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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Playing Around

On October 25, 2013 By

For several months now, I have been working my way through several thousand acetate negatives transferred to the University Archives from the Sports Information Office.

Several weeks ago, I wrote about finding negatives of women students playing baseball, which was an unexpected, yet welcomed, find. Today I came across another unexpected image, seen [...]

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Happy birthday to us! The Devil’s Tale is four years old today!

Thanks for reading, and we promise many more years of fun behind-the-scenes looks at the Rubenstein Library.

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We are wrapping up processing on the John Hope Franklin Papers — more on that soon! — but I couldn’t let this project end without sharing a bit of its lighter side. Newspaper drawings and cartoons of Franklin popped up throughout processing, often having been clipped and sent to Franklin by his friends and admirers. [...]

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As strong advocates for the importance and vibrancy of the humanities, we here at the Rubenstein Library greatly enjoyed Duke President Richard Brodhead’s appearance on The Colbert Report last Thursday.  As custodians of thousands of rare books, we were especially interested in Mr. Colbert’s mention of his “beautiful copy of [Moby-Dick] — [...]

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Faux Duke Stone

On July 29, 2013 By

Last week, we watched “Duke Stone” panels going up on the construction fence surrounding the Rubenstein Library and the West Campus Union.  So we thought we’d take a few moments to write about the real Duke Stone!

Did you know that Duke Stone comes from a quarry in Hillsborough, North Carolina, just about 10 miles [...]

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