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Construction Begins on the Temporary Rubenstein Library

Over the past few months, Perkins staff has been shifting books out of the 3rd floor of the library to make room for the Rubenstein Library to have a home away from home during the renovation. We will be opening our reading room on the 3rd floor of Perkins on January 7, 2013. This month, construction begins in earnest. When we go check on the space, we even have to bring hard hats and safety glasses — this is kind of a thrill for some of us! (Okay, maybe just me.)

The 3rd floor of Perkins, now a construction zone for the Rubenstein swing space.

Our temporary home will house our reading room as well as work spaces for our Research Services, Collection Development, and University Archives staff.  We will also to be able to keep a portion of our collections onsite during the renovation.

The future temporary home of the Rubenstein Library Reading Room.
Library bookshelves have been re-arranged to safely hold our large folios.

As our regular readers know, moving out of our current space is no easy task.  In addition to prepping the collections for the move, we also have to execute a safe and secure move in a short period of time with minimal impact on our researchers. We know we cannot do this without the help of professional movers, so we have been talking with and reviewing bids from various moving companies.

Back in 1969 when the library addition we now know as Perkins Library opened, the books were moved by fraternity brothers around campus. Some days I wish our move would be that simple. Although, after looking at the picture below of the 1969 move (from the Duke University Archives), I’m happy we will have the professionals involved.

Moving Day for Perkins Library books, 1969.

For more photographs of the Rubenstein renovation, visit the Library’s Flickr page.

Post contributed by Molly Bragg, Collections Move Coordinator in the Technical Services Dept.




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3 thoughts on “Construction Begins on the Temporary Rubenstein Library”

  1. Do we know who that is on the table giving instructions to the frat brothers, or who the librarian is just to the left holding the clipboard?

    This has always been one of my favorite Archives photos of the library. The idea that the Gothic used to be the library is incredible to me.

    1. Hi Beth! The back of the photo doesn’t have identifying information, but I believe I’ve been told that the librarian standing on the counter is Elvin Stroud (who eventually became University Librarian). I’m not sure about the librarian with the clipboard!

  2. I can confirm that the librarian giving direction is Elvin E. Strowd, then Circulation Department Head, for many years my manager, mentor, and friend: A truly remarkable man with an abiding interest in his many student assistants.

    The librarian with the clip board appears to be Dr. Benjamin E. Powell’s and John P. Waggoner’s secretary, executive administrative assistant in more contemporary parlance. To her left is me.

    At this location, a photo – https://www.flickr.com/photos/dukeyearlook/13904580002/in/set-72157621179687840 . The stern expressions of Mr. Strowd and Mr. Wagner are not characteristic; must have been influenced by bright sun light. Elvin and Jake consistently presented friendly, welcoming persona.

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