Category Archives: Collections

New Exhibit: Incredible Insects!

A weevil (family Curculionidae), one of many insects on
display as part of the of the new Incredible Insects exhibit.

Incredible Insects: A Celebration of Insect Biology
On display June 13 – October 15, 2017
in the Chappell Family Gallery and Stone Family Gallery, Perkins and Rubenstein Libraries, Duke West Campus (Click for map)

Please check our website for current library hours.

About the Exhibit

Insects are the most numerous and diverse animals on earth. They can be found in almost every environment. Because of their tremendous diversity, they play many important roles in nature, as well as in human society—enchanting us with their beauty, unsettling us with their strangeness. Whether revered or reviled, these fascinating and ubiquitous organisms can truly be said to have conquered the planet.

A new library exhibit offers a glimpse into the multifaceted world of insects, including research on insects conducted here at Duke.

There are three times as many species of insects than all other animals (mammals, birds, fish reptiles, amphibians) combined. The number of individual insects is estimated to be in excess of a quintillion (that’s a 10 with 18 zeros behind it).

The exhibit is divided into several sections, including insect evolution and diversity, coloration and camouflage, types and stages of insect metamorphosis, the roles of insects in human history and culture, and a fascinating look at two of nature’s greatest mysteries: the migration of the monarch butterfly and the clockwork-like appearance of periodical cicadas.

Periodical cicadas are one of the most remarkable phenomena of nature. They suddenly appear in the millions every 13 or 17 years. Then they disappear as suddenly as they came,

Exhibit visitors can also hear sound recordings of insect calls at a nearby kiosk and see up-close images of insects taken with electron microscopes.

Around the corner from the Chappell Family Gallery, viewers can step inside the Rubenstein Library’s Stone Family Gallery and peruse several selections of rare books that complement the exhibit.  The exhibit curators selected these works because they represent some of the earliest scientific investigations to discover general aspects of biology and natural history through the study of insects.

Image of a fly drawn by Robert Hooke in his Micrographia (1667), one of several rare historical volumes on entomology on display in the Stone Family Gallery.

Incredible Insects was curated by a team of entymology students, faculty and staff from the Duke biology department.

For more information, visit the Incredible Insects exhibit website.

 

For the 20th time: It’s that time of year again!

 20th Annual Full Frame
Documentary Film Festival

Lilly Library offers a selection of Full Frame titles

Each spring since 1998, Durham has hosted international filmmakers and film lovers who flock to the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. Festival goers revel in the latest in documentary, or non-fiction, films which are presented in venues throughout historic downtown Durham.

Because it is the 20th anniversary, this year’s festival’s thematic program is a cinematic retrospective of the twenty years of Full Frame. Curated by Artistic Director Sadie Tillery,  notable films, filmmakers, and special moments that have distinguished Full Frame since it was founded in 1998 are to be highlighted this year.

Do you know that Duke University is a major supporter of Full Frame?
Of special note, because of his support and commitment to the arts, Duke University President Richard Brodhead will be honored with the Full Frame 2017 Advocate Award.  In addition, the Duke University Libraries support and highlight films from past festivals.   If you don’t attend the festival, consider the Libraries’ collections.  A major resource is the Rubenstein Library’s Full Frame Archive Film Collection, that includes festival winners from 1998 through 2012.  In addition, the film and video collection at Lilly Library on East Campus contains a selection of Full Frame titles available to the Duke community.

 

 

Duke Libraries Holiday Gift Guide

great-lakes

The holidays are just around the corner, and you still don’t know what to get that person on your list who has everything.  Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Instead of another tie or pair of socks, give a gift that matters to every member of the Duke community.  Make an honorary or memorial gift to Duke University Libraries, and make a difference in the lives of our students, faculty, and researchers.  Your gift to one of the funds below helps us continue to add resources and services that support the Duke and Durham community.

You can direct your honorary or memorial gift to one or more of the Libraries’ funds, including:

  • The Library Annual Fund provides flexible, unrestricted support for the Libraries’ varied operational needs (and the Honoring with Books program gives Annual Fund donors who contribute $100 or more the opportunity to recognize a special person or event with an electronic bookplate)
  • The Adopt-A-Book program funds the conservation of an item from the collections, and provides flexible support for the Conservation Services department
  • The Adopt-A-Digital Collection program funds the long-term preservation and storage of our digital collections.

Thank you for strengthening the Duke community by making a gift to the Duke University Libraries this holiday season!

PLEASE NOTE: When you make an honorary or memorial gift online, please be sure to fill out the necessary information in the “Gift Dedication” section of our online giving form.

HIV/AIDS and the Health Humanities: A Global Perspective

medicine-collection
World AIDS Day Event to take place in Rubenstein on November 30, 3-6 pm

The papers of Maria de Bruyn, a medical anthropologist, are a recent acquisition by the History of Medicine Collections and will be the focus of this event and several others this fall. The Duke University History of Medicine Collections is a rich resource for teaching Duke medical students about the centuries of medical experimentation that inform the modern practice of medicine.

On November 30, the Franklin Humanities Institute Health Humanities Lab will host a special World AIDS Day event featuring a keynote address by de Bruyn and a lecture by poet and writer Kelley Swain.

In addition, students in professor Kearsley Stewart’s Duke Global Health Institute’s fall seminar on HIV/AIDS will discuss their three-week workshop with Swain and present an exhibit of their work based on materials from the Maria de Bruyn collection.

A reception is to follow the presentations. The event is free and open to the public and will take place on November 30, 3:00 – 6:00 pm, in Rubenstein Room 153. Contact Kearsley Stewart for more information, k.stewart@duke.edu.

 

Archives Alive: A Look at Courses for Spring 2017

Detail from Latin MS No. 8, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Detail from Latin MS No. 8, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

As bookbagging classes for the Spring semester commences, we are excited to announce the next wave of Archives Alive courses offered for Duke undergraduates. These courses are aimed at enabling students to develop innovative and significant projects based on original materials held in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

As opposed to traditional offerings, Archives Alive courses provide students with weekly opportunities to conduct “hands-on” explorations into the rich and varied collections of rare print, manuscript, photographic, and audio materials. Students gain first-hand exposure to advanced research techniques in the new classroom space of the Rubenstein Library.

This upcoming semester, the Rubenstein Library will host two engaging courses that debuted last year. “History of the Book,” a phenomenally successful course on written text in its earliest forms through the 21st century, has been described by students as “thrilling,” “awesome,” and “engaging.” Another course dealing with recording technology, music, local history, and digital tools, “NC Jukebox,” has students raving about the hands-on explorations into century-old correspondence and audio recordings.

These classes for Spring 2017 are listed as follows:

Topics in Digital History & Humanities: NC Jukebox
HISTORY 390S-1/ISS 390S/MUSIC 290S-1
Curriculum Codes: ALP, CZ, R
Thursday 10:05-12:30
Instructors: Trudi Abel/Victoria Szabo

History of the Book
CLST 360/MEDREN 346/ISS 360/HISTORY 367
Curriculum Code: ALP
MW 3:05-4:20. Rubenstein Library 150
Instructor: Clare Woods

Read the full course descriptions on the Arts & Sciences website.

 

Reel Politics: Focus on Elections

What film "ticket" will you choose?
What film “ticket” will you choose?

In case you can’t get enough of politics in this election cycle, Lilly Library’s exhibit Reel Politics: Focus on Elections highlights the wide range of political or politically themed films in our collections.  Duke students, staff and faculty can “write-in” their favorite film or choose from some of the titles represented.

Veep Lilly DVD 26598
Veep Lilly DVD 26598
reel-mr
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Lilly DVD 605

The American political process and environment are explored, celebrated and, yes,  deplored in all genres of film and television programs:  romances, satires, and searing dramas, cynical and sometimes insightful documentaries. Films available in the Lilly Library collections include classics such as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington or its cynical counterpart, The Candidate, idealized romances such as The American President, comedies such as Election, and documentaries such as Weiner or The War Room. Television series also portray the American political scene in a variety of ways – what starker contrast in depictions of the Presidency  can be found  than between that of  The West Wing and  the recent series, House of Cards?

