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

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954, first edition). The quintissential coming of age story about a group of boys stuck on an uninhabited island. What could go wrong? This first edition with original dust jacket is in good condition but needs a custom-made enclosure to protect it from wear and tear.

(Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)


Bell Jar

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (1963, first edition). Plath's only novel was originally published under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. It wasn't until 1971 that Plath's name appeared on the publication. The novel is said to be semi-autobiographical, chronicalling the experience of a young woman's expereience as an intern at a prominent New York magazine. This edition is in good condition but needs a custom-enclosure to protect it from wear and tear.

(Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Adopt for $150

Native Son

Native Son by Richard Wright (1940, first edition). This story of a poor, young African-American man growing up on the south side of Chicago in the 1930's was considered shocking and controversial when it was first published. It is an unapologetic look at the effects of racism and poverty in the early 20th Century. This edition is in very good condition but needs a custom-made protective enclosure to ensure its preservation.

(Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Adopt for $150

Common Reader

The Common Reader, Second Series by Virginia Woolf (1932, first edition). Essays on life and art, literature and other topics by one of the most important English writers of her time. This edition is in good condition but needs a custom-made box to protect it from wear and tear.

(Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Adopt for $150


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

Proposed design of Duke University , drawn by the Horace Trumbauer firm for James B. Duke, 1924. This large (approximately 6-by-4 feet) drawing was made for James B. Duke as he considered making a major gift to Trinity College in 1924. It envisions a university on the present day East Campus, with the Chapel in the location of today’s Baldwin Auditorium. This item has tears, folds, tape and adhesive stains, and needs a better enclosure for its protection.

(Duke University Archives)

Adopt for $2,000
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.

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