Category Archives: Renovation

Save the Date! Rubenstein Library Open House, Sept. 10

RL Open House Banner 600x360

RL Open House Banner Welcome 600x360

Thursday, September 10
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Rubenstein Library, Floors 1-3 

Remarks at 2:30 p.m. in the Gothic Reading Room
by Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian
and Vice Provost for Library Affairs

 

After almost three years under construction, the renovated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library will open its doors to the public on Monday, August 24, in time for the start of fall classes.

Help us celebrate the transformation of a library that is truly one of the crown jewels of Duke by joining us for a special open house for the entire Duke and Triangle-area community on Thursday, September 10, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

  • Tour the new spaces and exhibits.
  • Meet and mingle with library staff.
  • Learn how the Rubenstein Library can support your research.
  • Free giveaways and light refreshments.
  • Free and open to the public.

Visitor Parking Information: A limited number of parking spaces have been reserved at Parking Garage IV (click for map), next to the Bryan Center, for visitors traveling to the open house event from off-campus. These spaces will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional visitor parking information is available on Duke’s Parking and Transportation website.

 Things to See

Virginia Woolf's writing desk, part of the recently acquired Lisa Unger Baskin Collection, on display in the Mary Duke Biddle Room.
An extremely rare copy of the Bay Psalm Book (1640), the first book printed in what is now the United States, on loan by special arrangement with David M. Rubenstein. On display in the Michael and Karen Stone Family Gallery.
A new permanent exhibit on the history of Duke University, on display outside the Gothic Reading Room.
The renovated Gothic Reading Room, restored to its original splendor.
Our new Photography Gallery, featuring an exhibit on early 20th-century images of China by Sidney Gamble.
The new Rubenstein Library reading room, where researchers can explore our special collections.

More Opening Events and Exhibits

We’re lining up a number of events and exhibits to celebrate the opening of the Rubenstein Library throughout the fall of 2015. Check out our opening events site for a complete listing and stay tuned for regular updates.

About the Rubenstein Library Renovation

The construction crane looms over a gutted Rubenstein Library stack core, December 2013.
The construction crane looms over a gutted Rubenstein Library stack core, December 2013. See our Flickr album of renovation images for more.

The renovation of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, housed in Duke’s original West Campus library building, is the final phase of the Perkins Project, a 15-year-long effort to renovate and re-imagine Duke’s West Campus library complex that started back in 2000. (Read more about the history of the Perkins Project on our renovation website.)

Construction work on the Rubenstein began in late 2012, and the building will officially open to the public on August 24, 2015.

The 1948 library tower under scaffolding, August 2014. See our Flickr gallery of renovation photos for more.
The 1948 library tower under scaffolding, August 2014.

The Rubenstein renovation has transformed one of the university’s oldest and most recognizable buildings into a state-of-the-art research facility where students, faculty, and visitors can engage with the Libraries’ collection of rare and unique scholarly materials.

The research, instruction, storage, and exhibition capabilities of the Rubenstein Library have all been greatly increased. The new library also features state-of-the-art closed stacks with high-tech security and a closely-monitored environment.

Workers re-hang portraits of historic Duke luminaries in the renovated Gothic Reading Room, July 2015.
Workers re-hang portraits of historic Duke luminaries in the renovated Gothic Reading Room, July 2015.

Updates have also extended to the Mary Duke Biddle Room and the Gothic Reading Room. The charm and character of these signature Duke spaces has been preserved, but their finishes, furnishings, lighting, technology infrastructure, and exhibition facilities have all been enhanced.

Finally, the library’s main entrance has been redesigned with new doors, windows, and lighting to give the entire library complex a more unified and welcoming presence on the historic West Quad.

Mark your calendars and join us 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. on September 10!

 

 

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Move Diary: Week 3

shelved-boxes-kelly

We’re 1/3 of the way through the move, huzzah! Here’s a look at what week 3 brought.

Books have been getting new labels to show off their new Library of Congress call numbers:

Cataloger Lauren Reno scans books from our History of Medicine Collections. Photo by Rachel Ingold.
Cataloger Lauren Reno scans books from our History of Medicine Collections. Photo by Rachel Ingold.

