Anyone who’s ever been to a doctor’s office or clinic has encountered a vast array of items: calendars, pens, coffee mugs, Post-Its, paperweights, tent signs and other items promoting some brand of medicine. This kind of material is routinely distributed along with free samples by traveling route salespersons and representatives for pharmaceutical companies, [...]

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Doc and Doe

On June 27, 2014 By

This marks my last contribution to the Devil’s Tale blog, as I’m moving on to another position at a different institution. I’ve enjoyed my time working for the Rubenstein Library, helping to arrange and describe the rich material housed within the Duke University Archives.  Over the past several years, I’ve become quite fond of several [...]

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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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In 2009, a single-item addition to our Charles Alexander Gore papers turned up in my cataloging queue. The letter surfaced while preparing some collections to move off-site before renovation of the Rubenstein Library began.  When I recalled the appropriate box and pulled the folder into which I was going to place the addition, I noticed that the handwriting [...]

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Last night’s episode of Mad Men depicts Valentine’s Day at SC&P. Several characters are upset when they are treated poorly or shuffled around, but by the end of the episode we see that there is housekeeping afoot that reveals new opportunities. Don’s day to day existence is exposed through sleeping late, [...]

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During renovations to the Rubenstein Library, a new carving was discovered in a remote corner of the stacks. The image of a fairly grumpy looking cat is a tribute to a campus friend named Steven Frownington McWhiskers—affectionately known as Steve.

Steve was a local farm cat who took a great interest in [...]

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Dirty Durham

On March 20, 2014 By

Thought “Dirty Durham” was new? Turns out, in the early 20th century people already thought Durham was dirty, as this undated flyer from our collections shows. However, they weren’t saying “Keep it Dirty, Durham.” They wanted to change “Dirty Durham to Cleaner Durham.”

 

Post contributed by Kate Collins, Research Services Librarian

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Did Valentine’s Day leave you with more questions than answers? Wondering who sent you that sweet Valentine? Want to know when you’ll meet your own Rapturous Codfish? Perhaps Mother Shipton’s Gipsy Fortune Teller and Dream Book can be of help.

 

Not which of your many admirers sent you that “love [...]

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As my student assistant, Sophia Durand, began the physical processing of the 131 letters in the Leon Simon collection (1915-1916, 1918), she noticed something intriguing. Leon Simon addressed each letter to his future wife, Esther Ellen Umanski, differently. Until they made official plans to marry, she was “My Dear Nellie.” But [...]

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One of my favorite Rubenstein collections is the C.C. Clay Papers, which document the life and times of Clement Claiborne Clay and his family. The Clays lived in Alabama in the nineteenth century, and sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War. In the war’s early years, C.C. Clay [...]

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