What are the best films , documentaries and television series about American elections? The films and television series in the exhibit represent just a very few of the hundreds of films and series about American elections and politics that the library offers.   Explore the possibilities with a search of our library catalogue, peruse the Lilly Video Spotlight on Political Documentaries, and remember, just  like the candidates, films have their champions and detractors.

In keeping with the season, perhaps you can conduct your own  poll!

Reel Politics: Focus on Elections
Exhibit on display through October
Lilly Library foyer

 

 

Showing Our Stuff

kevin
An undergraduate studies the folio on display

The treasures of Duke’s branch libraries are often hidden.  The circulating collections and services of these smaller libraries often claim the pride of place.  Both libraries on East Campus, Lilly Library and Music Library, however, hold precious material relating to their subject collections.  Known in the library world as “medium rare” (as opposed to the rare materials located in the David M. Rubenstein Library) such primary source materials allow students to examine history first hand.

This fall the Lilly Library added a lobby display case to highlight its unique collections.  The inaugural display is one volume of our three-volume Vitruvius Britannicus, a large and early folio devoted to the great buildings of England to be seen in 1717.

displaycase
Vitruvius Britannicus

An outstanding example of a folio (book) format as well as the awakening of interest in British architecture by its own architects –  quoting from the Oxford Art Online – Vitruvius Britannicus was a cooperative venture that appears to have developed out of the desire of a group of booksellers to capitalize on an already established taste for topographical illustration.

Published in 1715 and 1717, the two original volumes each consisted of 100 large folio plates of plans, elevations and sections chiefly illustrating contemporary secular buildings.  Many of these plates provided lavish illustration of the best-known houses of the day, such as Chatsworth, Derbys, or Blenheim Palace, Oxon, intended to appeal to the widespread desire for prints of such buildings as well as  providing their architects a chance to publicize their current work.

We invite you to visit the Lilly Library on East Campus and to enjoy this  “medium rare” folio on exhibit. For more information about the Lilly Library folio or art and image collections, contact Lee Sorensen,  the Librarian for Visual Studies.

Homecoming Hours for Library Exhibits

Exhibits in the Mary Duke Biddle Room (shown here) in the Rubenstein Library will be open on Saturday for Duke Homecoming weekend.
Exhibits in the Mary Duke Biddle Room (shown here) in the Rubenstein Library will be open on Saturday for Duke Homecoming weekend.

The Rubenstein Library exhibit suite (Mary Duke Biddle Room, Stone Family Gallery, and Josiah C. Trent History of Medicine Room) will all be open on Saturday, October 1, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., for Duke Homecoming weekend.

Library visitors can see Virginia Woolf’s writing desk, a copy of the Bay Psalm Book (first book printed in what is now the United States), two of our double-elephant folios of Audubon’s Birds of America, and many other treasures from the Rubenstein Library.

Exhibits currently on display include:

Visit our library exhibits website to find out more.

 

New Program: Textbooks on Reserve in Perkins and Lilly

textbooks_on_reserve_600x360

Starting this semester (Fall 2016), the Duke University Libraries will be piloting a program to provide selected textbooks on 3-hour reserve in Perkins Library on West Campus. Some textbooks will also be available at Lilly Library on East Campus.

Included among the 300 items are textbooks for courses in Economics, Chemistry, Math, Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish. The books have been selected based on orders placed with the Duke Textbook Store by departments and faculty.

Visit our website to see a complete listing of the textbooks on reserve, organized by course.

Please note: Textbooks on reserve are not intended to take the place of students purchasing textbooks for their courses. Due to budget limitations, the Libraries are unable to purchase textbooks for every course at Duke.

Circulation numbers will be reviewed to determine if this pilot program is valued and should be extended.

For questions related to textbook reserves at Perkins Library, please contact: perkins-reserves@duke.edu.

For questions related to textbook reserves at Lilly Library, please contact: lilly-requests@duke.edu

Duke 2020 – Dive into the Libraries

Learn to “swim” – and to keep swimming – in the Libraries!

Library Orientation East Campus
The Libraries welcome  the newest Blue Devils

On East Campus, after students settle in and begin classes, the Lilly Library and Duke Music Library offer several ways for the newest Blue Devils to learn and benefit from the incredible resources of the Duke Libraries. Lilly and Music sponsor Library Orientation events – including a film on the East Campus Quad and an Open House to introduce students to library services and collections. In recent years, students ventured into a library-themed Jurassic Park, played The Library Games, and were wowed by the Incredibles and our libraries’ super powers. This year, the Class of 2020 will explore the power of discovery and the rewards of research, and learn to “keep swimming” in our resources when they …

Dive Into the Libraries

Schedule of Library Orientation Events for Fall Semester 2016

Movie on the Quad: Finding Nemo
  • When: Saturday, September 3rd  at 9pm
  • Where: East Campus Quad between Lilly & the East Campus Union
Duke Class of 2020 Open House
  • When: Tuesday, September 6th from 7pm to 8pm
  • Where: Lilly Library
More Ways to Experience the Duke University Libraries:

After the excitement of the beginning of the new semester subsides, the Duke University Libraries continue to reach out to our students, always ready to offer research support and access to resources in support of their scholarly needs.

Here’s to a great fall semester!

Keep swimming!  And, remember – we’re available to help you “keep searching”!

Thanks to Devils After Dark for partnering
with the East Campus Libraries for our orientation events.

On the Road with the Frank C. Brown Collection

Guest post by Winston Atkins, Preservation Officer for the Duke University Libraries and Principal Investigator for the grant to digitize Frank Clyde Brown’s recordings of early twentieth-century folk music.

Frank C. Brown in the field, date and location unknown. Brown often used a car battery to power the recording devices he used.
Frank C. Brown in the field, date and location unknown. Brown often used a car battery to power the recording devices he used.

 

We are a nation linked by iHeartRadio stations playing “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones—that much is certain. I come to understand this as I drive the Frank Clyde Brown Collection’s 60 wax cylinders and 76 aluminum discs of folk songs and ballads to the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) in Andover, Massachusetts. There, the NEDCC will use a new and highly innovative technology called IRENE to help us rediscover these performances, which have been essentially unavailable to scholars for nearly a century.

It’s almost too easy to contrast that single, frequently repeated song (unloved by me) with my cargo, but I do it anyway: it’s a 15-hour trip and I’ve got time. The 136 cylinders and discs hold an estimated 1,367 performances collected by Brown as he traveled across North Carolina between 1915 and his death in 1943. Brown, an English professor who also served as comptroller during Trinity College’s transition into Duke University, somehow also found time to drive into back areas throughout North Carolina to record this music. There’s a certain symmetry to me driving his recordings from Duke to Andover.

Because they are too fragile to be played as intended, the cylinders and discs will be digitized using a non-contact visual scanning technology known as IRENE. Image courtesy of NEDCC.org.
Because they are too fragile to be played as intended, the cylinders and discs will be digitized using a non-contact visual scanning technology known as IRENE. Image courtesy of NEDCC.org.

The wax cylinders are especially brittle, though, which is why Craig Breaden and I finally decided I should drive them to the NEDCC rather than ship them. Craig, the Rubenstein Library’s Audiovisual Archivist, serves as the Project Manager for this grant. We’ve taken special care in packing, and each cylinder is stored in its own box. Twenty cylinders are then housed in a storage box, and for the trip, each storage box is packed in a larger box and surrounded by foam packing peanuts. The single storage box of aluminum discs is packed the same way. Although not as fragile as the wax cylinders, some of the discs use an acetate “lacquer” for the recording medium, which can be damaged.

The care extends to the trip: I’ve rented a minivan, which provides the bonus of a separate air conditioning system for the back storage area. That helps keep the cargo at a uniform temperature—changes in temperature are particularly hard on wax cylinders. In fact, I decide not to eat dinner while the outdoor temperature is above 75 degrees because I don’t want to leave the air conditioning off for too long. I drive to Hartford, Connecticut, that night and when I check into the motel, I take all four boxes into my room, where I put them on the bed instead of on the floor, just in case the fan coil unit leaks. They look kind of cozy there.

FCBrownBeddedF
The boxed-up cylinders and discs, resting from their journey.

