Category Archives: Feature Articles

Inside the New Rubenstein Library

Photographs by Mark Zupan

On August 24, the first day of fall classes, the doors of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library finally opened after nearly three years of careful renovation.

The moment represented the crowning finish of the Perkins Project, an ambitious fifteen-year-long initiative to renovate and expand Duke’s West Campus libraries that began in the year 2000.  

The Perkins Project called for several phases—beginning with the construction of the Bostock Library and the Karl and Mary Ellen von der Heyden Pavilion; continuing with the renovation of Perkins Library and the construction of the Link, along with the relocation of acquisitions and cataloging operations to the historic Smith Warehouse; and finishing with the construction of The Edge: The Ruppert Commons for Research, Technology and Collaboration in Bostock Library and the top-to-bottom renovation of the Rubenstein Library.

It has been a busy fifteen years. Earlier this October, friends and benefactors gathered to dedicate the Rubenstein Library and celebrate the generosity and support that allowed such an ambitious project to come to fruition.

“The Rubenstein Library is the home Duke has long needed and deserved to showcase our remarkable rare book and manuscript collections and their use in research and teaching,” said Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs. “Students and visitors can now see researchers at work and take classes examining rare materials. Expanded galleries provide new venues for faculty, staff, and students to curate exhibitions drawn from the collections, and for the wider community to enjoy and learn from the public programming.”

The Rubenstein Library holds items that can be found nowhere else. In this digital era, when research libraries subscribe to the same e-journals and e-books, and their circulating book collections hold many of the same titles, it is the primary sources that distinguish one library—indeed, one university—from another. Duke students, faculty, and visiting scholars now find in Rubenstein the appropriate setting to carry out their work.

The Duke University Libraries have a longstanding tradition of excellence in public service. We now have the spaces to complement that service. If you have not visited recently, we hope these images will inspire you to come see us soon and see Duke’s newest point of pride.


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From the academic quad, visitors pass through the main library entrance and arrive in the Sperling Family Lobby, an inspiring point of entry to the Perkins, Bostock, and Rubenstein library complex.


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The Gothic Reading Room is one of West Campus’s most popular spots for events and study. During the renovation, special care was taken to preserve and restore the original windows, wood vaulting, and light fixtures of the room that novelist William Styron ‘47 called his “sanctuary.” The portraits on the walls depict members of the Duke family, past Duke presidents, the original Duke Endowment trustees, Duke’s architects, and the celebrated historian John Hope Franklin.


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Another new exhibit space is the Photography Gallery, which provides a dramatic setting to showcase the Rubenstein Library’s outstanding collection of documentary photography.


A large window from the Photography Gallery looks onto the Rubenstein Library’s reading room, where researchers from Duke and around the world come to use our rare books, manuscripts, and archival collections. The rib-vaulted ceiling was designed to reflect the collegiate Gothic architecture of Duke’s West Campus.

A large window from the Photography Gallery looks onto the Rubenstein Library’s reading room, where researchers from Duke and around the world come to use our rare books, manuscripts, and archival collections. The rib-vaulted ceiling was designed to reflect the collegiate Gothic architecture of Duke’s West Campus.


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The Papyrology and Paleography Room houses the Libraries’ reference collection on papyrological studies, used extensively by the Department of Classical Studies. Duke’s collection of ancient papyrus is one of the largest in North America, and Duke was an early leader in cooperative projects to digitize papyri to make them more broadly accessible.


From the Biddle Room, visitors can walk into the Josiah Charles Trent History of Medicine Room to view historical artifacts collected by Dr. Trent and donated by Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans as part of the History of Medicine Collections, including surgical instruments, microscopes, anatomical ivory manikins, and glass eyeballs.

From the Biddle Room, visitors can walk into the Josiah Charles Trent History of Medicine Room to view historical artifacts collected by Dr. Trent and donated by Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans as part of the History of Medicine Collections, including surgical instruments, microscopes, anatomical ivory manikins, and glass eyeballs.


On the first floor of the Rubenstein Library is the Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room, a highly versatile and AV-equipped event space that can accommodate up to a hundred chairs. The room can be used for a wide variety of library and university events.

On the first floor of the Rubenstein Library is the Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room, a highly versatile and AV-equipped event space that can accommodate up to a hundred chairs. The room can be used for a wide variety of library and university events.


The Mary Duke Biddle Room was originally designed to resemble a “gentleman’s library.” The renovation preserved the original charm and character of the room, but new exhibit cases have been installed to showcase rare and unique materials from the Rubenstein Library, including Virginia Woolf’s writing desk, recently acquired as part of the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection and now on permanent display.

The Mary Duke Biddle Room was originally designed to resemble a “gentleman’s library.” The renovation preserved the original charm and character of the room, but new exhibit cases have been installed to showcase rare and unique materials from the Rubenstein Library, including Virginia Woolf’s writing desk, recently acquired as part of the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection and now on permanent display.


Just off the Photography Gallery is the Harry H. Harkins Seminar Room, an instruction space where classes of fewer than ten students can meet and work with Rubenstein Library collections.

Just off the Photography Gallery is the Harry H. Harkins Seminar Room, an instruction space where classes of fewer than ten students can meet and work with Rubenstein Library collections.


Three consultation rooms adjacent to the reading room provide space for teams of researchers to work collaboratively with special collections or consult with Rubenstein Library staff.

Three consultation rooms adjacent to the reading room provide space for teams of researchers to work collaboratively with special collections or consult with Rubenstein Library staff.


The third floor of the Rubenstein Library houses several meeting rooms, collaborative group work rooms, student study space, and the Library’s Human Resources and Business Office. This room is used for classes using Rubenstein Library materials, such as the new semester-long Archives Alive classes, which allow students to get up-close and personal with original primary sources.

The third floor of the Rubenstein Library houses several meeting rooms, collaborative group work rooms, student study space, and the Library’s Human Resources and Business Office. This room is used for classes using Rubenstein Library materials, such as the new semester-long Archives Alive classes, which allow students to get up-close and personal with original primary sources.


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A portrait of Reynolds Price (1933-2011), who taught literature and creative writing at Duke for more than fifty years, overlooks the Pamela and Bradley Korman Reception Area, which leads to the Library Administration office suite.


With the renovation, the former Perkins Gallery outside the von der Heyden Pavilion was moved closer to the library entrance and renamed the Jerry and Bruce Chappell Family Gallery. The opening exhibit traced the history of medical visualization, starting with the work of Andreas Vesalius and his groundbreaking 1543 study of human anatomy, De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body).

With the renovation, the former Perkins Gallery outside the von der Heyden Pavilion was moved closer to the library entrance and renamed the Jerry and Bruce Chappell Family Gallery. The opening exhibit traced the history of medical visualization, starting with the work of Andreas Vesalius and his groundbreaking 1543 study of human anatomy, De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body).


The new secure stack area of the Rubenstein Library has the capacity to accommodate 50,000 linear feet of books, archives, and manuscripts, an increase of 52 percent over the previous special collections stacks. Books are shelved by size (duodecimo, quarto, octavo, folio, double folio) and Library of Congress classification.

The new secure stack area of the Rubenstein Library has the capacity to accommodate 50,000 linear feet of books, archives, and manuscripts, an increase of 52 percent over the previous special collections stacks. Books are shelved by size (duodecimo, quarto, octavo, folio, double folio) and Library of Congress classification.


A special cold storage unit houses sensitive photographic materials from across the collections, which must be kept at low temperatures to prolong their life.

A special cold storage unit houses sensitive photographic materials from across the collections, which must be kept at low temperatures to prolong their life.


Directly across from the main entrance are the doors to Mary Duke Biddle Room, which has been transformed into a state-of-the-art exhibit space for the treasures of the Rubenstein Library. Exhibits play an important role in the outreach mission of the Libraries. They also showcase the breadth and diversity of what a great library system like Duke’s has to offe

Directly across from the main entrance are the doors to Mary Duke Biddle Room, which has been transformed into a state-of-the-art exhibit space for the treasures of the Rubenstein Library. Exhibits play an important role in the outreach mission of the Libraries. They also showcase the breadth and diversity of what a great library system like Duke’s has to offer.


