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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Text by Aaron Welborn
Photographs by Mark Zupan

It’s a gorgeous April morning at Duke, and a tour group of high school students and their parents file through Perkins Library. “If you come to Duke,” their guide tells them, “the library is going to be your second home.”

Meanwhile, in the von der Heyden [...]

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This infographic summarizes key findings of the 2012 Duke Intellectual Climate Committee report. The report was commissioned by Duke’s student government in the wake of several media controversies to gain an understanding of what, if anything, should be improved about the university’s intellectual climate.

In partnership with Duke Institutional Research, the Intellectual Climate [...]

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When you hear the word herbarium, you might think herb garden. Not so.

Instead, think of an herbarium as a kind of library of preserved plants. But instead of shelves upon shelves of books, an herbarium contains cabinets upon cabinets of dried and labeled plant specimens. Unlike most books in a library, which can [...]

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Duke University Libraries will use new technologies to analyze some of the world’s oldest documents and artifacts through a new Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing (DC3), a unit of Duke Libraries that will advance scholarship in both classical studies and the digital humanities.

Made possible by a $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, [...]

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By Cameron Howard

Libraries have always been early and enthusiastic adopters of technology. But it’s easy to forget how the latest innovations can quickly come to seem outdated and quaint.

As we gear up for the renovation of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, we pause to remember a time not so long ago [...]

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