The Library Uncovered: Behind the Scenes with Collections Services

Monograph Acquisitions

Monograph Acquisitions has specialized staff that order and pay for books, DVDs, photographs and more. We use our experience and expertise in cultures around the world, and with vendors of all kinds to get exactly what Duke needs for researchers and students today, and for years to come. Once material arrives, we prepare those items for their next stop in the process, whether that’s another department, or straight to the stacks and our patrons.

Staff members working together to review materials.

We buy things in all shapes and sizes; check out this case for examples of books and media that we’ve bought from all over the world, and that will end up in different collections across the libraries at Duke.

Several items from the library collections that posed cataloging challenges.

Domestically, surely a Criterion Collection of Godzilla movies makes the cut? This combination book & movie collection will join the substantial collection of media that we purchase and process for Duke Libraries every year at Lilly Library.
International orders aren’t always just books either; this particular item came in a beautiful case, with a bottle of rosewater perfume, all the way from Turkey.
Purchasing plans with vendors help us cover territory that might otherwise get missed. This book came from Japan and illustrates kaiju design and art. Godzilla wasn’t the only kaiju, you know!

A world map indicating where some of Duke Libraries vendors are located.

Visualization of Duke Libraries vendors

We buy materials from over a thousand vendors, located all over the world. Vendors can be as large as major shipping and publishing companies, or as small as a single person, self-publishing their own research or art. Of course, this map is limited – not only does it represent only one year of vendor purchases, but those vendors, often located along coastlines and in major cities source materials from across their countries and regions for us. So, if there’s no pin, don’t worry – with the help of our network, we can still get it for you – if we don’t have it already!

Books awaiting cataloging on a range of shelving.

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