Category Archives: Spring 2017

This National Library Week Was One for the Books

Click on the image to watch the video!

Are you one for the books?

That’s what we asked Duke students and faculty this year during National Library Week (April 9-15). We invited them to share their love of libraries by showing us their best bookface.

Nearly 200 people across East and West Campus accepted the challenge. We also used the occasion to kick off a new library marketing campaign, reminding people that when they support the Libraries, they are really supporting Duke as a whole. Check out the last page of our magazine to see our first ad in the new series.

You can also watch our “One for the Books” video online and share it to show your appreciation of libraries and librarians.

National Library Week has been sponsored by the American Library Association and observed by libraries around the country since 1958. It’s a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries—school, public, academic, and special—participate.

See more bookfaces on our Facebook page.

A Sound Mind in a Sound Body: Exhibit Explores Health Advice for Scholars and Students

By Thomas J. Gillan, Josiah Charles Trent Intern, History of Medicine Collections

“It is an old complaint,” wrote the eighteenth-century Swiss physician Samuel-André-Auguste-David Tissot, “that study, though essentially necessary to the mind, is hurtful to the body.”

Since antiquity, much ink has been spilled on the potential health hazards of a life of sedentary study, which can include loss of vision, cramped posture, consumption, melancholia, bad digestion—even hemorrhoids.

Given the dire nature of these warnings, scholars and students have for centuries turned to medical guides for advice on how best to counteract the effects of “hard study.” While such guides often vary as to specifics, all commend some form of attention to diet, exercise, and regimen as the key to a long and healthy life. The common refrain uniting them all is that ancient ideal—mens sana in corpore sano, a sound mind in a sound body.

A new exhibit in the Trent History of Medicine Room, on display through July 14, traces the history of medical advice written specifically for scholars and students—including Duke students. A few highlights are shown here.

Johann Rudolf Schellenberg. Freund Heins Erscheinungen in Holbeins Manier. Winterthur, 1785.

This satirical image by Johann Schellenberg (1740-1806) of a scholar being crushed to death under the weight of his own books is an ironic reminder of the futility of learning and of the scholar’s inevitable fate.

[Giles] Everard, Panacea; or the Universal Medicine, Being a Discovery of the Wonderfull Vertues of Tobacco Takin in a Pipe, with Its Operation and Use both in Physick and Chyrurgery. London, 1659.
Upon its introduction to Europe in the sixteenth century, tobacco attracted both praise and scorn. Promoters celebrated it as a stimulus for inspiration and thought and touted its supposed medicinal benefits. Others condemned it as an idle vice. Giles Everard, a sixteenth-century Dutch physician, wrote in praise of “this noble Plant.” His Panacea, first published in Latin in 1587, was translated into English in 1659. Its frontispiece depicts Everard at his desk, surrounded by scholarly trappings, with a pipe in one hand and an open book in the other. The image establishes a direct link between smoking and scholarship. “Scholars use it much,” writes Everard, “and many grave and great men take Tobacco to make them more serviceable in their callings.”

Calvin Cutter. A Treatise on Anatomy, Physiology, and Hygiene: Designed for Colleges, Academies, and Families. Philadelphia, 1852.

For nineteenth-century education reformers, the cultivation of the mind went hand-in-hand with the cultivation of the body. Physiology became an increasingly important part of the curriculum, as indicated by the proliferation of textbooks on the subject, such as this one by New Hampshire physician and popular lecturer Calvin Cutter (1807-1873). These “catechisms of health,” as one historian calls them, played an important role in acquainting schoolchildren with the “laws of health.”

Catharine E. Beecher. Physiology and Calisthenics for Schools and Families. New York, 1856.

The nineteenth century also opened new educational opportunities for women. Physiology, hygiene, and physical education were important parts of the curriculum at American female academies and seminaries. An advocate of women’s education, Catharine Beecher (1800-1878) founded the Harford Female Seminary in 1823 and the Western Female Institute in 1831. After suffering from an illness, Beecher developed a system of calisthenic exercises, popularized in her Physiology and Calisthenics for Schools and Families (1856). “When physical education takes the proper place in our schools,” Beecher claimed that “young girls will be trained in the class-rooms to move head, hands and arms gracefully; to sit, to stand, and to walk properly, and to pursue calisthenic exercises for physical development as a regular school duty as much as their studies.”

