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Dispatches from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University
Updated: 51 min 8 sec ago

New Collection Spans Five Centuries of Women’s History

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 13:49

The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University has acquired one of the largest and most significant private collections on women’s history, documenting the work and intellectual contributions of women from the Renaissance to the modern era.

Isotta Nogarola, humanist, 1418-1466, from Jacopo Philippo Bergomensis’ De Claris Mulieribus, 1497

Carefully assembled over 45 years by noted bibliophile, activist and collector Lisa Unger Baskin, the collection includes more than 8,600 rare books and thousands of manuscripts, journals, ephemera and artifacts, including author Virginia Woolf’s writing desk.. Among the works are many well-known monuments of women’s history and literature, as well as lesser-known works produced by female scholars, printers, publishers, scientists, artists and political activists. Taken together, they comprise a mosaic of the ways women have been productive, creative, and socially engaged over more than 500 years. The collection will become a part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture within the Rubenstein Library.

Cabinet card sold by Sojourner Truth to support her work, 1864
Photographer is unknown

The materials range in date from a 1240 manuscript documenting a respite home for women in Italy to a large collection of letters and manuscripts by the 20th-century anarchist Emma Goldman.  The majority of materials were created between the mid-15th and mid-20th centuries. Other highlights include correspondence by legendary American and English suffragists and abolitionists Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Emmeline Pankhurst and Lucretia Mott; Harriet Beecher Stowe’s publicity blurb for Sojourner Truth’s Narrative, written in Stowe’s own hand; exquisite decorated bindings by the celebrated turn-of-the-century British binders Sarah Prideaux, Katharine Adams, and Sybil Pye; and Woolf’s writing desk, which the author designed herself.

Baskin and her late husband, the artist Leonard Baskin, were both avid book collectors. Leonard also founded The Gehenna Press, one of the preeminent American private presses of the 20th century. Lisa Unger Baskin began collecting materials on women’s history in the 1960s after attending Cornell University. She is a member of the Grolier Club, the oldest American society for bibliophiles.

“I am delighted that my collection will be available to students, scholars and the community at Duke University, a great teaching and research institution,” Baskin said. “Because of Duke’s powerful commitment to the central role of libraries and digitization in teaching, it is clear to me that my collection will be an integral part of the university in the coming years and long into the future. I trust that this new and exciting life for my books and manuscripts will help to transform and enlarge the notion of what history is about, deeply reflecting my own interests.”

Materials from the collection will be available to researchers once they have been cataloged. Some items will be on display in the renovated Rubenstein Library when it reopens to the public at the end of August 2015.

For more information about the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection visit http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/bingham/lisa-unger-baskin.

The post New Collection Spans Five Centuries of Women’s History appeared first on The Devil's Tale.

Congratulations to Our 2015-2016 Research Grant Recipients

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 16:18

The Rubenstein Library’s research centers annually award travel grants to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars through a competitive application process. Congratulations—we look forward to sharing our collections with you!

History of Medicine Research Grants

Lindsey Beal, MFA, for photographic research on late nineteenth and early twentieth century obstetric and gynecological instruments.

Forceps from the History of Medicine instrument collection

Elaine LaFay, PhD candidate in History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania, for dissertation work on “Weathered Bodies, Sickly Lands: Climate, Health, and Place in the Antebellum Gulf South.”

Jaipreet Virdi-Dhesi, PhD, for work on “Deafness is Misery: Advertised Cures for Hearing Loss in Early 20th Century America.”

 

John Hope Franklin Center for African and African-American History and Culture Research Grants

Wangui Muigai, Princeton University, “An Awful Gladness: Infant Mortality and Race from Slavery to the Great Migration”

Jessica Parr, University of New Hampshire at Manchester, “’Saved from My Pagan Land:’ the Role of Religion in Self-Making in the Black Atlantic, 1660-1820.”

