It is easy to understand the concern of Duke University faculty members that a Richard M. Nixon library would be celebratory in the manner of other presidential libraries and thus -- considering Mr. Nixon's misdeeds -- a dubious addition to the campus. But to accept the documents of a discredited presidency for scholarly and informational purposes is not to place some kind of stamp of approval upon it. And Duke trustees, in backing the library plan, took a longer view than the narrow majority voting against it in the faculty's academic council. Obviously no Nixon library should become a hero's shrine or monument perpetuating a new kind of Watergate coverup; But so much happened during the Nixon years that any university would seem short-sighted to reject an opportunity to serve history with such a resource.

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