Outside the Gothic Reading Room in the Ahmadieh Family Commons is a new permanent exhibit on Duke University’s history. Prepared by University Archives staff, the exhibit traces the institution’s rise from a one-room schoolhouse to an internationally recognized research university.

Outside the Gothic Reading Room in the Ahmadieh Family Commons is a new permanent exhibit on Duke University’s history. Prepared by University Archives staff, the exhibit traces the institution’s rise from a one-room schoolhouse to an internationally recognized research university.


The Doug and Elise Beckstett Rare Book Library Classroom is the primary teaching space for the Rubenstein Library. It can accommodate larger classes than the Harkins Seminar Room and features a document camera for projecting rare materials on a screen for discussion.

The Doug and Elise Beckstett Rare Book Library Classroom is the primary teaching space for the Rubenstein Library. It can accommodate larger classes than the Harkins Seminar Room and features a document camera for projecting rare materials on a screen for discussion.


Adjacent to the History of Medicine Room is the Michael and Karen Stone Family Gallery, a new exhibit space designed to feature some of the Rubenstein Library’s most extraordinary treasures. The opening exhibit, American Beginnings, featured a very rare copy of the first book printed in what is now the United States—the Bay Psalm Book (1640)—belonging to David M. Rubenstein ’70, who generously loaned it for our opening. Viewers could also see rare early maps of North America from the collection of Mike Stone ’84.

Adjacent to the History of Medicine Room is the Michael and Karen Stone Family Gallery, a new exhibit space designed to feature some of the Rubenstein Library’s most extraordinary treasures. The opening exhibit, American Beginnings, featured a very rare copy of the first book printed in what is now the United States—the Bay Psalm Book (1640)—belonging to David M. Rubenstein ’70, who generously loaned it for our opening. Viewers could also see rare early maps of North America from the collection of Mike Stone ’84.

 

A Foundation of Generosity

The renovation of the Rubenstein Library and the completion of the Perkins Project would have been impossible without the help of many loyal and generous library donors. Their philanthropic support represents the foundation upon which Duke’s world-class library system is built.

We are particularly grateful to those donors whose names you will find in the many classrooms, exhibit galleries, offices, and common areas throughout the renovated library. A few of them joined us for the Rubenstein Library dedication ceremony on October 3 and are pictured here in the spaces named in their honor.

Rubenstein library dedication held Saturday morning October 3, 2015 Aziz and Vahdat Ahmadieh pose in the Ahmadieh Family Commons.

Ahmadieh Family
The Ahmadieh Family Commons outside the Gothic Reading Room is named in honor of Aziz (left) and Vahdat Ahmadieh, pictured here next to their portrait.


Rubenstein library dedication held Saturday morning October 3, 2015 Bruce and Jerry Chappell pose in the Chappell Family Gallery.

Chappell Family
Jerry WC’62 (left) and Bruce E’61 Chappell pose in the Jerry and Bruce Chappell Family Gallery, located near the main library entrance.


Ann and Cary Gravatt pose for a portrait in the Gravatt Seminar Room.

Gravatts
Cary G’66 and Ann G’64 Gravatt pose in the seminar room named in their honor on the third floor of the Rubenstein Library.


Harry Harkins and John Garger pose for a portrait in the Harkins Seminar Room.

Harkins
Harry H. Harkins, Jr. T’73 outside the seminar room named in his honor on the Rubenstein Library’s first floor.


 

The Holsti family pose for a portrait in the Holsti Anderson Assembly Room.

Holsti-Anderson Family
Members of the Holsti and Anderson families pose in the Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room on the first floor of the Rubenstein Library. Pictured here (left to right): Aksel Anderson, Ole Holsti, Brad Anderson, Mikko Anderson, and Maija Holsti.


Smith-Ferracone

Smith and Ferracone Family
Robin Ferracone T’75 P’05 and Stewart Smith P’05 in the Smith-Ferracone Reception Area, adjacent to the von der Heyden Pavilion.


Sperling Lobby

Sperling Family
Laurene Sperling T’78 in the Sperling Family Lobby, just inside the main library entrance.


Rubenstein library dedication held Saturday morning October 3, 2015 Michael Stone poses in the room named for his family.

Stone Family
Michael Stone T’84 at the entrance to the new Michael and Karen Stone Family Gallery.


The Trent family pose for a portrait in the Trent HOM Room.

Trent and Semans Families
(left to right): James Semans, Beth Lucas, Charlie Lucas, Sally Trent Harris WC’63, Rebecca Trent Kirkland WC ’64 M’68, John Kirkland, Barbara Trent Kimbrell, Joe Lucas, and Sally Lucas.


The Wakil family pose for a portrait outside the Wakil Family Consultation Room

Wakil Family
Members of the Wakil family stand outside the Wakil Family Consultation Room, located in the Rubenstein Library Reading Room. Pictured here (left to right): Maya Wakil Thompson, Sonya Wakil T’79, Alexander Wakil Thompson T’18, Salih Wakil, and Fawzia Wakil.

The Specialness of Special Collections: Remarks on the Dedication of the Rubenstein Library

The following remarks were delivered by Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard University and Lincoln Professor of History, at the dedication ceremony of the renovated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, on October 3, 2015. They are reprinted with her permission. A video of the complete ceremony appears above.

I am so honored to be here and to say a few words about the specialness of special collections and the specialness of this collection in particular. I regard rare book and manuscript libraries as sacred spaces—spaces of transcendence where we reach beyond ourselves in the effort to discover and understand other places and other times. Now, those who use the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library will be able to do so in a physical space that does not just enable but uplifts that effort. What a rare and precious gift—it’s a gift that will enhance collections that have supported scholarship and teaching for many decades. Thank you very much, David.

These collections have in fact supported my scholarship. For thirty-five years now, a large blue volume—two inches thick, weighing in at 5 pounds, 2 ounces—has stood on a bookshelf near my desk. Gold letters on its scarred blue-cloth cover read: Guide to the Catalogued Collections in the Manuscript Department of the William R. Perkins Library, Duke University, Richard C. Davis and Linda Angle Miller, Editors. I have treasured this book. It is filled with penciled notations made next to names of collections I wanted to explore, and I scribbled lists on the book’s endpapers of highest-priority collection titles and catalogue numbers. Now, this volume is a curious and obsolete artifact—first because of the many materials that have been accessioned since it was printed, but more fundamentally, of course, because the catalogue of holdings of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library are online for anyone anywhere in the world to see.

Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust
Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust

Duke’s special collections department was one of the first I visited when I embarked on my dissertation research in the early 1970s—almost a decade before the invaluable blue volume appeared. I set forth knowing some of what I would find in Duke’s holdings, but the state of bibliographic and search tools in that distant era provided me with nothing like a complete or comprehensive view. So part of the wonder and excitement of this first real “research trip” was that I was an adventurer, an explorer setting out on a search for the past not knowing precisely what I would find. The knowledge and help of manuscript librarians would be critical, but I also knew from other historians that at Duke I would find a card catalogue unsurpassed in its detail about what each manuscript collection contained. There would be not just names but subject headings and cross references that would make searching the catalogue more efficient and far more productive. A researcher’s dream. Duke held materials indispensable to my dissertation project. I spent many days at a table here, with documents arrayed before me, as I sought to understand pre-Civil War southerners who had chosen to become active defenders of slavery—advocates of what we today would find unthinkable.

