Duke University Libraries received its largest donation ever today, $13.6 million, according to a university press release.
The donation, from university trustee David M. Rubenstein, will support the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library. The library will be renamed after Rubenstein, if the Board of Trustees approves.
Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, an asset management firm, had previously made gifts to Duke totaling $10.75 million. Earlier this year, he donated $13.5 million to the National Archives for a new gallery and visitors center.
“A great library is central to the university’s transmission of knowledge,” said President Richard H. Brodhead in the press release. “Nationally, David Rubenstein has been a strong supporter of libraries and archives, and of the way the preserved past can increase present understanding. We at Duke are grateful for this magnificent gift, which will ensure access to documents that are part of our shared intellectual and cultural heritage,” he said.
The special collections library, which is open to the public, has more than 350,000 printed volumes and more than 20 million items in manuscript and archival collections that span 20 centuries. It also houses the University Archives and several research centers.
The special collections library is scheduled to be renovated beginning in late 2012, the final phase of a multi-year library renovation project at Duke. The planned renovation is expected to take several years and will, among other things, increase the research, instruction, storage and exhibition capabilities of the library and provide a secure stack area.
“Libraries are at the heart of any great educational institution,” Rubenstein said in the release. “This renovation and modernization program will help ensure that the Rare Book and Manuscript library’s priceless collection is preserved and accessible to scholars and the public for decades to come.”