Woman's College Library records, 1930-1994, bulk 1930-1970.
Navigate the Collection
- Duke University. Woman's College. Library
- The Woman's College Library dates from the 1927 construction of the Woman's College campus. During the three years required to build the library on West Campus, this was the library for the entire university. In 1930 the Woman's College Library opened officially with a collection of 4,000 books. The collection contains material pertaining to the operations of the Woman's College Library including clippings, correspondence, and periodical subscriptions. The major topic in the collection is art exhibits. Materials date from 1930-1994, bulk 1930-1970.
- 1 Linear Foot
- Material in English
- Collection ID:
- University Archives Record Group:
- 25 -- Trinity College of Arts and Sciences
25 -- Trinity College of Arts and Sciences > 05 -- Woman's College
- Scope and content:
Collection contains material pertaining to the operations of the Woman's College Library including clippings, correspondence, and periodical subscriptions. The major topic in the collection is art exhibits including: announcements of art exhibitions; booklets on works of art; biographical sketches of artists; and schedules of exhibitions. Materials date from 1930-1994, bulk 1930-1970.
- Biographical / historical:
from The Library of the Woman's College, Duke University, 1930-1972 by Betty Irene Young.
The Woman's College Library began its operations on September 24, 1930. Designed primarily for the new coordinate college, the new library on East Campus (completed in March 1927) served as the interim university library until 1930 when the main library on West Campus was completed. While serving as the main Duke library the future Woman's College Library housed over one hundred thousand volumes transferred from the previous library; a number that would more than double over the next three years as the collection grew to meet the demands of the developing university. When the main collection transferred over to West Campus in 1930 the number of volumes dramatically dwindled as the Woman's College Library was left with approximately 4,000 new books "selected with special reference to the needs of the Coordinate College for Women."
The first librarian of the Woman's College Library, Lillian Baker Griggs (1930-1949), believed that a college library should promote "the love of books and libraries in the heart of the average student to such an extent that a library will be necessary to a contented life." She began by making the library an inviting place citing a plan "to give the library certain distinctly feminine touches which have hitherto been lacking on campus." The Woman's College Library became known for its Booklover Room with its browsable collection, and informal atmosphere which later led the way to regular teas and evening talks by professors.
The librarians worked hard during the first couple of years to triple the holdings, and soon the collection numbered over twelve thousand. They also devised collection strengths in education, art, juvenile literature, literature, music, history, and psychology through both buying new material and recalling back volumes that had previously been transferred to the main library. Over the forty-two years that the coordinated college for women existed at Duke, art and the Woman's College Library became inextricably linked. Art objects were displayed throughout the building, and the library hosted numerous exhibitions.
In 1972 the Board of Trustees approved the merger of the Woman's College and Trinity College. The Woman's College Library became known as the East Campus Library. The library was renamed Lilly Library in 1990 in recognition of a generous gift from Miss Ruth Lilly. The library underwent extensive renovations in 1993, and today (2007) houses the collections for the visual arts, art history, philosophy, and theater studies, and has services geared especially to the first-year experience.
- Acquisition information:
- The Woman's College Library records were received by the University Archives as a transfer in 1966-1993.
- Processing information:
Processed by Sherrie Bowser, December 2007
Encoded by Sherrie Bowser, December 2007
Accessions were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.
- Physical location:
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
- Rules or conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
Using These Materials
- Using These Materials Links:
Using These Materials
Collection is open for research.
- Terms of access:
Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
- Before you visit:
- Please consult our up-to-date information for visitors page, as our services and guidelines periodically change.
- Preferred citation:
[Identification of item], Woman's College Library Records, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.