What makes the IRENE technology worth the trouble? Craig and I will write more about it over the course of this project, but IRENE is perfect for material like this. IRENE makes ultra-high resolution visual scans of a disc’s or cylinder’s grooves to create an image of the track; its software converts the images to sound files. Creating visual scans first means that we can get an accurate digital sound file without a needle or stylus. That provides two important advantages: we don’t risk further damage to the grooves of these fragile media, and IRENE can sometimes recover sound from cracked or broken discs and cylinders if it can get an image of the grooves sufficient to match up with the other pieces. It’s amazing, and only the NEDCC provides this service.

NEDCC6
Jane Pipik, Manager of Audio Preservation Services at NEDCC, demonstrates how IRENE translates visual groove scans into digital sound files.

All of us associated with this project feel like the Brown Collection is a great collection, the music a treasure waiting to be rediscovered. The recordings contain ballads and folk songs that can be traced back to England, songs that traveled to North Carolina from other parts of the United States, and songs like those around the murder of Laura Foster by Tom Dula (a.k.a. Tom Dooley) that originated here.

And that’s what distinguishes this music from the Stones’ “Start Me Up.” Although the same song might be represented several times in the collection, each performance is unique; each musician provided his or her own take on the lyrics and music, or of the people from whom he or she learned the music. Even though the title might be the same, each performance potentially offers insights to us about the culture of the musicians’ locale. That is what makes the trip worth it.


The grant to digitize Frank Clyde Brown’s recordings is part of the Council on Library and Information Resources’ Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards program, a national competition that funds the digitization of rare and unique content held by libraries and cultural memory institutions and that would otherwise be unavailable to the public. The Council on Library and Information Resources is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. 

The program receives generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.  Additional information is available at mellon.org.

Commencement Weekend Hours for Library Exhibits

The Trent History of Medicine Room (shown here), Mary Duke Biddle Room, and Stone Family Gallery in the Rubenstein Library will all be open on Saturday for Duke Commencement weekend.
Exhibits in the Trent History of Medicine Room (shown here), Mary Duke Biddle Room, and Stone Family Gallery in the Rubenstein Library will all be open on Saturday for Duke Commencement weekend.

The Rubenstein Library exhibit suite (Mary Duke Biddle Room, Stone Family Gallery, and Josiah C. Trent History of Medicine Room) will all be open on Saturday, May 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., for Duke Commencement weekend.

Library visitors can see Virginia Woolf’s writing desk, a copy of the Bay Psalm Book (first book printed in what is now the United States), our double-elephant folios of Audubon’s Birds of America, and many other treasures from the Rubenstein Library.

Exhibits currently on display include:

Visit our library exhibits website to find out more.

 

Time Travel Films

The paradoxes of time travel are a never ending source of fascination for sci-fi film buffs. Lilly’s robust collection includes a few lesser known, but intriguing examples. In Timecrimes (2007) a man is drawn to a young woman who appears mysteriously in the woods near htimecrimesis house. The resulting events pull him into a series of time loops.

Primer (2004), which won primerthe Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, is the tale of two men who invent a rudimentary time travel device in their garage. The Navigator (1988) tells the story of a band of 14th centurynavigatorceline and julie townsfolk who, while trying to escape the Black Death, stumble upon a fissure in time and end up in the 20th century. Jacques Rivette’s Celine and Julie Go Boating follows the evolving friendship of two women and their magical trip into the past as they attempt to rescue a young girl.

Explore the Duke Libraries film and video collection for more time travel-related titles.

 

African-American Filmmakers Before Spike Lee

In the mid 1980s Spike Lee opened the door for many African-spook who satAmerican filmmakers. It is sometimes easy to forget those who laid the groundwork for his success. Ivan Dixon’s 1973 film The Spook Who Sat by bush mamathe Door takes a look at discrimination within the CIA. Haile Gerima, the first important African-American female director, gave us Bush Mama (1975), which details the difficult life of a killer of sheepsingle mother.

Charles Burnett’s classic Killer of Sheep (1977) provides a glimpse of life in the Los Angeles Watts district. Melvin Van Peeples’ Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassss Song (1971) exploded out of the Blaxploitation era of the late sixties and early seventies. Continue reading African-American Filmmakers Before Spike Lee

Focus on Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

Full Frame DVDs
Past Full Frame entries available at Lilly Library

It’s that time of year again!

Each spring, international filmmakers and film lovers flock to the  Full Frame Documentary Film Festival to experience the latest in documentary, or non-fiction, cinema showcased in our very own historic downtown  Durham.  Film showings highlight new programming in competition, and other events include expert panel discussions and themed screenings. Tickets go on sale April 1st.

Duke University Libraries support and highlight films from past festivals.  One resource is the Full Frame Archive Film Collection,  that includes festival winners from 1998-2012.  The film and video collection at Lilly Library includes many more Full Frame titles available to the Duke community.

Focus on Full Frame: films in Lilly Collections
Full Frame 2015 exhibit

This year’s 19th Annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival  honors independent director and documentary cinematographer, Kirsten Johnson, with the 2016 Tribute Award.  Cameraperson, Johnson’s newest film,  will be screened and a retrospective of her work will be presented.   This year’s Thematic Program is a series titled “Perfect and Otherwise: Documenting American Politics,” curated by filmmaker R.J. Cutler, known for such films as The War Room and The World According to Dick Cheney.

FF16

When:  April 7-10, 2016
Where: Various venues in Downtown Durham

The festival is a program of the Center for Documentary Studies and receives support from corporate sponsors, private foundations and individual donors whose generosity provides the foundation that makes the event possible. The Presenting Sponsor of the Festival is Duke University.

Archive Opening and Lecture with John Palfrey, Apr. 7

 

john palfrey
Palfrey is the author of “BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More than Ever in the Age of Google”

What: Lecture and Opening of the Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Archive
When: Thursday, April 7, 5:00 p.m.
Where: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room, Rubenstein Library
Reception to follow

9780465042999Join the Duke University Libraries as we celebrate the opening of the Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Archive with a special lecture featuring educator and technology expert John Palfrey, distinguished authority on education and technology and author of BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google (Basic Books, 2015).

Palfrey is the Head of School at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He is also a faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Previously, Palfrey served as Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School and as the founding chairman of the Digital Public Library of America. He has written extensively on internet law, intellectual property, and the potential of new technologies to strengthen democracies locally and around the world.

Palfrey’s talk will be followed by a brief response by N. Katherine Hayles, James B. Duke Professor of Literature at Duke and author of numerous books, including How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis (University of Chicago, 2012).

Sponsored by the Duke University Libraries, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Information Science + Studies Program, Information Initiative at Duke, Masters of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Studies Program, Center for Documentary Studies, Forum for Scholars and Publics, and the UNC School of Information and Library Science.

Video Spotlight on Women Filmmakers

It’s Women’s History Month! Spend this March 2016 watching wonderful films created by talented women from around the world.

The Video Spotlight on Women Filmmakers, created by Lilly Library’s own audio-visual specialist and film aficionado, Ken Wetherington, can give you great ideas of where to start.

In recent years women in film have begun to be slightly better recognized, like Katheryn Bigelow’s oscar-winning direction (the only time for a woman!) of The Hurt Locker.  hurt locker

But did you know that in the early days of cinema, many women were powerful creative forces? Movies like Lois Weber’s SuspenseThe Ocean Waif by Alice Guy Blaché and Cleo Madison’s Eleanor’s Catch,  and other women pioneers of early cinema, can be viewed in Duke Libraries’ new subscription database, Kanopy Streaming Video.

WomenFilmmakers2

Check out Lilly’s foyer display exhibiting films by women in the history of cinema. Some of the titles just may surprise you…

Browse Ken’s Video Spotlight Archives for more topical viewing inspiration.

 

Library Receives Grant to Digitize Early Twentieth-Century Folk Music

Some 60 wax cylinders and 76 aluminum discs containing approximately 1,367 songs recorded in the 1920s and 1930s will be digitized as part of the project.
Some 60 wax cylinders and 76 aluminum discs containing approximately 1,367 songs recorded in the 1920s and 1930s will be digitized as part of the project.

Duke University Libraries has received a $74,595 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to digitize a large collection of North Carolina folk music that has never been widely heard.

