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Dispatches from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University
Updated: 47 min 17 sec ago

Archive of Documentary Arts Photobook Club

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 15:00

Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Time: 6:00-7:30 PM

Location: Center for Documentary Studies Library | 1317 W Pettigrew Street, Durham, NC 27707

Robert Frank, The Americans

Join us for the inaugural meeting of The Archive of Documentary Arts Photobook Club where we will be discussing Robert Frank’s groundbreaking photobook, The Americans.

Book Discussion Group, Free and Open to the Public, byo beverage and/or snack

Three editions are on reserve for public use prior to the meeting in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library (click here for directions):

http://search.library.duke.edu/search?id=DUKE005688815

http://search.library.duke.edu/search?id=DUKE004942094

http://search.library.duke.edu/search?id=DUKE004655891

Examine these editions for yourself in person, and/or read more about them online at the links below:

http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/2009/frank/index.shtm

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100688154

https://www.lensculture.com/articles/robert-frank-the-americans

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHtRZBDOgag

**Please note – Discussion will take place at the Center for Documentary Studies while the books themselves are held at The Rubenstein Library.**

Contact: Lisa McCarty, Curator of the Archive of Documentary Arts | lisa.mccarty@duke.edu | 919-681-7963

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Steve Roden: Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Visiting Artist

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 14:18

In October 2014, the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library will welcome internationally known sound and visual artist Steve Roden as the inaugural Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Visiting Artist.  Named in honor of Dr. Diamonstein-Spielvogel, a prolific author, interviewer, curator, and champion of the arts, this new artist-in-residence program will provide an extended opportunity for an artist to study and engage with archival, manuscript and other special collections in support of developing a new body of creative work.  The Library’s diverse and unique collections have the potential to inspire a variety of works, from new documentary films and textile designs to installations and theatrical plays, and the fellowship will be open to artists working in all media.

Steve Roden. Photograph by Randy Yau.

Roden is a visual and sound artist based in Pasadena, California, whose work includes painting, drawing, sculpture, film, video, sound installation, text and performance pieces. Roden has shown and performed art around the world, and his work is included in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin, Texas, and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece, among others.

In 2011, Roden completed a month-long residency in Berlin where he studied the Walter Benjamin archives at the Akademie der Künste. Since he neither speaks nor reads German, Roden turned his discerning eye toward the visual elements of Benjamin’s archives. Through this paleographic lens, Roden created a series of works in multiple formats inspired by the color-coded symbols Benjamin used to organize and annotate his work. Several of these were featured in two 2013 solo exhibitions entitled “Ragpicker” at CRG gallery in New York City, and Susanne Vielmetter LA Projects in Los Angeles.  Roden is perhaps best known for his pioneering work in lowercase music, a form of experimental music that involves quiet sounds, analog technology, small found objects, and cheap electronics, among other elements.

Roden will be in residency at the Rubenstein Library October 13-30, 2014.  During this time, Roden will be available to meet with scholars, students and staff from across the academic disciplines at Duke and will offer two public talks.

On Saturday, October 18 at 6:30 pm, Roden will present “Ragpicker” at the Full Frame Theater of the American Tobacco Warehouse. Through an interactive discussion format, Roden will consider both g both his work and his creative processes, Roden will show images of some recent work and the found objects, junk, and other detritus of everyday life that inspired them. The event will be followed by a reception, and both are free and open to the public.

Roden’s residency will culminate with a public discussion about how the archival collections, people, and experiences he engaged at Duke may inspire future works.  This event will be held at the Center for Documentary Studies on Thursday, October 23 at 5:00 pm, and will be followed by a reception on the Center’s front porch.

Roden’s visit is jointly organized and sponsored by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Center for Documentary Studies, and the Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts Program at Duke University.

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Stanley Nelson Documentary Film Series

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 15:00

The Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Visiting Filmmaker Series will be sponsoring screenings of four films directed by Stanley Nelson prior to his visit to Duke on October 16-18. Co-sponsors of the series are the Archive of Documentary Arts, Franklin Research Center, Screen/Society and the Program in Arts of the Moving Image. Voter registration will be available before and after the screenings. Each screening begins at 7:00pm and is free and open to the public.

