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Duke's Rare Books Library Receives Large Donation

An architect's rendition of the entrance plaza to the renovated Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.

A large gift will make possible a the renovation of Duke University's rare books library. Duke Trustee David Rubenstein, a 1970 graduate of the university and co-founder of the Carlyle Group, is giving Duke $13.6 million. That's the largest ever donation to the libraries. Deborah Jakubs is a University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs. She says rare books document the development of scholarship and human creativity.

Deborah Jakubs: "The reason we're a magnet for undergraduates and also for visiting scholars is that we are a repository of collections that document centuries of human knowledge. "

The renovations will include more space, better lighting and climate upgrades, and new doors and windows.

Jakubs: "So it's a better home for our collections. It's a much more inviting space for students and scholars and also for the general public because we host a lot of events here, and we've tended to use the Biddle Rare Book Room, but it'll be supplemented by an entire new assembly room which will be right on the main quad. "
The rare books library will be renamed to the David Rubenstein Library pending approval by the Board of Trustees. Jakubs says the anticipated grand opening will be sometime in early 2015.

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