Duke University’s Department of Theater Studies is focused on scholarly research, the production of a variety of plays, including classic texts and new works, and the development of brand-new works by both instructors and students. There is a strong emphasis on the nurturing of undergraduates both in their research and in their stagecraft. Duke University Libraries supports all of these endeavors through the acquisitions of resources such as scholarly monographs, theater histories and memoirs, specialized journals, playscripts, technical handbooks and manuals, and video performances (both DVDs and streaming collections). Also, many practitioners in the department benefit from primary sources, such as magazines, advertisements, and photos of people and places, found in both Rubenstein Library and in electronic resource collections for the design of sets, costumes, and props.
The department is growing with new tenure track faculty, new programs like a musical theater minor, and hopes of a graduate program in the future. This growth will mean there will be a continued need for new library materials.
Establish a Collection Endowment ($300,000)
A collection endowment will enable the continuous development of the Theater Studies collection across a broad range of subject areas, genres, and formats and will support any new expansions in the department in terms of research and instruction. Some areas that could benefit from the expanded resources of a named collection include musical theater, international theater, documentary theater, and experimental theater. There would also be an opportunity to expand the diversity of the collection by identifying and purchasing more works by and about women, people of color, LGBTQ groups, people with disabilities, and more. Giving voice to playwrights who have been traditionally ignored or forgotten would fit well with the efforts of several of the faculty in the department. This endowment would make it possible to support the purchase of new primary source collections and to be able to purchase materials in new formats. The rise of online collections and new digitalization projects is creating new avenues for sharing performances and documenting the process of creation in theater.