 

Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Location: Richard White Lecture Hall, Duke University East Campus

Film: The Murder of Emmett Till

Introduction by Mike Wiley, past Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor in Documentary Studies and American Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Location: Griffith Theatre, Duke University West Campus

Film: Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple

 

 

 Date: Thursday, October 2, 2014

Location: Hayti Heritage Center, 804 Old Fayetteville St, Durham, NC 27701

Film: A Place of Our Own

 

 

Date: Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Location: Durham Public Library, Main Branch, 300 Roxboro Street, Durham, NC 27701

Film: Freedom Summer

Discussion will be lead by SNCC veteran and Visiting Activist Scholar, Charlie Cobb

 

Post contributed by John B. Gartrell, director John Hope Franklin Research Center

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Rubenstein Library to Welcome Visiting Filmmaker and Artist in October

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 15:00

In October, the Rubenstein Library will host the third Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Visiting Filmmaker and the inaugural Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Visiting Artist.

 

Stanley Nelson

This year’s filmmaker is award-winning director/producer, Stanley Nelson. Nelson is the director and/or producer of over a dozen documentary films, principally highlighting the life and history of African Americans. His most recent release is the acclaimed Freedom Summer, and this past summer he was recognized as a 2013 National Humanities Award winner. Nelson will visit Duke’s campus from October 16-18 and will engage in a public conversation with Dr. Diamonstein-Spielvogel on his career and work at the Nasher Museum of Art on October 17 at 6:00 pm, reception to follow.

 

 

Steve Roden

As the inaugural Diamonstein-Spielvogel Visiting Artist, internationally known sound and visual artist, Steve Roden will participate in a three-week residency in the Rubenstein Library from October 13-30. Roden’s residency will include extensive research in the Rubenstein Library collections to inform his process of artistic creation. Roden will also engage in two public events during his visit. On October 18 at 6:30 pm, he will present an overview of his work entitled “Ragpicker” at the Full Frame Theater at American Tobacco Campus. And on October 23 at 5:00 pm, he will share his experiences working in the Rubenstein Library at the Center for Documentary Studies.

 

All of these events will be free and open to the public and are made possible through the generous support of Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel. They are additionally co-sponsored by the Archive of Documentary Arts, Center for Documentary Studies, Franklin Research Center, Program of Arts of the Moving Image and Master of Fine Arts and Experimental and Documentary Arts Program.

 

More details to come soon.

 

Post contributed by John B. Gartrell, director, Franklin Research Center

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Two Upcoming Events with Author and Activist Alix Kates Shulman

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 13:28

An Evening with Alix Kates Shulman: Fiction or Memoir—How to Choose

Protest, Miss America contest, 1968. Photo by Alix Kates Shulman; used with permission.

Date:Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Time: 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Location: Durham County Library, 300 N. Roxboro St., Durham, NC

Join author and activist Alix Kates Shulman who has explored the challenges of youth and midlife in her novels, and in her memoirs has probed the later stages in the ongoing drama of her generation of women. Shulman is the award-winning author of 3 memoirs including To Love What Is: A Marriage Transformed and 5 novels including the ground breaking Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen. Also the author of many personal essays and stories, Shulman will discuss her process of deciding whether to tell her story as fiction or as memoir, and will examine some of the quandaries, fears, and competing motives that come into play whenever she confronts this crucial choice. This program is co-sponsored with the Durham County Library.

 

 

Digitizing the Women’s Liberation Movement: A Conversation with Movement Leader Alix Kates Shulman

Date:Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Time: 9:30-11:00 a.m.
Location: Perkins Library, Room 217
Contact: Kelly Wooten, kelly.wooten@duke.edu

RSVP on Facebook (optional)

This program will give insight both to the women’s liberation movement and to the life cycle of a digital project, and celebrate the launch of the Women’s Liberation Movement Print Culture digital collection. “Documents from the Women’s Liberation Movement: An On-line Archival Collection,” was created in 1997 to support a Duke course on the Social History of American Women, and became one of Duke Libraries’ most popular digital collections. Alix Kates Shulman will reflect on her experiences as a feminist activist and writer during the 1960s and 70s, including the 1968 Miss America pageant protest, the iconic event that launched the myth of bra burning and the women’s movement in the popular consciousness. Molly Bragg, Digital Collections Program Manager, will share a behind-the-scenes perspective on how digital projects are proposed and how they are made to magically appear online, and Kelly Wooten, librarian with the Sallie Bingham Center, will share the process of stewarding permissions for this project and other challenges. Bagels and coffee will be served, remarks will begin at 9:45. Co-sponsored with the Professional Affairs Committee (PAC) of the Librarians Assembly.

