Tag Archives: movediary

FewBlog

The Great Art Move, or, How Few Can Really Be More

This week marked the final chapter of the Rubenstein Library relocation project of 2013, when the Library’s portrait collection was relocated from the Gothic Reading Room to the Rubenstein Library’s temporary space on the third floor of Perkins.   It was a poignant and, at moments, spirited end to a process that began many months ago.

GothicBlog

The portrait collection has been with the Gothic since the very beginning. Upon the library’s opening in 1930, the well-known artist Douglas Chandor was commissioned to paint portraits of The Duke Endowment trustees, Mary Duke Biddle and Nanaline Duke, and the architect and builder of the campus, Horace Trumbauer. These portraits were completed between 1930 and 1932 and hung in the Gothic, then functioning as the library’s general reference room.  Over the years, portraits of the University’s founders and presidents were added, along with those of other notable figures in the University’s history.  By the time of our move, 32 auspicious figures awaited the careful attention of the professional art handlers we brought in for this assignment.

Because of the scale of the room, scaffolding was needed to even reach the pictures.  After that came rebacking the canvases, vacuuming the gilded frames, and replacing the hanging hardware.  Finally, the portraits were ready for their voyage across the library and to their new spots, all purposefully selected to allow for their safe storage during the time of the Gothic’s renovation. 

While most of them are now in staff-only spaces, visitors who wish to see a particular portrait can do so by contacting the Rubenstein Library to make an appointment. Portraits of Washington, James B., and Benjamin N. Duke are hanging outside the Rubenstein classroom, and are viewable during regular Rubenstein hours without an appointment.

FewBlog

One painting, however, did not go so quietly to storage—a life-size, full-body portrait of President Few. It took scaffolding, ladders, and five people to remove him from his long-time rest, and once on the ground it became immediately clear that the portrait is nearly a half foot taller than the ceilings on the third floor of Perkins, where he was headed.  An alternative spot was needed and quick!  Thanks to the University Librarian, a suitable location was soon found.  President Few now greets guests on the main floor of the Library, immediately behind the Perkins reference desk.  It is perhaps fitting that the visage of the man who presided over the Gothic Room’s opening in 1930 was the last and most dramatic to take his leave from this room.

Post contributed by Kat Stefko, Head of Technical Services, Rubenstein Library.

Map Cases

The Move by the Numbers

After a month of intensive activity, the largest and most complicated phase of the Rubenstein Library move wrapped up, and we bid farewell to William B. Meyer, our wonderful library movers, on Feb 12.  In the 24 days that these 15 movers were onsite they relocated more than 30,000 linear feet of rare books, manuscript collections, university archives, pamphlets, and other material to both our temporary library and the Library Service Center.

Map Cases
Our map cabinets in their new home

We are excited to report that we have a considerable amount of our collection up in our new home on the 3rd floor of Perkins:

  • 17,600 linear feet of books, manuscripts, university archives and other collections
  • 39 map cabinets
  • 4-volume, double-elephant edition of Audubon

The movers transported 836 large blue trucks of material to our offsite Library Service Center!

  • The team at LSC has already ingested 148,727 items!  Thank you LSC team!!

Please note that due to the HUGE amount of material sent to LSC, some items are still being processed into their system.  As such, it may take longer than usual for some materials to be pulled..   Researchers are encouraged to contact the Rubenstein Library to confirm that their collections have arrived before coming to the reading room.  Please call the Rubenstein Library at 919.660.5822 or send us a message. Thank you to all our patrons, researchers, colleagues, friends and fans for their continued patience and support as we finalize the Rubenstein Library move!

But that’s not all!

Although one phase of the move is complete, there is still plenty of work and moving to be done between now and the start of the Rubenstein Library Renovation.  We are still prepping our newspaper collection for transport to LSC, and we still need to move the art collection, including the portraits in the Gothic Reading Room.  Stay tuned for more updates as we complete these projects.

Last but not least, you can always relive the exciting events from the last 6 weeks anytime on our blog:  http://blogs.library.duke.edu/rubenstein/tag/movediary/

 

Post contributed by Molly Bragg, Collection Move Coordinator.

 

 

Rival library trucks battling it out during the move.

Game Day

The big game — UNC vs. Duke — may be tonight at Cameron, but we’ve been preparing for weeks with our school-colored Big Blues. Normally, we use these carts to transport library materials around the Triangle. Lately, these carts have been helping us get Rubenstein collections to the LSC as quickly as possible.

Rival library trucks battling it out during the move.
Rival library trucks battling it out during the move.

Although our move is wrapping up this week, we would like to remind researchers that materials may still be in transit and that delays in retrieving our collections may continue for the next few weeks as we ingest everything into the LSC. Please continue to contact Research Services as early as possible if you are planning a research visit to the Rubenstein Library so that we can be sure to have what you need on hand when you arrive.

