This History of Public Library Service in Durham, 1897-1997 by Jessica Harland-Jacobs


Writing this centenary history would not have been possible without the help of many individuals who gave generously of their time, resources, and expertise. First and foremost, I would like to express my appreciation to Mrs. Willie Hill for providing the funds for the research and writing of the history.

Bookmobile 1920s
Bookmobile, 1920s

I also appreciate the patience and thoroughness of Dale Gaddis, director of Durham County Library, as well as the assistance of Anne Berkley, Pam Jaskot, and Phyllis Rogers. The archivists at Duke University, Dr. Bill King and Tom Harkins, offered their typically excellent services, and Professor Sydney Nathans shared his notes on the early history of public library service in Durham. I especially enjoyed and appreciated my conversations with Constance and Charles Watts and Dale Gaddis, who graciously agreed to he interviewed.

Finally, I benefited from the comments and suggestions of those who read the manuscript in its various guises: Anne Berkley, Professor John Cell, Derek Chang, Dale Gaddis, Matthew Jacobs, Bill King, and Constance Watts.