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New Collection: Meet the Wilsons

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 13:54

It is a rare treat for me to have a chance to process some 19th century family letters. The family papers of Col. David S. Wilson, from Dubuque, Iowa, arrived in March 2014, thanks to a generous donation from a Duke alum. The collection was discovered in an attic, and it was honestly one of the dirtiest collections of letters I have ever processed. It reached the Rubenstein Library in disarray, full of rusty pins and covered in black dust. Considering its age and environment, the letters themselves were in terrific condition — just filthy. A lot of my time was spent cleaning the paper with special sponges that attract grime.

The original state of the Col. David S. Wilson Family Papers, before they were cleaned and sorted; an up-close view of a rusty pin (used before the invention of the safety pin).

Once I got through the dirt, I was pleasantly surprised by the contents of the letters. Col. David S. Wilson is moderately famous in Iowa history for his service in the state legislature in the 1850s and early 1860s, and for raising the 6th Iowa Cavalry in 1862. His regiment fought the Sioux in the Dakota Territory. Wilson later worked as a lawyer in both San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and eventually was appointed district judge back in Dubuque.

The collection does not focus on Wilson’s military career, but instead consists largely of letters between David and his family, particularly his wife, Henrietta, and their four children. The letters cover personal topics such as in-laws, health, and finances, and reveal the hardships the family faced as David was frequently separated from his loved ones. They seemed to genuinely miss each other, and it was nice to see such warmth conveyed in their letters.

Also notable in the collection were the courtship letters received by the couple’s daughter Gertrude (also known as “Gertie”) in the mid-1870s. Gertie had at least six different suitors in 1872 and 1873, and their letters to her dominate the correspondence from that period. Emotions turned raw as she rejected a few declarations of love. Gertie finally married George Brock, from Chicago, in March 1874.

Tiny courtship letters for Gertie from her fellas; a lock of Gertie’s hair returned after a break-up; a crumpled up love-note; Gertie’s doodles of a former suitor’s name.

The collection includes more than just correspondence; there are also some legal documents, land grants, and a diary from David S. Wilson’s 1860 term in the General Assembly. One of the land grants includes a signature from President Franklin Pierce. The children’s activities, particularly their schooling, are documented through report cards and flyers. I also came across this handmade score book, which was largely empty, but I was excited to see what sport it was for: baseball. Along with all his other activities, it turns out that David Wilson was also a pitcher.

David Wilson’s score book from his baseball games.

The Col. David S. Wilson Family Papers are now fully processed and available for researchers. You can explore it for yourself using the collection guide.

Post contributed by Meghan Lyon, Technical Services Archivist.

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Duke College?

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:30

Benjamin Newton Duke

Our colleague Mary Mellon is currently reprocessing the Benjamin Duke Papers to provide more refined description. Among the many fascinating pieces of correspondence within the collection, she has found is a letter, dated November 16, 1896, from Trustee A. P. Tyer to Ben Duke. In it, he makes a not-so-modest proposal: that Duke give a $500,000 endowment and that the school be renamed Duke College.

“The only hope that Trinity College has of ever being endowed is found in the Dukes. I therefore ask that you give the College five hundred thousand dollars as endowment and allow the Trustees to name it “Duke College.”

In 1896, the school was just four years old in its new Durham location. There was great concern about longterm viability, despite the generosity of the Duke family up to that point, including providing the funds to bring the school to Durham. $500,000 in 1896 would have been around $13 million in today’s money.

To sweeten the deal, Mr. Tyer added,

“This will forever take away the feeling of uncertainty, make the college an assured success forever, put the Dukes in front of all southern benefactors, largely increase the number of students, bring even a better class of patronage to the college, make it possible for others to give to it, be the greatest monument any southern man will ever build, be a perpetual benefit and blessing to the human family, and constantly glorify God your Father.”

Ben Duke remained a steady and heavily involved benefactor, but never made a gift at the level requested in the letter. The month after this letter was received, Washington Duke, Ben’s father, gave a $100,000 endowment, contingent on women being admitted on equal footing with men. In 1924, Ben’s brother, James B. Duke, established the Duke Endowment, which helped fund a massive expansion of the college, and led to the renaming of the school—not to Duke College, but to Duke University.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Post contributed by Valerie Gillispie, University Archivist, with assistance from Mary Mellon, Technical Services Intern.

