Saturday, March 30, 2013

So many books! (And the rest of Duke University)

Statue of Mr. Duke himself, with the chapel in the background. 

Started in the late 1920's and finished seven years later, the Duke chapel is imposing, impressive, massive, and awe-inspiring. It did not look like something that belongs in America; it seemed like we had momentarily been transported to an ancient European cathedral. 

Organ music was being played inside. The sound was so deep and saturating, it vibrated every particle of the air. 

Can you guess what building this was? This, and all the buildings surrounding it, were dorms. Imagine living here for college. It looks like a castle or fortress! And very much like something out of a movie. In fact, the entire campus seemed like something from an old movie, where there are a bunch of collegiate boys walking around in letter jackets, someone is in love with the pretty girl in the plaid skirt from the girl's school near by, and life is idealistic and populated by philosophy professors and club meetings. 

I love the detail at the top of this building. 

This was taken from the top of the staircase in Perkins Library. Like everything at Duke, the library was on a massive scale. It blows my mind how different the college experience at Duke must be from the college experience I had at Rollins. Our entire library could have fit, literally, onto one floor at Perkins! The library had two wings, two floors under ground level, three more above ground, a roof top, a cafe, and a labyrinth of staircases and elevators. (And though this was the main library, there were about 5 others on campus!) We managed to get lost and wandered around for about 15 minutes looking for an exit out of the building. I love being in libraries, and this one had so much goodness, it was overwhelming. I'm thankful my college was so much smaller and on a manageable, human scale. I never would have made it at a school like Duke...I would have gotten lost somewhere between the library and the cafe and never made it out. Rollins was just my size, but I'm very grateful to know that places like this library exist to house such amazing collections of books, manuscripts, and knowledge. As much as I resent about the red-tape of the college system, colleges and their libraries are wonderful treasuries of culture. 


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