Whitney Stewart, Rice University, “Domestic Activism: The Politics of the Black Home in Nineteenth-Century America”

Brandon Winford, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, “Building New South Prosperity: John Hervey Wheeler, Black Banking, and the Economic Struggle for Civil Rights”

N.C. Mutual Home Office and Mechanics and Farmers Bank

 

John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History Research Grants

Dana Alsen, Department of History, University of Alabama, “Changing Patterns of Food Consumption in North Carolina, 1945-1989”

Dr. Makeda Best, Dept. of Visual Studies, California College of the Arts, “Sensing Memory: Kodak Cameras, Class, the Haptic, and the Labor of Memory in Late Nineteenth Century America”

Cari Casteel, History of Technology, Auburn University, “The Odor of Things: Deodorant, Gender, and Olfaction in the United States, 1888-2010”

Advertisement for Jergens Dryad Deodorant

 

Dr. Victoria Greive, Dept. of History, Utah State University, “Childhood and the Ideology of Domestic Security: Advertising During the Cold War”

Kira Lussier, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto, “Managing Your Self:  Personality Testing in Corporate America, 1960-present”

Dr. Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, Visiting Scholar, Institute of Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Columbia University,  “Ad Women in a (Mad)Men World: Negotiating Gender in the Advertising Business 1910-1930”

Dr. Rebecca Sheehan, United States Studies Center, University of Sydney, “The Rise of the Superwoman: How Sex Remade Gender in America’s Long 1970s”

Dr. Mark Tadajewski, Professor of Marketing, Durham University, “Jean Kilbourne: Recalling the Contributions of a Feminist Critic of Advertising”

Seth Tannenbaum, Department of History, Temple University, “Take Me Out…To the Concession Stand: Baseball, Food, and Citizenship in the Twentieth Century”

 

Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, Mary Lily Research Grants

Meaghan Beadle, Ph.D. candidate, history, University of Virginia, “This is What a Feminist Looks Like! Photography and Feminism, 1968-1980.”

Hanne Blank, Ph.D. candidate, history, Emory University, “Southern Women, Feminist Health: Activist Health Service and Communities of Radical Conscience in the Southeastern U.S., 1968-1990.”

Feminist Women’s Health Center

 

Samantha Bryant, Ph.D. candidate, history, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, “‘Black Monster Stalks the City’: The Thomas Wansley Case and the Racialized Cultural Landscape of the American Prison Industrial Complex, 1960 – 1975.”

Jaime Cantrell, Visiting Assistant Professor of English, The Sarah Isom Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Mississippi, “Southern Sapphisms: Race, Sexuality, and Sociality in Literary Productions, 1968-1994.”

Ariel Dougherty, Independent scholar, for book research on film teaching programs for young women, women of color, and queer women.

Anne Gray Fischer, Ph.D. candidate, history, Brown University, for dissertation research on the politics of prostitution in the US from 1960s – 1980s.

Anna Iones, Ph.D. candidate, English language and literature, University of Virginia, “Shocking Violence, Contested Consent: The Feminist Avant-garde from Kathy Acker to Riot Grrrl.”

Catherine Jacquet, Assistant Professor, history, Louisiana State University, Responding to Rape: Contesting the Meanings of Sexual Violence in the United States, 1950-1980.

Whitney Stewart, Ph.D. candidate, history, Rice University, “Domestic Activism: The Politics of the Black Home in Nineteenth-Century America.”

Mary Whitlock, Ph.D. candidate, sociology, University of South Florida, “Examining Forty Years Of The Social Organization Of Feminisms:  Ethnography Of Two Women’s Bookstores In the US South.”

Leah Wilson, Master’s student, English, Iowa State University, “Fleeing the Double Bind: Subverting the ‘White Trash’ Label through Female Solidarity and Erotic Power in Dorothy Allison’s Cavedweller.”

The post Congratulations to Our 2015-2016 Research Grant Recipients appeared first on The Devil's Tale.

The Right to Remain Private: Challenges to Protecting Health Information in Historical Research

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 11:30

Join us for a round table discussion on how the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) impacts research conducted in libraries and archives.

Thursday, April 16, 5:30 pm, Room 217 of Perkins Library

Panelists include:

  • Cynthia Greenlee, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Richards Civil War Era Center and the Africana Research Center, Penn State
  • Phoebe Evans Letocha, Collections Management Archivist of the Alan Mason Chesney Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
  • Laura Micham, Merle Hoffman Director of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University Libraries
  • Stephen Novak, Head of Archives & Special Collections at Columbia University’s Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library
  • Kevin Smith, Director of Copyright and Scholarly Communication, Duke University Libraries

Scholars and researchers encounter issues with accessing information when researching 20th century materials containing sensitive health information. Archivists grapple with how to collect and describe sensitive health information. This roundtable discussion will discuss the legal and ethical implications of HIPAA and how to move forward in a scholarly community.

