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@rubensteinlib Joins Twitter!

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 13:01

Our first tweet!

Dearest readers, do you ever feel that there’s not enough Rubenstein Library in your social media day? True, we’re on Facebook, and we have this wonderful blog, and many of our collecting centers also have extensive social media presences (check out the list in the right-hand column) . . . but what if you could follow our every rare-book-and-manuscript action on Twitter?

Well, do we have good news for you! We’ve joined the twitterverse! Come follow us @rubensteinlib, let us know about your research projects and your latest special collections discoveries, and get a behind-the-scenes look at how we spend our working days (and sometimes our non-working days).

See you in 140 characters or less!

The Chronicle’s First-Hand Account of a White Supremacist

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:47

The shocking shootings in Kansas City during the past weekend have brought renewed attention to Glenn Miller (Glenn Cross), a longtime white supremacist with ties to North Carolina. In Monday’s Washington Post, Robert Satloff, Trinity College class of 1983, wrote about his harrowing experience interviewing Miller in 1981 and the Chronicle article that resulted.

The first-hand account, from the April 15, 1981 issue of the Aeolus (the Chronicle’s weekly magazine of the period) is a frightening glimpse into Miller’s mindset. Satloff wrote, “Perhaps I didn’t think that such close-minded, violent, intolerant people still exist. Perhaps I am naïve. I’m not anymore.”

Read the chilling article below. This issue of the Aeolus, and other Chronicle issues from 1980 to February 1989, will soon be added to the Libraries’ Chronicle digital collection.

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Post contributed by Valerie Gillispie, Duke University Archivist.

April Fools’ . . . NO

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 11:00

When the staff of the Duke University Archives isn’t answering questions about Duke history or arranging new collections about Duke history, we get to wondering—naturally—what Grumpy Cat would think about Duke history.

Would he, for instance, like to hang out with a young Doris Duke at the cornerstone-laying ceremony for West Campus in 1928?

Or maybe assist with the completion of one of the Duke Chapel’s spires in 1932?

Oh. Well. OK, then. Happy April Fools’ Day, everyone!

New Digital Collection: Duke Chapel Recordings

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 13:00

Undated photograph of a service in Duke Chapel, from the University Archives Photograph Collection.

We are pleased to announce a new digital collection, The Duke Chapel Recordings. This collection of 168 recordings features inspiring sermons from a variety of theologians and preachers, including a number of notable African American and female preachers. The collection includes both audio, and where available, video of the services.

The project was a collaboration of the University Archives, the Libraries’ Digital Collections Department, and the Duke University Chapel. The original recordings are part of a large collection held in the University Archives. We hope the recordings are used for a variety of purposes: the study of homiletics, research into the spiritual response to social changes, musical study, and simple inspiration.

Dr. Luke A. Powery, Dean of Duke Chapel, says of the collection, “Duke University Chapel is distinguished in both its faithful preaching and its sacred music. The Sunday morning ‘Protestant hour’ captured within this archive has been the public face and voice of the Chapel for decades; this digital collection makes Duke Chapel’s liturgical history accessible for both those interested in scholarly research in the area of preaching, music, and worship, and those who desire spiritual inspiration. This collection is an interdisciplinary educational resource for teaching and learning, and demonstrates that eruditio et religio is still alive and well at Duke; may it be so for years to come.”

Learn more about how the video player feature was added to this collection on Bitstreams, the Digital Projects blog.

Recently Published: Women at Duke Illustrated

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 13:56

In 2011, the Duke University Archives published Duke Illustrated: A Timeline of Duke University History, 1838-2011. This 80-page, full-color history of the events, traditions, and people that have made Duke one of the world’s leading research universities is the product of almost four decades of research by University Archives staff.

This year, we are happy to announce the publication of a companion volume focusing on the particular contributions of women at Duke, written and compiled by Bridget Booher ’82, A.M. ’92, associate editor of Duke Magazine. The new book, Women at Duke Illustrated, was published to coincide with the 2014 Duke Women’s Weekend, “Find Your Moxie: Duke Women Creating Change,” February 20-22, 2014.