In the years after I completed that study, as I began to shift the focus of my interest from the antebellum period to the Civil War itself, the Duke collections became in many ways even more significant for my work. The very first collection listed in the large blue book is the William Abbott Papers, just a few items documenting damage done to Abbott’s Virginia property by Confederate troops in 1862; the last listing in the volume, collection number 5991, 648 pages later, is the diary of a Pennsylvania soldier who served as a wagon driver in Sherman’s March to the Sea. Civil War material doesn’t just bookend the old catalogue; it abounds in these collections. Many of the war’s most famous names are present here: Alexander Stephens, Confederate Vice President with a collection of some 3,000 items; the Stonewall Jackson Papers, 4,700 items. But this library houses Civil War materials of a somewhat different character as well, materials that enabled me, and many others as well, to pursue new directions in Civil War history. Duke’s librarians had been very foresighted in acquiring the records not just of generals and statesmen, the Jacksons and Stephens, but of ordinary people—that farmer in Virginia, that wagon driver from Pennsylvania. These were the men and women whose lives and experiences would become the foundation of a new approach to the war that began to emerge in the 1980s. As Civil War history began to turn towards exploring the social as well as political and military history of the war, as scholars sought materials to document the lives of women or of common soldiers, or to describe the wartime experience of slavery and liberation, Duke’s collections could offer remarkable riches. For me, as I wrote a book about women and then another about death, Duke manuscripts proved invaluable. I discovered Lila Chunn of Georgia, who in moving and eloquent letters corresponded with her husband Willie at the front about her fears of staying alone without him, about her distress as war rendered her a refugee, about her desperate hope that he could get a furlough and be with her as she delivered their child. Another collection described for me the sad tale of Margaret Gwyn, unable to afford mourning attire after her son’s death in the army in 1862. She recounts in her diary how she dyed old clothes black so she could display the depth of her grief. As she worked, she explained, “my eyes was often filled with tears which is a relief to the troubled mind.”

The ceremony took place in the Gothic Reading Room.
The ceremony took place in the Gothic Reading Room.

Documents like these enable historians to enter into conversation with people of another era, to see a different world and to look through others’ eyes—eyes sometimes filled with tears. If we are to understand what makes a society go to war and stay at war, we must understand the homefront as well as the battlefront, the soldiers who follow orders as well as the generals who issue them. The Civil War looks different to us now than it did a generation ago, and the kinds of collecting Duke’s librarians so wisely pursued is an important part of what has made that possible. Special collections librarians are people who must predict the future—must make guesses and bets about what will be of interest to students and scholars decades—even centuries—from now. They must look forward to look back and decide what to preserve as the record of our lives. They and the choices they make, the collections they create and preserve, become our history. Do you want to make history? Become a librarian!

I have always thought that the textured record of human life represented in the letters of Lila Chunn or the diary of Margaret Gwyn tells a far more powerful and engaging story than any novel possibly could. And I must also confess to a bit of the antiquarian in me as well: I never cease to be awestruck by the knowledge that a page lying before me once was delivered to a Confederate camp, was carried in a knapsack or a bedroll and was purposefully saved to be passed onto us—a voice from the past projected into the future from individuals who wanted us to know what they had lived through. As Emily Dickinson has written in a marvelous poem about antique books, their “presence is enchantment.” These books and manuscripts become the magical vehicles of time travel, transporting us into worlds at once old and new.

It is, of course, an undeniable blessing that now many of the rare or unique materials housed here have been digitized, and made widely accessible. But it seems highly unlikely that the entire manuscript record of the past will ever be digitized. The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library contains 350,000 printed volumes and 20 million manuscript and archival items. And I must confess that I think the convenience of digital access to these materials comes at a cost—the cost, we might say, of enchantment. Like Emily Dickinson, I cannot resist the magic of the real thing—whether it is a letter from Lila Chunn, or the Bay Psalm Book or the Magna Carta. These artifacts matter because their words and ideas have relevance for our contemporary lives, but they matter too as actual physical and material embodiment of a past that still shapes us. They constitute a bridge between what was and what is—a bridge they invite us to cross.

So far, I have been speaking about what has engaged me over many years in the collections of the Rubenstein Library. But Southern and Civil War history make up just a portion of what this repository holds, and students and scholars interested in many other times, places and subjects could tell similar stories of discovery and changed understanding. The visionary collecting and foresight of Duke’s librarians are evident throughout the larger whole. So many subjects vital to our perceptions of the world today are represented in these collections—from advertising and popular culture to human rights and fundamental questions of race, gender and sexuality. From the original Mad Men of the J. Walter Thompson Company, to comic superheroes, straight and openly gay, to utopias and dystopias, to 1,800 Egyptian Papyri texts, to Virginia Woolf’s desk—part of an extraordinary recent acquisition in women’s history. This library is a stunning resource for Duke students and faculty and for the world.

 

As a token of appreciation, David M. Rubenstein presented President Faust with a rare first edition set of Francis Trevelyan Miller's ten-volume Photographic History of the Civil War.
As a token of appreciation, David M. Rubenstein presented President Faust with a rare first edition set of Francis Trevelyan Miller’s ten-volume Photographic History of the Civil War.

Today we celebrate a beautiful new home for these treasures, a place designed at once to protect them and to share them, to preserve them for the future and to make them readily accessible to the present. And all this has been made possible by someone who believes fervently in books and reads them voraciously, who believes just as fervently in philanthropy, and, I think it is safe to say, embraces and wants to share the enchantment of the real thing—of the Bay Psalm Book he purchased and has placed on exhibition here, of the Emancipation Proclamation he has loaned to hang in the Oval Office, of the Magna Carta he acquired to display at the National Archives. And clearly he venerates the institutions that care for these treasures as he has shown in his support not just for this library but for the National Archives, the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress—as well as for numerous universities—including my own—and museums and historic buildings and monuments. David Rubenstein is himself, as others have said before me, a national treasure, and thanks are due to this library and this university for all it did to make him so, through the education it provided him and the job in the library that helped to support him while he was here.

Emily Dickinson wrote that she found it “a precious, mouldering pleasure” and “a privilege” to meet an antique book. It has been a pleasure and a privilege for so many of us—students and scholars—to meet these collections—these books and manuscripts—over the years. So I am grateful to be able—more than four decades after my first visit—to say a public thank you. Thank you to Duke University, to its imaginative and knowledgeable librarians, and to David Rubenstein, who has ensured that generationsof students and scholars to come have the opportunity to be enchanted and enlightened by the preservation of the record of human thought, experience, and aspiration.

Strength in Numbers: A List of Duke University Libraries Endowments

Duke University; east campus

Great libraries are built over time. They evolve and grow over decades and centuries. That’s why endowments to the Duke University Libraries have such a lasting impact. Endowments establish a permanent stream of income that directly benefits Duke students and faculty members today, as well as those who will use our library resources in the future.

Supporting the Duke Forward campaign by establishing a library endowment is an opportunity to create an individualized legacy. Like endowed professorships, endowed library funds come with the assurance that knowledge of a beloved subject will continue to pass from one generation to the next. And because they generate ongoing income, endowments build strength and stability. The strongest collections in the Duke University Libraries are those endowed by generous donors over the last century.

We are grateful to the many friends, alumni, faculty, and students listed here who have established endowed library funds. Their support makes possible the kinds of innovative initiatives we highlight in this magazine. If you are interested in establishing an endowed library fund, contact Tom Hadzor, Associate University Librarian for Development, at 919-660-5940 or t.hadzor@duke.edu.

Bobbi Earp Checking Out Books

Alvin A. Achenbaum Travel Grants Fund
Established in 2014 for travel grants to visiting researchers at the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.

Rex and Ellen Adams Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1989 for unrestricted support.

African and Afro-American Studies Quasi Endowment
Established in 1991 to support the African and Afro-American Studies collection.

Evie Allison and Gay Wilson Allen Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1989 for the acquisition of books in American literature.

Evie and Gay Wilson Allen Quasi Endowment Fund for Library Preservation
Established in 2001 for the preservation of materials.

Thomas W. Andrews Memorial Endowment Fund
Established in 1990 to support the J. Walter Thompson Company Archives.

Aptman Family Fund for Duke University Libraries
Established in 2013 to support the Aptman Prizes undergraduate award program.

Lowell and Eileen Aptman Fund
Established in 2011 for unrestricted support.

H. Ross Arnold III Library Endowment Fund
Established in 2007 for unrestricted support.

Isaac Erwin Avery Fund
Established in 1912 for the acquisition of books on journalism.

John Spencer Bassett Memorial Fund
Established in 1942 for unrestricted support.

