Category Archives: Digital Collections

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The Chronicle’s First-Hand Account of a White Supremacist

The shocking shootings in Kansas City during the past weekend have brought renewed attention to Glenn Miller (Glenn Cross), a longtime white supremacist with ties to North Carolina. In Monday’s Washington Post, Robert Satloff, Trinity College class of 1983, wrote about his harrowing experience interviewing Miller in 1981 and the Chronicle article that resulted.

The first-hand account, from the April 15, 1981 issue of the Aeolus (the Chronicle’s weekly magazine of the period) is a frightening glimpse into Miller’s mindset. Satloff wrote, “Perhaps I didn’t think that such close-minded, violent, intolerant people still exist. Perhaps I am naïve. I’m not anymore.”

Read the chilling article below. This issue of the Aeolus, and other Chronicle issues from 1980 to February 1989, will soon be added to the Libraries’ Chronicle digital collection.

UPDATE: The April 15, 1981 issue is now available in full in our Chronicle digital collection.

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Post contributed by Valerie Gillispie, Duke University Archivist.

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New Digital Collection: Duke Chapel Recordings

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Undated photograph of a service in Duke Chapel, from the University Archives Photograph Collection.

We are pleased to announce a new digital collection, The Duke Chapel Recordings. This collection of 168 recordings features inspiring sermons from a variety of theologians and preachers, including a number of notable African American and female preachers. The collection includes both audio, and where available, video of the services.

The project was a collaboration of the University Archives, the Libraries’ Digital Collections Department, and the Duke University Chapel. The original recordings are part of a large collection held in the University Archives. We hope the recordings are used for a variety of purposes: the study of homiletics, research into the spiritual response to social changes, musical study, and simple inspiration.

Dr. Luke A. Powery, Dean of Duke Chapel, says of the collection, “Duke University Chapel is distinguished in both its faithful preaching and its sacred music. The Sunday morning ‘Protestant hour’ captured within this archive has been the public face and voice of the Chapel for decades; this digital collection makes Duke Chapel’s liturgical history accessible for both those interested in scholarly research in the area of preaching, music, and worship, and those who desire spiritual inspiration. This collection is an interdisciplinary educational resource for teaching and learning, and demonstrates that eruditio et religio is still alive and well at Duke; may it be so for years to come.”

Learn more about how the video player feature was added to this collection on Bitstreams, the Digital Projects blog.

Nathaniel White, Jr., center, was a native of Durham and one of the first three African-American students to graduate in 1967.

An Interview About a Duke University Pioneer

Nathaniel White, Jr was among the first five black students to attend Duke University in 1963. He was not, however, the first person in his family to attend college. His father, Nathaniel White, Sr., had attended Hampton Institute prior to founding his own printing business in Durham. In a newly-digitized interview, White, Sr. discusses his life, his memories, and his experience as a black man living in Virginia and North Carolina during the 20th century.

White’s interview is part of the Behind the Veil digital project, which has just added over 300 new interviews with North Carolinians, including many from Durham. The interviews capture details of what life was like in the Jim Crow South for African Americans. In White’s interview, he shares the story of his childhood, the black business community in Durham, and the influence of scouting on his life. Of particular interest to local researchers, he describes individuals and businesses in the Durham black community in the mid-20th century, providing deep insight into Durham’s history.

Nathaniel White, Jr., center, was a native of Durham and one of the first three African-American students to graduate in 1967.
Nathaniel White, Jr., center, was a native of Durham and one of the first three African-American students to graduate in 1967.

He also briefly discusses his son’s pioneering role at Duke. He mentions that White, Jr., had considered Hampton Institute himself, but then had the opportunity to attend Duke. His father candidly remarks in the interview, “There’s one thing about a situation like that, it’s more like the real world than some other places that you might go and everything seems like it’s alright but it’s not training you for what you’re going to meet when you get outside. It’s a real struggle out there. The sooner you learn that, the better off you might be. . . . In other words, every day he had what it’s like to be an African American citizen in this country. So he didn’t have to learn that after he graduated. He learned it every day at Duke.”

Learn more about the fascinating Behind the Veil project on Bitstreams, the blog of the digital collections department of Duke University Libraries.

Post contributed by Val Gillispie, Duke University Archivist.

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North Carolina Interviews added to Behind the Veil Digital Collections

The John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture is pleased to announce the addition of 310 oral history interviews to the Behind the Veil Digital Collection. The addition to the collection documents the lives of African Americans from the state of North Carolina who lived through the era of Jim Crow in the Charlotte, Durham, Endfield, New Bern and Wilmington areas. The digitization efforts were made possible by the Triangle Research Libraries Network’s Content, Context and Capacity grant project to document the Long Civil Rights Movement in the state. Researchers now have access over 400 digitized interviews from the collection from states throughout the American South.

