The Duke University Libraries are working closely with university officials on the shared goal of lowering the number and proximity of people on campus, while at the same time maintaining library services and resources in support of teaching and research. Learn more about how Duke University Libraries is responding. For the latest information about the university-wide response to the virus, please visit Coronavirus Response.

The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library has made the following changes to our services and policies to minimize health and safety risks to Duke students, faculty, staff, and the larger community. We will be re-evaluating these changes on a regular basis, and they are subject to change depending on developments over the coming days and weeks.

Rubenstein Library Reading Room

As of Monday, March 16, the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library Reading Room is closed to all researchers, including members of the Duke Community.

Research and Reference Services

  • You can still get in touch with Rubenstein Librarians using the Ask Us form.
  • We are working remotely and cannot access our physical collections, but we can answer general questions about our collections and services and help you identify digital material at other repositories for your research paper or project.
  • We welcome questions from all users, regardless of their academic affiliation.


We are suspending reproduction orders until the library re-opens, as staff are working remotely without access to our collections.

Instruction and Class Assignments

Rubenstein Librarians are offering online instruction and course assignment support for Spring 2020 classes. If you are a Duke student or faculty member in need of class or research support, please get in touch using the Ask Us form. 

Options for Digital Research

Browse or Search Duke Digital Collections

Browse or Search Other Digital Primary Sources

  • America’s Historical Newspapers (Duke NetID required)
    America's Historical Newspapers offers searchable digital facsimiles of thousands of titles from all 50 states. With eyewitness reporting, editorials, letters, advertisements, and obituaries, this collection chronicles the evolution of American culture and daily life from 1690 to the recent past.
  • Early English Books Online (Duke NetID required)
    Page images of almost every work printed in the British Isles and North America, as well as works in English printed elsewhere from 1470-1700

Visit the Duke Libraries’ Exhibition Galleries

  • The exhibit suite containing the Mary Duke Biddle Room, Trent History of Medicine Room and the Stone Family Gallery, including the Audubon Volumes and Virginia Woolf’s Writing desk are closed to everyone at this time.
  • The library will work with students, faculty and staff to maintain the schedule for future exhibitions, which will depend on the resources available over the coming months. Please contact Meg Brown if you have questions about exhibitions.