By Gwen Hawkes

Bustling among the Gothic archways of Duke’s West Campus, many students never realize that the walls around them are full of hidden symbolism. When the campus was built between 1927 and 1932, a crew of stone carvers employed by John Donnelly, Inc., of New York was commissioned to create the decorative flourishes, [...]

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Sometimes the most vivid historical moments are captured by accidental historians. Such is the case with Sidney Gamble, Princeton sociologist, China scholar, and amateur photographer whose deep love for Chinese culture helped to preserve an important moment in that country’s history. His photography is currently being shown as a travelling exhibit, Continue Reading

By Deborah Jakubs

I didn’t mean to stay this long. I started my first job at Duke on September 1, 1983, as a “general bibliographer.” I had never lived anywhere longer than ten years, and even that was punctuated by a lengthy research trip outside the U.S. That was thirty Septembers ago. Hardly anyone around [...]

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Today’s Duke University, a premier research institution with a global reputation, came from the humblest of beginnings: a tiny schoolhouse in Randolph County, North Carolina. From there the organization shifted through many manifestations, ultimately transforming from Brown’s Schoolhouse into Duke University.

A [...]

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By Aaron Welborn

While we were thinking about the topic of “Love in the Library,” we consulted the collections of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library for a little historical inspiration—and discovered some real gems. Here’s a selection of honeyed words from the [...]

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Surrounded by stories surreal and sublime,
I fell in love in the library once upon a time.
— Jimmy Buffett, “Love in the Library”

By Aaron Welborn

Maybe it’s the intimacy of hushed voices, or the mingling of public and private spheres, or just the feeling of mysterious possibility that comes [...]

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