Guide to the Elizabeth Hatcher Conner Collection, 1933-1945

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Elizabeth Hatcher, Duke University class of 1939, was a photographer and member of the Explorers' Club, along with her future husband Bob Conner. The collection includes many photographs, a scrapbook, letters, and other materials documenting campus life at Duke in the late 1930s.

Collection Details

Record Group
Elizabeth Hatcher Conner Collection
2.0 Linear Feet
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Materials in English

Collection Overview

The collection includes photographs, letters, a scrapbook, and memorabilia from Elizabeth Hatcher and Bob Conner's time at Duke. Photographic negatives and prints depict Duke's campus, Explorers' Club activities, students in dorms and on campus, and other scenes; individuals in these images include Elizabeth Hatcher, Bob Conner, Dean Mary Alice Baldwin, Louis Orr, and a woman who may be Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans (then Mary Duke Biddle). Other materials include letters written by Bob Conner to his mother in the mid-1930s, Bob Conner's diary written during a trip to find and identify orchids in Florida and Georgia in 1936, Elizabeth Hatcher's scrapbook of her sophomore year (which includes clippings, football game programs, invitations, and other materials), newsclippings featuring Elizabeth Hatcher, Bob Conner's dink (freshmen beanie), and other materials.

Photographic negatives are primarily celluloid nitrate.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Original nitrate negatives may not be viewed in the reading room. Some materials may have already been digitized. To arrange for the digitization of other materials, please contact University Archives staff.

warning Use & Permissions

Copyright for official university records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], in the Elizabeth Hatcher Conner Collection, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Photographs, circa 1930s, 1964
Box 1
Commencement photographs, 1939
Box 1
Photographs of Duke, 1934-1939
Box 1
Explorer's Club and general Duke photographs, 1936-1937
Box 1

2. Photographic negatives, 1935-1945

The majority of these negatives are cellulose nitrate and may not be accessed in the reading room. Links to digitized versions of the nitrate negatives are provided.

Freshman Day, 1935
Box 4
Image UA30010071-N-0001 - UA30010071-N-0013
View 13 items (Duke Digital Repository)
Duke, 1936-1937
Box 4
Image UA30010071-N-0014 - UA30010071-N-0082
View 69 items (Duke Digital Repository)
Duke and Smith, 1943-1945
Box 4
Image UA30010071-N-0083 - UA30010071-N-0112
View 30 items (Duke Digital Repository)
Explorers Club, undated
Box 5
Image UA30010071-N-0113 - UA30010071-N-0198
View 86 items (Duke Digital Repository)
Duke, 1935-1936
Box 5
Image UA30010071-N-0199 - UA30010071-N-0222
View 24 items (Duke Digital Repository)
Explorers Club, undated
Box 5
Image UA30010071-N-0223 - UA30010071-N-0256
View 34 items (Duke Digital Repository)
Duke and Christmas, 1937-1938
Box 5
Image UA30010071-N-0257 - UA30010071-N-0309
View 53 items (Duke Digital Repository)
Football pictures, 1935-1936
Box 5
Image UA30010071-N-0310 - UA30010071-N-0325
View 16 items (Duke Digital Repository)
Snow pictures, 1935-1937
Box 5
Image UA30010071-N-0326 - UA30010071-N-0390
View 65 items (Duke Digital Repository)
Elizabeth Hatcher, Bob Conner, others, undated
Box 5
Image UA30010071-N-0391 - UA30010071-N-0396
View 6 items (Duke Digital Repository)
Football pictures, undated
Box 5
Image UA30010071-N-0397
Football pictures, undated
Box 6
Image UA30010071-N-0398 - UA30010071-N-0400
View 3 items (Duke Digital Repository)
Crowd at train station, undated
Box 6
Image UA30010071-N-0401 - UA30010071-N-0405
View 5 items (Duke Digital Repository)
Winters, 1938-1939
Box 6
Image UA30010071-N-0406 - UA30010071-N-0417
View 12 items (Duke Digital Repository)
Outdoor scenes, undated
Box 6
Image UA30010071-N-0418 - UA30010071-N-0421
View 4 items (Duke Digital Repository)
Invitations, postcards, bill/receipt, 1935, undated
Box 1
Bob Conner's letters to his mother, 1933-1938
Box 1
Explorer's Club roster and Duke Fight Song lyrics, undated
Box 1
Duke in Portrait Calendar, 1939
Box 1
Bob Conner orchid collection diary, 1936
Box 1
Newsclippings, circa 1930s
Box 1
Scrapbook, 1936-1937
Box 2
Bob Conner's dink (freshman beanie), circa 1933-1937
Box 3

Historical Note

Elizabeth "Lib" Hatcher was born August 2, 1918, in High Point, North Carolina, to Pearl Sink and Edgar A. Hatcher. She entered the Woman's College at Duke University in 1936, majoring in Zoology. She became a photographer for the Chanticleer and developed her own photographs in her room in Bassett dormitory. She also joined the Explorer's Club, a co-educational hiking group chaperoned by Dean Mary Alice Baldwin of the Woman's College. Lib Hatcher graduated in 1939 and married Bob Conner in 1940. She taught Biology at Smith College and later at High Point College.

Robert (Bob) Conner was born September 8, 1914, in Pennsylvania, to Floyd and Helen Conner. He enrolled in Duke University in 1933, studying Civil Engineering, and attended classes off and on due to the Depression. He served in the Seabees during World War 2 and later became an architect.

The couple had three children: Susan, Christine, and William (Bill). Bob Conner died in 2007. Elizabeth Hatcher Conner died January 27, 2016 in High Point, North Carolina.

Related Material

Elizabeth Hatcher Conner Flickr photo stream, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Virginia Passmore Beaujean Scrapbook, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Elizabeth Mapes Horner papers, University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Explorers' Club Records, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Woman's College Records, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


The Elizabeth Hatcher Conner Collection was received by the University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2010 and 2016.

Accessions described in this finding aid: UA2010.0031, UA2016.008, and UA2016.0019.

Processing Information

Processed by: University Archives Staff

Finding aid derived from MARC record, November 2014

Accessions UA2016.0008 and UA2016.0019 processed by Tracy M. Jackson, May 2016.

Finding aid updated by Tracy M. Jackson, May 2016.