Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) was one of the great masters of the art of printmaking. His large copperplate etchings of the architectural splendors of Rome made him famous in his own time, and they have continued to influence writers, artists, and architects to this day.

A number of those famous etchings originally appeared in Della [...]

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Renovations to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library are in full swing. In recent months, we celebrated an important turning point in the project—the transition from a destruction site to a construction site. The demolition of the original stack core is finished, walls have been removed, and the façade of the [...]

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By Aaron Welborn

Duke is the kind of place where an undergraduate political science major can work side-by-side with graduate students studying the mental health effects of refugee resettlement. Or where a Ph.D. student in civil and environmental engineering can lend a hand to a team of researchers gathering epidemiological data in Latin America.

Increasingly, [...]

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By Aaron Welborn

Among the things that separate a good library from a truly great one, there is one distinction so subtle we often fail to notice it. It has less to do with the size and richness of an institution’s holdings, or the knowledge and expertise of its staff—although these are essential—and more to [...]

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By Gwen Hawkes

The Duke University Libraries recently received an exciting new acquisition courtesy of the United States Marine Corps History Division. The book, an enormous metal-and-strap-bound compilation, is unassumingly entitled Monograph of Haiti. It was assembled by United States Marines during the U.S. occupation of that country. The Monograph provides a stunning snapshot [...]

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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, Beijing Through [...]

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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 new exhibit on display in Perkins Library traces the history of [...]

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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 archives.

 

Odessa Massey: “Remember I am [...]

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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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