 

We’ve been finding lots of beautiful books during the process:

Photo by Kate Collins
Photo by Kate Collins
Photo by Kelly Wooten
Photo by Kelly Wooten
Photo by Kelly Wooten
Photo by Kelly Wooten
Photo by Meghan Lyon
Photo by Meghan Lyon

As well as fun doodles in the margins:


Photo by Amy McDonald

There were some more amusing finds as well:

Photo by Meghan Lyon
Reliving the early 2000s with an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog. Photo by Meghan Lyon
Photo by Kelly Wooten
The wrong kind of sports in The Mother’s Encyclopedia, 1942. Photo by Kelly Wooten
good girls and bad girlds
Bad Girl and Good Girl in juxtaposition. Photo by Kelly Wooten.
Photo by Tracy Jackson
True Blue Soda! Photo by Tracy Jackson

Archival collections continued to fill our new shelves:

shelved-boxes-kelly
Collections from the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History & Culture. Photo by Kelly Wooten.
Photo by Liz Adams
Boxes of University Archives material. Photo by Liz Adams

Our collections weren’t the only thing moving this week. Portraits of Duke presidents and other figures in Duke History moved back to the Gothic Reading Room.

Photo by Amy McDonald
Portrait of Terry Sanford leaving our temporary space for the Gothic. Photo by Amy McDonald
Horace Trumbauer, Campus Architect for East and West campus. Photo by Beth Doyle.
Horace Trumbauer, Campus Architect for East and West campus. Photo by Beth Doyle.
Photo by Val Gillispie
The Duke Family is back in the Gothic Reading Room! Photo by Val Gillispie
Photo by Val Gillispie
Last portrait being hung in the Gothic Reading Room–President Douglas Knight. Photo by Val Gillispie

We also got to see others spaces in our new home come together:

Photo by Amy McDonald
Work area for Research Services Staff. Photo by Amy McDonald
bench-nook-amy
Cute little bench nook. Photo by Amy McDonald.

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Move Diary: Week 1

1st-cart-1st-truck-craig

We made it through week 1! Here are some sights spotted by our staff as we got down to work:

1st-cart-1st-truck-craig
The first truck of books returning home from offsite storage. We brought 9800 print items back this week.
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Our old now empty hold shelves. We miss our researchers and can’t wait to see them again in August in our new space.
josh-compact-shelving-racheli
One of our archivists, spotted through a tunnel of new compact shelving.
more-walkie-talkies-amy
Bevy of walkie-talkies. 10-4.
move-whisperer-amy
Our move coordinator/book cart whisperer channels Chris Pratt. We’re glad they’re just book trucks and not velociraptors.
frost-move-cart-paula
A little Robert Frost on the book trucks.
flagged-boxes-amy
Color coded boxes, ready to move.
rachel-removisng-stickers-liz
No detail is too small as labels were peeled off our new shelving and replaced with stickier ones.
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With new super-sticky stickers, we labeled roughly 1000 bays on three different levels in the new space, ensuring every box will have a clearly labeled place to live.
elevator-graffiti2-racheli
Someone had a little fun with the (admittedly Carolina Blue) protective film on our new elevator.

 

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(Re)Encapsulating a Lot of Maps

Have you noticed that the most simple-seeming projects always turn out to be more complicated than you think? As part of our preparations to move our collections to our renovated library, we are trying to free up space in the flat files. Our flat files contain broadsides, maps, posters, artwork, etc. Many of these items are large and flat and should be in the flat files. Many are flat but are small enough to fit into standard manuscript boxes or pamphlet binders.  Last November we embarked on a project to help the Rubenstein Library move as many of the smaller maps as possible into enclosures to free up space in the flat files. Sounds easy, right?

First Challenge: To Keep the Old Encapsulation or Not

I am an advocate of NOT encapsulating materials unless it is necessary to facilitate handling. Polyester is expensive, and it can add a lot of weight to the stacks. It can also make handling difficult for patrons as they sift through a stack of slippery encapsulated documents.

Many of these maps didn’t need to be encapsulated. They are in good condition and a folder inside a box would suffice. However, in order to finish the project by the move date, we would need to utilize our student assistants and our volunteer. If we decided to de-encapsulate materials, it would mean a conservator would have to evaluate the condition of each item to determine its disposition.  There simply wasn’t time to do this.

In consultation with Rubenstein staff, we decided the maps would stay encapsulated in their old polyester if possible. We would replace the polyester only if an item didn’t fit its current encapsulation, or if the old polyester was too damaged to keep.

Second Challenge: All That Tape!

Almost all of the maps have been previously encapsulated using double stick tape to adhere the two pieces of polyester together. While this is a common method of encapsulation, it poses one big problem. A document can shift to the edge and become stuck. This poses a particular hazard for brittle materials. Lucky for us, most of our maps were encapsulated with a generous amount of space between the object and the tape.

We decided that we could ultrasonically weld between the object and the tape, trim the tape off, and voila! A retrofitted encapsulation.