Patricia Meyers Baugh Endowment Fund
Established in 1984 for unrestricted support.

Helene S. Baumann Memorial Endowment Fund
Established in 2008 for unrestricted support.

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John M. and Sally V. Blalock Beard Endowment Fund for Perkins Library
Established in 1986 for acquisitions in history, economics, and Southern writers of the United States.

Douglas G. Beckstett and R. Elise Bideaux Library Endowment Fund
Established in 2000 for the acquisition and preservation of United States government documents.

Phillip R. and Valerie Bennett Family Library Endowment Fund
Established in 2000 for the preservation of materials.

Mary C. and Louis Berini Fund
Established in 2004 for unrestricted support.

Mary Duke Biddle Library Fund
Established in 1948 for unrestricted support.

Mary Lily Kenan Flagler Bingham Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1999 to provide research grants for access to women’s studies materials in Rubenstein Library.

Sallie Bingham Library Endowment Fund
Established in 2000 to support the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture.

Sallie Bingham Library Challenge Fund
Established in 2000 to match funds in support of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture.

John O. and Jeanne Miles Blackburn Endowment Fund
Established in 1987 for acquisitions.

Charles Kellogg Bobrinskoy Library Fund
Established in 2004 for unrestricted support.

Lehman and Sorly Brady Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1990 for unrestricted support to Lilly Library.

Ralph Braibanti Islamic Studies Endowment Fund
Established in 1995 to support Islamic collections.

Alfred and Elizabeth Brand Special Collections Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1995 for the acquisition and preservation of rare materials.

Sara H. and Bruce Brandaleone Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1998 for the acquisition and preservation of materials on United States civilization.

Irwin A. Brody Memorial Book Fund for the History of the Neurosciences
Established for acquisitions on the history of the neurosciences.

William A. Bryan and William A. Bryan, Jr. Endowment Fund
Established in 1988 for unrestricted support.

Stuart U. and William T. Buice III Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1998 for the preservation of materials.

Campbell Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1991 for unrestricted support.

E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation Exhibits Program
Established in 2007 to support the exhibits program at Duke University Libraries.

Leona B. Carpenter Senior Library Conservatorship Fund
Established in 2012 to support the Leona B. Carpenter Senior Library Conservatorship at Duke University.

Leona Bowman Carpenter Collection of English and American Literature Endowment Fund
Established in 1992 for the acquisition and preservation of English and American literature.

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Elon Clark Endowment Publication Fund
Established in 1981 for the publication of illustrated volumes on the History of Medicine.

Kenneth Willis Clark and Adelaide Dickinson Clark Endowment Fund
Established in 1981 for the acquisition of Greek manuscripts at Rubenstein Library.

Class of 1909 Endowment Fund
Established in 1909 for unrestricted support.

Mary Kestler-Paul Clyde Endowment Fund
Established in 1989 for acquisitions in Women’s Studies.

R. Taylor Cole Endowment Fund
Established in 1970 for the acquisition of books on political science.

Joel and Shirley Colton Fund
Established in 2009 for unrestricted support.

Donald D. and Elizabeth Griggs Cooke Foundation Endowment Fund
Established in 1984 for the acquisition of rare books and manuscripts for Rubenstein Library.

Eli Franklin Craven Memorial Endowment Fund
Established in 1983 for the acquisition and preservation of materials on United States history and culture.

Catherine G. Curran Quasi Fund
Established in 2009 to support the Sidney D. Gamble Photographic Collection.

Harry L. Dalton Curator of Rare Books Endowment Fund
Established in 1986 to support the Harry L. Dalton Curator of Rare Books.

Elizabeth Howland and Robert Grady Dawson Endowment Fund
Established in 1983 for unrestricted support.

DeMatteo Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1991 for unrestricted support.

Frank T. deVyver Endowment Fund
Established in 1970 for the acquisition of books on economics.

Marie E. and Robert O. Dierks Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1991 for the acquisition of books on engineering and computer science.

Isobel Craven Drill Endowment for Perkins Library Book Acquisitions
Established in 1993 for the acquisition of books and manuscripts.

Isobel Craven Drill Endowment for the Archives
Established in 1986 for the acquisition and preservation of records in the University Archives.

The Duke Endowment Library Collaboration Fund
Established in 2004 to support meetings between the four Duke Endowment supported libraries.

The Duke Endowment Perkins Library Quasi Fund
Established in 2008 for unrestricted support.

Duke University Libraries Memorial Endowment Fund
Established in 2005 for unrestricted support.

Robert B. and Connie Dunlap Endowment Fund
Established in 1996 for unrestricted support.

Dunspaugh-Dalton Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1979 for unrestricted acquisitions.

John and Eleanor Thomas Elliott Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1973 to support the James A. Thomas Collection.

Engineering Class of 1988 Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1988 for the acquisition of books and reference materials on engineering.

Faculty Recognition Endowment Fund
Established in 1991 for unrestricted support.

Teresa Fallon Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1999 for unrestricted support.

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Mary R. Few International Studies Endowment Fund
Established in 1995 for acquisitions in international studies.

William Preston Few Endowment Fund for the William R. Perkins Library
Established in 1985 for acquisitions in English literature and English language studies.

Gretchen S. and Edward A. Fish Endowment Fund
Established in 1997 for unrestricted support.

George Washington Flowers Memorial Fund
Established in 1937 for acquisitions on the culture of the American South.

John Hope Franklin Collection Fund
Established in 2004 for the acquisition and preservation of materials in the John Hope Franklin Collection.

Friends of the Library Preservation Endowment Fund
Established in 1998 for the preservation of materials.

Artyn Haig Gardner Endowment Fund
Established in 1989 for unrestricted support.

William Francis Gill Memorial Fund
Established in 2007 to support the Latin collection.

Glaxo Wellcome Endowment Fund for African American Documentation
Established in 1996 to support the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Elizabeth Tucker and William Burton Gosnell Endowment Fund
Established in 1986 for acquisitions.

Charles M. and Mary D. Grant Foundation Endowment
Established in 1975 for the acquisition of books.

Virginia Gearhart Gray Endowment
Established in 1976 for acquisitions on the history and culture of the United States.

Ira D. and Patricia S. Gruber Endowment Fund
Established in 2011 for unrestricted support.

Wally R. Hackett Library Fund
Established in 1981 for unrestricted support.

Gerd and Thor Hall / Ruth and Clarence Huling Library Fund
Established in 1990 to support continuing education for staff at the Duke University Libraries.

Louise Hall Library Endowment
Established in 1988 for the acquisition and preservation of materials on visual arts and architecture.

William B. Hamilton Library Fund
Established in 1965 for the acquisition of books and manuscripts.

Harry H. Harkins, Jr. Library Endowment Fund
Established in 2000 for acquisitions in gay and lesbian history, culture, and literature.

Evelyn Harrison Endowment Fund
Established in 1984 for unrestricted support of Lilly Library.

John W. Hartman Center Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1994 to support the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.

Judith Lofquist Healy Endowment Fund for English Literature
Established in 1990 for acquisitions in American literature.

Merle Hoffman Directorship Fund
Established in 2011 to support the Merle Hoffman Directorship of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture.

Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway Endowment Fund for the Librarian of Duke University
Established in 1997 to support the University Librarian of Duke University.

Eric L. Holsti Memorial Endowment Fund
Established in 1978 for acquisitions.

Ole Holsti Fund
Established in 2011 for unrestricted support.

Edward and Deborah Horowitz Endowment Fund
Established in 2005 for unrestricted support.

Jay B. Hubbell Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1986 for acquisitions in American literature.

William Thomas and Mollie Harris Huckabee Endowment Fund
Established in 1995 for the acquisition of books in American literature and history.

Huckle Library Fund
Established in 1980 for unrestricted support.

Eleanore and Harold Jantz Library Endowment Fund
Established in 2009 to support the Harold Jantz Collection.

Eleanore and Harold Jantz Graduate Student Internships Fund
Established in 2015 to support graduate student internships at Rubenstein Library.

Carl Wesley Judy Korean Library Fund
Established in 1994 for unrestricted support.