“Health and Strength,” Wilbur Wade Card Papers, Duke University Archives.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, physical education had become a staple of most college curricula, even as colleges were beginning to participate in organized sports. Wilbur Wade Card (1873-1948) entered Trinity College (now Duke) in 1895. After graduating, Card left Durham to pursue graduate study in physical education at Harvard. In 1902, President John Carlisle Kilgo invited him to return as the director of Trinity’s new physical education program, a position Card held until his death. For one dollar, Card sold packets of cards like these containing “Health Hints” and instructions for various calisthenic poses.

Literature as Life

By Richard H. Brodhead

Richard H. Brodhead was the president of Duke University and William Preston Few Professor of English from 2004 to 2017. During that time, he spoke at numerous university ceremonies, community forums, and faculty meetings, and even appeared on The Colbert Report. His new book, Speaking of Duke: Leading the 21st-Century University, collects more than three dozen of his finest speeches.

The following remarks were given at the induction ceremony of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on October 9, 2004. The academy elects members in five categories, and Brodhead was asked to speak for the humanities and the arts.

It’s an honor to speak for Class Four of new members of the Academy. As students of rapids know, Class Four events are massively energetic and thrilling but typically not life-endangering. That fits the humanities and the arts, and no doubt explains why we were assigned this number. I won’t speak here as a professional humanist, still less as an administrator of the modern home of the humanities, the university. Instead I’ll say a word about the founding need for this form of human practice, and with your permission I’ll make it personal.

I knew poetry from the days of nursery rhymes, but the first time I “got” it was in my fourteenth year. I remember the moment fairly vividly. I was in high school not thirty miles from here and at the low-water mark of self-esteem. Each day, changing classes, my fellows would parade past, every one of them an image of some adequacy I lacked: this one cooler, that one more handsome, this one more popular, that one more athletic. Doing my homework one day, I started into a Shakespeare sonnet where I was met by these lines:

When in disgrace with Fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring that man’s art, or that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least . . .
(Shakespeare, Sonnet 29)

That’s me! I could have cried. How did he guess?

This was my first recognition of the power of someone else’s creation to give voice to my experience, an experience self-imprisoned and un-self-knowing until a stranger’s words brought it to expression. But soon thereafter, I learned another primitive power of art. That same spring I read the first poem I ever really loved (I must have been going through a sort of literary puberty), Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey,” which flooded me with nostalgia for the more intense experience lost with my youth. It was some years before I realized that I had not in fact lost my youth at the time when its demise seemed so drenched in pathos. When I recognized this fact, I learned that this poem had not so much voiced my experience as induced a new experience, given me access to a state of feeling that I knew through the poem that I did not yet know from life.

Some time later I learned a further variant in which, art having given me a foretaste of certain forms of experience—let’s call them virtual experiences, experiences imaginatively induced and entertained—I came to know them in reality. My sense was never of the gap between life and art. Rather, I had the sense of learning at last what art’s images had been referring to, with art still providing words for what I now came to know. I knew King Lear’s famous line over the dead Cordelia many years before I ever stood over the body of a loved one of my own. When I did, I felt I grasped at last what Lear (or Shakespeare) meant, but Lear’s line gave me a way to name the tormenting, gratuitous, inexplicable proximity of some things (for no good reason) living to others (for no good reason) dead: “Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life / And thou no life at all?” I had long been struck by Whitman’s empathic identifications with the sufferings of common men in Leaves of Grass—not just the runaway slave but, less predictably, a fireman pinned in the rubble of a collapsed building:

I am the mashed fireman with breastbone broken . . . tumbling walls buried me
. . . . . in their debris,
Heat and smoke I inspired . . .
I heard the yelling shouts of my comrades,
I heard the distant clicks of their picks and shovels . . .

September 11 supplied a real referent for what had heretofore been an imaginary experience. But in the wake of 9/11, while the rubble was still being sifted and the eventual toll of life not yet known, I felt I could enter into a plight made real by history through the medium of these 150-year-old words.

