Category Archives: Do Your Research

SLA2053

Now Accepting Applications for our 2014-2015 Travel Grants

Researchers! The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library is now accepting applications for our 2014-2015 travel grants.SLA2053

The Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture,  the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History, and the History of Medicine Collections will award up to $1,000 per recipient to fund travel and other expenses related to visiting the Rubenstein Library. The Rubenstein also offers the Eleanore and Harold Jantz Fellowship, a $1500 award for researchers whose work would benefit from use of the Jantz Collections.

The grants are open to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, independent scholars, artists, and activists who live more than 100 miles from Durham, NC and whose research projects would benefit from access to collections held by one of the centers.

Please note that the Rubenstein Library will be closed to the public from July 1st, 2015 through August 23rd, 2015, while we relocate to our newly renovated space. These dates are subject to change.

More details—and the grant application—may be found on our grants website. Recipients will be announced in April 2015.

McDougall's “localization of touch” experiment on his son Duncan.

Cradle as Laboratory: Psychology Notebooks in the Duke Libraries

The practice of experimentation on one’s own children belongs to a somewhat queasy tradition in psychology that embraces parenthood as an opportunity for “natural experiment.”  Psychologists throughout the twentieth century have kept tabs on their children’s development, blending the pride of parenthood with the detached methodology of science. So it’s no surprise to find in the papers of William McDougall, the first head of Duke University’s psychology department, extensive notes on four of his children, Angus, Duncan, Janet, and Leslie. Just how the disciplinary practices of psychology in the early twentieth century filtered into McDougall’s child-rearing becomes apparent when comparing the McDougall journals to a contemporaneous laboratory notebook from a psychology student, Walter R. Miles, in the Rubenstein Library’s History of Medicine Collections.

 

McDougall's “localization of touch” experiment on his son Duncan.
McDougall’s “localization of touch” experiment on his son Duncan.

 

Miles's “Cutaneous Sensation Pain Spots” experiment
Miles’s “Cutaneous Sensation Pain Spots” experiment

These images depict similar experiments in localizing sensation. The experimenter stimulated a spot on the subject’s hand or arm using a sharp object (Miles used the point of a compass); a few seconds later, the subject had to indicate, either on the actual hand or on a diagram, where he or she believed the point had been applied. The experimenter recorded both points, noting any discrepancy between the actual and perceived site of stimulation. For Miles, this was a bread-and-butter exercise in the methods of scientific psychology.

The McDougall image comes with a twist, since the experimental subjects were his young children. Rather than illustrating basic principles on a standard psychological subject, McDougall was inquiring specifically into the changing sensory and perceptual abilities of his own kids. The diagram of his son Duncan’s hand and arm are part of a record-keeping practice that encompassed everything from the children’s recognition of colors to their fear of bears.

The fact that these methods traveled a fairly direct path from the lab to the McDougall home, and from the “standardized” psychological subject to the developing child, reveals itself in the telling visual differences between the two sets of experimental notes: Miles’s experiment, neatly taken down in a lab notebook, uses ruler-drawn grid lines and a smoothly-traced outline of the hand and arm, while McDougall’s journal bears indications of its setting in the domestic scene of child-rearing: the data is recorded in grid-less, slanted columns, and the outline of the hand is traced hastily, as though the subject was loath to hold still.

 

Data from Miles's experiment in the relative location of pain stimuli
Data from Miles’s experiment in the relative location of pain stimuli

 

Duke_McDougallChart
Data from McDougall’s test of his children’s color recognition.

 

Post contributed by Alicia Puglionesi. Puglionesi is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation is on “The Astonishment of Experience: Americans and Psychical Research, 1885-1935.” Alicia is particularly interested in the relationship between the amateur tradition in which psychical research developed and the emerging academic discipline of psychology. She is a 2014 History of Medicine travel grant winner. 

 

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Milwaukee, Hawaii, Italy: Our Global Users

The unique collections held in special collections libraries attract researchers from all over the map, no matter if the map is local, national, or global. Those of us who work in special collections have always known this, and we frequently jabber about it to anyone who will listen. But we can’t often show it.

Recently, library staff at Duke’s Rubenstein Library, UNC Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library, and NCSU’s Special Collections Research Center combined the data we’ve collected in order to create some maps showing the home cities, states, and countries of our users from calendar year 2013. Special collections staff gathered this data, but it was Duke’s terrific data visualization coordinator Angela Zoss who used Tableau to create these excellent maps for us. Thanks Angela!