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Cradle as Laboratory: Psychology Notebooks in the Duke Libraries

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 14:03

The practice of experimentation on one’s own children belongs to a somewhat queasy tradition in psychology that embraces parenthood as an opportunity for “natural experiment.”  Psychologists throughout the twentieth century have kept tabs on their children’s development, blending the pride of parenthood with the detached methodology of science. So it’s no surprise to find in the papers of William McDougall, the first head of Duke University’s psychology department, extensive notes on four of his children, Angus, Duncan, Janet, and Leslie. Just how the disciplinary practices of psychology in the early twentieth century filtered into McDougall’s child-rearing becomes apparent when comparing the McDougall journals to a contemporaneous laboratory notebook from a psychology student, Walter R. Miles, in the Rubenstein Library’s History of Medicine Collections.

 

McDougall’s “localization of touch” experiment on his son Duncan.

 

Miles’s “Cutaneous Sensation Pain Spots” experiment

These images depict similar experiments in localizing sensation. The experimenter stimulated a spot on the subject’s hand or arm using a sharp object (Miles used the point of a compass); a few seconds later, the subject had to indicate, either on the actual hand or on a diagram, where he or she believed the point had been applied. The experimenter recorded both points, noting any discrepancy between the actual and perceived site of stimulation. For Miles, this was a bread-and-butter exercise in the methods of scientific psychology.

The McDougall image comes with a twist, since the experimental subjects were his young children. Rather than illustrating basic principles on a standard psychological subject, McDougall was inquiring specifically into the changing sensory and perceptual abilities of his own kids. The diagram of his son Duncan’s hand and arm are part of a record-keeping practice that encompassed everything from the children’s recognition of colors to their fear of bears.

The fact that these methods traveled a fairly direct path from the lab to the McDougall home, and from the “standardized” psychological subject to the developing child, reveals itself in the telling visual differences between the two sets of experimental notes: Miles’s experiment, neatly taken down in a lab notebook, uses ruler-drawn grid lines and a smoothly-traced outline of the hand and arm, while McDougall’s journal bears indications of its setting in the domestic scene of child-rearing: the data is recorded in grid-less, slanted columns, and the outline of the hand is traced hastily, as though the subject was loath to hold still.

 

Data from Miles’s experiment in the relative location of pain stimuli

 

Data from McDougall’s test of his children’s color recognition.

 

Post contributed by Alicia Puglionesi. Puglionesi is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation is on “The Astonishment of Experience: Americans and Psychical Research, 1885-1935.” Alicia is particularly interested in the relationship between the amateur tradition in which psychical research developed and the emerging academic discipline of psychology. She is a 2014 History of Medicine travel grant winner. 

 

The Duke Family’s New Ride

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 13:30

I have been giving the collections of James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke, industrialists and benefactors of Duke University, a little TLC this summer. One of my most enjoyable finds so far has been a set of two candid photographs of Washington Duke that turned up in the the James B. Duke papers. Mr. Duke appears to be contemplating a bicycle, the handlebars of which are just visible at the bottom of the photos. The bicycle is likely the one that his son, Benjamin, purchased for $45.25, according to an 1894 letter from the Benjamin N. Duke papers. It would be interesting to know what was going through Washington’s head at the time when the pictures were taken. Possibly, “You really expect me to ride this thing?”

 

Washington Duke contemplating the new bicycle.

 

Like many members of the Duke community, I am accustomed to seeing Washington Duke in his dignified, solemn armchair pose (e.g. the statue at the entrance to East Campus). But, it’s nice to know that “Wash” got to have a bit of fun every once in a while.

-Post contributed by Mary Mellon, Library Intern              

     

1894 letter from Benjamin N. Duke papers

What’s on our accession shelf?

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 12:47

Every visitor to Technical Services likes to peek down the accessioning shelves and see what new collection materials have recently arrived. One of the most unusual accessions we’ve ever received is a birdhouse, which arrived this spring as part of an addition to the Evans Family Papers. It is a nearly identical miniature of the family’s Durham house, which is still standing (and occupied) on Dacian Avenue. According to the family, the original house was modeled on the style of Le Corbusier. It was built in 1938, making it one of the first examples of “modern architecture” in Durham.

