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News, Events, and Exhibits from Duke University Libraries
Updated: 1 hour 48 min ago

William Henry Harrison and Reform?

Mon, 11/02/2015 - 17:54


Guest post by Carson Holloway, Librarian for History of Science and Technology, Military History, British and Irish Studies, Canadian Studies and General History

Why does this beautifully crafted lapel pin connect Harrison’s name with reform? Such questions provide a good deal of the appeal of fourteen campaign pins on display as part of the Kenneth Hubbard Collection of Political Campaign Ephemera in the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. In the current season of election news, Hubbard, a Duke alumnus and donor, has provided tokens of particular interest in contextualizing some notable presidential campaigns between 1840 and 1948.

William Henry Harrison’s is a name to ponder. Some might recognize that he was a President before the American Civil War. The alliteration of his name may sound familiar. Fewer could identify him as hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe, though more would recognize the campaign slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler too,” referring to Harrison and his running mate, and successor.  Harrison, the oldest person elected President until Ronald Reagan, died from pneumonia contracted at his inauguration after serving fewer than forty days.

Harrison Lapel Pin

“Reform,” in Harrison’s campaign of 1840, was economic reform required as a result of a protracted depression known as the “Panic of 1837.”  Over a third of American banks in New York and elsewhere faltered and then failed after President Andrew Jackson’s administration decentralized the Federal banking system and British banks raised interest rates in response to perceived risk. Jackson’s Democratic successor, Van Buren, was unable to correct the economic course and prices for important agricultural export products like cotton plummeted. Whether Harrison’s Whig reforms would have been effective is questionable. The severe economic downturn lasted until 1844.

Like the Harrison pin, each of the items on display in the Rubenstein is interesting in its own right. A few have great aesthetic appeal like the Harrison pin. Other buttons illustrate powerful personalities and world-changing events. One particularly rare pin is from the only presidential campaign in which the candidate was running while serving a term in federal prison!

Horror in the Libraries

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 00:52

Getting ready for Halloween? So is Lilly Library! Come check out our collection of spooky DVDs and graphic novels, on exhibit through the end of October.

 Horror in the LibrariesThe H Word: Horror in the Libraries  Dystopian and Post-Holocaust CinemaFuture Imperfect: Dystopian and Post-Holocaust Cinema

Our film exhibit features Dystopian and Post-Holocaust movies while graphic horror novels are highlighted in our The H Word: Horror in the Libraries exhibit. In addition, check out our guide to “Future Imperfect” for more dystopian movies. Last but not least, we have classic Halloween movie listings at the front desk, including a wide range of films from Ghostbusters to Paranormal Activity.

No matter what you’re looking for, Lilly Library has something for everyone to get into the Halloween spirit.

Library Writing and Research Award Winners

Thu, 10/22/2015 - 19:08


Congratulations to the 2015 Library Writing and Research Award Winners!

The Duke University Libraries are pleased to announce the winners of the 2014-2015 library writing and research awards. The Aptman Prize, the Middlesworth Award, and the Holsti Prize recognize excellence in student research using sources from the Libraries’ general collections, the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and primary sources for political science or public policy, respectively. New this year is the Rudolph William Rosati Creative Writing Award which is given in recognition of an outstanding work of creative writing.

Aptman Prize
Honor Thesis Prize: Tiffany Lieu
Third/Fourth-Year Prize: Jaclyn Grace
First/Second-Year Prize: Zachary Fuchs

Chester P. Middlesworth Award
Undergraduate: Michael Sotsky

Holsti Prize
Honors Thesis: Charlotte Lee
Semester Paper: Jack Dolgin

Rudolph William Rosati Creative Writing Award
Antonio Lopez, Jr.

We will be celebrating their achievements at an awards reception on Friday, October 30 from 3:30-4:30 in the Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room. All are invited to join us for refreshments and the opportunity to honor the recipients.

Note: In our original blog post about these awards, we inadvertently omitted Jack Dolgin’s name when we first announced the winners. Our apologies to Mr. Dolgin!

History Hackathon – a collaborative happening

Mon, 10/12/2015 - 16:54
Students in Rubenstein Reading Room

Students in Rubenstein Reading Room

What is a History Hackathon?