Strange beasts, we humans, who need not just to live but also to understand our lives; stranger yet that we should know ourselves not directly but through borrowed understandings, through images composed by others’ hands. The officially designated divisions of the humanities will have their ups and downs, but as long as these needs stay in play, the core activity of the humanities will not go away. As Academy member Henry James once wrote, “Till the world is an unpeopled void there will be an image in the mirror.”

Excerpted from Speaking of Duke: Leading the 21st-Century University (Duke University Press, 2017). Reprinted with permission.

How the Libraries Moved Duke Forward: A Report on the Campaign

In September 2012, Duke University launched Duke Forward, the most significant fundraising campaign in its history. The comprehensive $3.25 billion campaign supported strategic priorities across the university, with a goal of raising $45 million for the Duke University Libraries.

Generous hearts and minds responded to the call to make Duke’s Libraries the best they could be. Thanks to the support of our donors, we have raised (as of the time of this publication) over $63 million during the campaign—over 140 percent of our goal—a success that belongs to everyone who treasures and remains bonded to a great library at the heart of a great university.

As the stories that follow show, Duke Forward is already making an impact across every one of our strategic priorities, and its reverberations will continue to be felt for years to come. Across two campuses and the Duke Marine Lab, students and faculty gather in our libraries to exchange ideas, explore our collections, participate in cultural events, and experiment with innovative tools that enrich teaching and learning. Each one of them is part of the legacy of this campaign.

We are proud of the progress we have made over the last five years. We hope you will be inspired by a few of the outcomes highlighted here. But this isn’t simply the culmination of a years-long effort. It is a jumping-off point for even greater things we can accomplish together.

Spaces for Study and Community

How we re-imagined our physical presence on West Campus, with the completion of the Perkins Project. Read More >>

Building Distinguished Collections

How we expanded our historically strong print collections, those unique and high-profile holdings that distinguish Duke from other research universities. Read More >>

Technology for Faster, Easier, Better Research

How we invested in modernization efforts to accommodate the new ways our faculty and students teach and learn. Read More >>

Programs that Educate and Engage

How we showcased student and faculty work, our inspiring collections, and innovative spaces through public programming and social events. Read More >>

Supporting Experts and Innovators

How we recruited and retained the experts who will help our students and faculty blaze new paths in research. Read More>>


How Has Duke Forward Made a Difference? Let Keegan and Ashley Tell You

Duke students are already feeling the impact of the campaign’s success—students like Keegan Trofatter and Ashley Rose Young. We interviewed two students—one undergraduate, one graduate—to learn about their library experiences and how philanthropic support for the Libraries has made a difference to their time at Duke.

Watch their videos to learn more.

Read More: How the Libraries Moved Duke Forward: A Report on the Campaign >>

Campaign Priority: Supporting Experts and Innovators

Our librarians and skilled staff provide invaluable service to the Duke community. These are the men and women who work together to meet the teaching and research needs of the entire Duke community, day in and day out. They’re accomplished specialists versed not only in their particular academic fields, but also in how to find, organize, preserve, and share the wealth of material available in today’s information-driven society. Philanthropic investment during the Duke Forward campaign has allowed us to attract and support innovative librarians, technologists, and archivists—such as those highlighted here.

Example of Impact: Endowed Conservator Position Extends Life of Library Holdings

In 2011, the Libraries received a $1.25 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create a new senior conservator position to help care for the Libraries’ extensive research collections. An additional $1 million gift from the Carpenter Foundation helped to permanently endow the position.

Beth Doyle is the Leona B. Carpenter Senior Conservator and Head of the Conservation Services Department. She says that the endowment has helped the Libraries address a growing need to preserve and make accessible a wide variety of materials that are currently unavailable to researchers or could be damaged by use because of their fragile condition.

“This endowment not only helps our department fulfill its mission to ensure the use of our collections by current and future patrons, but it demonstrates a long-term and deeply-held commitment to the materials we acquire,” said Doyle. “With proper care and conservation, our collections can continue to be an essential part of research, teaching and scholarly communication at Duke University.”

Duke’s experienced team of library conservation professionals serves as a local and regional resource on a range of conservation-related issues. The demand for skilled conservation professionals has never been higher, as historic library collections age and technology poses new questions about long-term access to information.