Jane W. and Harry D. Kellett Endowment Fund
Established in 1991 for the acquisition of books and materials.

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Mary Kestler-Paul Clyde Endowment Fund
Established in 1989 for acquisitions in Women’s Studies.

William King Endowment Fund for the University Archives
Established in 2002 to support the University Archives.

Korman Leadership Endowment Fund
Established in 1987 to support the Korman American Presidency Collection.

J. Walter Lambeth Fund
Established in 1966 for the acquisition of books on international understanding.

Landis-Suther Library Endowment
Established in 1987 for acquisitions in American literature for Lilly Library.

Karla Langedijk Library Endowment
Established in 1981 for acquisitions of rare books and materials.

John Tate Lanning Endowment Fund
Established in 1970 for the acquisition of books on history.

John Tate Lanning Endowment Collection
Established in 1973 for the acquisition of books on Spanish and Latin American fields and related history.

Librarian’s Discretionary Endowment Fund
Established in 1991 to provide discretionary income for expenditure by the University Librarian.

Eleanor B. MacLaurin Marine Laboratory Library Quasi Endowment Fund
Established in 1987 for acquisitions at the Duke University Marine Biological Laboratory.

Eleanor B. MacLaurin Biological Sciences Library Quasi Endowment Fund
Established in 1987 for acquisitions in zoology.

Ronald E. Marcello Fund for Historical Collections
Established in 2011 for acquisitions of primary and secondary materials on American history.

McConnell Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1991 for unrestricted support.

John and Carol McEachren Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1987 for the acquisition of books.

Andrew W. Mellon Fund for Senior Library Conservator
Established in 2010 to support the Senior Library Conservator at Duke University.

Gertrude Merritt Endowment
Established in 1980 for the acquisition of books.

Harvey M. and Lenore P. Meyerhoff Fund
Established in 1980 for acquisitions.

Chester P. Middlesworth Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1987 to provide annual awards to undergraduate and graduate papers utilizing the manuscript collections.

Wendy and Bruce Mosler Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1987 for unrestricted support.

Julia H. Negley Endowment Fund
Established in 1985 to support the Glenn Negley Collection of Utopian Literature.

Neske Family Endowment Fund for German Materials
Established in 2014 to support the German materials collection.

Nineteenth-Century American Humor Endowed Library Fund
Established in 1989 for acquisitions in nineteenth-century American humor.

Jean Fox O’Barr Fund
Established in 2010 to support the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture.

Claudia Louise Salley Parker Fund
Established in 1980 for the acquisition of primary sources on medieval and early modern European history to 1648.

Harold T. Parker Book Fund
Established in 1978 for the acquisition of books on European history.

Lucile Parker Fund
Established in 1966 for acquisitions.

PepsiCo Foundation Library Endowment Fund
Established in 2001 to support the Technology Mentor Program at Duke University.

Perkins Library Quasi Endowment Fund
Established in 2006 to provide operational and budgetary support for Perkins Library.

T.L. Perkins Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1971 for the acquisition of books.

Leland R. Phelps Endowment for Rare Books
Established in 1990 for unrestricted support of the rare book collections.

Benjamin E. Powell Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1975 for acquisitions.

Reynolds Price Quasi Endowment Fund
Established in 2015 for the acquisition of manuscripts by American writers from the 20th century, with a preference for materials related to Reynolds Price.

Lura Abernathy Rader Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1979 for acquisitions and operational needs.

Rare Books & Materials Fund
Established in 2014 to support materials related to physics donated to the Rubenstein Library.

Arthur G. Raynes Endowment in Imaginative Writing
Established in 1986 to support the Arthur G. Raynes Collection of Contemporary Letters.

Floyd M. and Marguerite F. Riddick Endowment Fund
Established in 1983 for the acquisition and preservation of materials on legislative and parliamentary procedure, American politics, and public policy at Rubenstein Library.

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Verne and Tanya Roberts Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1998 for unrestricted support.

Alice S. and Louis H. Roddis, Jr. Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1986 to support materials on the history of science and technology.

Steed Rollins Memorial Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1987 to support the Steed Rollins Collection of American and English literature at Rubenstein Library.

Rudolph William Rosati Endowment Fund
Established in 2012 to advance creative writing among students.

Mattie Underwood Russell Endowment Fund
Established in 1985 for the acquisition and preservation of manuscripts on the history and culture of the Americas.

Clyde Ryals Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1991 for the acquisition of rare materials in Victorian English literature.

Anna H. Smith Endowment Fund
Established in 1988 for unrestricted support.

Earl E.T. Smith, Jr. Diplomatic Studies Library Endowment
Established in 1992 for the acquisition of materials in diplomatic studies.

Robert S. Smith Memorial Fund
Established in 1971 for the acquisition of books on economics in Spain and Latin America.

Barbaralee Diamonstein and Carl Spielvogel Video History Archive Fund
Established in 1987 to support the Diamonstein/Spielvogel Video Archive.

Henry Call and Margaret Jordan Sprinkle Fund
Established in 1997 for unrestricted support.

Henry L. Taylor Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1987 for unrestricted support.

Mary Olive Thomas Endowment Fund
Established in 1984 for acquisitions.

J. Walter Thompson Company Fund Incorporated Endowment
Established in 1990 to support the J. Walter Thompson Company Archives.

Philip Traci Memorial Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1986 for the acquisition of books on rhetoric.

Trent History of Medicine Endowment Fund
Established in 2014 to support the mission of the History of Medicine Collections.

Arlin Turner Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1986 for the acquisition of rare books in American literature.

George I. Uhde, MD Endowment Fund
Established in 1981 to support the Trent Associates of the History of Medicine Collections.

Walter McGowan and Minnie Daniel Upchurch Fund
Established in 2007 to support the sacred music collection.

W.M. Upchurch, Jr. Memorial Endowment for the Archives
Established in 1990 for the acquisition and preservation of student-generated records for the University Archives.

Aleksandar S. Vesic Memorial Library Fund
Established in 1983 for the acquisition of materials on engineering.

Vinnakota Family Library Endowment Fund
Established in 1999 for new collection initiatives.

John P. and Byrne Ware Waggoner Endowment Fund
Established in 1988 for acquisitions.

Lexie I. Walton Endowment Fund
Established in 1988 for unrestricted support.

Professor Bruce Wear Wardropper Fund
Established in 2004 for unrestricted support.

William and Lizabeth Weaver Library Endowment
Established in 1989 to support the William B. Weaver Memorial Lecture.

Paul B. Williams, Inc. New Technology Endowment Fund
Established in 2008 to support new technology.

James J. Wolfe Memorial Fund
Established in 1921 for the acquisition of periodicals on biology.

Women’s Studies Archives Endowment Fund
Established in 1993 to support the Women’s Studies Archivist and the Women’s Studies Archive.

Lizzie Taylor Wrenn Foundation Fund
Established in 2007 for acquisitions.

Duke Partners with SNCC Activists on Civil Rights Website

Victoria Gray of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party on the floor of the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. © 1976 George Ballis/Take Stock
Victoria Gray of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party on the floor of the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. © 1976 George Ballis/Take Stock

Students, faculty and librarians at Duke University will partner with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Legacy Project over the next three years. Together with civil rights scholars, they will build a digital gateway that will reveal the evolving tactics that SNCC and local communities used to develop the philosophical and organizational models that produced universal voting rights.

Made possible by a $604,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the Duke University Libraries, the SNCC Digital Gateway will provide a new interpretive framework for SNCC’s history that incorporates essays and analysis, historic documents, timelines, maps, activist profiles, oral histories, short documentary films, audiovisual materials and teaching resources.

The SNCC Digital Gateway will build on the success of One Person, One Vote (onevotesncc.org), a new web resource launched in March that was developed collaboratively by the SNCC Legacy Project, the Duke University Libraries, and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

SNCC organizers set up polling station in Greenwood, Mississippi, for the 1963 Freedom Vote election. © 1976 Matt Herron/Take Stock
SNCC organizers set up polling station in Greenwood, Mississippi, for the 1963 Freedom Vote election. © 1976 Matt Herron/Take Stock

Members of the SNCC Legacy Project—men and women who organized alongside local people in the Deep South for civil rights in the 1960s—will play a central role in the Mellon-funded project. They will come to Duke’s campus as Visiting Activist Scholars and work closely with undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members, archivists and digital experts to explain what SNCC did, how they did it and who was involved.