The collection includes some 1,367 songs recorded in the 1920s and 1930s on wax cylinders and aluminum discs. The recordings were made in the field by folklorist, professor of English, and Duke University administrator Frank Clyde Brown (1870-1943), who traveled across North Carolina collecting folk songs, sayings, stories, and other folklore between 1912 and his death in 1943. Brown collected songs from at least 52 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, representing all regions of the state.

“The recordings include music unique to North Carolina, as well as popular American folk songs, traditional British ballads, and a range of other tunes,” said Winston Atkins, Preservation Officer for Duke University Libraries and the principal investigator for the project. “Taken together, they represent an important and untapped primary source of American folk music in the early twentieth century.”

The songs have never been widely accessible due to the age and fragility of the recording technology Brown used, as well as the difficulty of transferring them to more modern media formats.

Wax Cylinder from the Frank C Brown Collection
Because they are too fragile to be played as intended, the cylinders and discs will be digitized using a non-contact visual scanning technology known as IRENE.

“Until recently, there has been no non-destructive way to recover audio on historical wax cylinders and aluminum discs, which require a mechanical stylus and can be damaged if played today,” said Craig Breaden, Audiovisual Archivist in Duke’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

The Duke recordings will be digitized using a new non-contact technology, known as IRENE, at the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, Massachusetts. IRENE takes ultra-high resolution visual scans of the grooves imprinted on the cylinders and discs and mathematically translates those into digital sound files that are remarkably faithful to the original recordings. Because there is no actual contact with the recording, IRENE’s scans can also capture sounds from damaged media.

The method has been used successfully to digitize other historical audio collections, including some of the earliest examples of recorded sound made by Thomas Edison.

Digitization will begin in the summer of 2016 and take approximately one year. The recordings will then be described and processed, and the collection will be made freely and publicly available through the Duke University Libraries website in 2018.

Undated photograph of Frank C. Brown from the Duke University Archives.
Undated photograph of Frank C. Brown from the Duke University Archives.

Born in 1870, Frank Clyde Brown began his career as a professor of English at Trinity College in Durham (the forerunner of Duke University) in 1909 and later became chairman of the department. Between 1924 and 1930, as Trinity expanded into Duke University, Brown served as the institution’s first comptroller, overseeing the construction of West Campus and the renovation of East Campus. He also served as university marshal, entertaining distinguished visitors to the new university.

In 1913, at the urging of legendary folklorist and musicologist John A. Lomax, Brown founded the North Carolina Folklore Society and was elected its first president. He later served as its secretary-treasurer, program chairman, and primary collector until his death in 1943. His efforts to record the sounds and nuances of North Carolina’s “folk” were part of a national trend in the early twentieth century to preserve American folk culture, aided by new technologies that allowed folklorists to make recordings in the field. The 1,367 songs captured by Brown are a significant part of that legacy.

The seven-volume Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, published posthumously by Duke University Press between 1952 and 1964, represents Brown’s lifetime of collecting. It is widely regarded as one of the premiere collections of American folklore ever published and is available online. Four of the seven volumes are dedicated to the music Brown recorded and include transcribed melodies and song lyrics. However, the editors of Brown’s work left out an estimated 400 songs he recorded. These “bonus tracks,” which are found on the wax cylinders and aluminum discs but not in the published collection, will be digitized as part of the project.

"All Day Singing." Woodcut by Clare Leighton, from Vol. 2 of the Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, published by Duke University Press in 1952.
“All Day Singing.” Woodcut by Clare Leighton, from Vol. 2 of the Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, published by Duke University Press in 1952.

Brown’s original manuscripts and notes, which were used to compile the collection, along with his original recordings, are housed in Duke’s Rubenstein Library.

In 2015, two Duke faculty members—Victoria Szabo and Trudi Abel—incorporated some of the Frank C. Brown recordings into NC Jukebox, an interdisciplinary Bass Connections course introducing undergraduate and graduate students to digital history. Students conducted original research on the history of the recordings and tracked down the descendants of some of the singers and musicians. The course will be offered again in Spring 2017.

The grant to digitize Brown’s recordings is part of CLIR’s Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards program, a national competition that funds the digitization of rare and unique content held by libraries and cultural memory institutions that would otherwise be unavailable to the public.

 

Horror in the Libraries

Getting ready for Halloween? So is Lilly Library! Come check out our collection of spooky DVDs and graphic novels, on exhibit through the end of October.

The H Word: Horror in the Libraries
The H Word: Horror in the Libraries
Future Imperfect: Dystopian and Post-Holocaust Cinema
Future Imperfect: Dystopian and Post-Holocaust Cinema

Our film exhibit features Dystopian and Post-Holocaust movies while graphic horror novels are highlighted in our The H Word: Horror in the Libraries exhibit. In addition, check out our guide to “Future Imperfect” for more dystopian movies. Last but not least, we have classic Halloween movie listings at the front desk, including a wide range of films from Ghostbusters to Paranormal Activity: Halloween DVDs at Lilly

No matter what you’re looking for, Lilly Library has something for everyone to get into the Halloween spirit!

History Hackathon – a collaborative happening

Students in Rubenstein Reading Room

What is a History Hackathon?

The term “Hackathon” traditionally refers to an event in which computer programmers collaborate intensively on software projects. But Duke University Libraries and the History Department are putting a historical twist on their approach to the Hackathon phenomenon. In this case, the History Hackathon is a contest for undergraduate student teams to research, collaborate, and create projects inspired by the resources available in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library collections. Projects may include performances, essays, websites, infographics, lectures, podcasts, and more. A panel of experts will serve as judges and rank the top three teams. Cash Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.

The History Hackathon will take place over a 72-hour period from October 23-25, in the Rubenstein Library and The Edge.  All the  guidelines, rules, and details may be found at the History Hackathon: a Collaborative Happening  site.Students in the Edge

  • When:  Friday, October 23rd to
    Sunday, October 25th

http://sites.duke.edu/historyhackathon/register/

Contact : HistoryHackathon@duke.edu


Sponsored by the Duke History Department,  the Duke University Libraries, the David M. Rubenstein Library, and the Duke University Undergraduate Research Support Office.

Contributor: Susannah Roberson

 

 

Comics Trivia Night at Fullsteam, July 23

Comics Trivia 600x360
The Rubenstein Library at Duke holds one of the largest archival collections of comics in the world, including many rare and first issues.

 

Date: Thursday, July 23, 2015
Time: 9:00 p.m.
Where: Fullsteam Brewery, 726 Rigsbee Avenue, Durham, NC 27701

Join the Duke University Libraries for a night of comics-themed trivia at Fullsteam Brewery in downtown Durham. Test your knowledge of superheroes, women in comics, comics and war, popular media depictions of comics, and more.

Duke’s Rubenstein Library is home to the Edwin and Terry Murray Comic Book Collection, which includes over 65,000 comics from the 1930s to the present, making it one of the largest archival comic collections in the world.

beer and banjos 2 600x360
Our comics trivia night will take place at Fullsteam Brewery in downtown Durham on July 23.

 

Our comics trivia night will coincide with Durham Comics Fest on July 25, an annual, all-ages celebration of comics and graphic novels organized by the Durham County Library.

CF-web-header

This event is free and open to the public, ages 21 and up.

 

Step into the Spotlight: Dance Films

Dance on film: movies to get your groove on
Step into the Spotlight: Dance Films

The 2015 season of the American Dance Festival has now kicked off with fabulous performances through July 25th.

To help you get your  groove on, check out dance-themed highlights from Lilly Library’s film/video collection in the Lilly Video Spotlight: Dance on Film.

If our spotlight whets your appetite, explore Lilly Library’s large selection of dance DVDs to keep you tripping the light fantastic all summer long.  Don’t feel like tripping the light fantastic with Lilly?  The ADF Archives serve as an excellent resource for dance historians, and  this summer the International Screendance Festival hosts screenings at the Nasher Museum of Art.

Updated from a June 2014 post authored by Danette Pachtner,  Librarian for Film, Video & Digital Media and Women’s Studies

Multiple Choice? Cloning in Film

Lilly Looks at … Cloning in Film

Orphan  Black - DVD 25040,  DVD 26772
Orphan Black – Lilly DVD 25040, Lilly DVD 26772

The concept of cloning raises ethical issues, especially as it grows more feasible than fictional.  The popularity of the current television series Orphan Black (yes, we have it!) helps to shine a spotlight on this issue. Cloning, as a theme in film, makes for compelling, thoughtful and entertaining viewing.  We invite you to check out some of these films in Lilly Library’s DVD collection which explore the implications of cloning .

