The Perkins Library complex was built in three stages--in 1928, 1948, and 1968. By the late 1990s it was clear that it was time for the library to renew and grow again. In August 2000 Provost Peter Lange established the Perkins Library Renovation Committee and charged it with thinking creatively about the nature of library services and facilities and making recommendations regarding the design and function of Perkins Library. After two years of planning, the project to expand and renovate the Duke University Libraries was approved by the University's Board of Trustees in 2002 and construction began in fall 2003.
In October 2005 the Bostock Library and the von der Heyden Pavilion opened to the public, providing beautiful spaces and enhanced services to the Duke community. In 2006 a transformed first floor of Perkins was unveiled, followed a year later by the opening of the re-made Perkins lower floor 2 and Deryl Hart administrative suite. In 2008 Perkins’ floors 2-4 opened, completely upfitted and re-configured, and the Link, a state-of-the-art teaching and learning center on lower floor 1, filled what had been the Perkins basement. Perkins lower floor 1 is also the new home of the Libraries’ Preservation and Shipping and Receiving departments. Also in 2008, the Libraries’ technical services operations moved from Perkins to the Smith Warehouse.
With about two-thirds of the Duke University Libraries’ Perkins complex newly constructed or transformed by total renovations, the focus of the Perkins Project turns now to the 1928 West Campus library building and its 1948 addition. This portion of the Perkins complex is at the very heart of the campus designed by the Horace Trumbauer architectural firm and is emblematic of the character of the West Quad and Duke University. The cornerstone for the University is visible on the façade of the 1928 library building.
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