The Evans Family Birdhouse, with a photograph of the original house for comparison.

The family moved away from Durham in 1950, and kept the birdhouse as a fond token of their former home. We were relieved to learn upon intake that no birds ever took up residence. (That would have made for some interesting conservation concerns!)

Post contributed by Meghan Lyon, Technical Services Archivist.

Milwaukee, Hawaii, Italy: Our Global Users

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 13:00

The unique collections held in special collections libraries attract researchers from all over the map, no matter if the map is local, national, or global. Those of us who work in special collections have always known this, and we frequently jabber about it to anyone who will listen. But we can’t often show it.

Recently, library staff at Duke’s Rubenstein Library, UNC Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library, and NCSU’s Special Collections Research Center combined the data we’ve collected in order to create some maps showing the home cities, states, and countries of our users from calendar year 2013. Special collections staff gathered this data, but it was Duke’s terrific data visualization coordinator Angela Zoss who used Tableau to create these excellent maps for us. Thanks Angela!

The data we gathered shows onsite users of the Duke and UNC Chapel Hill special collections libraries. That is, the blue and green shown on the maps represent researchers who visited our reading rooms to use our collections in-house. The red shown on the maps shows something slightly different – both onsite users and users who made use of NCSU collections remotely (through email reference, etc.).

Among other interesting points, the North Carolina map shows that – outside of the Triangle – the majority of North Carolina researchers are using UNC Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library. This makes sense, since they have the North Carolina Collection! [Note: the pie charts sit over zipcodes.]

 

Click to enlarge

The US map makes clear what we all probably suspected – that most of our researchers come from east of the Mississippi and are clustered in the Northeast. Only Duke shows researchers from Utah, and this doesn’t surprise us. Duke holds two copies of the first edition of the Book of Mormon, and many visitors come to Duke each year to see them (the two copies were used a total of 33 times this past year).

 

Click to enlarge

The global map shows that each of us – NCSU, UNC Chapel Hill, and Duke – had researchers from Canada, the UK, and Japan. UNC Chapel Hill welcomed visitors from China and Japan. Many international researchers came to Duke to use collections such as our economists’ papers. But only NCSU had a user from Bosnia-Herzegovinia!

 

Click to enlarge

While we’ve only just begun to share our data with each other, this mapping project demonstrates that, taken together, the special collections libraries at NCSU, UNC Chapel Hill, and Duke have truly global reach and impact. Our collections are diverse and exciting, and the world knows it!

Post contributed by David Pavelich, Head of Research Services

A Bo Tree Grows in Durham

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:37

I was looking through the May 1944 issue of Duke’s Divinity School Bulletin when I came across a brief article about a Bo tree (Ficus religiosa) presented to the Divinity School in honor of then-Ivey Professor of the History of Religion and Missions James Cannon III. (He’d later serve as the Divinity School’s dean from 1951 to 1958.)

You’ve possibly heard the tradition that Gautama Buddha was sitting beneath a tree when he attained Enlightenment. That tree was a Bo, or Bodhi, tree, and it is, as a result, sacred to Buddhists.

Professor Cannon’s Bo tree had its own august history, as the article relates:

The Cannon Bo-tree is descended from the Bo-tree planted at the ruined city of Anuradhapura, near Kandy, in Ceylon. In the year 288 B.C., King Asoka of India sent a shoot from the parent tree to Ceylon. To this day the tree is worshiped by throngs of pilgrims. In 1929 an American tourist obtained a shoot from the Ceylon Bo-tree, planted it on his Florida estate, and several months ago presented a shoot to Duke.

We found snapshots of Professor Cannon with his Bo tree in his papers. He looks very serene, doesn’t he? A note from the back of one of the snapshot states that his “topcoat is supposed to represent Buddha’s ‘yellow robe.’”

Professor James Cannon beneath the Bo tree, March 6, 1951.

We’re not certain of the current whereabouts of Duke’s Bo tree. Do you have any information about it?

Hugh Mangum Exhibit at Durham History Hub

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 21:01

Portrait photos by Hugh Mangum. From the Hugh Mangum Photographs, #N208.

