Judith Ann Schiff

Judith Ann SchiffJudith Ann Schiff, Chief Research Archivist at Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library, first began working for the University in 1961, and is still going strong more than half a century later. She grew up in the Westville section of New Haven and has served as a beloved ambassador between Yale and the city for many decades.


In her role as Yale’s top archives librarian, she has contributed to such significant Yale projects as the Special Olympics World Games in New Haven (1995), the University’s tercentennial celebrations (2001), and the archives of aviator Charles Lindbergh, whom she worked with personally over many years following the donation of his papers to Yale. In 2012, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. appointed her as City Historian, an unpaid but highly visible assignment that she has added with enthusiasm to her already busy schedule.


Schiff is widely published on matters regarding Yale and New Haven, including Michelin’s Green Guide to Yale and New Haven and the chapter on social history in New Haven: An Illustrated History edited by Richard Hegel. Since 1987, she has written the popular “Old Yale” column in the Yale Alumni Magazine. She has founded or chaired numerous local civic organizations, and currently serves on the governing boards of the New Haven Museum and the Grove Street Cemetery.


Schiff has been a frequent and popular speaker at Yale College reunions on campus and events hosted by Yale Clubs around the United States. In recent years she has spoken on Yale’s role in the historic La Amistad trial of 1841 in New Haven; the Lindbergh archives at Yale; the campus’s architectural heritage; and the first three centuries of Yale’s growth, among numerous other subjects. In 2013 she was a keynote speaker at the AYA Assembly on the theme of “New Haven at 375: Celebrating a Remarkable City,” and in 2014 she helped the Cincinnati Yale Club mark its 150th anniversary with a talk on “Trailblazers, Teachers and Beechers: Cincinnati-Yale Connections in the University Archives.”