Courtland Cox, chairman of the SNCC Legacy Project, served as an organizer in Mississippi and Alabama in the 1960s. “Our experiences have created a level of ‘informational wealth’ that we need to pass on to young people,” he said. “This unprecedented collaboration with Duke University hopefully will pilot a way for other academic institutions to re-engage history and those who make it.”

Although historians have written about SNCC’s history, the story of how students and local communities worked together to bring about voting rights and other reforms has not yet reached the broader public.

Fannie Lou Hamer and Bob Moses represent the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party at the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. © 1976 George Ballis/Take Stock
Fannie Lou Hamer and Bob Moses represent the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party at the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. © 1976 George Ballis/Take Stock

Most histories of the civil rights movement focus on the great leaders, dramatic marches and judicial and legislative changes that dominated the headlines. By contrast, the SNCC Digital Gateway will examine the behind-the-scenes work, circumstances and coalitions that shifted the national agenda toward voting rights.

Specifically, the project will describe how SNCC’s organizers moved from being an organization of protesters to one of organizers in three pivotal locations: Mississippi; Lowndes County and Selma, Alabama; and Southwest Georgia.

Wesley Hogan, director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke, has written extensively about SNCC’s work and legacy. According to her, “The way we are working together—activists, archivists, and scholars—is a powerful new model. This project gives us a unique opportunity to understand the work of the local people who broke apart Jim Crow that would otherwise be lost to future generations.”

Led by student veterans of the sit-in movement, SNCC was formed at Shaw University in Raleigh in 1960. Through its full-time student workers or “field secretaries,” SNCC generated unprecedented activism at the local level that proved instrumental to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. SNCC became the cutting edge of the direct-action civil rights movement, focusing on political freedom and equal economic opportunity.

“The victories that SNCC worked so hard to achieve are now being challenged in many states, including North Carolina, Texas, Florida, South Carolina and Wisconsin,” said John Gartrell, director of Duke’s John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture. “State legislatures are debating voter ID requirements, guidelines for early voting, same-day registration and restrictions on counting some provisional ballots. Our hope is that the SNCC Digital Gateway will consider which organizing principles and strategies might be useful to today’s generation of activists and foster a broader intergenerational dialogue about the meaning of democracy today.”

Find Out More: Visit the One Person, One Vote website at onevotesncc.org.

The Floating Librarian: A Duke Librarian at Sea

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The view from Catherine Shreve’s cabin aboard MV Explorer. Unless otherwise noted, all images by Catherine Shreve.

By Catherine Shreve

Catherine Shreve, Duke’s librarian for Public Policy and Political Science, spent last fall literally overseas, working as assistant librarian on a ship for the Semester at Sea program. This floating college visited fourteen Atlantic-border countries—from Russia to Morocco to Brazil and Cuba—while tying the experiences to on-board undergraduate coursework across the disciplines. Before she retires from the Libraries this summer, we asked her to share and reflect on the experience.

In 2014 I went on a self-imposed sabbatical, traveling the Atlantic as the assistant librarian on the ship MV Explorer. The Semester at Sea (SAS) program has been described as a floating college. While sailing the world, undergraduates take a full and varied load of credit courses. As one of my colleagues put it, imagine you are at a small college of about 600 students, and everyone—students, faculty, and staff—lives in the same dorm and eats in the same dining hall. That is the SAS experience. (Not to mention the fascinating field trips we take together.)

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Catherine Shreve, Duke’s librarian for Public Policy and Political Science.

Semester at Sea draws students and professors from all over the United States and several other countries. The University of Virginia, SAS’s academic sponsor, provided the dean, registrar, head librarian, and several professors.

The faculty offered courses in a variety of disciplines. Each student was required to take one course that investigated the countries we were visiting through a specific lens such as architecture, biology, commerce, literature, or politics.

Most courses included some focus on the Middle Passage of slaves from Africa to Brazil, since we were scheduled to cross the Atlantic on that route. When our African stops were canceled due to the recent Ebola scare, the ship community rallied to ensure that the content was emphasized in a profoundly moving way. One memorable evening, students, faculty, and staff read from slave narratives in the dim light of the auditorium as the mid-Atlantic ocean rocked our ship.

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Catherine Shreve (far right) with the library team

The head librarian and I supported the coursework from the ship’s library. It was centrally located in an open space, so people often met there to research, study, or just chat. The Reference Desk was an inviting curved glass surface with swivel stools, which had formerly been a bar when the MV Explorer was a cruise ship!

While UVA provided access to databases of journal articles, the complexities of internet access at sea meant that searching and downloading were time-consuming. We learned to be flexible and creative. Working without our accustomed level of electronic connectivity, we rediscovered the joy of browsing print books to identify relevant chapters.

There were other surprising twists that came with ship’s library work, such as balancing ourselves and the books on stormy days. The last-minute request from UVA to weed 20 percent of the collection in preparation for a smaller ship this summer took some scrambling. The rush to check out travel guides before we arrived in each port became a social event and my favorite novel part of the job.

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Pre-voyage parents’ reception in the ship library.

It was in the ports that the best learning took place, through firsthand contact with the people, cultures, and governments of other countries. Classes visited concentration camps, memorials, embassies, universities, the International Court of Justice, NATO, and the UN. Students experienced other cultures with new eyes, hearts, and minds, while assimilating the shipboard discussions and pre-port presentations. For those who had never traveled extensively, it was an opportunity for personal growth. They learned to be adaptable, coping with confusion, frustration, and homesickness while communicating with people in different languages and cultures.

I kept a blog to document my own eye-opening experiences. I saw beautiful buildings and works of art and heard horrific stories of how incomprehensibly inhuman people can be. I visited a Russian family at their dacha, where one woman quietly told me, “Look, I don’t agree with what Putin’s doing, but what can I do?” I saw a Moroccan women’s co-operative in action; participated in a Brazilian candomble (indigenous religious) ceremony; spoke to Cubans on the street and toured a public library in Havana; and everywhere found graffiti and other portrayals of historical and current politics.

This story is difficult to tell without using clichés like “amazing” and “once-in-a-lifetime.” The Semester at Sea community bonded strongly over our experiences in three-and-a-half months of working, living, and exploring together. We all have new lifelong friends and travel partners, and are on the lookout for the next magnificent opportunity to learn the world.

MV Explorer all passengers original by Joshua Weisburg
Semester at Sea students, faculty, and staff aboard the MV Explorer. Photo by Joshua Weisburg, Institute for Shipboard Education.

Check out Catherine’s Semester at Sea blog:
floatinglibrariansas.blogspot.com

Finding Dad: A Man Spies the Father He Never Knew on an Aged Black-and-White Film Reel

By Eric Ferreri

As the grainy footage began rolling, Furman Penland, Jr., quickly recognized his mother in the crowd. That fellow walking next to her was familiar, too.

But it took Penland a beat or two to realize the young man passing quickly through the frame of this silent, 75-year-old black-and-white film was the father he’d never known.

Penland was just six months old in 1944 when his father died in the Normandy Invasion during World War II. The only child of a young widow, he grew to know his father through family stories, photos and a large stack of letters his parents wrote back and forth to each other during Furman Penland Sr.’s deployment.

That was it until a few months ago, when an email from an old friend directed Penland, now 71, to a Duke University Libraries website housing digitized movies of rural folk in places like Dante, the coal-mining town in southwestern Virginia where he grew up.

In one section of a twelve-minute reel from Dante, a line of teenagers walks along a fence line, school books in hand, smiles on their faces.

“I recognized my mother and some other family members,” Penland recalls. “And my mother was walking with this guy. I kept going back and forth thinking ‘this could be my dad.’ And I’m as sure as I could be that it is. It was shocking.”