Brittle map edge is stuck to the tape.
Brittle map edge is stuck to the taped polyester sheets.
Third Challenge: Size Matters

As we looked through the thirty drawers of materials it became clear that some of the old encapsulations just weren’t working. There were several items that had  encapsulations that were too small. Some large folded items were put still folded into an L-sleeve encapsulation. Handling is awkward, and unfolded these items became too large for either the manuscript boxes or the flat files.

Rubenstein staff decided on two standard manuscript box sizes and two standard pamplet-binder sizes.  Anything that could go into one of these would do so. Any folded item would be unfolded. If an item was too big for a box, it would remain in a folder in a flat file. If it was too big to lay flat in the current flat files, we would wait to encapsulate it until we were in our new space with our new, bigger flat files. There are a few items that are  in too bad of a condition to safely re-encapsulate. These will come to conservation for treatment first.

maps
Maps in new manuscript boxes.
Fourth Challenge: The Weird Stuff

There is a lot of weird stuff in libraries and not everything in the map drawers are maps. As we work our way through the map collection we are setting these oddities aside for curatorial review. Some will end up back in the flat files, some will be the responsibility of Collection Development to deal with.

The Project So Far

To date we have encapsulated 1,865 items.  By our estimates we are about 90% finished, but what is left is some of the oddball items that need special attention by conservation, curators and by technical services. Technical services will also have to update the new locations, which they will do during the reclass project. Did I mention Rubenstein is also doing a huge reclass project during the move? We don’t believe in doing only one huge project at a time, that would be too easy.

The post (Re)Encapsulating a Lot of Maps appeared first on Preservation Underground.

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Tableaus of all kinds

tableau 2

Summer is gallivanting into Durham, and with it comes the promise of a new beginning for the Rubenstein, one involving fresh paint, new shelving, and a touch of tenacity. In a month, we’ll begin moving our materials and ourselves into our beautifully renovated home. Some Rubenstein spaces—like the Gothic Reading Room—will remain lovingly preserved, testaments to the memories that came before and to the new scholars who will soon discover them. Others will be similar in name only. I’m looking at you, Rubenstein stacks.

I’ve heard a lot about the pre-renovated Rubenstein stacks during my nearly two years here. The creaky elevators, the nooks, the crannies, the many doorways. These quirks are part of the collective Rubenstein conscious, and they’re spoken of fondly, frequently.

ranges

And while we’re sad to lose those charms, we’ve also been granted an opportunity to refine systems, to make materials more visible and easy to locate. We’ll no longer have a maze of classification schemes but one: Library of Congress. All of our print materials will be clustered by size: double elephants will chill next to double elephants; folios next to folios; mini materials next to mini. This is all great news for those of us lacking inner compasses. It also brings us to a logical question: how do we go about mapping locations for thousands of materials in this brave new world?

shelves

Easy! We turn to Tableau, a nifty data visualization service the lovely folks at Data Visualization introduced to us. Tableau allows subscribers to turn data into graphic representations that move far beyond bar graphs and pie charts—although it does have options for those as well.

Because we’re moving to a standard classification scheme, we now have more ways than ever to visualize our collections: we can look at overarching trends using the main classes of LC (e.g., “P” for Language and Literature or, “N” for Fine Arts); we can also get more granular than that. Within LC, there are subclasses that further delineate topics. PR—English Literature—is a subclass of Language and Literature, as is NA—Architecture—for Fine Arts. We can even delve deeper than that, looking at how many items are within a specific range of class numbers (e.g., PR1000-PR1100). With Tableau, we can then turn these data points into visual c(l)ues:

tableau
Click through to see the tableau in its full-sized beauty

 

tableau 2
Another visualization representing the same data.

This visualization breaks out our print holdings first by size designation (12mo = duodecimo; 8vo = octavo; 4to = quarto), then by subclass. Looking at this, we know that we have substantial chunks of duodecimos classed in “B”—Philosophy, Psychology, Religion.  We can also see that there are relatively fewer quartos and folios classed in Philosophy, Psychology, Religion. By doing this legwork, we know that we should probably leave extra space in the duodecimo section for materials classed “B.” Conversely, we also know that we won’t need to leave quite as much room in the folio areas for materials classed similarly.

Using a data visualization service has allowed us to be more accurate, more efficient, in our planning today so we won’t have to do as much shifting in the future. (Sorry wonderful colleagues! I can’t promise that we’ll never do shifting.) My own hope is that by doing this methodical (and methodological!) plotting today, the new stacks will be spoken of with the same fondness as the old stacks—albeit with less reverence toward crannies.

