The library's holdings relating to the history and culture of the American South are particularly strong. There are extensive collections of Confederate imprints, Civil War regimental histories, and southern broadsides. Letters and diaries document politics, business, labor, education, religion, race relations, and other aspects of life in the South from the ante-bellum period through the late twentieth century.
- Third Person, First Person: Slave Voices from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
This exhibit probes the life experiences of American slaves from the late eighteenth century through the nineteenth century.
- African-American Women
On-line archival collections featuring scanned pages and texts of the writings of African-American women. Includes the memoirs of Elizabeth Johnson Harris (1867-1942), an 1857 letter from Vilet Lester, a slave on a North Carolina plantation, and several letters from Hannah Valentine and Lethe Jackson, slaves on the estate of David Campbell, a governor of Virginia.
- Civil War Women
On-line archival collections featuring scanned pages and texts of the writings of women during the American Civil War. Includes the 1864 diary of Alice Williamson, a 16 year old girl from Gallatin, Tennessee, the papers of Rose O'Neal Greenhow, a renowned Confederate spy, and the papers of Sarah E. Thompson, a spy for the Union.
Collection Guides / Finding Aids
Southern U.S. History and Culture (exclusive of overlapping in other collecting categories). Existing Collection Strengths: records of families and plantations; Confederate military and other Civil War materials; 19th-century imprints (especially concerning slavery and race issues); broadsides; maps; newspapers; trade catalogs; political life; industry; sheet music, tobacco; local Durham materials. Current Collecting Focuses: Categories listed above; materials concerning race relations; social change and reform; substantive papers of ordinary Southerners (especially prior to World War II).
For general information about finding materials in the library's
collections and how you can use them, requesting permission to
reproduce, or other information as well as reference questions
about the holdings in this area:
If you expect a response, make sure to include a phone or fax
number or postal address where we can reach you, since sometimes it is difficult or
impossible to respond via e-mail. Thank you!