History in the making for Duke Libraries

Renovations to the Rubenstein Library are near completion, bringing Duke University archives and historical records all under one roof.  The large-scale Perkins Project reconstruction initiative began in 2000 to transform Duke’s West Campus libraries. Be sure to check out the complete timeline of the Perkins Project.

Now entering the third and final year of construction, the newly-renovated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library is scheduled to be unveiled in August 2015.  Students, faculty, and visitors can expect a state-of-the-art research facility with access to the library’s rare books, manuscripts, and other special collections and materials.

Take a look at these photos and videos documenting the renovation of Rubenstein Library:

But don’t get me wrong—it will still remain the beloved gem it has always been, but now will feature an expanded research room, collaborative project space with increased capacity, and protection for rare books and manuscripts.  There will also be state-of-the-art exhibit galleries for sharing the library’s collections with the public. The main entrance will boast new doors, windows, and lighting to enhance its overall look and feel. These improvements will ensure that future generations at Duke can continue to enjoy the special collections.  

The renovation was made possible thanks to the many donations to the Perkins Project as well as a $13.6 million gift from Duke trustee David M. Rubenstein ’70. The renamed David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library houses the well-known Gothic Reading Room and Mary Duke Biddle Rare Book Room, and is located in the West Campus library building.

Currently, there are more than 350,000 printed collections and more than 20 million manuscripts and archival collections in the Rubenstein Library. Together, the documents provide more than 20 centuries of human records and culture. That’s a lot of history!

Like many of our campus treasures, Duke Libraries depends on the support of others to ensure it can continue to offer its visitors a place for research and education. Duke Libraries is open to the public—which means it touches the lives of not only students and faculty, but the local community and beyond. It is your generosity that ensures the future of meaningful places like Rubenstein Library.

Be sure to check out the Rubenstein Library Renovation Blog for more information and progress updates.

And, make plans to visit the new (and improved) Rubenstein Library this summer!

TAGS: legacy libraries rubenstein renovation bequest

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