Anxiously awaiting our renovated space? It’s coming! From July 1st-August 23rd, the Rubenstein will be closed as we move into our permanent home. On August 24th, we’ll reopen to one and all.

Thanks to Mark Zupan and the Duke Libraries Renovation Flicker page for the excellent pictures; thanks also to Data Visualization for showing us its cool offerings!

rube on the move

Post contributed by Liz Adams, Collections Move Coordinator

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Christmas Came Early

As many readers know, we lost our photo documentation room in November 2013 to a renovation-related flood. We got it back for a on December 15, 2014 only to lose it again to another renovation issue on January on January 29, 2015. Today we got it back, and this time for good (everyone knock on wood). It is such a gift to not have our dirty room doubling as a photo doc room as well. Here’s the before:


The dirty room doubling as photo doc room.

Here is the dirty room today.

The dirty room all cleaned up.
The dirty room all cleaned up.

And here is the photo doc room.

The photo doc room, semi-cleaned up.
The photo doc room, semi-cleaned up.

We still have to put the photo doc set-up back in place, but what a great present to get this room back today!

The post Christmas Came Early appeared first on Preservation Underground.

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Our new home: A sneak peek

Gothic Room

It’s confession time: I started working at the Rubenstein after we moved onto the 3rd floor of Perkins. This means that I never gazed up at the ceiling archway of the Gothic Reading Room, and I never wandered our old stacks, traveling the well-trod paths—literally and figuratively– of those librarians who came before me. Our impermanent home is the only one I’ve known. And in truth, I’ve always had a hard time imagining what came before and what comes after. Architectural plans, while incredibly helpful, don’t always capture grand staircases and hidden crannies.

Rare Book Room
Rare Book Room

 

 

Luckily for all of us, Kat Stefko, the head of Rubenstein Technical Services, and I recently returned to our once and future home. We put on our fanciest construction gear and walked around the floors, all the while marveling at the differences in scale between our temporary location and our new one. Check out the maps cabinets! They are the very definition of bright young things.

liz-blog-photo-1
maps cabinets (sideways!)

 

liz-blog-photo-2

With a handy ruler, we were also able to measure the shelf clearance for our new manuscript shelving units. I’m happy to report that our larger manuscript boxes will fit safely and snuggly on each shelf. Can you imagine these filled with boxes?

liz-blog-photo-3

And just because I mentioned the scale earlier, look at how tall these units actually are! I’m not a small person, but these are the equivalent of two of me. (Don’t worry, fellow staff members and curious readers: our ladders will be sturdy and strong.)

Although we at the Rubenstein love a good field trip, we didn’t tour the stacks just to tour the stacks. We wanted to gain a better sense of how to move our materials from our current abode to our new one. As July 1st swirls closer, we need a solid moving plan, one that takes into account tight turns and elevators, lines of visibility and door widths. Our spaces aren’t quite complete, but we found it incredibly helpful to walk the pathways we’ll take in July, to imagine materials moving at fast clips down hallways and into elevators. It was all enormously satisfying: we know that we can make this move happen, and we’re well on our way to figuring out how to do it.

rube on the move

Post contributed by Liz Adams, Rubenstein Move Coordinator. 

 

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We’re on the Move!

data visualization

 

While we at the Rubenstein were unable to commemorate the New Year with a ball (or perhaps pickle?) drop, we do have a lot to be excited for in this newest of years. After a stint on the third floor of Perkins, we’re finally making the trek to our permanent location—a location that while physically close, has occasionally felt as though it were light years away. In July 2015, the staff and collections of the Rubenstein will move (ourselves) home.

Perhaps because we conquered a move once before, we’re feeling ambitious, even a little daring. In addition to moving nearly 18,000 linear feet of onsite material (plus offsite material!), we’re also reclassifying our entire print holdings into a single, unified system: the Library of Congress classification. No longer will we have 120+ different call number systems, ranging from Riess C246I to E F#1275. Now, all our call numbers will follow the same alphanumeric system, one that is used by the larger Duke Libraries system. Here’s how the two call numbers above might be classed in the future:

calll numbers

A brief lesson about Library of Congress classification: those lines of alphanumeric text all have specific meanings outlined the Library of Congress classification schedules and its associated texts. The first lines of letters and numbers (e.g., HV6533) always refer to the subject of the work. In case you were wondering, HV refers to the subject “Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology.” The subsequent lines are then used to provide additional clarity, narrowing in on topics, geographic locations, authors, title, and even formats. The LC classification thus packs a huge amount of information into a scant amount of space.

