Duke University Libraries moves historic treasures from library shelves to Apple’s iPhone

Scholars and students who once had to travel to museums or libraries to view collections of historic images can now do so by clicking on their mobile device instead.

With the launch of DukeMobile 1.1, the Duke University Libraries now offers the most comprehensive university digital image collection specifically formatted for an iPhone or iTouch device. It includes thousands of photos and other artifacts that range from early beer advertisements to materials on San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury scene in the 1960s. Although a growing number of scholarly institutions offer images and other material online, Duke is the first to offer collections that take advantage of the iPhone’s design, navigation and other features.

The collections are the latest addition to the DukeMobile suite of applications, which has also expanded to include several feeds of university news, along with emergency notifications and IT service alerts.

Duke University Libraries offers mobile users digital materials from 20 collections — about 32,000 images overall — covering women’s history, early American sheet music, Duke history and other topics. The libraries will add new collections regularly as they become available.

“Making these collections available for the iPhone and similar devices is important not only to extend access to Duke’s collections, but also as a milestone in the evolution of academic libraries from traditional print repositories to institutions that embrace new technology for sharing their rich resources with broader audiences,” said university librarian Deborah Jakubs, in the press release. “Duke believes in putting its knowledge in service to society, and we are making a major commitment to reach well beyond our campus by placing our collections literally into people’s hands.”

In addition to the library collections, DukeMobile’s offerings for the iPhone and other mobile devices now include campus news feeds about business, the environment, law, research and other categories, as well as the latest stories from Duke Today and other campus sources. The news section appears under an icon that will turn red to notify users about campus emergencies or IT alerts.

“This new application consolidates our news and alerts to be more useful for students, alumni, parents or anyone else with an interest in Duke,” said Michael J. Schoenfeld, the university’s vice president for public affairs and government relations, in the press release. “We want to make it as easy as possible to find the latest information about Duke, and to make the most of the iPhone’s rich interactive capabilities.”

The DukeMobile Version 1.1 suite of apps also includes an expanded schedule of courses and improvements to the campus map.

Digital Collections on DukeMobile iPhone App:

Users of iPhones and iPod touch devices can install DukeMobile by visiting the DukeMobile page in the iTunes App Store here.

Users of lesser wireless devices with browsers compatible with WAP 1.0 and 2.0 protocols can visit http://m.duke.edu.

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