Women’s Refugee Commission Donates Historical Archives to Duke University Libraries

The Women’s Refugee Commission, which was known until January 2009 as the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, has agreed to transfer its inactive physical archives, including memoranda, correspondence and publications dating back to its 1989 founding, to the Libraries’ Archive for Human Rights.

Commission archives contain documents related to the organization’s research, advocacy and evaluation roles on issues ranging from reproductive health, to refugees with disabilities, to U.S. detention and asylum.

In 1994, the Commission’s groundbreaking study “Refugee Women and Reproductive Health: Reassessing Priorities,” the first comprehensive report on this issue, drew attention to the almost total lack of reproductive health services for refugees. Since then, the Women’s Refugee Commission has been in the forefront of advocacy efforts to improve policy, practice and funding for reproductive health. Since 2007, the Women’s Refugee Commission has led an international effort to find safer fuel alternatives to lessen/decrease risk the dangers—including rape and murder—that women and girls face when they leave refugee camps to collect firewood to cook meals for their families.

Actress/director Liv Ullmann, refugee experts Catherine O’Neill and Susan Martin, and others founded the Women’s Refugee Commission. Its board of directors and advisors includes women and men working at senior levels in human rights and refugee organizations, as well as in education, medicine, law, journalism, government and communications. Many of them are former refugees.

Honoring with Books


During the gift-giving season, you can recognize the special people in your life with a contribution to the Duke University Libraries’ new Honoring with Books program.

When you make a $100 gift to Honoring with Books, an electronic bookplate, acknowledging the person you designate, will be added to the online catalog record of a book recently purchased for the Libraries’ collection. Your tribute will be seen by anyone who reads the entry for the book in the Libraries’ catalog.


Heraldo Muñoz’s The Dictator’s Shadow Wins Second WOLA-Duke Book Award

Bookcover The Dictator's Shadow

The Dictator’s Shadow: Life under Pinochet, a memoir of dictatorship and exile and their long aftermath in Chile, has won the 2009 WOLA-Duke Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America.

The author of the winning book, Heraldo Muñoz, will receive a $1,000 cash award and an invitation to receive the prize at WOLA’s headquarters later this year, as well as an invitation to give a reading at Duke.

WOLA, the human rights research and advocacy group established in 1974, and Duke University created the prize to honor the best current, non-fiction book published in English on human rights, democracy and social justice in contemporary Latin America.

Muñoz’s book, published by Perseus Books, explores Augusto Pinochet’s legacy of violence and corruption from a uniquely personal perspective. The author, currently Chile’s ambassador to the United Nations, was imprisoned and exiled by the Pinochet regime because of his political views and, in this poignant and wide-ranging memoir, recounts how Chileans brought the former dictator to account for some of his crimes.

Doris Duke Comes Home

Photo of Doris Duke

Doris Duke
Courtesy Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Historical Archives
Special Collections Library, Duke University

The press dubbed Doris Duke “the richest girl in the world” when she inherited a fortune from her father, Duke University founder James B. Duke, in 1925 at the age of twelve.

Doris Duke lived a colorful life, working briefly as both a reporter and a magazine writer, traveling throughout the world, surfing competitively, and pursuing her passions for the arts, horticulture, and causes such as environmental conservation and medical research.

Upon her death in 1993, Duke left the majority of her estate to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The Foundation recently gave its historical archives to the Duke University Libraries. The archives, 800 linear feet of materials (an amount that, stacked vertically, would be four times taller than the Duke Chapel), includes photographs, architectural drawings, and motion picture footage of Doris Duke and the Duke family.

The papers will open new avenues of research about the Duke family, including their relationship with Horace Trumbauer, whose Philadelphia architectural firm designed Duke’s east and west campuses as well as many of the Duke family mansions.

Doris Duke’s papers, selected papers of James B. Duke, and records of the several charitable foundations she started during her lifetime make up a significant part of the archives. University Archivist Tim Pyatt said, “Most biographies of Doris Duke have focused on her glamorous lifestyle. What is often overlooked is how she continued the family’s pattern of philanthropy. She quietly gave away millions for numerous causes, including child welfare and the performing arts, and was an early champion of South East Asian art in the United States. She also increased the family fortune.”

Records of Duke’s Foundation for Southeast Asian Art and Culture, the Newport Restoration Foundation, and the Duke Gardens Foundation are in the archives now at the Duke Libraries as are documents related to the operation of her properties: Duke Farms, a 2,700-acre estate in Hillsborough, New Jersey, that her father created at the turn of the 20th century; Rough Point, the Duke family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island; and Shangri La, her home in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she exhibited her extensive collection of Islamic art.