The Dante film was one of 252 “Movies of Local People” produced by filmmaker H. Lee Waters between 1936 and 1942 in small towns across North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Waters made a living in those years showing the films in southern movie houses.

The collection has been digitized and is now available on the Duke University Libraries website. It is searchable by town.

Since the digitized collection was released in January, the Libraries have heard over and over from people eager to reminisce about their small-town roots. Many watch the reels looking for family, friends and local landmarks.

The tone of comments on these films is unusually specific and sentimental, says Molly Bragg, Digital Collections Program Manager.

A viewer of the Fuquay-Varina film, for example, points out her husband’s aunt Sophia and makes note of the local gas station, Clark-Phelps Service & Fuel. On the Henderson, North Carolina reel, another viewer remembers that one local school back then had three sets of twins as drum majors.

“We get comments all the time on our collections, but the reaction we see from the Waters collection is far more personal,” Bragg says. “It elicits a passion from people that we don’t really see from other collections.”

In the 1940 Dante film, the teenage Penland walks alongside Nancy Townes, the woman he’d later marry. He wears an open-collar shirt under a light, buttoned cardigan sweater. He totes a couple of schoolbooks at his waist. Nancy walks alongside, warmed by a floor-length coat, a scarf around her neck, school books tucked tightly against her. Like many of the youngsters in this movie, she sneaks a coy peek at the camera as she passes beneath it. He appears to as well.

Furman Penland, Jr.
Furman Penland, Jr.

They come and go in a four-second blip right at the film’s two-minute mark. Where were they going? What were they talking about? Had they any idea, at that moment, that they’d fall in love, have a son and suffer tragedy in a war overseas?

Nancy Townes Penland never remarried. She worked as a factory worker and school teacher in and around Dante and died in 1997.

Penland Jr. went to Eastern Kentucky University on a football scholarship and later became a psychologist. He worked for many years at Wake Forest University before moving to Asheville to head the local Area Health Education Centers branch there, a medical outreach program under the University of North Carolina umbrella. He and his wife are now retired and still live in Asheville.

“It’s real. It’s just three or four seconds, but these are very meaningful seconds I never expected to have.”

His has been a life in full, and yet this brief clip of black-and-white film recorded four years before he was born has helped fill in some gaps in his life. The story of where he comes from now seems more tangible.

“These were two live people who would try to make a life together at a time of poverty and war,” he says now. “It’s real. It’s just three or four seconds, but these are very meaningful seconds I never expected to have. I’m 71 years old now. It took me that long to see my dad.”

Eric Ferreri is a senior writer with Duke’s Office of News and Communications. A previous version of this story originally appeared online on DukeToday.

Find Out More: Check out the H. Lee Waters Film Collection on the Duke University Libraries Digital Collections Website.

New Collection Spans Five Centuries of Women’s History

Copies of Susan B. Anthony's suffragist newspaper The Revolution. The Lisa Unger Baskin Collection contains the most complete known run of the publication.
Copies of Susan B. Anthony’s suffragist newspaper The Revolution. The Lisa Unger Baskin Collection contains the most complete known run of the publication.

The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University has acquired one of the largest and most significant private collections on women’s history, documenting the work and intellectual contributions of women from the Renaissance to the modern era.

Carefully assembled over forty-five years by noted bibliophile, activist and collector Lisa Unger Baskin, the collection includes more than 8,600 rare books and thousands of manuscripts, journals, ephemera and artifacts, including author Virginia Woolf’s writing desk.

Among the works are many well-known monuments of women’s history and literature, as well as lesser-known works produced by female scholars, printers, publishers, scientists, artists and political activists. Taken together, they comprise a mosaic of the ways women have been productive, creative, and socially engaged over more than five hundred years. The collection will become a part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture within the Rubenstein Library.

Virginia Woolf's custom-designed writing desk. Photo by Annie Schlecter.
Virginia Woolf’s custom-designed writing desk. Photo by Annie Schlecter.

“We are honored to be the institutional home of this spectacular collection,” said Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs. “Lisa Baskin’s lifelong passion for collecting and preserving women’s history resonates deeply with us at Duke. Her approach to collection building is a kind of activism itself, and in that respect it shares much in common with our own. Throughout our history, the Duke University Libraries have strived to build collections that document lives and achievements that would otherwise be hidden from history.”

The materials range in date from a 1240 manuscript documenting a respite home for women in Italy to a large collection of letters and manuscripts by the twentieth-century anarchist Emma Goldman. Most materials were created between the mid-fifteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. Other highlights include correspondence by legendary American and English suffragists and abolitionists Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Emmeline Pankhurst, and Lucretia Mott; Harriet Beecher Stowe’s publicity blurb for the Narrative of Sojourner Truth, written in Stowe’s own hand; decorated bindings by the celebrated turn-of-the-century British binders Sarah Prideaux, Katharine Adams and Sybil Pye; and Woolf’s writing desk, which the author designed herself.

Selected letters and materials by the twentieth-century anarchist Emma Goldman.
Selected letters and materials by the twentieth-century anarchist Emma Goldman.

“Lisa Baskin’s remarkable collection aligns perfectly with the strengths and character of the Rubenstein Library,” said Naomi Nelson, Associate University Librarian and Director of the Rubenstein Library. “We pride ourselves on our signature collections in women’s history and culture, African American history, the history of medicine, human rights, documentary arts, advertising and economics—all areas Lisa has attended to in building her collection. We look forward to collaborating with her as we add to the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection and share it with the public. ”

Baskin and her late husband, the artist Leonard Baskin, were both avid book collectors. Leonard also founded the Gehenna Press, one of the preeminent American private presses of the twentieth century. Lisa Unger Baskin began collecting materials on women’s history in the 1960s after attending Cornell University. She is a member of the Grolier Club, the oldest American society for bibliophiles.

Typescript of a story by Edith Wharton, hand-edited by the author.
Typescript of a story by Edith Wharton, hand-edited by the author.

“I am delighted that my collection will be available to students, scholars and the community at Duke University, a great teaching and research institution,” Baskin said. “Because of Duke’s powerful commitment to the central role of libraries, and digitization in teaching, it is clear to me that my collection will be an integral part of the university in the coming years and long into the future. I trust that this new and exciting life for my books and manuscripts will help to transform and enlarge the notion of what history is about, deeply reflecting my own interests.”

Materials from the collection will be available to researchers once they have been cataloged. Some items will be on display in the renovated Rubenstein Library when it reopens to the public at the end of August 2015.

Find Out More about the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection on the Rubenstein Library Website.

Making a Good Case: A Look Behind the Scenes at Our New Exhibit Spaces

A worker installing the new Goppion cases in the Mary Duke Biddle Room.
A worker installing the new Goppion cases in the Mary Duke Biddle Room.

By Meg Brown

When you step inside the renovated Rubenstein Library, one of the first things you will notice is that we have completely redesigned and expanded our library exhibit spaces.

Exhibits play an important role in the educational and outreach mission of the Libraries. They also showcase the breadth and diversity of what a great library system like Duke’s has to offer.

Of course, effective exhibits are easy to enjoy and appreciate, but they are anything but easy to produce. A lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into every exhibit you see at the library.

One of the most exciting aspects of that work, for me, has been the design and production of our new exhibit cases. After years of poring over technical drawings with architects, conservators, designers, and builders, our new cases are finally being installed and will be ready to house the Libraries’ treasures when we open to the public at the end of August.

The company that is building thenew exhibit cases also designed the cases for the Mona Lisa at the Louvre and the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.
The company that is building thenew exhibit cases also designed the cases for the Mona Lisa at the Louvre and the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.

To produce the new exhibit cases in the Biddle Rare Book Room, we decided to work with Goppion, a small Italian company that has perfected the art of exhibit case design. (They designed the cases for the Mona Lisa at the Louvre and the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, among other high-profile projects.)

When your goal is to display irreplaceable historical documents and artifacts, but also keep them safe and secure, no detail is too small to consider. What kind of glass should you use? What kind of cloth? What kind of hinges? Which way should the exhibit case doors open? Over the last two years, we’ve held countless meetings to discuss environmental controls, shelf heights, conservation testing, light levels and angles, and, not least important, color. We also visited other libraries and museums across the United States to learn from their expertise.