Moon - DVD 17687
Moon – DVD 17687

Moon (2009), a compelling and suspenseful film, follows an astronaut running a solo mining operation. When an accident triggers a series of inexplicable events he begins to doubt the real purpose of his mission. The film is a textbook example of how to make a thoughtful and good-looking sci-fi thriller on a low budget.

Never Let Me Go (2010) poses an alternate history in which clones are used for organ replacements for “originals.” This powerful and moving film follows three “donors” from childhood into their twenties.

When a person is cloned, what happens to his soul? The Clone Returns Home (2009) addresses life, death, love, and family. Those with patience will be rewarded with this deliberate, meditative film from director Kanji Nakajima.

And for those who prefer action, there’s always Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).

Need more? Check here or ask our Lilly Film Guy!

Krazy Food and Kooky Books: Rubenstein Artist’s Materials at Lilly

Roden2
Steve Roden and Dan Goodsell. Krazy Kids’ Food: Vintage Food Graphics. Los Angeles: Taschen, 2003.

Steve Roden,  sound artist, painter, writer, and collector is in residence at Duke Rubenstein Library this month. Throughout the month he’s giving talks, performances and demonstrations at various Duke and Durham venues.  Whether you get a chance to hear Roden’s talks and pieces, his publications are well supported at Duke’s Lilly (art) and Music libraries.

Most engaging, perhaps, is his 2003 collection of retro advertisements for children’s products, Krazy Kids’ Food.  A retrospective of his work, Steve Roden in Between : a 20 Year Survey, is in the Lilly Library.  More aurally inclined?  Check out (literally!) Roden’s sound recording, Splitting Bits, Closing Loops, a CD at the Music Library.  Somewhere in between?  We recommend his edited book, Site of Sound : of Architecture and the Ear, exploring the relationship between sound, language, orality and hearing with writings on Vito Acconci, Steve McCaffery, Achim Wollscheid, GX Jupitter Larsen, and Marina Abramovic.

And don’t forget the Crazy Foam!

CrazyFoam2

Access Expanded Through New Library Agreement

Books
Starting Oct. 1, Duke students, faculty, and staff will be able to check out books in-person from nearly a dozen other major research libraries.

 

Duke University students, faculty, and staff will soon enjoy on-site library borrowing privileges at several other major research universities, courtesy of a new program known as BorrowDirect Plus.

Under a new pilot agreement beginning October 1, 2014, students, faculty, and staff from the following institutions will have reciprocal on-site borrowing privileges: Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University.

Guest users who have been verified and have home library accounts in good standing will have in-person access to materials at any of the participating libraries. When visiting one of these libraries, members of the BorrowDirect Plus community will need to show their campus ID card and log into their home library account to show their current status. Once verified, they will be issued a library card from the institution they are visiting.

Items, collections, and participating libraries available will vary by institution. The lending library’s policies and loan periods apply to guest borrowers, and it is recommended that users considering a visit to another library view their policies ahead of time. Borrowed items may be returned at either the lending library or the user’s home library. (For example, a book checked out at Yale could be returned here at Duke, and vice versa.)

For the most part, these same materials are already available through BorrowDirect, a rapid book request and delivery system used by all of the participating institutions (with the exception of Duke). The new agreement expands the system to include this in-person component.

Now Available: Check Out E-Books and Audiobooks on Your Phone or Tablet

Just a sampling of the hundreds of popular titles you can now download as eBooks or audiobooks and enjoy on your own device. Click on the image to get started.
Just a sampling of the hundreds of popular titles you can now download as eBooks or audiobooks and enjoy on your own device. Click on the image to get started.

Duke University Libraries and Ford Library at the Fuqua School of Business are excited to offer a new service that allows library users to download and enjoy popular eBooks and audiobooks on their own devices, including iPhones, iPads, NOOKs, Android phones and tablets, and Kindles.

The new service, called OverDrive, has hundreds of popular fiction and non-fiction titles to choose from, including best-selling novels, well-known classics, self-improvement guides, and much more. We are adding new titles to Duke’s collection all the time.

Here’s how it works:

  • To get started, visit the Duke OverDrive website. (You can easily get there through the eBooks portal on our library website.)
  • Browse through the available titles, and check them out using your Duke NetID.
  • You can check out up to five (5) eBooks or audiobooks at one time.
  • Titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period (21 days). There are no late fees!
  • eBooks can be read immediately on any device with an internet browser. Audiobooks can be streamed using the OverDrive Media Console app, which you can download for free on all major desktop and mobile platforms.
  • If a title is already checked out, you can place it on hold and request to be notified when it becomes available. You can place up to ten (10) titles on hold at a time.
  • If you don’t see a title you’re looking for, submit a request from any search page using the recommendoption. We’ll add requested titles to our wishlist and purchase them as funds become available.
  • Once you download a title, you can transfer it to your iPhone, iPad, NOOK, Android phone or tablet, or Kindle.

That’s it! Pretty simple.

In addition to hundreds of new and recently published books, you can also download tens of thousands of public domain classics as eBooks through OverDrive. Look for the “Project Gutenberg” link under Featured Collections.

We are in the process of adding to our initial selections in OverDrive, so we encourage you to submit recommendations through the site if there are eBooks or audiobooks you’d like to see available.

To get started, visit the Duke OverDrive website. And let us know what you think!

Screenshot of the OverDrive interface. Just a click "Borrow" to check out a title with your Duke NetID, or place it hold and get notified when it becomes available.
Screenshot of the OverDrive interface. Just a click “Borrow” to check out a title with your Duke NetID, or place it on hold and get notified when it becomes available.

Focus Group Participants Needed (Free Food!)

Focus Groups
We’re looking for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty to participate in one-hour focus groups.

Your opinion counts! Share your thoughts about ways to improve and enhance library services, collections, and spaces in a one-hour moderated focus group. In return, we’ll feed you!

Here in the Libraries, we’re always trying to up our game. To help us serve our Duke students and faculty better, we conduct periodic focus groups with undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty members.

Your opinion counts! Share your input and make a difference. Focus groups help us improve our existing services and develop new ones to meet emerging needs. Click on the links below to be part of a focus group session.


Focus Groups for Undergraduates

 

Focus Groups for Graduate Students

 

Focus Group for Faculty

Lilly Video Spotlight: Action Heroines

Lilly Library has great films featuring action heroines. Go ahead, make her day –
Check out these heroines and their sisters in action in the Lilly Video Spotlight!

la_femme_nikita
La Femme Nikita (1990)

La Femme Nikita (DVD 8982) A cop-killer junkie (Anne Parillaud) is forced by the government to become an undercover assassin or face a life in prison.

Brave (DVD 22979) Princess Merida, an archer and self-reliant young woman, makes a decision which defies custom and brings chaos to her kingdom. To restore her kingdom, she must discover her bravery and inner strength.

Alien (DVD 3311) Terror begins when the crew of a spaceship investigates a transmission from a desolate planet and discovers a life form that is perfectly evolved to annihilate mankind.

Reading Between the Lines: Reflections on a Student-Curated Exhibit

Guest post by Kathryn Desplanque, a third-year Ph.D. student inArt, Art History & Visual Studies. Her work focuses on satirical etchings and engravings in late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century France. This semester she taught a Writing 101 class on modern caricature.

Students arranging artwork for the Student Wall exhibit. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Desplanque.
Students arranging artwork for the Student Wall exhibit. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Desplanque.

In my Writing 101 class, “Laughing Matters: Interpreting and Contextualizing Modern Caricature,” I wanted to give my students a chance to interact with the rich cartoon periodical collection of Perkins Library and the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The cartoon periodicals contained therein, of which my students were particularly drawn to the American Puck and the British Punch, contain gorgeous chromolithographed or woodblock engraved caricatures. These complicated visual objects necessitate interdisciplinary research, and through them, I have encouraged my students to engage with the material history of print culture and the periodical press.