All of the materials in the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation historical archives will be open for research in about two years when processing of the materials has been completed.

Headquartered in New York, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (www.ddcf.org) seeks to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child maltreatment, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.

North Carolina Mutual Transfers Collections to North Carolina Central University and Duke University

Duke University and North Carolina Central University (NCCU) are the joint recipients of the historical archives of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, the nation’s largest and oldest life insurance company with roots in the African American community.

The North Carolina Mutual collection includes thousands of business documents, newsletters, commercials, photography and books. It highlights a time in the early 20th century when Durham’s “Black Wall Street” thrived, allowing the black middle class access to home mortgages, small business loans and insurance during the Jim Crow era. The archives may be the largest assemblage of African American corporate material in the nation.

The North Carolina Mutual Collection will be administered by the North Carolina Central University Archives, Records and History Center and the Duke University Libraries’ John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture. The documents will be housed at Duke’s Library Service Center, an off-site shelving facility that serves both institutions.

Cornerstone Phase

Architect’s rendering of the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library’s research room as it will look upon completion of the Cornerstone Phase, the final phase of the Perkins Project. The Cornerstone Phase will transform the original West Campus library buildings, which house the University’s most distinctive library collections and two of the campus’s most iconic spaces, the Gothic Reading Room and the Biddle Rare Book Room. Design work for the Cornerstone Phase is expected to continue through 2010. If you would like to make a gift in support of the completion of the Cornerstone Phase, go to library.duke.edu/support/give/.

rendering of reading room
Image by Shepley Bulfinch Richardson Abbott

Remember that Ad?

“Please, don’t squeeze the Charmin!,” “Double your pleasure; double your fun”—these memorable slogans and the products they promote have been beamed to Americans in 60, 30 and even 10-second spots since the introduction of television in the 1950s.

This summer the Duke Libraries launched a digital collection of 3,000 historic TV commercials from the Libraries’ Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History. The collection, called AdViews, is accessible through the Libraries’ website and iTunes U. AdViews received 265,000 hits on iTunes U in the first two weeks it was available.

The television commercials, dating back as far as the 1950s, are part of the Hartman Center’s D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (DMB&B) advertising agency archive, which includes 12,000 commercials in total, some produced as recently as the late 1980s. AdViews users can do keyword searches for various product categories, brands, and time periods and trace the history of brands through the decades. The Libraries plan to make all 12,000 of the commercials available by the end of 2009.

The commercials pitch everything from shampoo and toys to dog food and coffee. New York agency DMB&B produced the ads for iconic American companies such as General Foods, Texaco and Kraft. In addition to showing what products Americans have been buying through the decades, the commercials also reveal a great deal about American society over the past 50 years, said former Procter & Gamble marketing executive George Grody, now a visiting professor at Duke.

“I was looking at some of the commercials that are now being digitized at Duke, and they almost provide a history of U.S. culture,” Grody said. “You can see how the roles of women have changed over the years, the role of the family has changed; African Americans in advertising in the late ’60s, where they weren’t so present in the early ’60s.”

The AdViews collection of commercials also tracks changes in advertising strategies. According to Hartman Center Director Jacqueline Reid, “The commercials from 30, 40 years ago were much more direct about selling you the product. The path to take was to appeal to the consumer and try to make them feel some social anxiety. Today I think commercials are quite different. You’re much more likely to see commercials that are meant to entertain.”

Rights! Camera! Action! Human Rights Film Series

A film series featuring human rights themed documentaries preserved in the Full Frame Archive at the Duke University Libraries. Each program will include a panel discussion.

Presented by the Duke Center for Human Rights, the Archive for Human Rights at the Special Collections Library, the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, and the Program in Arts of the Moving Image

Perkins Library, Biddle Rare Book Room, 7pm (except 13 July) 

November 3 No Umbrella and Please Vote for Me

No Umbrella Witness Fannie Lewis in action on November 2, 2004, as she struggles to manage a polling station in a predominantly African American precinct in Cleveland, Ohio.

Please Vote for Me A third grade class in central China has its first encounter with democracy when the students hold an election to select a class monitor.

January 26 Escuela

An all-American high school freshman’s experience is complicated by the fact that her Mexican-American family makes its living following the harvests from Texas to California.

March 16 Self-Made Man

The right-to-die debate goes west in this riveting portrait of a man and his family grappling with a darker side of rugged individualism.