Sponsored by the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture and History of Medicine Collections.

This event is free and open to the public.

The post The Right to Remain Private: Challenges to Protecting Health Information in Historical Research appeared first on The Devil's Tale.

“The Journey” of Reverend Jeanne Audrey Powers’ Papers at Duke

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 14:25

Since August, I’ve had the pleasure of arranging and describing the papers of Reverend Jeanne Audrey Powers. In 1958, Rev. Powers became one of the first women to be ordained in the United Methodist Church, and in 1995, she publicly came out as a lesbian in her most famous sermon, “The Journey.” The reactions that she faced as a result of coming out were mixed. Many, like the GCCUIC (General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns) supported her unswervingly, while others, most notably the Institute on Religion & Democracy, campaigned against her, hoping to force Powers into an early retirement.

Interchurch Center Chapel in New York City, 1980

Reverend Powers was heavily involved in the “Goddess” Movement and the Re-Imagining Conference, which took place in Minnesota in November of 1993. Re-Imagining was a Christian feminist conference held in 1993 in Minnesota.  The “Goddess” movement surrounding the conference pictured God as a female entity called “Sophia.”  The movement had participants from both Methodist and Presbyterian churches.  (For more information about the Goddess Movement, check out this 1994 article in the New York Times about the conference and the controversy that erupted afterward.  )

From a card distributed by OLOC, Old Lesbians Organizing for Change. Taken by Lynn Carpenter Schelitzhe in 2001 when Powers was 69. There is a quote on the back of the card by Gloria Steinem that reads, “One day, an army of grey haired women may quietly take over earth.”

The collection contains planning materials, conference recordings (on cassette tapes, which I hadn’t seen for years!), and material regarding the backlash from the conference by opposing groups. These materials are set aside as their own series within the collection because we already know of researchers who will want to use them.

Riverside Church, from part of a “pre-article” for People Magazine, 1980

The collection documents Rev. Powers’ extensive professional accomplishments as well as personal materials. Photographs from her childhood, stories about her family, and even two locks of hair can be found within the 98 boxes of material. The materials about Rev. Powers’ activism, including her support for equal treatment for all persons in the church are my favorite feature of the collection.

In 1984, in response to “unwelcoming policies toward lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons,” a group called Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian/Gay Concerns “issued a call to local churches to reaffirm that their ministry was open to all persons, including gays and lesbians.”  The “Open the Doors” campaign was sponsored by the Reconciling Congregation group. The idea was to go to the United Methodist Church’s 1996 General Conference in Denver, Colorado and foster discussion to create a more welcoming atmosphere in the church for lesbian and gay members. The campaign had a moderate level of success, with several hundred people attending “Open the Doors” events at the General Conference.  However, the UMC policies discriminating against gays and lesbians were not changed.

Overall, the Powers Collection is a treasure of materials that I have greatly enjoyed processing.  It’s hard to believe that they will be ready for researchers to use quite soon—an exciting prospect!

Rev. Powers in 2007, age 75

Post contributed by Rachel Sanders, Technical Services Intern for the Sallie Bingham Center.

The post “The Journey” of Reverend Jeanne Audrey Powers’ Papers at Duke appeared first on The Devil's Tale.

Women at Duke Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 13:04

Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Time: 10:00 AM-2:00 PM
Location: Edge Workshop Room, Bostock Library
Contact: Kelly Wooten, kelly.wooten@duke.edu or 919-660-5967

Two Women in front of the Washington Duke statue, ca. 1900s. From the University Archives Photograph Collection.

Join the staff of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture for an opportunity to learn how to edit Wikipedia articles, learn more about the rich history of women at Duke University, and then put that knowledge into action by creating and editing entries that document the lives and contributions of women alumnae, faculty, staff, and community members.

This edit-a-thon is part of a worldwide movement to increase the percentage of women editors and woman-focused articles within Wikipedia.