The portraits of Durham photographer Hugh Mangum are the subject of a new exhibit, opening July 27th at the Museum of Durham History’s History Hub. “Hugh Mangum on Main Street: Portraits from the Early 20th Century” shows Mangum’s largely unknown portraits of Southern society after Reconstruction.

Mangum was born in Durham in 1877 and began establishing studios and working as an itinerant photographer in the early 1890s. During his career, Mangum attracted and cultivated a clientele that drew heavily from both black and white communities, a rarity for his time. Mangum’s photographs are now part of the Rubenstein Library’s Archive of Documentary Arts.

“Although the late-19th-century American South in which he worked was marked by disenfranchisement, segregation and inequality — between black and white, men and women, rich and poor — Mangum portrayed all of his sitters with candor, humor, and spirit. Each client appears as valuable as the next, no story less significant,” said curator Sarah Stacke. “His portraits reveal personalities as immediate as if the photos were taken yesterday.”

Stacke, a photographer and a 2014-2015 Lewis Hine Fellow at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies, and Margaret Sartor, who teaches at CDS, are working together on a book about Mangum’s life and work. This new exhibit expands on “Keep All You Wish,” an exhibit of Mangum’s work that Stacke curated for CDS in 2012.

“Hugh Mangum on Main Street: Portraits from the Early 20th Century” opens at the History Hub, 500 W. Main St., on Tuesday, July 22 and runs through August. The exhibition will be in the Our Bull City area.

The public is invited to a launch party for the exhibition on Wednesday, July 23, from 5:30pm to 7pm, and a program on Mangum and his work at 3pm on Sunday, August 10.There is no charge for the exhibit, program, or party. The Hub is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am to 5pm.

2014 Zine Librarians (un)Conference + Zine Reading

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 20:40

Next weekJuly 18-19, a diverse group of energetic zine librarians from academic, public, and independent libraries, and archives will meet in Durham to share ideas and skills for providing access to zines to readers in our communities. The Bingham Center’s collection of women’s and queer zines from the 1990s to the present is one of our signature collections was one of the main draws for the selection committee who chose Duke University as the location for the 6th annual Zine Librarians (un)Conference. Though some elements of the program will be planned in advance, the unconference format allows the attendees to determine their interests, goals, and priorities for learning and sharing their knowledge as a group at the beginning of the event.

This conference will have no registration fee in order to increase accessibility to attendees, and will be open to all who are interested in zines and libraries. Elements of the program will be broadcast online to allow wider participation. More details via the zine libraries wiki.

Like zines but can’t make it to the conference? There’ll be a zine reading on Friday, July 18 from 5:30-7:00pm at the Pinhook in Downtown Durham!  Open mic sign-ups to read from your own teenage angsty zine (or the one you wrote last week) or choose a passage from our pile of extras–you know you want to! Zinesters, librarians, riot grrrls, and everyone else are welcome to join. Donations will be collected to support participation by zine librarians of color in next year’s Zine Librarians (un)Conference. RSVP on Facebook.

In the Lab: Autochrome Lumières

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 13:43

Duke Libraries is digitizing our collection of four autochrome lumières from the Semans family papers and they recently came to conservation for pre-imaging review. Autochromes are an early color photographic process. Our autochromes depict Mary Duke Biddle and Sarah P. Duke and date to about 1910. The color in autochromes lumières is uniquely produced with a color filter layer comprised of fine potato starch grains that are dyed different hues (commonly green, orange-red, and blue-violet) and adhered to a glass plate with lamp black applied to fill the interstices. The undeveloped color filter layer, if viewed under magnification, resembles color pixels and is reminiscent of a pointillist painting.

Autochrome of Sarah P. Duke in a diascope

The autochromes are viewed with transmitted light and are often housed in a hinged viewer called a diascope. The photographic plate, along with a ground glass diffuser, is attached to one cover of the diascope and a mirror in the other. Light passes through the diffuser and autochrome and the viewer sees the reflected image of the photograph in the mirror. The dyes used to produce autochromes are extremely light sensitive and we are taking great care not to expose our materials to excessive light during the digitization process.

Post contributed by Erin Hammeke, Conservator for Special Collections, as part of our ongoing “In the Conservation Lab” series.

