Libraries Magazine Articles

Black Duke employees and white Duke employees, segregated at 1946 holiday party

July 22, 2020

I am writing two weeks after the murder of George Floyd, as protests against white supremacy take place across the country. Many Americans are reckoning with the impact of racism, especially as it relates to American history. I, too, am reckoning with the past, especially here at Duke. There are hard truths to accept in a place where many people feel warmly embraced—a place that many of us love.

February 26, 2020


Scott Huler

In the Josiah Charles Trent History of Medicine Room at the Rubenstein Library, Duke radiology research fellow Fides Schwartz unrolls a little hand-sized puff of bubble wrap and lays out on the table all the pieces of a neat, slightly translucent white medical manikin, about six inches tall. The body of a woman: She’s pregnant, and her midsection lifts off, revealing removable heart, lungs, baby. “You see?” Schwartz asks. “Actually it does all fit together.”

February 26, 2020


Scott Huler

The Carpenter Reading Room on the third floor of Bostock Library is an “absolute silence area” during even slow times of the semester. An overloud cough can generate a stare, an unmuted phone chime, defenestration—for at least the phone.

July 18, 2014

The willow oak has written in it
an ink of time-underlayment.
I say the word emeritus
and the wind-rubbed coppery surface
touches my eyes like a worn rug.
Corded by limbs to a base in soil
it recovers those years of toil
that layered other leaves in another place.
The library’s vellum and coffee still drug
my memory, like Gothic walls and trees above.
There I and my gnarled masters strove,

Sosin scrutinizing papyri

September 17, 2013

The ancient and the modern come together in a new appointment at Duke. In July, Joshua D. Sosin Ph.D. ’00, an associate professor of classical studies and history, became the director of the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing, a new digital-humanities unit of Duke University Libraries. More impressive: Sosin is the first tenured faculty member at Duke to have a joint appointment in the library and an academic department.

November 5, 2012

Duke has cemented its place as the primary keeper of John Hope Franklin’s legacy with the acquisition of the late historian and former Duke professor’s personal papers.

Renaissance man: Craven’s wide array of interests included psychology, metaphysics, and astronomy.

August 8, 2012

Koskoo Almanac

Proof of prognostication: Detail from 1870 Koskoo Almanac!

Rare record: Acetate discs from the Robinso collection  [Les Todd]

June 4, 2012

In its heyday in the late 1930s, the soapy radio serial The American Family Robinson aired on more than 300 U.S. radio stations. But as listeners followed the travails of Luke Robinson, a small-town newspaper editor, and his eccentric family, they were getting a heavy dose of political propaganda.

The price of popularity: "The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club" by Charles Dickens, left, inspired imitations such as Thomas Prest's knockoff "Penny Pickwick." [Credit: Mark Zupan]

April 1, 2012

Charles Dickens’ first novel, commonly called The Pickwick Papers (1836-37), sent the memorable characters Samuel Pickwick and Sam Weller on a series of comic adventures through picturesque England. The book—a first edition of which is held in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library—also launched Dickens into prominence. The author, whose 200th birthday will be celebrated this year, became the publishing phenomenon of the Victorian age.

January 31, 2012

Campus Club evolves from tea and lace.


Photo above:Social graces
A Campus Club tea in 1966
Duke University Archives