If you’re planning to attend, create a Wikipedia account in advance and sign up on the edit-a-thon’s meetup page (where you’ll also find a list of proposed Wikipedia articles that you can work on). Bring your laptop to the edit-a-thon if you can. You can also participate from anywhere in the world!

Looking for more information about the edit-a-thon? Read Duke Today’s article or listen to this “State of Things” discussion with local edit-a-thon organizers, including the Bingham Center’s Kelly Wooten!

The edit-a-thon is co-sponsored with the Duke University Archives and the Duke Women’s Center.

The post Women at Duke Wikipedia Edit-a-thon appeared first on The Devil's Tale.

Thursday, March 19: Rachel Levitsky, Founder of Belladonna*Feminist Avant-Garde Collective: A Reading and Talk

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 12:24

Date: Thursday, March 19, 2015
Time: 12:00 p.m. (Bring your lunch. Coffee, tea, and sweets will be served.)
Location: The Edge Workshop Room, Bostock Library, First Floor
Contact: Kelly Wooten kelly.wooten@duke.edu

Join the Rubenstein Library for an lunchtime program with poet, scholar, and activist Rachel Levitsky. Levitsky, who founded Belladonna*, will share itshistory, mission, and aesthetics and read selections from both her writings and work published by the Belladonna* collective. Levitsky will also share the collaborative work she’s done within  Belladonna*, Pratt Institute, and the Office of Recuperative Strategies.

In 1999, Levitsky started Belladonna Series in order to investigate and promote feminist avant-garde poetics. Belladonna Series is now Belladonna* Collaborative, and Levitsky is a participating member. Levitsky is a faculty member at Pratt Institute in the MFA program in Writing, where she initiated the program of Creative Writing for Art and Design. With poet Christian Hawkey, Levitsky co-founded the Office of Recuperative Strategies (oors.net). Levitsky’s hybridpoetries and prose utilize politics, humor and abstraction to map the structural reality of everyday life. Her recent books are NEIGHBOR (UDP), The Story of My Accident is Ours (Futurepoem) and the chapbook Renoemos (Delete).

Sponsored by the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, the Program in Women’s Studies, the English Department, and the Forum for Scholars and Publics.

The post Thursday, March 19: Rachel Levitsky, Founder of Belladonna*Feminist Avant-Garde Collective: A Reading and Talk appeared first on The Devil's Tale.

Crazies in Love: A Valentine’s Open House

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 17:00

Date: Thursday, February 12, 2015
Time: 3:30-5:00 PM
Location: Room 217, Perkins Library
Contact: Amy McDonald, amy.mcdonald@duke.edu

Dearest readers and friends, we long to see you on Valentine’s Day. Won’t you please set our hearts a-flutter and come to our Valentine’s Day open house?

Do you fear that you will be too busy penning epistles of undying love to your own beloveds to join us? Ah, but this event is crafted especially for you: we’ll be sharing the most swoon-worthy of love declarations from the Rubenstein Library’s collections, so you may find just the term of endearment you need to woo your mate.

Perhaps a few examples to help the time pass more swiftly until we meet?

We’re charmed by the simplicity of this short note from the scrapbook of Odessa Massey, Class of 1928:

From the Odessa Massey Scrapbook, 1924-1928.

Or the more expressive route taken by Francis Warrington Dawson—writing to Sarah Morgan, his future wife–is always sure to succeed:

Letter from Francis Warrington Dawson to Sarah Morgan, February 10, 1873. From the Francis Warrrington Dawson Family Papers.

“How deeply should I thank God that he has allowed me to know you, which is to love you, for the sun now has a brighter light & the sky a deeper blue. The whole world seems truer & better, & this pilgrim, instead of lingering in the depths, is breasting the healthy difficulties of existence, with his eyes fast fixed on you. Whatever else may fail, believe always in this devoted & unselfish love of Francis Warrington Dawson!”

Or whose heart wouldn’t melt upon receiving this most adorable valentine, from our Postcard Collection:

Valentine postcard, undated. From the Postcard Collection.

And there might even be tips on how to present yourself when you present your valentine!

Barbasol advetisement, 1944. http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/adaccess_BH0643/

 

Have we convinced you yet? What if we mention that there will be chocolate and candy?

Until next Thursday,

Your Rubenstein librarians

The post Crazies in Love: A Valentine’s Open House appeared first on The Devil's Tale.