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To listen to the digitized interviews please visit – http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/behindtheveil/

To view the entire collection, please visit – http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/findingaids/btv/

To learn more about the making of digital collection, please visit the Digital Collections blog: http://blogs.library.duke.edu/bitstreams/2014/02/07/announcing-310-new-behind-the-veil-interviews-and-a-new-blog/

For more information, contact, John B. Gartrell, Director, Franklin Research Center.

“Pepsi Challenges and Wins,” Fall 1982.

JWT Newsletters Are Now Available Online!

We are pleased to announce one of Rubenstein’s newest digital collections: over 1,600 newsletters of the J. Walter Thompson Co. advertising agency from 1916 to 1986. These internally distributed newsletters touch on myriad topics of interest to the company, such as account and client news; general and client-specific marketing surveys; developments in print, radio, and television advertising and marketing research; as well as personnel news such as new hires, transfers, promotions, and brief biographical sketches.

The agency’s newsletters are among the most requested and circulated collections in the J. Walter Thompson Co. Archives. Thanks to the work of the Duke University Libraries’ Digital Projects and Production Services Department and Conservation Department, this tremendously rich resource is now available online. You can browse by title, year, and date, and can also search by keyword. Some select issues include:

Issue No. 1, June 6, 1916
Issue No. 1, June 6, 1916

The first J. Walter Thompson Co. newsletter contains client and product news. It also includes an article, “Selling to the Multitude,” which discusses the professionalization of the advertising industry, its superiority over traditional modes of salesmanship, and the hope that one day advertising will be a budget line in all industries, right alongside “material, labor, overhead, and personal selling.”

“JWT Across the Seas,”  January 15, 1929
“JWT Across the Seas,” January 15, 1929

This particular newsletter is focused on news briefs from various overseas offices including London, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Antwerp, Paris, Berlin, and Madrid.

“Pepsi Challenges and Wins,” Fall 1982.
“Pepsi Challenges and Wins,” Fall 1982.

The fall 1982 newsletter highlights the success of the “Challenge” campaign in foreign markets.  JWT launched the international campaign in Canada in 1976; it is considered the first notable worldwide application of an aggressive comparative campaign.

Check out the rest of the collection online and be sure to tune in to the Digital Collections blog for more information about this new collection.

Post contributed by Joshua Larkin Rowley, Hartman Center Reference Archivist.

Chronicle Classifieds, November 7, 1969

The 1960s, One Page at a Time

One of the most frequently used items in the Duke University Archives is The Chronicle, particularly the 1960s issues. Many students are interested in the decade—which was one of great change in the student body, the curriculum, and in social life—and alumni and other researchers use it to find out details about particular events. This year, as Duke commemorates 50 years of desegregation among the undergraduate class, The Chronicle is especially helpful as a source of information about desegregation and later student protests like the Vigil and the Allen Building Takeover.

Thanks to the work of the Duke University Libraries’ Conservation Department, Digital Production Center, and Digital Projects Services, we now have eleven complete years (fall 1959-spring 1970) of The Chronicle digitized at http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/dukechronicle/. The issues are browsable by year and date and keyword searchable.

Although it will be extremely helpful for research on desegregation and student protest, it will also be helpful for researching topics ranging from the Duke-UNC rivalry to women on campus to ads for local restaurants. Through even small stories and announcements, we learn a lot about campus.

For example, on November 22, 1968, we read that a memorial mass was held to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the passing of John F. Kennedy, Jr.:

Notice of memorial mass at the 5th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination, The Chronicle, November 22, 1968.

On March 1, 1963, we learn of the mysterious origins of the name of Towerview Road:

Article about Towerview Road, The Chronicle, March 1, 1963.

And on November 7, 1969, we find 1969 at Duke, perfectly preserved:

Chronicle Classifieds, November 7, 1969

There are 868 issues of editorials, news stories, sports writing, advertisements, and much more. Let us know what you think, and how you will use the digitized decade of The Chronicle!

Post contributed by Valerie Gillispie, Duke University Archivist.

Map of Durham, Duke Power Company, May 1, 1948. From the Rencher Nicholas Harris Papers.

Eight New Digital Collections on Civil Rights

The Duke University Libraries are proud to announce the completion of the still image digitization for the Duke-held collections of the Content, Context, and Capacity (CCC) Project.

This inter-institutional collaborative project of Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, NC State, and NC Central is digitizing records relating to the Long Civil Rights Movement. The Long Civil Rights Movement is a term used by historians to expand the traditional definition of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s both further into the past and into more recent times. Collections from this project date back to as early as the 1880s and to as late as the first decade of the 2000s.

