves as a genealogist for several local and national hereditary societies and teaches at Long Island City High School.

“On the occasion of the clubhouse’s 100th anniversary, I thought it would be an ideal gift for the club’s stacks,” Mackenzie told me. “I was surprised that the library did not have a copy already.” The reason was clear to me, though. Since the Club only adds to its Yale History and Publications Collection through donation (rather than purchase) there are some unexpected gaps in the collection. It is members like Mr. Mackenzie, who see such gaps in the collection and work with me to fill them, that allow the email subject line, “Donation Offer” to continue to be an exciting sight in my Inbox.

Over the past several months, I have accepted, among other items, donations from the Society of Colonial Dames (who were looking for a home for some Yale Publications that did not fit into their Collection Development Policy), a cache of books on guns and hunting from a smart enthusiast that filled a near-complete blank in our general collection, a wonderful array of books by Members, and a number of other Yale publications, which I hope fill in gaps in our holdings.

Donation offers, however, as any librarian or archivist will tell you, can be a burden as well as a pleasure. Stay tuned for my next post to find out why I can only “hope” that some of the Yale publications I accepted fill real (rather than false) gaps in our collection.

Members interested in donating materials of any kind to the Yale Club should contact the Library Staff,, to discuss the terms of donation. The Library’s Collection Development Policy may also be reviewed under the Library Policies tab on the Yale Club website.

Charles Mackenzie contributed to the content of this post.

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