Copies of Duke Illustrated and Women at Duke Illustrated are available for sale by the Gothic Bookshop for $27.50 each. Both books make perfect gifts for Duke men and women of all ages.

The book was published with support from all ten of Duke’s schools, as well as the Duke University Libraries and Duke Athletics.

An Interview with a Duke University Pioneer

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 13:32

Nathaniel White, Jr was among the first five black students to attend Duke University in 1963. He was not, however, the first person in his family to attend college. His father, Nathaniel White, Sr., had attended Hampton Institute prior to founding his own printing business in Durham. In a newly-digitized interview, White, Sr. discusses his life, his memories, and his experience as a black man living in Virginia and North Carolina during the 20th century.

White’s interview is part of the Behind the Veil digital project, which has just added over 300 new interviews with North Carolinians, including many from Durham. The interviews capture details of what life was like in the Jim Crow South for African Americans. In White’s interview, he shares the story of his childhood, the black business community in Durham, and the influence of scouting on his life. Of particular interest to local researchers, he describes individuals and businesses in the Durham black community in the mid-20th century, providing deep insight into Durham’s history.

Nathaniel White, Jr., center, was a native of Durham and one of the first three African-American students to graduate in 1967.

He also briefly discusses his son’s pioneering role at Duke. He mentions that White, Jr., had considered Hampton Institute himself, but then had the opportunity to attend Duke. His father candidly remarks in the interview, “There’s one thing about a situation like that, it’s more like the real world than some other places that you might go and everything seems like it’s alright but it’s not training you for what you’re going to meet when you get outside. It’s a real struggle out there. The sooner you learn that, the better off you might be. . . . In other words, every day he had what it’s like to be an African American citizen in this country. So he didn’t have to learn that after he graduated. He learned it every day at Duke.”

Learn more about the fascinating Behind the Veil project on Bitstreams, the blog of the digital collections department of Duke University Libraries.

Post contributed by Val Gillispie, Duke University Archivist.

Calling All Duke Student Photographers!

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 13:45

Duke: 175 Years of Blue Devilish Images – Student Photography Contest

Duke students are invited to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Duke University’s origins and win cash prizes at the same time!  Explore and emulate the rich images of Duke’s past found in photos from the Duke University Archives and then reinterpret them with your own contemporary vision. Categories include Academics, Athletics, Campus Scenes and Social Life.

What you need to know:

  • Who may enter: Currently-enrolled Duke students.
  • When: Contest begins Monday, February 24th and ends Sunday, March 23rd at midnight.
  • Prizes: Winning photographs in each category will receive $200. First runners-up receive $50.
  • Official contest details and rules, including the entry form.

That’s not all!

All contestants are invited to the Awards Ceremony on April 8, 2014 in the Thomas Room in Lilly Library. Winners will be announced and their photographs will be displayed in Lilly Library this spring.

The contest is sponsored by Lilly Library and the Duke University Archives.

Fear and Loathing in Page Auditorium

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 13:00

Hunter S. Thompson took the stage at Page Auditorium on October 22nd, 1974 at 8:50 PM. He was thirty five minutes late, visibly inebriated, and apparently quite unhappy to be there. He began his remarks to the packed auditorium of 1,500 saying, “I have no speech, nothing to say; I feel like a piece of meat.”

According to newspaper articles and editorials following the event, throughout the forty minutes Thompson remained onstage he dipped in and out of comprehensibility, exchanged insults and invectives with the audience, wrestled with a microphone, and bemoaned the lack of substance apparent in the questions written by the audience on 3×5 index cards. He read off one of the questions, “What is the happiest experience you’ve had in the past two weeks?” “That’s crap,” was the reply as he tossed the cards to the floor.

“Are you serious? The level of questions from this audience makes any sort of exchange completely impossible.”

