About the Collection

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 the materials were created between the mid-15th and mid-20th centuries. Other significant items 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 English writer Virginia Woolf’s writing desk, which she designed herself. A few highlights from the collection are described in this website.

Lisa Unger Baskin Collection in Brief

  • Magnitude: largest collection of women’s history material previously in private hands
  • Books and papers: 10,000 print items and over 250 manuscript collections
  • Material culture: wide-ranging and extensive collection of artifacts from a British suffrage tea set (the most complete known of its kind) to Virginia Woolf’s writing desk
  • Earliest document: a 1240 manuscript documenting a respite home for women in Italy
  • Strengths: early printed books, women artists, suffrage (U.S. and British), abolition, science and medicine, labor, education, and literature

Supporting the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection

The Duke University Libraries are grateful to the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation for its lead gift to support the acquisition of the Baskin Collection.

To make a donation please visit this page.