Example of Impact: Endowed Directorship Helps Preserve Women’s History

In 2011, journalist, activist, and women’s health care pioneer Merle Hoffman endowed the directorship of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture to ensure sustained leadership of the Center. Hoffman has played a key role in defining and defending women’s human and reproductive rights for over forty years.

“We’re pleased and grateful for this gift because it associates Merle Hoffman’s name with the directorship, creating an enduring connection between the Bingham Center and Hoffman’s outstanding contributions to the health, safety, and empowerment of women,” said current Bingham Center director Laura Micham. “The gift has enabled us to expand our activities and impact, bringing us closer to our goal of building one of the premier research centers for women’s history and culture in the world.”

In 2014, Micham was honored with a career achievement award by the Association of College and Research Libraries Women and Gender Studies Section. The award honors significant long-standing contributions to women’s studies in the field of librarianship over the course of a career. The award announcement cites Micham’s expertise, advocacy for archives, leadership, vision, and her proactive work with students.

How Has Duke Forward Made a Difference? Watch the Videos. >>

Campaign Priority: Programs that Educate and Engage

The Duke University Libraries are the intellectual and social center of the university. Every year, we host dozens of public events, including workshops, exhibits, book talks, film screenings, symposia, music performances, award ceremonies, and other programs that foster conversation between the academic community and the general public. Expanding public programming ensures that the Libraries are not only sanctuaries of quiet study and scholarly discovery, but also places of inspiration, conversation, and delight. Here are just a few highlights of public programs that have been made possible thanks to philanthropic support.

Example of Impact: The SNCC Digital Gateway

In the 1960s, young activists from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) united with local communities in the Deep South to build a grassroots movement for change.  Fifty years later, the SNCC Legacy Project has come together with the Duke University Libraries and the Center for Documentary Studies to launch two documentary websites that tell the story of these activists.

Thanks to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, undergraduate and graduate students at Duke, along with archivists, historians, and veterans of SNCC, built the One Person, One Vote website (, which launched in March 2016. The site uses the experiences of individuals to tell the story of voting rights, weaving together the accounts of the movement with digitized primary sources.

One Person, One Vote was the pilot initiative of a larger collaboration between Duke University and the SNCC Legacy Project. A new documentary website, the SNCC Digital Gateway (, takes a detailed look at how SNCC organized African American communities to take control of their political and economic lives.

Courtland Cox, chairman of the SNCC Legacy Project, served as an organizer in Mississippi and Alabama in the 1960s. “Our experiences have created a level of information wealth that we need to pass on to young people,” he said. “This unprecedented collaboration with Duke University hopefully will pilot a way for other academic institutions to re-engage history and those who make it.”

Example of Impact: Behind the Glass: The Duke University Libraries Exhibits Program

Effective exhibits are easy to enjoy and appreciate, but they are anything but easy to produce. A lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into every exhibit you see at the library.

Established in 2010 with support from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the Duke University Libraries exhibits program works to reflect the activities, scholarship, ideas, and culture of Duke and display it for the public to share and explore. Exhibits in the Libraries not only showcase materials from our collections, but also offer students the opportunity to learn how to present their own work in interesting and thought-provoking ways.

Meg Brown, the Carpenter Exhibits Librarian, often goes to great lengths to ensure that our exhibits support the work of the Duke community. “Exhibits play an important role in the education and outreach mission of the Libraries,” she says. “They also showcase the breadth and diversity of what a great library system like Duke’s has to offer.”

Since the reopening of the Rubenstein Library in 2015, the exhibits program has been able to stretch its wings in the new gallery spaces. About fifty visitors per day stop by the Mary Duke Biddle Room, the Trent History of Medicine Room, and the Michael and Karen Stone Gallery. Hundreds more walk through the Photography Gallery and the Chappell Family Gallery as they enter the Libraries, experiencing whatever is on display. All of our exhibits are free and open to the public.

Example of Impact: Duke University Libraries Present: The Weaver Lecture

William B. Weaver was a 1972 Duke graduate and a founding member of our Library Advisory Board. After Bill died in 2000, his wife Beth endowed the Weaver Memorial Lecture series as a way of keeping his memory alive at the institution he loved. The lecture is hosted every other year, and it brings some of today’s most engaging authors and personalities to campus.