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Audubons on the move

One of the last (but not least!) collections to move during our Big Move was our set of John James Audubon’s Birds of America. The Rubenstein Library is fortunate to have a complete double elephant folio set, published between 1827 and 1838. Only 120 sets are known to exist. Our conservation staff was on hand yesterday as the movers carefully lifted and transported the very heavy Audubons to their temporary home. We’re looking forward to them being back on display after the renovation.

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Birds of America folios in their cases in the Rare Book Room.
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Safely storing the Birds of America until after the renovation.

Can’t wait until after the renovation to see these great books? The University of Pittsburgh has digitized them.

Folio volumes from the History of Medicine Collections, in their new shelf locations.

Week 5 is Done!

We have rounded the final turn and are in the homestretch of our collections move!  Consequently, we’re seeing a lot more of this:

Empty shelving in our former stacks.
Empty shelving in our former stacks.

And of this:

Folio volumes from the History of Medicine Collections, in their new shelf locations.
Folio volumes from the History of Medicine Collections, in their new shelf locations.

And a lot less of these!

Trays used to move and store our books. The need to put more and more of them together: almost gone!
Trays used to move and store our books. The need to put more and more of them together: almost gone!

Standing Up (and Kneeling) for Our Collections

It’s week five of our collections move, and the Rubenstein is a flurry of activity.  We won’t sit down until all of our collections are moved!

Joshua Larkin Rowley and Noah Huffman: too busy checking materials into our new stacks to find a chair.
Joshua Larkin Rowley and Noah Huffman, too busy checking materials into our new stacks to find a chair.

 

The oversize items in our flat files may lie down, but we won't rest yet.
The oversize items in our flat files may lie down, but we won’t rest yet.

 

We'll all be ready for a futon (but not the book variety pictured here) when the move is completed.
We’ll all be ready for a futon (but not the book variety pictured here) when the move is completed.

 

big-blues-to-LSC

Week 4 is done!

We only have 2 weeks of moving left, thank goodness. We’re starting to see some results after all this hard work. We have been striving to send 3 full trucks to LSC everyday – that is 54-60 of these big blue carts per day!

big-blues-to-LSC
Big Blues on the way to the Library Service Center.

We are also almost totally done moving collections into swing space. This week, among other things, we moved the rest of our vault items. This was fun, since it meant we got to visit with our beloved Trent Collection of Whitmaniana as it traveled through the library to its new home.

Our Curator of Collections and some bound Walt Whitman manuscripts.
Our Curator of Collections and some bound Walt Whitman manuscripts.

The Lovers, the Dreamers, and the Rubenstein Movers

Hi Rubenstein Library move diary readers! We’re into Week 4 here at Rubenstein Library Move HQ. And one of the fun things about moving our collections out of our soon-to-be-renovated stacks has been marveling at the expanses of empty shelving. We have a lot of stuff!

Our stacks weren’t always, well, ours. A few decades ago, some of our floors were home to part of the Perkins Library’s circulating books collection and provided study space for lots and lots of undergraduates. As we’ve been preparing for the move, we’ve discovered many fine examples of library patron graffiti, some of which were pictured in a recent issue of Duke Magazine.

Now that our stacks are clearing out, it’s become easier to spot these pencilled masterpieces. Like the one shown below, which graces a second floor wall.

Kermit Graffiti from Rubenstein 2nd Floor Stacks

(And we will neither confirm nor deny that the voice in our head that squealed “KERMIEEEEEE!” was Miss Piggy’s. OK, we will confirm it.)

Week 3 is done!

We’re three weeks in to our move which means we’re halfway there! It does feel like we’ve reached a tipping point with the shelves in our new space feeling more full than our old space.  Here are some of our favorite that have made the move with us this week:

 

Sarah Dyer Zine Collection
Sarah Dyer Zine Collection

 

Portable ECG
The portable electrocardiograph from the History of Medicine Collections is indeed portable
Our collection of glass eyeballs, a perennial favorite from the History of Medicine Collections, has also made the move.
Our collection of glass eyeballs, a perennial favorite from the History of Medicine Collections, has also made the move.

 

Inside the Elevator

Things We Will (Probably) Miss: Our Old Elevator

As the Rubenstein Library moves out of our space in original West Campus library building, it also means we won’t be using the 1928 elevator to carry us through all seven floors of the building anymore. Inside the Elevator While I could never decide if I found this elevator endearing or frightening, I think I’m going to miss its old school charms.   It has a heavy metal door and a brass gate that need to be opened and closed by hand, as well as instructions on how to use the button and the door and gate.

Instructions on how to operate elevator

If you want a chance to experience the thrills of Otis yourself, here’s a little video of a trip from the third floor up to the sixth floor in our former home.