The Whitney Library Associates was founded in 1994. It is made up of members of the museum who have an interest in the work of the Whitney Library. The purpose of the organization is to support that work through membership fees and to learn more about issues relating to the Library’s collections and work.
Members of the museum who join the Whitney Library Associates contribute $100 per year for this purpose. Three programs are scheduled each year for members of the Associates. These usually include a “behind the scenes” look at items from the collections. In 2006, the Associates spent time examining New Haven Railroad manuscript maps, selections from our fine collection of bookplates, and the papers of Civil War Admiral Andrew Hull Foote. These early evening programs also provide an opportunity for members of the Associates to meet the staff of the museum and to enjoy an evening of discussion with like minded individuals. Often members of the Associates have insights to share about the material being considered.
The funds raised through the Associates are used for library acquisitions and other projects in the areas of conservation, cataloging, and library development. Most recently, an 1807 patent granted to New Havener Jonathan Mix was conserved. This fascinating document is on vellum not paper and includes the signatures of President Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State James Madison, and Attorney General Cesar Augustus Rodney.
Thus far in the thirteen year history of the Whitney Library Associates, through the generous support of its members, much work of value to the Library has been accomplished.