In total, all four institutions will digitize over 350,000 documents. Duke’s share of that total is approximately 66,000 scans from eight archival collections from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. In addition, during the next (final) year of the project, the CCC staff will transition to the digitization of audio collections. Duke will focus on the digitization of the North Carolina tapes from the Behind the Veil Oral History Collection, which is scheduled for publication in 2014.

Check out the gallery of selected documents digitized as part of the project (click to enlarge) and browse each of the eight collection’s finding aids, now containing the embedded digitized documents, below.

Collection descriptions and links to finding aids (containing digitized materials):

  1. Charles N. Hunter Papers, 1850s-1932 and undated: An educator and reformer ahead of his time, Charles N. Hunter’s papers feature valuable writings and speeches as well as correspondence with many luminaries, including Booker T. Washington.
  2. Asa and Elna Spaulding Papers, 1909-1997 and undated, bulk 1935-1983: Elna Spaulding was a Durham civic leader who served as a County Commissioner and as the present of Women-in-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes. Her papers include correspondence and records of her civic life with many organizations.
  3. Women-In-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes, Inc. (WIAPVC) Durham Chapter records, 1968-1998: Founded by Elna Spaulding in 1968, the WIAPVC is an organization dedicated to community improvement. Its records document both its successful projects and its fund-raising challenges.
  4. Basil Lee Whitener Papers, 1889-1968: Basil Lee Whitener was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1957 to 1968 from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. His papers document his opposition to civil rights legislation as well as his activities as a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
  5. Rencher Nicholas Harris Papers, 1851-1980 and undated, bulk 1926-1965: Rencher Nicholas Harris was Durham’s first African-American city councilman. His papers document a myriad of local issues in the 1950s, including segregated schools, health care, and zoning laws.
  6. Allen Building Takeover Collection, 1969-2002: This collection documents the events and the remembrances of the February 1969 Allen Building Takeover, during which students occupied Duke’s administrative building demanding improvement of African-American life on campus and skirmishes between sympathizers and the police on the quad became violent.
  7. Black Student Alliance Records, 1969-2006: The Black Student Alliance is a Duke African-American student advocacy organization. Its records include evidence of the organization’s projects as well as their publications and compiled scrapbooks illustrating student life.
  8. Department of African and African American Studies Records, 1966-1981: These records trace the development of the Black Studies Program into a full-fledged academic department. In addition, the records contain evidence of radical political thought in the 1970s.

Researchers will find a great deal of material to analyze in these eight collections. The CCC staff encourages you to visit the finding aids of each collection and start exploring the varied perspectives, narratives, and memories that help to comprise the Long Civil Rights Movement.

The grant-funded CCC Project is designed to digitize selected manuscripts and photographs relating to the long civil rights movement. Funding is provided by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division on the Department of Cultural Resources. For more about Rubenstein Library materials being digitized through the CCC Project, check out previous progress updates posted here at The Devil’s Tale!

Post contributed by Josh Hager, CCC Graduate Assistant.

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Digitizing the LCRM Update #10: A Project Milestone and an Iconic Signature

In this month’s Digitizing the Long Civil Rights Movement update, we are happy to announce that initial scanning for all of Duke’s manuscript content in the Content, Context, and Capacity Project is complete. Over 66,000 scans are now either published or are being processed to enable publication as soon as possible. We encourage you to check out the CCC Content Page as a portal for looking at all of Duke’s CCC Collections as well as those digitized by NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill, and NC Central. Meanwhile, we are beginning work on digitizing the audio oral histories from North Carolina found in the Behind the Veil Collection, which will be our primary focus during the upcoming third year of the grant.

For our collection highlight this month, we turn to the Charles N. Hunter Papers. Born to enslaved parents in Raleigh in 1851, Hunter would go on to become one of the most prominent African-American educators and advocates in North Carolina. Aside from industrial activism and prolific writings, Hunter served as a teacher and principal at several schools, mostly in the Triangle and its environs. As part of that work, he corresponded with the Tuskegee Institute and its founder, Booker T. Washington.

Letter, Booker T. Washington to Charles N. Hunter, July 7, 1914.  Charles N. Hunter Papers
Letter, Booker T. Washington to Charles N. Hunter, July 7, 1914. Charles N. Hunter Papers, Box 2, Folder 2, Item ID: cnhms02002037. Click to enlarge.

The letter shown here is from Booker T. Washington to Charles N. Hunter. Written in 1914, it concerns a project, led by Hunter, concerned with building rural schools for African-Americans throughout the South. Hunter worked with Washington and the Tuskegee Institute for this project and continued to correspond with the institute after Washington’s death in November 1915. Given Hunter’s work with Washington, it is appropriate that the last school at which he served as a principal was Booker T. Washington School in Johnston County.