Swag Comes to the Hartman Center

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 13:00

Anyone who’s ever been to a doctor’s office or clinic has encountered a vast array of items: calendars, pens, coffee mugs, Post-Its, paperweights, tent signs and other items promoting some brand of medicine. This kind of material is routinely distributed along with free samples by traveling route salespersons and representatives for pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers and laboratory service providers; doctors and health professionals also encounter a regular stream of this kind of stuff at conferences, meetings and trade shows—as do professionals in a number of other occupations. Swag constitutes an important form of direct marketing but its ubiquity means that it is frequently taken for granted, willfully ignored and drifts into a kind of background invisibility.

One of the most eclectic collections to come to the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History was donated by the family of Albert Cornell, MD, former head of the gastrointestinal clinic at Mt. Sinai Hospital. Nearly 90 years of medical promotional materials are included beginning in the early 20th century, everything from note pads to mugs, beakers, pamphlets, even three-dimensional models of the colon, and personal items including keychains, golf balls, nail files, pins, and a tie clasp featuring the gastrointestinal tract in miniature.

Men’s and women’s health are covered, such as peptic ulcers, STDs, reproductive wellness and diabetes. Companies like Kellogg’s and Knox produced cookbooks for weight loss, convalescent care and diabetic patients. Pharmaceutical companies promoted new ulcer medications and delivery systems. Other companies advertised clinical equipment, food supplements, even orthopedic shoes for children. Professional organizations like the AMA and the American Dental Association published pamphlets on their organizations, or current health campaigns. In all the Collection of Albert Cornell MD highlights an important niche in both pharmaceutical and health care advertising as well as in health-related direct marketing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post contributed by Richard Collier, Technical Services Archivist for the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History

Heschel Highlights, Part 8

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 13:00

Today the Abraham Joshua Heschel papers are officially opened and available for use. Having just finished processing the collection with a crack team of interns (thank you Adrienne Krone, Sam Kessler, Annegret Oehme, and Emanuel Fiano!), I can attest to the richness of the collection and am thrilled that patrons will be able to explore Heschel’s personal, academic, and public life. In total, 16 languages are represented. Materials related to all of Heschel’s published books, along with 145 published articles are also in the collection. Some of the more unique and unexpected items in the collection include an audio reel of the broadcasted radio show “Way to Go” with host Ormond Drake in which Heschel speaks about his personal life, an original typed document of Heschel’s deportation from Frankfurt in 1938, and a telegram from President John F. Kennedy requesting Heschel’s presence at the White House.

Look for an opening event sometime in October that will feature Susannah Heschel!

Post contributed by Mary Samouelian, Project Archivist

Doc and Doe

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 11:51

This marks my last contribution to the Devil’s Tale blog, as I’m moving on to another position at a different institution. I’ve enjoyed my time working for the Rubenstein Library, helping to arrange and describe the rich material housed within the Duke University Archives.  Over the past several years, I’ve become quite fond of several of Duke’s early 20th century administrators, such as Robert Flowers.  I’ve wanted to recall and survey his personal papers for quite a while now and decided to do so as my last day drew near.

Robert Flowers, President of Duke University from 1941-1948

To my surprise, the bulk of the collection actually pertains to his son-in-law and daughter, Dr. Lenox and Virginia Baker.  According to our records, Dr. Baker gifted the University Archives with the bulk of this collection, including the numerous letters he wrote to Virginia, letters she received while in school at Wilson College in Pennsylvania, letters to/from Robert Flowers and his wife, Lily, as well as photographs and diplomas.

As I poured through the letters, I kept coming across small, handwritten love notes. It soon became apparent that the notes were usually written by Dr. Baker to Virginia, with others written by her to him.  There’s no doubt that they were very much in love.  He was her “Doc,” and she was his “Doe.”  The death of Virginia hit Dr. Baker hard, as evidenced by the note he wrote on the back of her Durham High School diploma. It’s not often I’m brought to tears by a collection, but this one did just that.

Dr. Baker’s note on the back of Virginia’s high school diploma

So, as I say good-bye to Duke, please allow me to share with you but a small example of the love shared between Doc and Doe.

Side 1

Side 2

Post contributed by Kimberly Sims, outgoing Technical Services Archivist for University Archives

Defending Haitian Rights: A Transnational Challenge

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 15:00

The National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR) papers documents this NGO’s advocacy for human rights in Haiti and for Haitian refugees in the United States. NCHR has conducted its mission reaching out to congressmen and international organizations to influence policy, using its connections and credibility to assist Haitians, whether in their individual immigration issues or as this recent discovery notes, to flee persecution in Haiti and reach safety.

