When I first accepted this position, several friends teased me about the title and asked if a scholarly communications officer carried a badge. Good-natured ribbing aside, one of the images I struggle against is that of “copyright cop.” Although my first responsibility is to advise faculty, staff, and students about the application of copyright law to their varied and changing activities, I try to do that without always saying “no.”
My mother recently sent me a letter which she had come across while cleaning out an over-burdened closet. After reading it and digesting its contents, she knew it would pique the interest of her son, an archivist now curating a human rights collection at Duke University. I mention this letter from my family’s own archives to illustrate from a personal perspective the important and perhaps unexpected nature of human rights documentation that is being collected by the Archive for Human Rights at the Duke Libraries.
From England’s first diplomatic mission to China in the late 18th century to the rise of the People’s Republic in the twentieth century, European and American government representatives, missionaries, business people and tourists living and working in China documented their activities and observations, creating an invaluable record of China’s evolution over two centuries into a modern power.
As an adolescent, I understood The Color Purple to be a story about pain and, ultimately, triumph. But as an adult who has gone through her own process of healing and who is nearing mid-life (God willing), this becomes a new story.
Knowledge Bytes – Internet Sites Selected for the Readers of Duke University Libraries