The Charles N. Hunter Papers, and other CCC Collections, will be published in the coming months.

For more information on the CCC Project, please visit our website or like us on Facebook.

The grant-funded CCC Project is designed to digitize selected manuscripts and photographs relating to the long civil rights movement. For more about Rubenstein Library materials being digitized through the CCC Project, check out previous progress updates posted here at The Devil’s Tale!

Post contributed by Josh Hager, CCC Project Graduate Assistant.

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Digitizing the LCRM Update #9: Remembering the Allen Building Takeover

This month’s Digitizing the Long Civil Rights Movement update pauses to look back into Duke’s own past struggles with racial equality.  On February 13, 1969, students in the Afro-American Society occupied the Allen Building where the university’s primary administration offices were (and still are) located.  These students demanded that Duke take steps to enact racial equality on campus, including the founding of an African-American Studies department, the hiring of more African-American professors, and the establishment of an African-American cultural center on campus.  Similar demands had been made before from members of the Black Studies Program, as featured in our fourth update in this blog series.

What distinguished the Allen Building Takeover from the previous efforts for reform was its forcefulness—on both sides of the debate.  The Takeover marked the first such occupation by students in Duke’s history.  The administration’s response also became notable for what some members of the student body perceived to be its brutality.  Police officers dispatched to the scene used tear gas to disperse a crowd that had gathered around the building, leading to a “riot” on the main quad of West Campus.

Photos from <i>The Chronicle</i>, February 16, 1969.

Photos from <i>The Chronicle</i>, February 16, 1969.
Both photos from The Chronicle, February 16, 1969.
Allen Building Takeover Collection, Box 1, Folder 10: abtms01010035

In the wake of the Takeover, students rallied to enact the suggested agenda of the original occupiers.  Eventually, most of the demands did become standard practice at Duke, but the change occurred more gradually than what the galvanized student body had wanted in February 1969.  The items selected above are from a photo essay published by The Chronicle (Duke’s independent student newspaper) that encapsulated the events of Takeover.

We are happy to announce that the Allen Building Takeover Collection and its wealth of primary documents and remembrances of the important event will soon become available online to researchers.

For more information on the Content, Context, and Capacity Project for Digitizing the LCRM, please visit our website or like us on Facebook.

The grant-funded CCC Project is designed to digitize selected manuscripts and photographs relating to the long civil rights movement. For more about Rubenstein Library materials being digitized through the CCC Project, check out previous progress updates posted here at The Devil’s Tale

Post contributed by Josh Hager, CCC Graduate Assistant.

Dried rose with correspondence, Asa Spaulding to Elna Bridgeforth, circa December 1931.  Asa and Elna Spaulding Papers, Box EC-4, Folder 3:  esgms04003022

Digitizing the LCRM Update #8 – A Preserved Love Story

Dried rose with correspondence, Asa Spaulding to Elna Bridgeforth, circa December 1931.  Asa and Elna Spaulding Papers, Box EC-4, Folder 3:  esgms04003022
Dried rose with correspondence, Asa Spaulding to Elna Bridgeforth, circa December 1931. Asa and Elna Spaulding Papers, Box EC-4, Folder 3: esgms04003022

Elna Spaulding is a central figure in the materials that Duke has digitized for the Content, Context, and Capacity Grant.  The records of the Women-in-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes, an organization that Mrs. Spaulding founded and led from 1968 until 1974, are available now.  In addition, all of Mrs. Spaulding’s personal papers have been digitized and will shortly become available for viewing.

In anticipation of both the publication of Elna Spaulding’s myriad professional accomplishments and Valentine’s Day, this month’s update focuses on the personal connections underlying the accomplished careers of Elna and Asa Spaulding. In the years prior to their wedding on June 24, 1933, Asa Spaulding and Elna Bridgeforth corresponded regularly.  The following two quotes are from letters that Mr. Spaulding sent to Miss Bridgeforth:

“I would not put you out of my life if I could, and I could if I would…Do you know the song: ‘I wouldn’t change you for the World.’  The words are quite significant.” (December 30, 1931)

“As I start out upon the first day of a New Year it is with thoughts of you and with [a] heart full of thanksgiving for what the past year has meant to us and with much anticipation as to what lies before us.  I wish I might look into the future and see.” (January 1, 1932)

Unfortunately, we do not have Elna Bridgeforth’s replies, but we know that she kept a rose that Asa gave her with one of these letters (pictured here) throughout her life.  We encourage readers to peruse the correspondence between the future Mr. and Mrs. Spaulding to gain a unique look into one of the most influential couples in the modern history of Durham.  You may even find inspiration for a Valentine’s Day note of your own.

Post contributed by Josh Hager, CCC Project Graduate Assistant.