The data we gathered shows onsite users of the Duke and UNC Chapel Hill special collections libraries. That is, the blue and green shown on the maps represent researchers who visited our reading rooms to use our collections in-house. The red shown on the maps shows something slightly different – both onsite users and users who made use of NCSU collections remotely (through email reference, etc.).

Among other interesting points, the North Carolina map shows that – outside of the Triangle – the majority of North Carolina researchers are using UNC Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library. This makes sense, since they have the North Carolina Collection! [Note: the pie charts sit over zipcodes.]

 

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The US map makes clear what we all probably suspected – that most of our researchers come from east of the Mississippi and are clustered in the Northeast. Only Duke shows researchers from Utah, and this doesn’t surprise us. Duke holds two copies of the first edition of the Book of Mormon, and many visitors come to Duke each year to see them (the two copies were used a total of 33 times this past year).

 

US_map
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The global map shows that each of us – NCSU, UNC Chapel Hill, and Duke – had researchers from Canada, the UK, and Japan. UNC Chapel Hill welcomed visitors from China and Japan. Many international researchers came to Duke to use collections such as our economists’ papers. But only NCSU had a user from Bosnia-Herzegovinia!

 

Internation_map
Click to enlarge

While we’ve only just begun to share our data with each other, this mapping project demonstrates that, taken together, the special collections libraries at NCSU, UNC Chapel Hill, and Duke have truly global reach and impact. Our collections are diverse and exciting, and the world knows it!

Post contributed by David Pavelich, Head of Research Services

Phrenological bust from the commonplace book of  E. Bradford Todd.

A Vernacular Science of Crime

Phrenological bust from the commonplace book of  E. Bradford Todd.
Phrenological bust from the commonplace book of E. Bradford Todd.

 

The image above, taken from the commonplace book of E. Bradford Todd (found in the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library), is representative of a popular view of the science of phrenology. Seen today on ironic posters and T-shirts, as well as modern ceramic reproductions, the phrenological bust has come to serve as metonym for the entire science of phrenology. The image persists, but so too do misconceptions about the nature of this peculiar nineteenth-century science, which proposed to articulate and even predict the character of an individual based on the shape of the skull.

Phrenology was attractive to the masses and inspired writing of all kinds, from diary entries to letters, as well as published texts and broadsides. E. Bradford Todd, as shown above, recorded the phrenological doctrine – complete with his own sketches – into his commonplace book in mid-nineteenth-century America. Eugene Marshall, a schoolteacher in 1851 in Rhode Island, went to see a phrenological lecture and resolved to study the science, a project he took on with such zeal that he eventually attempted to phrenologize himself. Writing in 1823 when the science was still young, another individual gossiped to a friend via letter that a mutual acquaintance was looking for a wife “with all the proper bumps on her head for he is a great believer [of phrenology]” (Eliza K. Nelson papers).   As seen in these letters and diaries from Duke University’s Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, from its earliest introduction, phrenology captured the mind of the public and promised solutions to life’s problems, both great and small, not least of which was the problem of crime.

With generous assistance from the History of Medicine travel grant, I recently visited the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to conduct research in support of my dissertation, “Criminal Minds: Law, Medicine, and the Phrenological Impulse in America, 1830-1890.” My research takes a serious look at the “pseudoscience” of phrenology and considers the ways in which it was viewed as truthful, scientific, and useful to nineteenth-century individuals. In particular, I examine how phrenology, at the beginning of the century, came to be viewed as a valuable possibility for crafting a criminal science avant la letter, more than half a century before the introduction of Cesare Lombroso’s positivist criminology that would later be considered the birth of modern criminology.

Phrenologists wrote early and often about the problem of crime, which was drawing attention from all corners in the nineteenth century. The growth of cities and urbanization, the increasing rapidity and ease of movement of peoples within and between countries, and the rise of mass media that made sensational stories about murder and theft national (and international) news – all of these nineteenth-century trends combined to render crime a particularly fraught problem. Yet well before “criminology” had been introduced, phrenologists and other enthusiasts were considering the ways in which this new science could be used to help solve crime.