July 13, Duke Gardens, Trouble the Water

A redemptive tale of two self-described street hustlers who survive Hurricane Katrina and become heroes

Events – Fall 2009

October 23

Middlesworth Award and Durden Prize Reception

The Middlesworth Award and Durden Prize recognize Duke University students’ excellence in research, analysis and writing and their use of primary sources and rare materials held by the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library (Middlesworth Award) and the Libraries’ general collections (Durden Prize). Join us for refreshments and the opportunity to honor the 2009 Middlesworth Award and Durden Prize recipients and applicants. Friday, 23 October, 3:30-4:30pm, Perkins Library, Biddle Rare Book Room

October 24

The Libraries Present Duke Moms and Dads!

Photo of Rick Hoyle

Rick Hoyle

The Libraries’ annual Parents’ and Family Weekend program featuring a Duke first-year parent. This year’s guest is Rick Hoyle, a social psychologist and Duke professor of psychology and neuroscience and associate director of the Center for Child and Family Policy. Hoyle’s research focuses on the role of self in social behavior; most recently he has been studying the causes and consequences of success and failure at self-control. In this Parents’ Weekend talk titled “Work Hard, Play Hard: The Waxing and Waning of Students’ Self-Control,” he will address questions such as, Why do some students excel at academic work but struggle with maintaining a desirable weight? and Is playing hard actually “work” for some students? He will also propose strategies for maximizing control over personal behavior in a challenging social environment.

Saturday, 24 October, 11:00am, Perkins Library, Biddle Rare Book Room

October 30–31

What Does It Mean to be an Educated Woman?

Photo of Jean O'Barr

Jean O’Barr
Photo by Les Todd, Duke Photography

The 4th biennial symposium of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture will feature conversations on pedagogy, scholarship and activism in women’s education and pay tribute to the career of Jean O’Barr.

Jean O’Barr came to Duke in 1969, teaching a course in African politics that fall in the aftermath of student protests on campus. O’Barr became director of continuing education in the fall of 1971, and in 1983 she was tapped to establish the Women’s Studies Program. For eighteen years she served as the Program’s director, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, editing journals and books, and founding the Council on Women’s Studies for Duke alumnae. In 2000, she stepped down to join the Program in Education; she retired in the spring of 2008. O’Barr currently teaches the senior seminar for the Baldwin Scholars each fall.

The symposium will open with a keynote address by Lisa Lee, director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, at 4:00pm on Friday, 30 October, at the White Lecture Hall on Duke’s East Campus.

Programming on Saturday, which begins at 9:00am at Perkins Library, will include sessions on activism, scholarship, and pedagogy. For more information and to pre-register, call 919.660.5967 or go to the symposium website.

November 4

Witnessing Iran: 1979 and 2009

A discussion of the changing role of the eyewitness account in the creation of historical narrative—with Iran as the context. Speakers will include:

  • Mark Bowden, author of Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America’s War with Militant Islam. Bowden will talk about the interviews he conducted with hostages and hostage-takers involved in the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis as well as the accounts he received from military officials about the failed rescue attempt.
  • Negar Mottahedeh, associate professor in the Literature Program. Based on her knowledge of social networks and new media, Mottahedeh will talk about their relevance for understanding current events in Iran, where Twitter and Facebook played a prominent role in spreading information about the unrest that followed Iran’s national election. Mottahedeh posts frequently on Twitter about developments in Iran.

The program will be moderated by Bruce Kuniholm, dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy and a member of both the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Policy Planning Staff during the Carter administration. Kuniholm is an historian who does research on U.S. policy in the Middle East, U.S. diplomatic history, and national security.

Duke’s Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library holds transcripts of the interviews Mark Bowden conducted as well as the interviews Tim Wells did with thirty-six of the 1979 hostages as part of his research for his book 444 Days: The Hostages Remember.

Wednesday, 4 November, 4:30pm, Perkins Library, room 217

November 12

Photo of bather

Photo by Jennette Williams

Opening reception

Opening reception for The Bathers: Photographs by Jennette Williams, with remarks by the photographer.

Thursday, 12 November, 5:30-7:30pm, Perkins Library, Biddle Rare Book Room

November 20

Rare Music in the Rare Book Room

Photo of viola

“Viola: Child of the 20th Century,” featuring Jonathan Bagg, violist for Duke’s Ciompi String Quartet. Bagg will discuss the ways in which the viola’s unique voice evolved over several generations, finally coming into its own in the 20th century. Jonathan Bagg is professor of the practice of music at Duke and artistic director of the Monadnock Music Festival in New Hampshire.