Over the years, Weaver Lecture speakers have included such celebrated authors as Barbara Kingsolver, Oliver Sacks, Dave Eggers, Siddhartha Mukherjee and, most recently, presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who spoke in a public conversation with David M. Rubenstein, chair of the Duke University Board of Trustees, in 2015.

The next Weaver Lecture will take place in fall 2017.

Next Campaign Priority: Supporting Experts and Innovators >>

Campaign Priority: Technology for Faster, Easier, Better Research

The internet has become the primary way people find and use information. That’s why we’ve been mounting a digital modernization effort that is just as significant as our brick-and-mortar renovations. Investments in our technical infrastructure, developing our digital collections, and expanding staff expertise ensure that the Libraries will continue to attract pre-eminent researchers and teachers for generations to come.

Example of Impact: The Gift of Digital Preservation: Adopt a Digital Collection

Every year, we digitize thousands of historical documents, images, audio, and video, converting them to new formats that will outlast the originals. Although digitization greatly increases access to such materials, preservation standards require libraries to store multiple copies in multiple locations. That means that a single digitized collection can add up to a truly massive amount of data.

In 2016, Lowell and Eileen Aptman created the Digital Preservation Fund to offset storage costs associated with long-term digital preservation. This generous gift allowed the Libraries to create the Adopt a Digital Collection program, which ensures that our existing digital collections remain on our “digital shelves” for as long as the internet is around. Each time a student or researcher accesses one of our adopted digital collections, they are doing so thanks to the help of our donors.

“We wanted to find a single, well-defined project which would have a positive impact on the Libraries,” said Anne Newton T’73, who adopted the Women’s Travel Diaries collection with her husband Bill. “I’ve always been intrigued by the intimate nature of diaries and was thrilled to think that we could enable the information locked away in these archived volumes to be digitized, preserved, and made more easily accessible. This is a project that Bill and I are both proud to support.”

Thanks to the Aptman family and other digital collections supporters, we can expand our capacity to support long-term preservation of important cultural and scholarly resources, making them accessible for students and scholars far into our future.

Example of Impact: The Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing

Formed in 2013 thanks to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing (or DC3 for short) uses new technologies to analyze some of the world’s oldest documents and artifacts. The unit is led by Joshua D. Sosin, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, who holds a joint appointment within the Libraries.

Sosin leads a team of two full-time programmers to enhance Duke’s existing digital papyrology projects and design new technological experiments with broad applicability within and beyond the field of classics. The DC3 acts as an incubator for innovative humanities scholarship and complements Duke’s other initiatives to reimagine the role of the humanities in higher education.

“The library is one of the few academic organizations with a core mandate to embrace both past and future,” said Sosin. “That’s heaven for an ancient historian, whose focus is ancient documents and the modern technologies we bring to bear on them.”

Next Campaign Priority: Programs that Educate and Engage >>

Campaign Priority: Building Distinguished Collections

The backbone of every great library is the strength of its unique collections. Our collections transform disciplines by facilitating archival research and discovery, attract visiting scholars and top faculty whose work depends on the richness of resources, and establish the university as a leader in critical fields. Over the past five years, we have added spectacular primary materials to our collections, expanding in important areas that align with Duke’s academic and research priorities.

Example of Impact: A Major Acquisition: The Lisa Unger Baskin Collection

In April 2015, the Rubenstein Library acquired one of the largest and most significant private collections of women’s history, documenting the work and intellectual contributions of women from the Renaissance to the modern era.

The Lisa Unger Baskin Collection includes more than 10,000 rare books and thousands of manuscripts, journals, items of ephemera, and artifacts. Among them are many landmarks of women’s history and literature, as well as lesser-known works by female scholars, printers, publishers, scientists, artists, and political activists.

Noteworthy acquisitions like the Baskin Collection facilitate archival research, attract visiting scholars and top faculty, and open students’ eyes to first-hand historical realities. “Because of Duke’s powerful commitment to the central role of libraries and to digitization in teaching, it is clear to me that my collection will be an integral part of the university in the coming years and long into the future,” said Baskin when the acquisition was announced.

The work to process this extraordinary collection will take several years. Materials are made available as soon as they have been cataloged. We welcome additional gifts to support cataloging, conservation, and other work that will expand access to the collection.