The term “Hackathon” traditionally refers to an event in which computer programmers collaborate intensively on software projects. But Duke University Libraries and the History Department are putting a historical twist on their approach to the Hackathon phenomenon. In this case, the History Hackathon is a contest for undergraduate student teams to research, collaborate, and create projects inspired by the resources available in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library collections. Projects may include performances, essays, websites, infographics, lectures, podcasts, and more. A panel of experts will serve as judges and rank the top three teams. Cash Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.

The History Hackathon will take place over a 72-hour period from October 23-25, in the Rubenstein Library and The Edge.  All the  guidelines, rules, and details may be found at the History Hackathon: a Collaborative Happening  site.Students in the Edge

  • When:  Friday, October 23rd to
    Sunday, October 25th
  • Deadline to register: Tuesday, October 20th

Contact :

Sponsored by the Duke History Department,  the Duke University Libraries, the David M. Rubenstein Library, and the Duke University Undergraduate Research Support Office.

Contributor: Susannah Roberson



Lyre, Lyre… Lyre at Lilly

Wed, 09/23/2015 - 17:55
Meet The Artist – John Billing

“I wish to tune my quivering lyre,/To deeds of fame, and notes of fire”
From Lord Bryon’s “to his lyre”

John Billing, originally from England and now based in Ireland, is touring the East Coast of the United States during September and October, presenting workshops and performances.  John’s background is in art, textile design and music therapy. Come and hear the interesting story of the performer and his instrument. Mr. Billing will perform pieces by J. S. Bach and Turlough O’Carolan, in addition to original compositions.

  • Where: Thomas Room
    Lilly Library, 2nd floor
  • When:  Friday October 2nd at 4pm
    Light refreshments served at 3:30
What is the lyre?

The lyre is a stringed instrument from Ancient Greece, thought to metaphorically represent the skill of poets  as it accompanied their recitations.

Sponsored by the Lilly Library, East Campus Residence Life and the Department of Classical Studies at Duke University.

Save the Date! Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin to Speak at Duke, Nov. 5

Mon, 09/14/2015 - 20:29

Admission is free, but tickets are required. Tickets will be available through the Duke Box Office starting October 6, 2015. Limit 2 per person.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will discuss her books, the American presidency, and leadership lessons from the White House at 6 p.m. Thursday, November 5, in Duke University’s Reynolds Industries Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

Doris Kearns Goodwin will be joined onstage by David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group and Chair of the Duke University Board of Trustees.Doris Kearns Goodwin will be joined onstage by David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group and Chair of the Duke University Board of Trustees.

Goodwin will be joined on stage in conversation with David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group and Chair of the Duke University Board of Trustees. The event is one of several programs this year celebrating the opening of the renovated the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke.

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. She is the author of six critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling books. She appears regularly on network TV programs and was an on-air consultant for PBS documentaries on Lyndon B. Johnson, the Kennedy Family, and Ken Burn’s The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.

Goodwin was born and raised on Long Island, New York. She received her B.A. from Colby College and her Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University. Goodwin served as an assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson in his last year in the White House. She later assisted Johnson in the preparation of his memoirs.

Goodwin’s monumental history of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (2005) reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The book won the Lincoln Prize, the New York Historical Society Book Prize, the Richard Nelson Current Award, the New York State Archives History Makers Award, and was the basis of the 2012 feature film Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day Lewis.

Goodwin’s most recent book, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism (2013), is a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air. Dreamworks Studios/Steven Spielberg have acquired the film rights to the book.

Goodwin lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with her husband Richard N. Goodwin, who worked in the White House under both Kennedy and Johnson. The Goodwins have three sons.

The evening with Goodwin and Rubenstein will be presented as the Weaver Memorial Lecture, hosted every other year by the Duke University Libraries in memory of William B. Weaver, a 1972 Duke graduate and former member of the Library Advisory Board. The event is co-sponsored by the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Sanford School of Public Policy, and the Trinity School of Arts & Sciences. Copies of Goodwin’s books will be available for sale at the event.

Admission is free, but tickets are required and are available through the Duke Box Office. Tickets will be available starting October 6. A small service charge may apply for tickets ordered by phone, online, or mail. Visit for more information.