In March of 2014, some of us traveled to Goppion’s headquarters in Milan, Italy, to look at prototypes. The trip was so inspiring we changed some design ideas. Eventually, everyone got down to the “real” work of turning our plans into reality.

Meg Brown, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation Exhibits Coordinator, at the Goppion headquarters in Milan.
Meg Brown, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation Exhibits Coordinator, at the Goppion headquarters in Milan.

Our architects with the firm Shepley Bulfinch figured out how to blend metal and glass into the wood-lined gentlemen’s library design scheme of the Biddle Rare Book Room. Carpenters from Stephenson Millwork constructed encasements to wrap around the gasketed structures. And Goppion’s case-makers began installing large sheets of glass, figuring out how to make doors open sideways, and designing enclosures that will keep our library materials safe in every way.

And me? I began to work with teams of curators to design exhibits for spaces that were still under construction. I made drawings and physical mock-ups and took measurements of every square inch in an attempt to design for a space we could only see in our mind’s eye.

Our exhibit spaces have expanded with the Rubenstein renovation! This map shows where each room and gallery is located.
Our exhibit spaces have expanded with the Rubenstein renovation! This map shows where each room and gallery is located.

Things are finally coming together now. The glass and metal structures of the cases are in place. The carpenters are wrapping the room with beautiful wood paneling and millwork. The curators are writing and revising their labels. Any day now we will walk through the door and see the fruit of our labor. I hope you will come visit in August, be inspired by the renovations, and bask in the beauty of great craftsmanship and hard work!

Meg Brown is the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation Exhibits Coordinator.

Learning While They’re Earning: An Appreciation of Student Workers

The Libraries are one of the largest employers of students on campus, with more than 250 undergraduates and graduate students employed in various positions during the academic year.
The Libraries are one of the largest employers of students on campus, with more than 250 undergraduates and graduate students employed in various positions during the academic year.

By Gwen Hawkes

The Duke University Libraries are a bustling hub of activity—everywhere students are chatting over cups of coffee, tucked away in study carrels, and diving into the depths of the stacks. But in addition to the crowds of diligent Dukies chipping away at their work, there is a second, less obvious body of regulars who are always here—student employees.

The Libraries are one of the largest employers of students on campus, with more than 250 undergraduates and graduate students employed in various positions during the academic year. Students are an indispensable part of our workforce, and without them we could not be one of the top research libraries in the nation. So in recognition of their important contributions to our success, we would like to introduce you to just a few of our brilliant library student workers.


Kristin BrunnKristin Brunn
Senior, Environmental Science and Policy
Where She Works: Perkins Library Circulation Desk

The students who staff the circulation desk at Perkins Library have become familiar and welcome faces to the patrons they serve. Kristin Brunn, along with her co-workers in Circulation, represents the public face of the Libraries. Kristin, who has worked for the library for three years, says her duties include checking out materials, handling closed reserve books, managing the nearby e-print stations, and answering patrons’ questions.

Kristin’s job has pushed her to become comfortable chatting with new people and interacting with the never-ending stream of library patrons. Plus, her work experience at the library has helped her get a second job working with Duke Reunions.

 


Chris Moldes
M.A. Candidate, Slavic and Eurasian Studies
Where He Works: International and Area Studies

Chris Moldes

While many students work at the circulation desk, far more are at work behind the scenes. Chris Moldes, a graduate student in the Slavic and Eurasian Studies department, started working here last year after he received a notice about an opening in the Libraries’ International and Area Studies Department. The library had recently received fifty boxes of new materials, all in Russian, and needed someone to help process them. Chris was the perfect candidate—he was looking for an opportunity to improve his Russian translation skills in a practical way, and soon he was up to his elbows in Russian materials.

The majority of the donated documents were Russian grammar books, many of them from Soviet times. Chris was fascinated by the cultural and historical perspectives the materials presented. He recalls flipping through alphabet books for children, which featured Stalin prominently throughout. Looking at books from just a few years later, Stalin was conspicuously absent. Among the materials there was a volume from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, a comprehensive encyclopedia created by the Soviet Union from 1926 to 1990. The historical disparities between the American and Soviet perspectives made it one of Chris’s favorite finds.


Beatriz Wallace
MFA Candidate, Experimental and Documentary Arts
Where She Works: Murthy Digital Studio in The Edge

Beatriz Wallace

A world away from boxes of Russian grammars, Beatriz Wallace sits beside a student in the Murthy Digital Studio, part of the renovated space in The Edge: The Ruppert Commons for Research, Technology, and Collaboration. Beatriz, a Digital Humanities Graduate Assistant, is helping the student find the best digital format to accommodate and promote her work.

Much of Beatriz’s work involves creatively merging the humanities with science and technology. She is currently part of a four-person team developing a new online resource titled Project Vox. The project addresses the fact that few female students choose to pursue majors in philosophy. This is, in part, because students receive limited exposure to the work of female philosophers. Project Vox is a digital resource specifically devoted to showcasing the work of women philosophers and making their writings easily accessible (projectvox.library.duke.edu).

Beatriz has also used library resources extensively in her own creative work as an MFA at Duke. While working on a project about illness and illustration, she was struck by the artificiality and coldness of medical diagrams and images. Combing through resources from the Duke Medical Center Archives and the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, she looked for medical images from before the digital era. These sketches and drawings had been crafted by human hands and had a warmth and presence about them that was completely different from their modern-day counterparts. She went on to digitally alter and combine many of the images as part of an art installation, Anatomy in Four Parts. In combination with other material investigations of medical imagery, such as preserved animal organs, her installation highlighted the ways we interact and imagine illness as both an art and science.


Aaron Webb
Senior, Physics Major
Where He Works: Verne and Tanya Roberts Conservation Lab

Aaron Webb

The digital humanities may be focused on the future, but across the library another department is working to make sure we don’t let the past slip away. Aaron Webb is a senior working in the Verne and Tanya Roberts Conservation Lab, where the most delicate and fragile of the Libraries’ materials are repaired and protected. Currently, Aaron is working on re-encapsulating some historical maps from the Libraries’ collections. This involves sealing the individual maps between two pieces of Mylar, allowing them to be handled and used without wear-and-tear to the paper.

Aaron is majoring in physics, and surprisingly he has managed to pick up some transferable skills during his time working in the library. The most difficult part about working in the Conservation Lab is the precision that it requires, but Aaron uses that same care while doing delicate electronics work. It turns out that wielding a bone folder or conservation scalpel is not so different from handling a soldering iron in a physics lab!


Anna Maudlin Speth
Senior, History Major
Where She Works: David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Anna Maudlin Speth

Anna Maudlin Speth’s academic interests and her job at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library are a near-perfect match. Anna Maudlin has always had a love for old things, but it was not until her freshman year at Duke that she became interested in majoring in history. Wondering what sort of careers could result from such a major, she met with her Writing 101 professor. One possible career path her professor suggested was to become a librarian. Anna Mauldin was intrigued, and by her sophomore year she was employed as a reproductions assistant in the Rubenstein Library.

Working in the Rubenstein, Anna Mauldin makes copies of materials requested by researchers who cannot visit the reading room themselves. She also staffs the research services desk, helping patrons access the materials they have requested.
Anna Maudlin’s job exposes her to a wide range of historical materials. Among her favorites is a set of journals from pioneers who moved west across the country. She finds them particularly fascinating because, having made the cross-country journey themselves, the journals are also pioneers.

Inspired in part by her work in the Rubenstein Library, Anna Maudlin recently applied and was accepted to library school where she plans to focus on archival work.


These are merely a handful of the stories and faces behind the students who keep the Libraries working. The next time you check out a book, pore over rare manuscripts in the Rubenstein, or peruse a Soviet encyclopedia, be sure to thank a student worker.

Gwen Hawkes (T’16) is an English major and a library student worker herself. For the last two years, she has worked in the Library Communications department.