While it was primarily intellectuals and professional phrenologists operating within a narrow orbit who ruminated on the potential of phrenology with regard to the criminal problem, we can also find glimpses of the reception of these ideas in the records of non-phrenologists who encountered the science. For example, in the diary of Jane Roberts, a British author, she records a trip on January 6, 1837, to visit a phrenologist in London, Dr. DeVille, with her friend Mrs. Phillips, Lord Byron’s daughter. During this visit, both received phrenological readings by DeVille, but they also heard a long discourse from him about the truth of the science. Interestingly, the examples DeVille chooses to illustrate and prove the science are linked directly to bad behavior and crime, explaining that attention to the developments of the mind (as read in the skull) can serve to prevent or cure evil propensities. He illustrates this claim with two examples: one story in which he identified two robbers before the fact, and a second where a father brings his son in to see DeVille, before he eventually is sent to prison for his crimes. Miss Roberts was impressed by these stories, and resolved to visit him again.

Whether or not Miss Roberts repeated her pilgrimage to the phrenologist’s office, this interaction is representative of the ways in which phrenological ideas about crime entered into vernacular culture. Phrenologists framed their enterprise as a solution to one of the era’s most pressing problems, in part to sell their services to individuals like Miss Roberts. Yet, as I argue, phrenology also made a clear claim attempted to predict and explain the behavior of criminals, and in so doing signaled the development of a new science of crime.

Courtney Thompson is a PhD candidate in the History of Science and Medicine Program, History, at Yale University

 

 

 

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Congratulations to our 2014-2015 grant recipients!

The Rubenstein Library’s three research center annually award travel grants to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars through a competitive application process. Congratulations to this year’s recipients, we look forward to working with all of you!

Courtney Thompson will use materials related to phrenology such as this small ivory bust in her research.
Courtney Thompson will use materials related to phrenology such as this small ivory bust in her research.

History of Medicine

Cali Buckley, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Art History, for dissertation work on, “Women of Substance: The Materiality of Anatomical Models and the Control of Women’s Medicine in Early Modern Europe.”

Alicia Puglionesi, Johns Hopkins University, Institute of the History of Medicine, for dissertation work on “The Astonishment of Experience: Americans and Psychical Research, 1885-1935.”

Courtney Thompson, Yale University, Department of the History of Science and Medicine, for dissertation work on “Criminal Minds: Medicine, Law, and the Phrenological Impulse in America, 1830-1890.”

 

John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History

FOARE Fellowship for Outdoor Advertising Research

Craig Lee, Department of Art History, University of Delaware, “Letter Building: Signage, Supergraphics, and the Rise of Semiotic Structure in Modern American Architecture”

Daniel Towns, Department of History, Stanford University, “The View and the Value: Historical Geography of Signs in San Francisco”

 

John Furr Fellowships for JWT Research

Lisa Haushofer, Department of History, Harvard University, “Edible Health: ‘Health Foods’ in Science, Industry, Culture in Britain and the United States, 1884-1950

 

Alvin A. Achenbaum Travel Grants

Dr. Cynthia Meyers, Department of Communications, College of Mount Saint Vincent, “Advertising Agencies and the Decline of Sponsorship in the Network Era of Television”

Dr. Cristina Ziliani: Economics, University of Parma, Italy, “Premium Sales Promotions: A History of Practice and Research, 1890-1990”

Cara Fallon, Department of History, Harvard University, “The Emerging Concept of Healthy Aging in the United States, 1920-1990”

Catherine Hennessey Wolter, Musicology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, “Sound Conversions in Print: A Cultural History of the Player Piano and Early Radio in America Through the Lens of Print Media”

Kelly Jones, History of Medicine, State University of New York – Stony Brook, “’New Hope for Headache Sufferers’: Pain and its Control in Advertisements for Headache Remedies, 1950s-1970s

Daniel McKay, Independent Scholar, “Trading Fears: Marketing the ‘Japan Brand’ to American Tourists and Consumers”

 

John Hope Franklin Research Center 2014-15 Travel Grant Awardees

Emilye Crosby, State University of New York-Geneseo Topic: “Anything I Was Big Enough To Do: Women and Gender in SNCC”

Paul Grant, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Topic: “Unimagining the Christian Nation: Alienation, Memory, and German-African Reciprocity in Akropong, Ghana 1835-1938”

Nicole Maurantonio, University of Richmond, Topic: “Ombudsman for Humanity: Chuck Stone, Mediation, and the Graterford Prison Hostage Crisis”

Gilet Rosenblith, University of Virginia, Topic: “Low Income African American Women in the South and the Carceral State”

Nicholas Syrett, University of Northern Colorado, Topic: “American Child Bride: A History of Minors and Marriage in the United States”

Adam Wolkoff, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Topic: “Possession and Power: A comparative social and legal history of capitalist social relations in the late nineteenth-century United States”

 

Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture Mary Lily Travel Grants

Dr. Georgina Colby, linguistics and cultural studies, University of Westminster, for a book on Kathy Acker combining philosophical analysis with literary and critical theory, exploring connections between feminist theory, Acker’s use of philosophy, and her experimental writing practices.