So how will this help the Rubenstein (and you)? By moving to a single system, we’re making our collections more browsable, both for staff and for researchers. Since every call number has a subject associated with it, we can conduct both granular and broad searches in our catalog (and if you’re staff, in the stacks). We’re also making it easier for our staff to pinpoint the locations of items. With 120+ call numbers, there are lots of pockets in the stacks where an item might live. Library of Congress will not only unify our call number system but will also create stronger shelving practices. There will be a place for everything, and everything in its place.

Some of these advantages won’t be felt until we move into our new space and finish out the reclassification project. Others are already making their presence known. Because our call numbers are now tied to specific subjects, we can use our current data to pinpoint collection strengths, weaknesses, and gaps. We’ve been able to develop some very cool data visualization:

data visualization

While we knew (and probably could have guessed) that a substantial proportion of our print work falls into Language and Literature, other topics are a little more surprising. Who knew we had works about general Agriculture (S), Plant Culture (SB), and Animal Culture (SF)?  I certainly didn’t, but now that I know, I might just be tempted to brush up on my knowledge of farm life.

There’s still a lot to do, but we’re making steady progress in our reclassification project and our many other move preparation projects.  And we’re very happy to say the Rubenstein Library is on the move!

rube on the move

A special thanks to Noah Huffman and Angela Zoss in Data Visualization for creating the incredible visualization featured in this blog post. It’s a real beauty.

 Post contributed by Liz Adams, Collections Move Coordinator at the Rubenstein. 

 

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Rubenstein Library Renovation Update: Winter Break

Workers repair and clean mortar over the main library entrance. Click on the image to see more photos of the Rubenstein Library renovation on our Flickr site.
Workers repair and clean mortar over the main library entrance. Click on the image to see more photos of the Rubenstein Library renovation on our Flickr site.

 

Finals are almost over and Duke students will soon be heading home for the holidays. That means it’s the perfect time to get some major construction activity out of the way.

Here’s a look at some of the library renovation work that will be happening over winter break:

December 17 – 21: Power will be disconnected to the two elevators located behind the Perkins Library Circulation Desk.  Also during this period, power to the air handler serving the Divinity Stacks closest to the Rubenstein Library will be off. Power to the Languages Building will be interrupted during this time but will be restored by a temporary generator.

December 18 – 19: Workers will be testing upgrades to the fire alarm panels intermittently. Anyone present in the library will hear a “This is a test” announcement before the fire alarm is sounded. Library staff and patrons do not need to evacuate the building during these tests.

December 21:  All power to Perkins and Bostock Libraries will be off from 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The library is normally scheduled to be open 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. that Sunday but will be closed instead.

December 29 – January 2: The tower crane foundation between Perkins Library and the Divinity School (located in the loading dock area) will be removed. This work will involve breaking up the concrete with a hydraulic ram.  The work will be very loud and create vibrations that will be heard in both Perkins and Divinity.

Free earplugs are available at the Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor for library users who are bothered by the renovation noise. We thank you for supporting our progress and apologize for any inconvenience.

In order to make all members of the Duke community aware of the major activities and potential noise issues associated with the Rubenstein Library renovation, we will be posting regular announcements of upcoming renovation work on this blog. If you have questions, please contact Aaron Welborn, Director of Communications, at 919-660-5816, or aaron.welborn@duke.edu.

You’re Invited! Open House for The Edge, Jan. 14

You’re invited to a Duke University Libraries Open House!

Help us celebrate the completion of

The Edge Overlay Image

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Bostock Library, First Floor

Remarks at 1:30 p.m. by Deborah Jakubs,
Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian
and Vice Provost for Library Affairs

  • Tour the new spaces, labs, and project rooms
  • Meet and mingle with library staff and The Edge support teams
  • Learn how The Edge can support your research and project work
  • Free giveaways
  • Enjoy refreshments by Parker and Otis
Floorplan of The Edge on the renovated first floor of Bostock Library

Floorplan of The Edge on the renovated first floor of Bostock Library

About The Edge
To meet the needs of interdisciplinary, team-based, data-driven, and digitally reliant research at Duke, the Duke University Libraries have transformed the first floor of Bostock Library into a new academic service hub. With digital tools and collaborative workspaces, reservable rooms for project teams, and expanded technology and training facilities, The Edge: The Ruppert Commons for Research, Technology, and Collaboration is an attractive new research community destination in the heart of campus.

For more information, visit library.duke.edu/edge.

Mark your calendar and join us 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. on January 14!

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