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Disability Studies is an exciting, growing field that views disability through a social model, examining the social, cultural, and political aspects of disability. Disability Studies is interdisciplinary by nature, encompassing a broad selection of academic disciplines and theories, including literature, sociology, history, philosophy, law, public policy, political science, visual arts, and gender studies among others. There is significant academic interest in Disability Studies among Duke’s faculty and students as evidenced by the student-led group Duke Disability Alliance and the faculty group Disability and Access Initiative. There is also growing momentum at Duke to establish an official Disability Studies program.

The Duke University Libraries have recognized this need by appointing a subject librarian for Disability Studies for both research support and collection development. Duke Libraries are developing their holdings in this area via purchases of scholarly monographs and journals, personal narratives and memoirs, primary source databases, and films, as well as historical and special collections for the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. 

Establish a collection endowment ($300,000)

A collection endowment will enable the continuous development of a distinctive Disability Studies collection across a broad range of disciplines and formats. Because student and faculty needs are constantly growing and evolving in a diverse field like Disability Studies, establishing a collection endowment will provide greater support for faculty interests and strengthen the possibilities for research and instruction.