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Duke University: Rubenstein Library

General Information

Facility: Duke University David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
411 Chapel Drive
Durham, NC 27708
Phone: (919) 660-5822
FAX: (919) 660-5934
Email: email
Hours: Hours of operation

About the library:

Named after David M. Rubenstein, the library holds about 378,000 items which cover 2,000 years of human history. In addition, it is also home to three specialized research centers.

Online Resources

An in-depth description of the collections within this archive, as part of the Rubenstein Library. It also includes news, announcements, and upcoming events from these collections.

A page dedicated to the collections on the history of medicine, including over 24,000 items. The page also includes news and upcoming events related to these collections.

A page dedicated to the Human Rights Archive, which partners with human rights activists to preserve the history and legacy of human rights around the world. The page includes news about the collections, as well as the traveling exhibit.

A page about the official repository for Duke University records. This page includes announcements, news, and upcoming events related to these collections.

Summary of Collections

Collection size: as of March 2014 the Rubenstein Libraries collection of rare books and manuscripts contained 378,000 items, of which 180 are in Japanese, including a collection of medical manuscripts.  The Rubenstein Library's collections are global in scope, spanning the past 2,000 years of human history.

Notable Collections

  • Advertising, Sales and Marketing
  • African and African American History and Culture
  • Comics
  • Documentary Film and Photography
  • Duke University History
  • Early Manuscripts
  • Economics
  • German Studies
  • Human Rights
  • Italian Studies
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer History
  • Literature
  • Medicine
  • Music
  • Religion
  • Southern History and Culture
  • Women's History and Culture


Online catalog:


The digitized collections from the Rubenstein Library, comprised of some 75,000 items. This includes images, full text, and metadata, including some 4,300 items directly relating to Japan.

A searchable database of online finding aids for the collections in the Rubenstein Library. These include the Japanese medical manuscript notebooks, a recent collection of 63 volumes dating from the late Edo period (1810-1849).

How to Use the Facility

Use of the Collections

The David W. Rubenstein Rare Books & Manuscripts Library is open and freely accessible to the general public. Researchers are encouraged to request materials at least four days before visiting. Researchers are required to register before using the collections.

Reproductions & Copyrights

The Rubenstein Library will digitally reproduce items in the collections for varying costs, depending on the nature of the items requested. For base pricing and more detailed information, please visit their Ordering Reproductions page.

For information on citation and copyright responsibilities, please visit Rubenstein's Citations, Permissions & Copyright page.

Give Us Your Feedback

For all comments and questions about the Guide, please e-mail us:

North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
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