An external view of Lilly Library on Duke's East Campus
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Duke University

Grant Brings Lilly Library Transformation Closer

The Duke Endowment’s $10 million grant will support library’s first significant renovation since East Campus was built.


For first-year students living on Duke University’s East Campus, Lilly Library may be their first foray into academic research. The library and its staff help them understand how to make their way through the resources available to them and prepare them for the rest of their time at Duke. But, as a vital piece of Duke for almost a century, it’s beginning to show its age.

In support of the proposed renovation and expansion of Lilly Library, Duke has received $10 million, President Vincent E. Price announced Friday.

The grant from The Duke Endowment, a private foundation based in Charlotte, N.C., will support the first significant renovation of the library since it was built.

“This much-needed renovation, which is currently in the design phase, will allow us to improve the student experience at Duke for generations, while preserving the charm and character that so many Blue Devils have always loved about Lilly Library,” Price said. “We are so grateful for this generous award.”

Construction on the project was originally slated to begin in summer 2020 but was delayed by the spread of COVID-19. Library staff had already begun relocating materials, services and personnel when the pandemic forced Duke to close campus and move classes online in spring 2020.