I also wanted to give my students an opportunity to explore a kind of writing which I personally find to be tremendously challenging: writing and curating for public audiences. To prepare our Perkins Student Wall exhibit, the students of W101 “Laughing Matters”  reverse-engineered genre guidelines for label writing, produced magnificent labels, curated and hung our exhibit, Reading Between the Lines: Comical Interpretations of the Nineteenth Century. They did all of this with careful attention to audience experience: they built sub-themes into our exhibit, and hung the caricatures so as to take advantage of the colors and perspectival lines of their pieces. Throughout the curatorial process, I feel like I’ve learned the most of all, thanks to the candid and insightful discussion we’ve had throughout the semester.


Check out the exhibit! Reading Between the Lines will remain up on the Student Wall on the first floor of Perkins Library through the end of the fall 2013 semester.

Ghost Stories from an Art Historian

ghost

Halloween always brings out the worst in people.  Garish pumpkin sweaters and sequined Walmart costumes.  It was with that dejection about this commercial holiday that I discovered the ghost stories of a prominent art historian, the Cambridge manuscript curator Montague Rhodes James http://www.dictionaryofarthistorians.org/jamesm.htm.  James, provost of King’s College (1905-1918), wrote stories in his spare time, yarns weaving his knowledge of antiquities together with the aberrant personalities (which were apparently more common in the nineteenth century), into stories of the supernatural.  They are not easy reading.  The stories ramble, focusing on physical detail without additional effect, rather like a drunk Henry James or a G. K. Chesterton without a sense of humor.  Still, it’s fascinating to see what constituted scary a hundred years ago.  Without the popularly-held image of what a ghost looks like, M. R. James describes them anew (one is characterized as a visage with its facial flesh burned off).  Doom doesn’t last forever, either.  The haunted manuscript acquired by an unsuspected dupe only temporarily brings its owner ill fate.

If Halloween is the time to experience the odd within the confines of the familiar, then M.R. James’ Ghost Stories are truly that.  A glimpse of ancient days written from those very long ago days.

James, M. R. (Montague Rhodes), 1862-1936. Collected ghost stories. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2011. Perkins/Bostock Library. PR6019 .A565 2011

Available electronically, but somehow not quite as scary http://search.library.duke.edu/search?id=DUKE004827341

British Library Grant Helps Duke Preserve Tibetan Manuscripts

Menri Monastery in Northern India possesses the world’s largest collection of manuscripts relating to Bön, the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet.
Menri Monastery in Northern India possesses the world’s largest collection of manuscripts relating to Bön, the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet. All photos by Edward Proctor.

Duke University has received a grant from the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme to digitize and preserve a trove of ancient religious manuscripts related to Bön, the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet.

Once digitized, the manuscripts will be made freely available online through the British Library, giving scholars around the world access to an important archive of religious texts that were previously accessible only by traveling to a monastery in a remote part of the Indian Himalayas.

The Menri Monastery, located near the village of Dolanji in the Northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, possesses the world’s largest collection of manuscripts relating to Bön. Most of these materials were rescued from ancient monasteries in Tibet before they were destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

The collection includes some 129 pechas, or traditional Tibetan books, comprising more than 62,000 pages of text. A pecha consists of loose leaves of handmade paper wrapped in cloth, placed between wooden boards, and secured with a belt. Also included are some 479 handmade colorfully-illustrated initiation cards, or tsakli, which are employed in various rituals and contain significant amounts of text.

Duke librarian Edward Proctor, second from right, worked with monks at the monastery in 2009 to determine the feasibility of digitizing the Bön manuscripts.
Duke librarian Edward Proctor, second from right, worked with monks at the monastery in 2009 to determine the feasibility of digitizing the Bön manuscripts.

As the name suggests, the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme aims to preserve archival material that is in danger of disappearing, particularly in countries where resources and opportunities to preserve such material are lacking or limited. The Bön manuscripts are an excellent case in point, according to Edward Proctor, the principal investigator for the project. Proctor is Duke’s librarian for South and Southeast Asia. He also works to develop the South Asian Studies collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library through a cooperative arrangement with Duke.

“The Bön manuscripts are subject to a variety of perils,” said Proctor. “They are currently housed in a building that is neither air-conditioned nor humidity-controlled. Having so many unique materials in one location means that a single disaster, such as a massive mudslide or earthquake (not an infrequent occurrence in this area), could quickly extinguish the records of this ancient tradition.”

The Bön manuscripts cover a wide range of subjects, including history, grammar, poetry, rules of monastic discipline, rituals, astronomy, medicine, musical scores, biographies of prominent Bön teachers, and practical instruction manuals for the creation and consecration of paintings, sculptures, mandalas, ritual offerings, reliquaries, amulets, and talismans.

Proctor first traveled to the Menri Monastery in 2009 on a Pilot Project grant from the British Library to investigate the scope and condition of the Bön manuscripts and the feasibility of digitizing them. He will return later this fall and winter to oversee their digitization, which will be carried out by monastery staff. Proctor will provide training in digitization techniques and offer guidance on best practices in archival management. Once the project is complete, the digitization equipment funded by the British Library will remain at the monastery for the future use of the Bön monks.

Pechas, or traditional Tibetan books, consist of loose leaves of handmade paper wrapped in cloth, placed between wooden boards, and secured with a belt.
Pechas, or traditional Tibetan books, consist of loose leaves of handmade paper wrapped in cloth, placed between wooden boards, and secured with a belt.

According to Proctor, this digitization project is essential to the efforts of Bön monks and nuns to preserve their unique culture, as well as the efforts of scholars elsewhere to understand the early cultural and intellectual history of Central Asia.

“These unique documents already escaped destruction once, during the excesses of the Cultural Revolution,” said Proctor. “But there is still a risk that they could disappear. Just last year, a fire in an 18th-century temple in Bhutan reduced its entire manuscript collection to ashes. Tragically, the temple’s collection had been proposed to be digitized as part of a Major Project grant. Thanks to this grant from the Endangered Archives Programme, it will now be possible to ensure the long-term survival of the Bön manuscripts in Menri Monastery.”

To learn more about the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme, visit their website.

The collection also includes many tsakli, or handmade colorfully-illustrated initiation cards employed in various rituals.
The collection also includes many tsakli, or handmade colorfully-illustrated initiation cards employed in various rituals.

Student Writing Prizes: Win $1,000!

Student Writing Prizes
Enter your research paper and you could win $1,000 cash!

The Lowell Aptman Prizes and Chester P. Middlesworth Awards were established by Duke University Libraries to reward excellence in research and writing. If you’re a Duke student, consider submitting a paper for one of these prizes—you could win $1,000!

The Aptman Prizes recognize undergraduates’ excellence in research, including their analysis, evaluation and synthesis of sources, and encourages students to make use of the general library collections and services at Duke University. Prizes are awarded in three categories (first- and second-year students, third-and fourth-year students, and fourth-year students working on an honors thesis), and each one comes with a cash award of $1,000. Funding for the awards has been generously provided by Eileen and Lowell (T’89) Aptman.

The Middlesworth Awards recognize excellence of research, analysis, and writing by Duke University students in the use of primary sources and rare materials held by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Prizes are awarded in two categories (undergraduates and graduate students), and each one comes with a cash prize of $1,000. Funding for the awards has been generously provided by Chester P. Middlesworth (A.B., 1949) of Statesville, North Carolina.

The deadline for both awards is May 15, 2013. 

All winners will be recognized at a reception held the Friday afternoon of Duke Family Weekend (October 25, 2013), where they will receive certificates and $1,000.

For more information, including complete guidelines, application instructions, and selection criteria, visit our library research awards website.

 

Questions?

For questions about the Aptman Prizes, contact:
Ernest Zitser
919-660-5847
ernest.zitser@duke.edu

For questions about the Middlesworth Awards, contact:
David Pavelich
919-660-5825
david.pavelich@duke.edu

A New View of “Gitmo”

Revisiting the U.S. Naval Station, Guantánamo Bay, through the Duke University Libraries’ Caribbean Sea Migration Digital Collection

A “Mata de Navidad” (Christmas bush), constructed by Cuban detainees in a Guantánamo Bay tent city, 1994-1995.

When you hear the word “Guantánamo,” you probably don’t think of tent cities with families and children, religious festivals, and locally run newspapers.

