Formally, at least according to the carved wooden sign mounted above the doorway, the room across from the Library Office is “The Carnegie Music and Fine Arts Room.” To members and staff, it’s simply: The Music Room. It is the next stop on our tour of the Library.
From Henry S.F. Cooper’s “Tour of the Yale Club Library”
The door on the left of the short corridor leads to the Carnegie Music and Fine Arts Room, which contains not only books on music and the fine arts but also literature and a small collection of children’s books for children of guests staying overnight at the Club. Andrew Carnegie did not go to Yale, but he had a special interest in libraries; his foundation provided funds for the Music Room in 1935. Until the early 1970s, it contained a phonograph (later a stereo), a large record collection, and a grand piano. Today, three work tables fill the center of the room, near where the piano used to be. At each, two people can sit face to face, their faces separated by a sort of bundling board in the middle of each table. These tables are one of the two places in the Library where laptop computers are allowed.
At the far end of the room is the Library’s financial and legal section. Nearby at Standard & Poor’s Corporation Records, as well as Martindale-Hubbell Law Directories. Outlook and Value Line, two other financial references, are across the hall in the Back Issues and Reference Room.
The latest copies of many magazines are in an alcove on the north wall.
Although it no longer has a grand piano or phonograph, the Music Room still has an electronic keyboard, which is occasionally used for Yale singing group reunion rehearsals and more often by members (who use headphones) practicing. The water cooler is tucked in the back, right by a large desk that many members consider to be the best workspace in the Club. New Books are also located in the Music Room in the current periodicals alcove. Members will find Oversize books, including the Oxford English Dictionary, located in the low glass cabinets at the back of the room. When the Main Reading Room is in use for an event, the Music Room is where members retreat for the quietest work space. Regular users of the Library know that the Music Room is also the “warm room” – we don’t turn on the air-conditioning in that space over the summer, which makes it a more welcoming space than the Main Reading Room for some.
Recently, the Music Room has also been the home to the Library’s “Happy Hour for the Mind,” series, where featured speakers and members gather for intimate conversations over snacks and cocktails. Our next featured speaker in that series, joining us on October 10, will be Professor Tom Near, head of Saybrook College, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Associate Curator of Vertebrate Zoology (Ichthyology) Peabody Museum. Members can sign up to discuss, “The Snail Darter: A fresh look at a biological conservation icon,” on the Club’s online calendar.