Example of Impact: Extraordinary Worlds and the Growth of a Collection

The Duke Forward campaign also marked a turning point for the Rubenstein Library’s collection of rare maps and atlases, thanks to the generosity of collector and Library Advisory Board member Michael R. Stone T’84.

Stone donated several spectacular volumes to our collections, including Georg Braun’s (1541-1622) Civitates Orbis Terrarum (The Cities of the World), the earliest systematic city atlas. Published in six folio volumes between 1572 and 1635, the Civitates portrays more than 450 cities across Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America in hand-colored engravings.

Another important work is Theodor de Bry’s Historia Americae sive Novi Orbis (The History of America), a magnificent collection of voyages published during the early golden age of European exploration. Published in 1634 in 13 parts, the collection presents more than a century of European effort to take possession of the New World. The Rubenstein Library holds all 13 parts, including the “Elenchus,” which was printed separately and gives a comprehensive view of the American voyages and the order in which they should be read. Only six known copies of the “Elenchus” remain.

Both the Civitates and the Historia Americae are available for viewing at the Rubenstein Library. We are deeply grateful to Michael Stone for these extraordinary gifts.

Example of Impact: Iconic Civil War Photography: Gardner and Barnard’s Photographic Albums

In 2013, the Rubenstein Library’s Archive of Documentary Arts celebrated two noteworthy acquisitions. Alexander Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War and George N. Barnard’s Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, both published in 1866, contain some of the most iconic—and graphic—images of the American Civil War. Together, they are among the most important pictorial records of the conflict, not to mention outstanding examples of early American photography.

A century and a half later, the images still shock with the raw devastation of war, showing battle locations, encampments, troop headquarters, officers and enlisted men, soldiers in the field under fire, corpses, and the ruins left after Sherman’s famous March to the Sea. But they also preserve fleeting moments of life moving on, leaving researchers with the opportunity to understand the evolution of documentary photography from its earliest inception.

We are grateful to the B. H. Breslauer Foundation for their generous support of the acquisition of Gardner’s Sketch Book.

Next Campaign Priority: Technology for Faster, Easier, Better Research >>

Campaign Priority: Spaces for Study and Community

Few parts of Duke have been transformed so completely in recent years as its libraries. During the Duke Forward campaign, we completed two major renovations and expansions that have greatly enhanced the research support and gathering space we provide for today’s students and scholars. Thanks to careful planning, the experience of every library user who walks through our doors has been enhanced by these state-of-the-art facilities that are designed with both form and function in mind.

Example of Impact: Rubenstein Renovation Completes Perkins Project

On the first day of fall semester classes in August 2015, the doors of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library opened to the public, after nearly three years of careful renovation. It represented a crowning finish to the Perkins Project, an ambitious fifteen-year-long initiative to renovate and expand Duke’s West Campus libraries that began in the year 2000.

The total cost of the Rubenstein renovation was close to $60 million, but it was David M. Rubenstein’s historic $13.6 million gift that enabled us to get started on creating a model special collections library. The renovation transformed one of the university’s oldest and most iconic buildings into a state-of-the-art research facility, expanded our onsite collection capacity, more than doubled classroom and exhibition space, refreshed three historic rooms, and turned the library into one of the most popular event venues on West Campus. The library’s main entrance was also redesigned to give the entire library complex a more unified and welcoming presence on the historic Abele Quad.

Best of all, since the Rubenstein opened, we’ve welcomed a record-breaking number of visitors to our reading room who are there to consult our rare and unique scholarly materials. More than half of them every year are Duke students. 

Example of Impact: The Edge Draws Teams Together

What if you took a bunch of people doing interesting research from across campus, put them in an environment where they could interact and inspire each other, threw in some cool technology for them to experiment with, and watched what happened?

That was the concept behind The Edge: The Ruppert Commons for Research, Technology, and Collaboration—an attractive research incubator space on the first floor of Bostock Library designed to support interdisciplinary, team-based, data-driven research at Duke.

Construction on The Edge started in 2014 and lasted eight months. The space is equipped with tools and workspaces for digital scholarship, reservable rooms for project teams, and expert library staff who can consult on data management, digital project support, and other technology-focused services. Since it opened in January 2015, The Edge has quickly become one of the most popular destinations on campus.

Next Campaign Priority: Building Distinguished Collections >>