But the Guantánamo Bay of the 1990s differed in many ways from the place Americans came to know after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Images of this earlier Guantánamo and its inhabitants, recently digitized by the Duke University Libraries, will soon be touring the country as part of an exhibit developed by the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, an initiative based at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University. The exhibit, opening in New York City on December 13 and touring the United States through 2014, explores the complex and controversial history of “Gitmo.”

Two Haitian boys are given a medical exam aboard the US Coast Guard cutter Chase by Chief Warrant Officer Paul Healey, in October 1981.

“We were fortunate to have advance access to the [Caribbean Sea Migration] collection, so that nearly 100 students at 11 universities across the country could use it extensively to prepare our traveling exhibit on the long history of the U.S. Naval Station at Guantánamo,” said Liz Ševčenko, Founding Director of the Guantánamo Public Memory Project and faculty member at the Institute. “It’s a tremendous resource for researchers and the general public.”

During the years 1991-1993 and again in 1994, tens of thousands of Haitians, fleeing political upheaval and repression, were interdicted by the U.S. Coast Guard and removed to the U.S. Naval Station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. While they awaited decisions on whether they would be repatriated to Haiti or allowed to apply for asylum in the U.S., the Haitians made a life in the tent cities established for them by the U.S. military.

In 1994 over 30,000 Cubans set out from Cuba by sea for the United States. Among them was Pavel Rodríguez, a nine-year-old boy who, along with his family, was interdicted by the U.S. Coast Guard and taken to Guantánamo. Pavel, who years later would enroll at Duke University Medical School, remembers both the anxiety arising from prolonged detention at GTMO and the sense of community among the refugees. Pavel recalls fellow Cubans at GTMO forming a newspaper at the camp and opening an art gallery, along with his own memories of “chasing iguanas and flying kites behind barbed wires and fences guarded by heavily armed soldiers.”

Draft of a news release for the camp publication Sa K’Pase, announcing an American-style summer camp for children in Guantánamo Camp IIA, 1992.

Stories like Pavel’s, and those of many others like him, make up the recently digitized Caribbean Sea Migration Collection, which documents the experiences of the more than 200,000 Haitians, Cubans and Dominicans who traversed the Caribbean Sea in the late 20th century, fleeing political instability in their home countries. Materials in this collection provide varying perspectives on Guantánamo in the late 20th century: from military personnel running the camps, to publishers of and contributors to community newspapers, to detainee-artists creating works reflective of their experience.

For more on the Guantánamo Public Memory Project traveling exhibit, visit their website and blog.

To learn more about the Caribbean Sea Migration and other collections digitized by the Duke University Libraries—which are made freely available for teaching, learning, and research—visit our digital collections website.

 

Harvesting a Legacy of Action, Nov. 12

 

North Carolina has a long history of support and activism on behalf of immigrant communities. But only recently have immigrant activists begun to view their work from a human rights perspective.

That will be the topic of a community discussion on immigration and human rights at 5:30 p.m., November 12, in the Rare Book Room of Duke’s Perkins Library. “Harvesting a Legacy of Action: Immigration Activism and Human Rights” will feature a panel of experts discussing the challenges and possibilities of placing immigration activism within a human rights framework.

The panel will be moderated by Robin Kirk, co-director of the Duke Human Rights Center.  Panelists will include Guadalupe Gamboa, Senior Program Officer for Worker Rights at Oxfam America; Ramon Zepeda, Youth Organizer for Student Action with Farmworkers and labor activist and organizer; and Paul Ortiz, History Professor at the University of Florida.

The panel discussion is part of a larger series of events around the state celebrating the 20th anniversary of Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF), a nonprofit organization that brings together students, community members, and farmworkers in the Southeast to work for justice in the agricultural system. What began as a small group of Duke Public Policy students documenting farmworker conditions has since grown to an independent nonprofit with a national impact. The organization’s papers are held by Duke’s Human Rights Archive in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Three exhibitions currently on display at the library explore the human experience of farmworkers and the history of SAF. The exhibits reflect historical and contemporary concerns with student activism, access to safe and healthy food, organized labor, and immigration. The exhibits run through December 9, 2012.

The exhibits and panel discussion are sponsored by SAF, the Duke University Libraries, the Center for Documentary Studies, the Franklin Humanities Institute BorderWorks Lab, the Duke University Service Learning Program, and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

Chinese Documentary Filmmaker Wu Wenguang, Oct. 26

Date: Friday, October 26, 2012
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Location: Thomas Room, Lilly Library, Duke East Campus (Map)
Contact: Danette Pachtner, danette.p@duke.edu, 919-660-5886

Documentary Filmmaker Wu Wenguang

Join us for conversation and light refreshments with celebrated documentary filmmaker Wu Wenguang, one of the founding figures in Chinese independent documentary film. His work includes Bumming in Beijing, At Home in the World and most recently Treatment.

The talk is part of a series of presentations at Duke this week on The Memory Project. Four visiting Chinese filmmakers, including Wu Wenguang, screen their work on memories of the Great Famine (1959-1961). The Memory Project is based at Caochangdi Workstation in Beijing. From the Chinese capital, young filmmakers fanned out to return to family villages and their own pasts, real and imagined, to inquire about the Great Famine—a disaster whose memories have been actively abandoned by the state. But the films reveal as much about the wish for memory as of memory itself, and of the interesting role of film in such projects of retrieval.

Click here for complete film descriptions and screening information.

This event is free and open to the public.

Extra Credit: Post-Soviet Art at the Nasher

Alexander Kosolapov, “Untitled from Gorby Series.” From the Subverted Icon exhibit at the Nasher.

A new exhibit of post-Soviet artwork is currently on display in the Nasher Museum of Art’s Education Gallery through December 23, and it’s well worth a visit.

The exhibit, The Subverted Icon: Images of Power in Soviet Art (1970-1995), explores the ways in which artists in late- and post-Soviet Russia represented, confronted, and challenged state-sponsored propaganda, Soviet architecture, and the populist art of earlier generations. It was curated by students in Professor Pamela Kachurin’s “Soviet Art After Stalin” seminar. There’s a good review in the October 18 issue of the Duke Chronicle.

For those interested in a little extra credit, Duke is home to one of the oldest and most extensive Slavic research collections in the southeastern United States. Here’s a taste of some additional readings and resources to whet the appetite of your inner Russophile:

Go check out the exhibit, and find more great resources on Russian art and politics at the library.

Libraries Dramatically Expand Ebook Offerings

Image by Maximilian Schönherr, Wikimedia Commons

Duke library users and Duke alumni will soon have a trove of new ebooks at their fingertips.

Approximately 1,500 scholarly monographs by Oxford University Press and its affiliates are now available as ebooks in the library catalog, with approximately 9,000 more to come later this year.

The development is part of an innovative deal brokered by Oxford University Press and the Triangle Research Libraries Network consortium (TRLN).

The ebooks are fully searchable and allow for unlimited user access, so that multiple people can read them at the same time. In addition, one shared print copy of each humanities and social science title will be held at Duke’s Library Service Center and be available for use by all TRLN institutions (Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, NCSU, NCCU).

“The partnership allows for expanded access to scholarly material, with less overlap, at a lower cost to each TRLN institution,” says Aisha Harvey, Head of Collection Development at Duke University Libraries. “It also gives researchers the option of using a print or digital copy, depending on their personal preference.”

This access agreement is one of the first of its kind to allow shared e-book access among cooperating libraries. Another noteworthy aspect is that the ebooks will be fully available to all Duke alumni. Most ebooks in the Libraries’ collection are not accessible to alumni, due to copyright and licensing restrictions. But the new arrangement expands the Libraries’ offerings to Duke graduates. (A variety of library services and resources are already available for free to all Duke alumni, including some of our most popular databases.)

“The Triangle Research Libraries Network has a very long history of successful collaboration in building print collections,” said Sarah Michalak, University Librarian and Associate Provost at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and chair of the TRLN Executive Committee.

Last year, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, TRLN sponsored a “Beyond Print” summit to explore opportunities and challenges associated with ebook acquisitions and shared institutional access. The ebook deal with Oxford University Press is one outcome of those discussions.

“The agreement with OUP offers a welcome opportunity to experiment with approaches discussed at the summit, provide high-quality content to our users, and learn more about how students and researchers want to access scholarly output in a dual electronic-plus-print environment,” said Michalak.

