May 27, 2022

Duke University Receives $10 Million For Renovation and Expansion of Lilly Library

From Duke University:

Duke University Libraries has received $10 million in support of the planned renovation and expansion of Lilly Library, one of Duke’s oldest and most architecturally significant buildings, President Vincent E. Price announced Thursday.

The donation to Duke is comprised of three gifts: a $5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., $2.5 million from Irene and William McCutchen and the Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation, and $2.5 million from Virginia and Peter Nicholas.

“Duke Libraries offers our community a wealth of information and resources to further educational growth and learning,” Price said. “We are so grateful for the generosity of the McCutchen and Nicholas families and Lilly Endowment, which will renew one of our most treasured campus buildings and enhance the experience of everyone who comes through its doors.”


The planned renovation and expansion will update facility needs — including enhanced lighting, technology infrastructure and furnishings — to meet today’s standards of safety, accessibility, usability and service. Anticipated changes will also extend to the elegant Thomas, Few and Carpenter reading rooms while maintaining the charm and character of these favorite spaces.


Source: Duke University Libraries

The proposed renovated building will also feature several new spaces for collaborative research and academic services, such as tutoring space for the Thompson Writing Program, event space for the Duke FOCUS Program, a student-testing facility and an exhibit gallery. An anticipated added entrance and commons space holds promise to become a crossroads environment to encourage informal interactions and allow students and faculty to gather.


Lilly Library opened in 1927 as Duke University’s first library on East Campus while West Campus was being constructed. It had a collection of 4,000 books and was designed to serve a population of some 600 students. For more than four decades it served as the Woman’s College Library. When the Woman’s College merged with Trinity College of Arts & Sciences in 1972, the library was renamed the East Campus Library until 1993, when it was rededicated in honor of Ruth Lilly.

Read the Complete Announcement

Direct to Lily Library Expansion and Renovation Information Page 



About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.