I was looking through the May 1944 issue of Duke’s Divinity School Bulletin when I came across a brief article about a Bo tree (Ficus religiosa) presented to the Divinity School in honor of then-Ivey Professor of the History of Religion and Missions James Cannon III. (He’d later serve as the Divinity School’s [...]

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The portraits of Durham photographer Hugh Mangum are the subject of a new exhibit, opening July 22nd at the Museum of Durham History’s History Hub. “Hugh Mangum on Main Street: Portraits from the Early 20th Century” shows Mangum’s largely unknown portraits of Southern society after Reconstruction.

Mangum was born in Durham in 1877 [...]

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In late August 1945, Dr. George Salmon, Jr. of New Jersey wrote a letter to Duke’s Zoology Dept., asking for help in identifying whether a tibia bone he sent belonged to a duck or to a chicken.

I found the description amusing as to why he wanted to know this as well as [...]

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At an unknown moment in the 16th century, no earlier than 1520, a European bookbinder reached for scrap vellum to complete the binding of a recently printed book, an edition of Suetonius’ De Vita Duodecim Caesarum Libri XII (Lives of the Twelve Caesars) printed by Johann Prüss in Strassburg.

The bookbinder’s exterior work, beautifully blind-stamped [...]

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Date: Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Room 102, Duke Medical Center Library
Contact: Beverly Murphy, beverly.murphy@duke.edu

Please join us on Wednesday, June 18 at noon for a lecture by Dr. Margaret Humphreys titled “Finding Dr. Harris: an African American Surgeon in the U.S. Civil War.” [...]

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After nearly eight years in the United States, Charlie finally returned to China, armed with a degree from Vanderbilt, in January 1886. The transition to being part of the Methodist mission in Shanghai was hardly an easy one, however, as he revealed in a June 1886 letter addressed to “My dearest friend.” For one thing, [...]

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Mad Men‘s  midseason finale juxtaposes the U.S. space program and Napoleon as twin parables on the successes and failures of grand vision and ambition. The Apollo 11 launch and landing on the moon in July 1969 provides a running theme through the episode, and creates a poignant contrast between everyday life and [...]

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When Charles J. “Charlie” Soong arrived at Trinity College in 1881 as the school’s first international student, he had already seen much more of the world than the average student. Born in Hainan Province, China as Han Chiao-shun in 1866, Charlie traveled to the Dutch East Indies as a young boy to work, [...]

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After weeks of angst and anxiety, Mad Men showed viewers a happier Don Draper and Peggy Olsen last night. They are finally back in sync and working well together. Peggy and Mathis survey mothers at a Burger Chef restaurant about their reasons for buying family dinners there. Pete and Bonnie fly to [...]

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Dearest readers, do you ever feel that there’s not enough Rubenstein Library in your social media day? True, we’re on Facebook, and we have this wonderful blog, and many of our collecting centers also have extensive social media presences (check out the list in the right-hand column) . . . but what if [...]

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