Adopt-a-Book Program

Louisa Whitman manuscript, during treatment The Duke University Libraries Adopt-A-Book Program gives you the opportunity to support the conservation of library materials in need of repair. Your gift helps to keep these materials available for current and future faculty, scholars and students.

Books, manuscripts, moving images, photographs and University Archives materials are available for adoption. An electronic book plate will be put into the item's catalog record to acknowledge your gift. Adopted items are listed at the bottom of this page.

Adoption Process

A selection of available items is listed below. Please contact the head of the Conservation Services Department with your adoption choice:

Beth Doyle, Head of Conservation Services Dept.

We are happy to honor someone special or recognize a special event such as graduation in the electronic bookplate. If you wish your gift to remain anonymous, we will honor that request.

Adoptable Collection Items


The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1982) Set in rural Georgia in the 1930's, this story follows sisters Celie and Nettie who endure poverty, molestation and other horrendous abuses. Themes of racism, sexism and the exploration of gender roles often lands this title on the ALA's list of most banned/challenged classics . Our first edition is in need of a custom enclosure.

(Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Adopt for $150


The Bluest Eye  by Toni Morrison (1970). The plot of this novel tells the difficult story of Pecola and her abusive family. Racism, incest and molestation are central themes in this post-Great Depression novel set in Lorain, Ohio. This title is often on the ALA's list of most banned/challenged classics . Our first edition is in need of a custom enclosure.

(Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Adopt for $150

Picture Book

These editions of A Picture Book Without Pictures and Little Rudy and Other Tales by Hans Christian Andersen were both published in 1869. A Picture Book and Little Rudy are part of the Hans Andersen's Library series published by Allen Brothers (NY). These are lovely 19th Century publishers bindings with green cloth and gold stamping. Each volume needs minor page mends and a a custom Mylar-spined enclosure

(Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Adopt the set for $150
Der swangern Frawen und Hebammen Roszgarten

Der swangern Frawen und Hebammen Roszgarten by Eucharius Rosslin. This title was the earliest printed textbook for midwives and was used into the mid 1700's. Over 40 editions were published. Our edition was published circa 1515. This book is bound in quarter leather over wooden boards. It has a single, beautifully decorated clasp at the center of the fore edge. A custom enclosure is needed to preserve this beautiful binding. 

(Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Adopt for $150
Adopt A Box

Adopt a Box: Conservator's Choice! With this option, we will choose an item in need of an enclosure and put your name on the electronic bookplate. The staff in the conservation lab make on average 5,000 custom enclosures a year. There is always something in the lab that needs a box. Candidates may come from any part of our collections including Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University Archives, Music Library locked stacks, or Lilly Library locked stacks. 

Adopt for $150
Toad Hall

Toad of Toad Hall by A.A. Milne was published in 1929. A four-act play, based on the comedy in Kenneth Grahame's The wind in the willows, telling of the escapades of Toad, Mole, Rat and Badger along a river in the English countryside. This edition on handmade paper, published in 1929, is limited to 200 numbered and signed copies. Our edition is signed both by Milne and Grahame, and was a gift of the family of the estate of Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans. The original publishers dust jacket is in need of repair, and the book needs a custom enclosure.

(Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Adopt for $250


Slaughterhouse-five or The children's crusade, a duty-dance with death by Kurt Vonnegut (1969). Vonnegut's non-llinear novel follows protaganist Billy Pilgrim through World War II, optometry school and an alleged alian abduction. This title is often on the ALA's list of most banned/challenged classics . Our first edition is in need of a custom enclosure to keep it protected.

(Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)



Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932). This futuristic novel published in 1932 describes a society that controls everything right down to who a person will fundamentally become. This title is often on the ALA's list of most banned/challenged classics . Our first edition is in need of some minor repair and a custom enclosure to keep it protected.

(Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)


Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers , published 1751-72 by Denis Diderot. This is the first encyclopedia to have the contents organized by human thought rather than by nature or theology. This publication was considered innovative in part because it emphasized the mechanical arts, and it named the various authors that contributed content. This complete set contains 70 volumes of text, illustrations and supplements. Each volume needs a custom-made enclosure and many need minor repair to the texts and foldouts.

69 of 70 volumes available for adoption

(Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Adopt for $300 per volume

t. 1

American Tragedy

An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser (1925, first edition). Loosely based on real events this story follows Clive Griffiths, a son of two misionaries, who takes a job as a bell hop then in a factory. After making several poor choices he ends up on trial for murder. This two-volume set has some prior repairs that are damaging the original dust jackets. The original publishers slip case is damaging the books, so an enclosure that houses the books and slip case will be made so that all three pieces are protected.

(Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Adopt the set for $400

Confederate Currency

Confederate Currency Collection
The Currency Collection (1746-1982) contains 4,896 pieces. All except a small number of coins and tokens are paper currency. Most of this money is domestic, but there are a limited number of foreign items — some of them quite old and interesting. Approximately two-thirds of the collection dates from the Civil War and one-fourth from the antebellum period. The collection needs new enclosures, and many of the bills need repair.

(Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Adopt for $5,000

Joseph Brown Matthews Collection spans the years 1862 to 1986 and is one of our most-used collections. The collection has a variety of materials primarily relating to the research Matthews and his associates did in the area of anticommunism. The 750+ boxes contain a mix of damaged and chemically unstable materials. We must physically repair and reformat these papers in order to continue to provide access to them. These papers routinely make the list of our most requested items.

(Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Adopt for $8,000

Rubenstein Library holds two major collections of comic books, the Edwin and Terry Murray Comic Book Collection and the Comic Book and Graphic Novel Collection . Together these collections contain approximately 1,000 titles in 500 boxes. These collections are notable for their size, depth and comprehensiveness. They represent Marvel and DC Comics published between the mid-1960's and 2001. These collections are in high demand in the reading room, in the classroom and for instruction. We must re-house these fragile materials to facilitate access and to better preserve them for future researchers.

(Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Adopt for $10,000

Birds of America by John James Audubon. These are stunning double elephant folios printed from 1827–1803. This set contains four volumes. Three volumes need full conservation attention to repair the broken and loose sewing and boards before the damage becomes so severe they cannot be used.

3 of 3 volumes available for adoption.

(Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Adopt for $25,000 per volume


Adopted Books

To see your electronic bookplate, click on the title link then click the "details" tab in the catalog record. 


This generous gift will support the conservation of numerious materials. As these items come to Conservation, we will add the titles here.


Travels into several remote nations of the world , by Jonathan Swift. [DUKE002166870] Read about this project on Preservation Underground.

Manual of Human Anatomy , by Robert Knox [DUKE000856887].

The question of rest for women during menstruation, by Mary Putnam Jacobi [DUKE000662895]

Biblia hepta...Libri septem , by Aegineta Paulus [DUKE000713234]

Woman and her diseases, by Edward H. Dixon [DUKE002812875]
R.P. Aloysii Novarini Veronensis, by Luigi Novarini [DUKE003474468]

Sexti libri decratalium..., by Pope Bonafice VIII [DUKE002521394]

Nixie Miller in honor of Bill Pitts

Catch 22, by J.D. Salinger [DUKE003234716]

Mrs. Georgeann C Corey in honor of Mr. Michael Lee Corey (T'05)

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck [DUKE001351443]

Old Man and the Sea, by Earnest Hemingway

Mrs. Georgeann C Corey in memory of Mr. George Nassif Corey (T'69)

Signed basketball (1992), Artifacts and Relics Collection, 1830's-ongoing. Duke University Archives. [UA98-85; Box 17] [DUKE003921889]

Proposed design of Duke University, drawn by the Horace Trumbauer firm for James B. Duke, 1924. Duke University Archives. [DUKE003205743]

Sarah L. Bingham

Native Son by Richard Wright (1940, first edition) [DUKE000537516]
The Common Reader , Second Series by Virginia Woolf (1932, first edition) [DUKE000027581]

Barbara Bernhard Hanson ('82)

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath [DUKE003857200]

Kevin A. Klock ('01) in honor of his father Douglas M. Klock ('65)

Lord of the Flies , by William Golding [DUKE003857078]

Jeff Kosokoff and Laura Bey

Het achterhuis : dagboekbrieven van 12 Juni 1942-1 Augustus 1944 , by Anne Frank. [DUKE003857076]

Rebecca Williams

Geographia vniversalis by Ptolemy (t.1) [DUKE001989929]
Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, by Denis Diderot [DUKE000362924]


Ann Beman

Villette by Charlotte Bronte [DUKE003856456]


Robert Joseph Kubek, MD '86

Edmund M. Cameron Scrapbooks


Barbara Branson

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck [DUKE000035394]


Will Hansen and Jaime Danehey

Phrenological Description of W. Whitman , Age 29 Occupation Printer by L.N. Fowler

Lauren Winner
Poems on various subjects, religious and moral by Phillis Wheatley [DUKE002363589] 4/11/2014
Deborah Jakubs and Jim Roberts Catcher In The Rye [DUKE000035160] 4/10/2014
Michael McCahill Stephen Fuller Papers [DUKE000854590] 3/4/2014
Beth Doyle Greek Manuscript #2 [New Testament Gospel Lectionary] [DUKE006035633] 2/25/2014