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Since its foundation, Duke University Libraries' collection on Latin America and the Caribbean has consistently been among the top ten in the United States both in size and scope. Together these resources include strong, complementary collections in the social sciences and humanities, emphasizing political and institutional history, labor history, human rights, political economy, political humor, sociology, women's studies, demography, anthropology and archeology, and international and inter-American relations. In literature there is a broad representation of the belles-lettres of all the Latin American countries. Other significant collections include national and international statistics, philosophy, folklore, cultural studies, maps, film, sustainable development, and rare books and manuscripts.

In addition to the circulating collection, the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library holds special collections including but not limited to: rare Spanish and Portuguese books from the 16th to the 19th century; a collection of laws, statutes, and legal materials dating from 1623-1833. In recent years, a rich collection of Latin American broadsides from the 19th century have been added along with several 20th century collections of documentary photographs from South America, Cuba, Haiti and the Puerto Rican diaspora. Other outstanding recent acquisitions can be found in the Archive for Human Rights.

Since 1940, the collection is further enhanced by the oldest and most successful cooperative acquisitions program in the country between Duke University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which supports The Consortium in Latin American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. Both universities acquire core materials from throughout Latin America to support undergraduate study while working cooperatively to purchase research-level materials, special formats, and expensive items such as censuses, films, and large documentary microform collections. As a result, the collections are complementary and there is a low rate of duplication.

These collections are central to the work of faculty, researchers, and students at Duke University as well as other Triangle libraries and to scholars worldwide. By providing financial support to establish strategic collection endowments, donors will help Duke University Libraries to continue attracting the brightest students, faculty, and researchers.

Establish a collection endowment ($300,000)

Because student and faculty needs are constantly expanding and evolving, establishing a collection endowment will provide greater support for faculty interests and strengthen the possibilities for research and instruction. A collection endowment will enable the continuous development of a distinctive Latin American and Caribbean collection across a broad range of subject areas and formats. In turn, the expanded collection would assure Duke University’s continued standing as a primary center for multidisciplinary international studies.

Expendable gifts

By making one-time gifts, you can enable us to purchase unique materials for the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library that strengthen our outstanding collections.