 

Let’s start with a little bit of context. In 1992 Haiti democratically elected its first president ever, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was subsequently forced out of the country for about 6 months. A military regime came immediately into power. Human rights violations became more prevalent, particularly toward supporters of former President Aristide.

 

Logo for the National Front for Change and Democracy of Haiti, found in the National Coalition for Haitian Rights Records

During this tumultuous period, three Haitian members of the Aristide’s political party FNCD (National Front for Change and Democracy) [whose names will be withheld for their protection], decided that, for safety reasons, they had no other option than to flee Haiti. They arrived in Guantanamo, Cuba which at that time was used as an immigration transit camp to assess the validity of asylum claims made by Haitians. The asylum process required an initial interview in Guantanamo that would assess whether an immigrant had a credible fear of persecution, and then a second interview in Miami that would assess whether this fear was well-grounded. The screening process was tough, as it is estimated that only 2% of Haitian applicants were granted asylum between 1980 and 1992.

 

It is in Guantanamo that the three Haitians first came in contact with NCHR. Living conditions at the camp were difficult, and several reports documented humiliating treatments, separation of families or refusal of medical care. As the founding members of the Association of Haitian Political Refugees, the three Haitians asked NCHR to witness and then advocate for better treatment of Haitian refugees inside Guantanamo’s camps. The three Haitians successfully passed the first step of the asylum process. However, accounts of mistreatment during the second interview in Miami, especially directed towards members of the Association of Haitian Political Refugees, made them refuse to submit to the second interview. Additionally, the omnipresence of the US military in the camps made many Haitians nervous about telling their stories to immigration officials.

 

Having abandoned the asylum process mid-way, the three Haitians were sent back to Haiti. Beatings by the police on their day of arrival confirmed their fears of political persecution. They decided to go into hiding and attempt to leave Haiti one way or another. They were unable to apply for asylum from within Haiti, and the American embassy was not a sanctuary. The three Haitians called NCHR for help.

 

NCHR’s strategy was first to get them into the Dominican Republic,

Logo for Radio Enriquillo, a station in the Dominican Republic

where the United Nations had set up a refugee camp, and then try to obtain permanent residency in the United States, Canada or another Caribbean nation. In a parallel to the American abolitionist Underground Railroad, NCHR resorted to Haiti’s own underground railroad dedicated to helping persecuted Haitians cross the border and enter the Dominican Republic. The underground railroad was managed by a priest on the Haitian side, and by a radio station on the Dominican side.

 

By means of the underground railroad the three Haitians arrived safely in the Dominican Republic. They were greeted by a team of lawyers, enlisted by NCHR to build their asylum case; further complicated by the three being HIV positive at a time when both the United States and Canada had a practice of rejecting asylum claims of HIV positive individuals unless a waiver was obtained.

 

That is the last update in the archives about the three Haitians. We do not know how significant the underground railroad was, as so far we haven’t found any other account of its use in NCHR’s archives. We also do not know whether their asylum claims have been successful, or whether they managed to get permanent residency in the Dominican Republic. Nevertheless, we have been able to reconstruct this story using a variety of documents present in NCHR archives: letters of the three Haitians to NCHR written in Haitian Creole, communication between NCHR’s Haiti and New-York teams in English, status reports coming from the underground railroad in Spanish, interview transcripts in French. This diversity illustrates the fact that the issue of Haitian rights encompasses much more than just the Haitian territory: the flow of refugees coming to the Dominican Republic and to the United States has made the protection of Haitian rights a multinational challenge.

Post contributed by Marie Veyrier, student assistant in Technical Services

If It Walks and Quacks Like a Duck . . .

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 13:04

In late August 1945, Dr. George Salmon, Jr. of New Jersey wrote a letter to Duke’s Zoology Dept., asking for help in identifying whether a tibia bone he sent belonged to a duck or to a chicken.

I found the description amusing as to why he wanted to know this as well as the fact that he actually mailed the bone in question.

Equally as amusing to me is that Irving Gray, Chair of the Zoology Dept., took the time to reply.

Just for fun, please see both letters below.

 

 

 

Post contributed by Kim Sims, Technical Services Archivist for the Duke University Archives.

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