Media are invited to attend the event, but recording is not permitted. Members of the media interested in covering the talk should contact Aaron Welborn, Director of Communications, Duke University Libraries, at 919-660-5816 or by October 29.

Join Our Student Advisory Boards!

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 18:54
Help us improve the library experience at Duke and make your voice heard by joining one of our student advisory boards.Help us improve the library experience at Duke and make your voice heard by joining one of our student advisory boards.

The Duke University Libraries are now accepting applications for membership on the 2015-2016 student library advisory boards.

Members of these advisory boards will help improve the learning and research environment for Duke University students and advise the Libraries on topics such as study spaces, research resources, integrating library services into academic courses, and marketing library services to students.

The boards will typically meet four times a semester to discuss all aspects of Duke Libraries and provide feedback to library staff. This is an amazing opportunity for students to serve on the advisory board of a large, nationally recognized non-profit organization.

All three advisory boards are now taking applications or nominations.  Application deadlines are:

Members  of the Graduate and Professional Student Advisory Board and the Undergraduate Advisory Board will be selected and notified by mid-September, and groups will begin to meet in late September. More information is available on our website, where you will also find links to the online applications forms.

For more information or questions about these opportunities, please contact:

Graduate and Professional Student Advisory Board
and Undergraduate Advisory Board

emily_dalyEmily Daly
Head, Assessment and User Experience Department
Librarian for Education


First-Year Advisory Board

boers-greta Greta Boers
Librarian for Linguistics and Classical Studies



munden-dave Dave Munden
Evening Reference Librarian and Supervisor, Lilly Library


The First-Year Library Experience

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 18:41
Duke Libraries – Here to Help You


Lilly Library on East CampusLilly Library on East Campus When is the library open? How do I find a book? Where do I print?*

Duke University’s newest students can find the answers to these questions (and more!) on the Library’s First-Year Library Services portal page.

Each August, a new class of undergraduates arrives in Durham ready to immerse themselves in the Duke Community.   Duke University Libraries serve as the core of intellectual life on campus. On East Campus particularly, the Lilly and Music Libraries have the unique opportunity to introduce our newest “Dukies” to the array of Library resources and research services available.

To help navigate the vast Library resources, we’ve created a portal especially for First-Year students. Through this portal page, new students (and even some not-so-new) can discover all that the Duke University Libraries offer:

Perkins-reading roomQuick Facts:  about collections and loan policies
Where:  to study, print, and … eat!
How:  to find and check out books & material, and get…
Help!:  Meet the  “who” – Librarians, Specialists, & Residence Hall Librarians
Research 101:  how to navigate the Research Process
Citation 101:  how to cite using recommended  styles
*And when is the Library open?
Find the answer in our list of the Top 12 Questions, developed with input from First-Year Library Advisory Board students.

Here’s to a great Fall Semester!




The Library Is Open…

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 19:05
East Campus Libraries Orientation scrapbookWelcome to the Duke Class of 2019 Just for Duke 2019 - Clever Class                              Just for Duke 2019 – Clever Class Discover the First-Year Library Experience

On East Campus, after students settle in and begin classes, the Lilly Library and Duke Music Library offer several ways for the newest “Dukies” to learn and benefit from the incredible resources of the Duke Libraries. Lilly and Music sponsor Library Orientation events such as scavenger hunts, film showings, and prize drawings to familiarize them with library services and collections. In recent years, students played The Library Games, and were wowed by the Incredibles and the Libraries’ super powers. This year, the Class of 2019 will experience the power of discovery because …

The “Library is Open”! Schedule of Events for Fall Semester 2015 Movie on the Quad: Jurassic Park
  • When:  Wednesday, August 26th at 9pm
  • Where: East Campus Quad between Lilly & the East Campus Union
Duke Class of 2019 Open House and Scavenger Hunt
  • When: Wednesday, September 2nd at 7pm
  • Where: Lilly Library
More Ways to Experience  the Duke University Libraries :

After the excitement of the new semester subsides, the Duke University Libraries continue to reach out to our students, always ready to  offer research support and  access to resources  in support of their scholarly needs.

Here’s to a great year – and Duke career –  filled with academic success!