From the Kathy Acker Papers

Dr. Donna Drucker, civil and environmental engineering, Technische Universität Darmstadt, for a journal article on sexual behavior and the science of contraceptive testing in the mid-twentieth century United States.

Sara Mameni, Ph.D. candidate, visual arts, University of California, San Diego, for dissertation research on Iran-US relations in the 1960s and 1970s—leading up to Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979—through the lens of queer theory, feminist theory, and postcolonial studies.

Ivy McIntyre, Ph.D. candidate, history, St. Louis University, for dissertation research on South Carolina families in times of personal crisis in the early Republic.

Andrew Pope, Ph.D. candidate, history, Harvard University, for dissertation research on radical social movements and the New South in Georgia from 1968-1996.

Dr. Jason Scott, Dr. Annalisa Castaldo, and Jennifer Lynn Pollitt, for an edited collection of essays looking at how kink identities, behaviors, and lifestyles are represented in popular and cultural studies.

Mairead Sullivan, Ph.D. candidate, women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, Emory University, for dissertation research on questions of breastedness in feminist and queer theory.

Hope Tucker, independent scholar, for an artist’s video on the fragility of reproductive rights in the American South, as seen through the work of those who documented and labored for these rights in the second half of the twentieth century.

National Negro Health News. From the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth Records.

Researching Black Health in the South

It was a great pleasure to conduct research at the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke. As a recipient of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture travel grant, I looked forward to exploring the Library’s holdings that would advance my understanding of black women’s history.

National Negro Health News. From the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth Records.
National Negro Health News, Vol. 6, no. 3. From the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth Records.

My dissertation project, “Mind, Soul, Body, and Race: Black Women’s Physical Culture, 1900-1939,” investigates the structural barriers to health and fitness for black women and the ways in which they circumvented those barriers and engaged in the physical culture movement. I examine how black women used purposeful exercise to create a new, fit vision of black womanhood that had implications for public health, recreation, and ideas of beauty, citizenship, and racial uplift. As a national project, I want to capture how Southern women, who had even less resources and access to physical culture, participated in the movement.

A significant portion of my dissertation discusses the state of black health and the Library proved to be a valuable repository for exploring the public health aspects of black southern history. The archivists were informed and genuinely interested in assisting researchers and with their help; I consulted about a half a dozen collections in all including the African American Photo Collection, the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth records, and the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company archives.

One of the most useful collections was the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth. Although the Alliance was primarily a vocational guidance service organization, it sought to address several issues affecting poor, rural young people in the first half of the twentieth century including health issues. I found several documents from the collection related to health campaigns and the barriers to health for black people in the South. For example, a note in the 1934 National Conference on Negro Education proceedings indicated that “environmental rather than racial factors” compromised black health including low income, insufficient housing, and limited access to hospitals, preventive care, and recreational facilities. As it relates to black women’s health, the collection describes some of the difficulties black women had in accessing health information and clinics for their obstetric needs. The collection also contains sources on black unemployment, the black nursing profession, diet and malnutrition, and leisure during the New Deal era.

Additional records at the Library on black health in the twentieth century include William J. Covington’s physician account books and the thesis, Black Health in Segregated Durham.

Post contributed by Ava Purkiss, PhD candidate, University of Texas at Austin and 2012-2013 Franklin Travel Grant recipient.

The reference room for the General Library, now known as the Gothic Reading Room.

Time to Travel!

Trying to find a way to visit the Rubenstein Library to use our collections? You’re in luck! The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library is now accepting applications for our 2014-2015 travel grants.

The reference room for the General Library, now known as the Gothic Reading Room.
Want to be as cool as these gentlemen? Apply for a travel grant and come visit us!

This year are pleased to add another collecting area to our list of travel grant programs. The History of Medicine Collections joins the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture, and the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History in offering travel grants of up to $1,000 for researchers whose work would benefit from access to our holdings.