As Thompson’s behavior appeared to become increasingly erratic, including asking himself questions and mumbling incomprehensible answers, worried administrators were having frantic discussions backstage attempting to decide how to handle the situation. At 9:05 they decided to let the speech continue and reevaluate the situation at 9:30. As 9:30 approached, Thompson began attempting to remove a fixed microphone from the podium in an effort to give it to an audience member asking a largely inaudible question about the rise of consumer politics. In failing to separate the microphone, he began wrestling with it, kicking the podium and the chairs onstage, and flung his bourbon onto the stage curtain. The bourbon was the final straw, and Linda Simmons, the Union program director, came on stage and asked him to leave. Although a third of the students attending had already left the auditorium, those remaining booed as Thompson left the stage, accusing the administration of curtailing free speech.

Out on the lawn behind the auditorium after the event, Thompson sat with over a hundred students for an hour and a half in a more informal setting before leaving the campus.

Over the next few days, several newspaper articles were written on the event, and many students sent letters to the editor both praising and decrying the appearance. The University refused to pay the speaking fee, claiming that Thompson had violated the terms of his contract. The decision was not contested by the marketing firm who had contracted Thompson for the event.

One letter to the editor, however, never saw the light of day: Thompson’s himself. Thompson’s side of the story, in all of its gonzo glory, is part of the records of the Major Speakers committee.

He starts with a description of his state of intoxication while writing the letter, and discloses his state of intoxication while getting onstage at Page. Settling down, he states he wants to set the record straight as to exactly what happened at “J.B. Duke’s carcinogenic citadel. . . . [his] Southern Sanctuary for wayward New Jersey lads.”

Surveying the audience, I found 3,000 youthful, transvestite politicos, clutching their law boards and caressing their left legs. I decided to hallucinate them into 3,000 animated (and horny) Okra plants so I could begin my speech, speaking Okraese (Too-Maa-Too) in my best drawl. . . . Suddenly I realized the microphone was a local cottonmouth with heparin-filled fangs. While wrestling with the snake, I sensed danger from the rear and quickly lit my handy glass of Bacardi 151 and ether and launched it at the curtain, ran outdoors and evacuated the Nicotinic city.

If you want to see Thompson’s full letter, the newspaper articles and editorials the appearance sparked, or any of the other Major Speakers records, they, and much more, are accessible at the Duke University Archives.

Post contributed by Matt Schaefer, Drill Intern for the Duke University Archives.

Browsing the Chanticleer

Fri, 01/03/2014 - 14:37

In August of this past year, I was hired as the student assistant for the Duke University Archives. The position is a thrill because it enables me to get paid for a hobby of mine: learning about Duke’s rich and diverse history.

Several of my projects have required me to use the Chanticleer, the university’s yearbook (view digitized volumes!), as a research tool. Scanning through old Chanticleers, it is interesting to observe the transformations in styles of clothes and hair from 1912 to the present day. Additionally, it is interesting to look at students with American history in mind. While researching, I found evidence of students’ mindsets during various points in American history: the world wars; the Jim Crow Era; the integration of Duke; the assassinations of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.; Vietnam; Watergate; and 9/11.

The Chanticleer makes it very clear that Dukies of yesteryear—like Dukies of today—enjoy their time at Duke. Duke students have always been dedicated to making Duke a home through involvement in various organizations, academics, and general college fun.

The Hades Club, circa 1920

One club that caught my attention as representing the jest of college students was the Hades Club, which existed during the 1920s. The club described itself as, “An organization of ministers’ sons and daughters who have never been caught,” and club members referred to themselves as “imps and impesses.”

From the 1998 Chanticleer.

The sight of familiar buildings has been most impactful during my research. Amidst all the natural construction that takes place in academia, Duke has remained remarkably unchanged since about 1928. Students throughout the Chanticleer are posed and candidly photographed around West Union, Baldwin and Page, the Plaza, Wallace Wade and Cameron, and the various dorms. These scenes around Duke serve as a link between the eras.

After a semester discovering more Duke history, I now often walk the university’s unchanged pathways and look at its unchanged buildings wondering, “What fellow Dukie was walking these very steps fifty or one hundred years ago? What was on his or her mind that day? What was he or she headed to? Was it the same thing I am going to do now?”

It feels incredible to be part of the Duke legacy.

Post contributed by C. Bradford Ellison, student assistant for the Duke University Archives.