Friday, 20 November, 4:00pm, Perkins Library, Biddle Rare Book Room

December 4

Rare Music in the Rare Book Room

“Flute Festivities,” featuring Rebecca Troxler, a noted performer and teacher of both modern and historic flutes. In a “master class”-style demonstration, Troxler will answer questions from the audience as she works with flute students, guiding them in the transition from playing modern flute to performing on an early instrument. Rebecca Troxler has been on the faculty of the Duke University Department of Music since 1981.

Friday, 4 December, 4:00pm, Perkins Library, Biddle Rare Book Room

Exhibits – Fall 2009

Perkins Gallery

Through 13 December

Sustainability At Duke: leave your mark not your footprint

image of students

Photo by
Jon Gardiner/Duke Photography

The concept of sustainability as we know it today owes it origins to the small hamlets of 14th century Germany, where villagers relied on extracting a sustainable yield from collectively-owned forests. History is punctuated with examples of cultures that have flourished or died off due to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of their daily behavior and decisions. This exhibit explores these issues and illustrates how members of the Duke community can create a more sustainable world.

Sustainability At Duke

15 December–21 February 2010

“I Take Up My Pen”: British Women Writers in the Nineteenth Century

image of woman writing

Nineteenth century Britain—a world of progress and reform, discovery and innovation, industrialization and social upheaval—was also the era of the professional woman writer. Nineteenth century women, desiring to contribute to cultural discourse, to voice their opinions, and to tell their own stories, demanded a place beside men in the world of letters.

This exhibit focuses on women’s writing as both a means of self-definition and a powerful tool for social change and highlights the tension between women’s domestic lives and their public contributions to nineteenth century discourse.

23 February–11 April

Abusing Power: Satirical Journals from the Special Collections Library

satirical french cartoon

Duke’s outstanding collection of satirical magazines offers a panoramic view of international journalistic caricature from its origins in the 1830s to the present day. This show surveys the spectrum of comic journalism, examining the visual languages of graphic satire and investigating its rhetorical power.

The Perkins exhibit is curated by Neil McWilliam, Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies with the assistance of some of his students and coincides with an exhibition of contemporary and historical graphic satire at Duke’s Nasher Museum.

The Nasher exhibition, developed by Duke and UNC undergraduate seniors and graduate students, will feature works from the founding of journalistic caricature—the campaign mounted by Daumier and his contemporaries against French monarch Louis-Philippe (1830–1848)—and compare them to cartoons of the Clinton and Bush presidencies. The Duke students working on the exhibit are enrolled in McWilliam’s visual studies course, “From Caricature to Comic Strip.”

Special Collections Gallery

Through 13 December

The Bathers: Photographs by Jennette Williams

Photo by Jennette Williams

Platinum prints of women in the ancient communal bathhouses of Budapest and Istanbul by Jennette Williams, a fine arts photography instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Williams has been selected to receive the fourth Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography for these photographs. She will discuss her work at the exhibit opening at 5:30pm on 12 November in the Biddle Rare Book Room at Perkins Library. The exhibit is co-sponsored by the Duke University Libraries and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

The Bathers

January/March 2010

Cedric Chatterley: Photographs of Honeyboy Edwards, 1990-1996

Photo of Cedric Chatterley

Chatterley’s black and white photographs trace the life and career of blues musician Honeyboy Edwards, beginning at his birthplace in Shaw, Mississippi, continuing through the Mississippi Delta to New Orleans and then north to Chicago. Traveling by himself and with Honeyboy, Chatterley drove thousands of miles documenting the important places in Honeyboy’s life and career while also photographing the musician at night clubs, blues festivals, concerts, recording sessions and, private family celebrations.

Special Collections Biddle Rare Book Room Cases


What is Jazz? Selections from the Jazz Archive at the Special Collections Library

Photographs, posters, analytic prose, music manuscripts, and recorded audio, along with playing cards, album covers, and literary fiction are examples of materials the Archive collects in order to document jazz’s social and cultural history. By exploring some of the artifacts of jazz’s past, this exhibit provides one response to the question, “What is jazz?”

January/March 2010

“To Hear Those Voices”: John Hope Franklin on African American History

An exhibit of materials from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library that draws from the life and career of John Hope Franklin to explore slavery, the Jim Crow era, civil rights, and African American intellectuals in the 20th century. The exhibit will launch a year-long celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Special Collections Library’s John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.