Ebook and ejournal usage continues to rise in academic libraries across the country. In 2011, the Duke Libraries adopted an ebook advocacy model in order to guide collection decisions and advocate to publishers on behalf of researchers’ needs.

Duke Acquires Papers of Rabbi Heschel, Influential Religious Leader

Note to editors: A high-resolution photo of images from the Heschel collection is available here: http://today.duke.edu/showcase/mmedia/hires/heschel.jpg.

DURHAM, N.C. — Duke University has acquired the papers of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a scholar, writer and theologian who is widely recognized as one of the most influential religious leaders of the 20th century, the school announced Monday.

Heschel was a highly visible and charismatic leader in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements. He co-founded Clergy Concerned About Vietnam and served as a Jewish liaison with the Vatican during the Second Vatican Council, also known as Vatican II.

Rabbi Heschel marching with Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights activists in Selma. All images are from the Abraham Joshua Heschel Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

The collection, which has never before been available to scholars, consists of manuscripts, correspondence, publications, documents and photographs spanning five decades and at least four languages. Included among the papers are notes and drafts for nearly all of Heschel’s published works, as well as intimate and extensive correspondence with some of the leading religious figures of his time, including Martin Buber, Thomas Merton, Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy and Reinhold Niebuhr.

The papers also contain extensive documentation on Heschel’s life-long commitment to social justice, including planning documents, correspondence with organizers, speeches and even hate mail.

“The presence of the Heschel archive is a significant opportunity to draw together Duke’s traditional strengths in Jewish studies, American history and human rights,” said Laurie Patton, dean of Duke’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. “One of Duke’s paramount values is ‘knowledge in the service of society,’ and Heschel embodied that value in every sphere of life. We are thrilled to be able to house his papers at our university, and hope to create numerous opportunities for ethical and historical reflection on this extraordinary man’s work and life.”

Photographs and other items from the Heschel archive, including a 1935 Nazi-issued work permit.

The archive will open for research after conservation review and archival processing are complete. The opening will be announced on the websites of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library and the Center for Jewish Studies at Duke, which partnered to acquire the papers.

“The acquisition of the Heschel papers assures scholars that the legacy of social activism, human rights and the highest standards of Judaic scholarship will be central to the pursuit of Jewish studies at Duke and many other places,” said Eric Meyers, the Bernice & Morton Lerner professor of religion and director of the Duke Center for Jewish Studies.

“I am delighted that my father’s papers have found a good home at Duke, which has long had an important research program in the fields of Jewish studies and religious studies,” said Susannah Heschel, daughter of Abraham Heschel and the Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College. “Duke’s strong commitment to archival holdings related to Judaica and to human rights places my father’s papers together with those of his beloved student, Rabbi Marshall Meyer, and I know that Duke’s magnificent Rubenstein Library will make the material easily accessible to scholars from around the world.”

Notes and related materials from Heschel’s audience with Pope Paul VI during the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II).

Rabbi Marshall Meyer, whose papers are already placed at the archive, was a student of Heschel’s and credited him with profoundly influencing his human rights work in Argentina.

“Together, these two collections represent almost a century of social justice thought and action and provide an important connection between the civil rights and human rights movements,” said Patrick Stawski, human rights archivist at the Rubenstein Library.

Born in 1907 in Poland, Heschel was descended from a long line of distinguished rabbis. Heschel believed that prayer and study could not be separated from public action. He famously marched side-by-side with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala., and is credited with coining the civil rights slogan, “We pray with our legs.”

Heschel’s theological works include The Sabbath (1951), Man is Not Alone (1951) and God in Search of Man (1955). His writings continue to influence contemporary discussions of religion and social justice.

For more information, or for press inquiries, please contact: Patrick Stawski, Human Rights Archivist, (919) 660-5823, patrick.stawski@duke.edu 

Engineering the Killer Rabbit: How We Represented a Timeline of Doris Duke’s Life in XML

“What form does the data take?” is a question that developers ask early in the life-cycle of any information technology project.

Last year, Doris Duke Archivist Mary Samouelian approached some of us in the IT department with an idea for a project that involved a specific kind of data. She wanted to produce an interactive timeline of Doris Duke’s life for a presentation she would give at a Friends of the Duke University Libraries meeting in May. We took it on, and resolved to do something innovative with it. The final result of our work is available here; for more on the project, see Mary’s post on the Devil’s Tale blog, “The Doris Duke Collection Reimagined.”

To me, an innovation means opening the way to a new service or a new capacity. A one-off project wouldn’t have done that.

When we took up the project in earnest in mid-February, the data was in the form of an extensive and detailed Microsoft Word document that Mary had written. One of the first questions we needed to resolve was how to represent the information in the Word document as data.

We needed a way for Mary to read and edit the data on an ongoing basis. At the same time, the data must be available in a structured format that computers can manipulate. This tension between the reading methods of intuitive, interpretive human beings and fussy, unforgiving computers is the central challenge of representing data.

As it happens, archivists already represent timelines in a way that computers can process. Encoded Archival Description (EAD) is an XML standard for archival finding aids. Among its many features, it specifies a way for archivists to build timelines related to the creators of a collection’s material. As a practiced author of finding aids, Mary is familiar with the use of EAD. Since the development team for the project is the same group that recently built our finding aids site, EAD seemed like a natural fit for the project.

However, there is an emerging standard, related to EAD, that also caught our attention. Encoded Archival Context for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families (EAC-CPF or just EAC) “provides a grammar for encoding names of creators of archival materials and related information.” I first became familiar with it when I saw a presentation at the 2010 code4lib for the Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) project. The presenter called their prototype implementation “Facebook for dead people.”

That site uses EAC records from a variety of institutions to accomplish several ends. First, it shows the array of collections from the participating institutions associated with an individual – say, Walt Whitman. Second, it builds a social network among individuals, linking a creator like Whitman to other parties with whom he corresponded, was related, or otherwise associated.

Another aim of EAC is to establish an infrastructure of name authority for the corporate bodies and people who create archival collections. To that end, the EAC community – including our former Duke colleague Kathy Wisser – has received an IMLS grant, Building a National Archival Authorities Infrastructure. The grant will fund a series of workshops through the Society of American Archivists, and the development of “a set of recommendations addressing business, governance, and technological requirements.”

As the development team discussed Mary’s project, we liked the idea of using EAC-CPF markup to represent information about Doris Duke. For one thing, we admire the SNAC web site, and have discussed in the past using it as a model for a series of “person portals” into our collections. We wanted to familiarize ourselves with EAC, and the Doris Duke project seemed like an appropriate entry point.

There was only one problem. EAC defines a “chronlist” tag for representing timelines, but its specification was not robust enough. It does not support two of our important needs: 1) linking media files (i.e., images) to events; and 2) linking individual events to the finding aids for collections that provide source materials about the events. Faced with this limitation, we decided to take liberties.

In contrast to EAC, our reading of the EAD tag library confirmed that the specification for its “chronlist” tag is robust enough to support our requirements. We decided to mix the parts of EAD that we liked into our EAC document. The basic technique for mixing and matching XML standards is to use namespace declarations. A namespace is a kind of domain identifier for XML elements. It says, to computers (and people) reading a document, “This tag belongs to that schema.”

If my explanation is overly technical, here are some fitting analogies for what we did: we invented a new fusion cuisine dish; we installed a whammy bar on a Les Paul; we used cobra genes to engineer a killer rabbit.

The resulting EAC file for the Doris Duke project is available here. The tags in that document beginning with the prefix “ead:” are the elements we borrowed from the EAD namespace.

The solution that we devised represented a kind of contract between the content creator, Mary, and the development team. It allowed the two parties to work in parallel, Mary encoding and revising the timeline, and the developers building its display.

Duke is participating in the National Archive Authorities Infrastructure project, which will ultimately integrate our collections into that “Facebook for dead people” social network. We’re also developing our expertise by working on more “people portals”; University Archives will be assigning additional Duke family EAC documents as a low-priority, background project to its interns. It probably took double the effort for the development team to produce a new service rather than a one-off project, but it helped us take our first steps toward this promising approach to describing and exposing the contents of our archival collections.