The grants are open to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, independent scholars, artists, and activists who live more than 100 miles from Durham, NC, and whose research projects would benefit from access to collections held by one of the centers and collecting areas.

The deadline for applications is January 31, 2014. Announcement of grant recipients will be no later than March 28, 2014. Travel grants must be used between April 2014 and June 2015.

Another change this year – our application process is now online. You can find more details including the online application on our travel grant website.

Hartman Center director Jackie Reid Wachholz and Al Achenbaum.

Achenbaum Dedicates Papers, Endows Hartman Center Travel Grants

On Thursday, November 7th, twenty of Al Achenbaum’s family and close friends joined Duke library staff and faculty in a ceremony to dedicate his papers as part of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History. In a series of comments given by Hartman Center staff, Achenbaum’s papers were lauded for their unique insight into building brand equity, strategic marketing planning, maximizing advertising agency-client relationships, and using systematic quantitative research as a guide to effective decision-making.

A display of materials from the Alvin Achenbaum Papers.
A display of materials from the Alvin A, Achenbaum Papers.

Over a remarkable 60-year career, he advised leading global marketers, including Procter & Gamble, GE, Toyota and Nestlé, on how to use marketing tools to improve the economic value of their businesses.  He held senior executive positions at four major advertising agencies in New York, and was chairman of a series of leading marketing consulting firms which provided over 150 companies with systematic tools for addressing complex business challenges.

This 233-box collection will enrich the experiences of many students and scholars interested in the evolution of the advertising industry in the second half of the 20th century or the career of Al Achenbaum, known to many as the “Einstein of Advertising” and one of Advertising Age’s  100 most influential advertising people of the 20th century. Al’s son, Jon Achenbaum, described his father as the reason he started his own career in marketing, applying many of the marketing innovations that Al brought into the business world and read two passages from Al’s upcoming book.

Rounding out the event were remarks by Al Achenbaum himself, in which he stated that “marketing is the single most important driver of our modern economy” and that it will “continue to play a critical role in economic success – both in the U.S. and abroad.”  He expressed his gratitude to his family and friends for supporting him throughout his life and career and expressed his enthusiasm for donating his papers to Duke and the Hartman Center.

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To top off the ceremony, he announced that he is endowing the Hartman Center’s travel grant program, which will be named the Alvin A. Achenbaum Travel Grants.  These travel grants will enable students and scholars to come from afar to use Hartman Center collections as part of their research each year. Since Achenbaum is in many ways a scholar of advertising and marketing himself, this is a wonderful way to continue his legacy in perpetuity.

Hartman Center director Jackie Reid Wachholz and Al Achenbaum.
Hartman Center director Jackie Reid Wachholz and Al Achenbaum.

Post contributed by Jackie Reid Wachholz, director of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.

New Rubenstein Library Homepage

New Look for our Homepage

[Update, October 15: Our new website (slated for launch yesterday) isn't quite ready, but is coming soon.]

As you may have heard and will certainly notice, the Rubenstein Library’s website is getting a new look!  As part of a library-wide website redesign, a new version of Rubenstein Library’s homepage will be launching today.

New Rubenstein Library Homepage

 

What’s changed?

  • Updates to the tabbed search box on our homepage:
  • Catalog: Search our catalog for both archival collections and print materials
  • Collection Guides: Formerly known as Finding Aids, but you’re still able to search our 2,000+ collection guides which provide provide in-depth descriptions of our archival collections
  • Digitized Collections: Now you can search our digitized collections right from our homepage
  • New location for logging in to your special collections request account and for getting in touch with one of our librarians, both in the upper-right hand corner of our homepage:log in and ask

  • You’ll also find that content throughout our website has been updated to be more current and easier to read.
  • Getting to our homepage from the Duke University Libraries’ main homepage is a little different now too.  Look for us in the header under the “Libraries” dropdown menu:

Main Library Homepage

 

What hasn’t changed?

  • Requesting Materials.  We’re still using the same online request system that we implemented a year ago that lets you place requests online to use material in our reading room.  Though we do have improved directions for registering as a researcher and requesting material on our new site.
directions-to-rubenstein

Video Killed the Research Woes

With the Fall Semester well underway, we wanted to let you know about a couple of videos that can make your research at the Rubenstein Library even easier.  For example, not sure where to find us since we moved?

Know that you know where we are and you want to come do research, check out our other videos: