Category Archives: Research Tips

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:

KIC Scanner

KIC’n It at the Rubenstein Library

As our faithful readers know, back in February we finished moving our collections in preparation for our upcoming renovation, but there is one thing that didn’t make the trip with us: our old photocopier. Instead we’ve upgraded to a KIC Scanner for our reading room. What’s a KIC Scanner?

KIC Scanner
This is a KIC Scanner

It’s a free, self-service scanner that make it easy to produce high resolution color scans. The KIC Scanner can accommodate material up to 17 x 24 inches, and it has an adjustable bed that makes it possible to scan most books without injuring their spines.

You can save your file in a variety of formats including PDF, JPG, and RTF, and for typed or printed material you can also create a searchable PDF. Once you’re done scanning, you can email the resulting files to yourself or save them to a USB flash drive.

Sample Scan
A scan from The Nature-Printed British Sea-Weeds, made on our KIC scanner

Post Contributed by Kate Collins, Research Services Librarian.

Nursing students study in the School of Medicine Library. Courtesy of the Duke University Medical Center Archives.

New Office Hours for the Medical Center Archives!

Nursing students study in the School of Medicine Library. Courtesy of the Duke University Medical Center Archives.

Nursing students study in the School of Medicine Library. Courtesy of the Duke University Medical Center Archives.

The University Archives has collections from every area of the Duke campus—except the Medical Center. Those materials are collected by the Medical Center Archives, which has an off-campus facility. The location of the office is not far from campus but not easily walkable or accessible by bus.

Recently, however, our friends at the Med Center Archives have started providing regular office hours at the Medical Center Library in the Seeley Mudd Building. Each day from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, they are available on Level 1 in Room 102A to meet with patrons, explain resources, and even (with advance notice) provide access to historical materials.

If you want to make an appointment with a Med Center Archives staff member, you can simply stop by, or contact them at dumc.archives(at)mc.duke.edu or (919) 660-1144.

Post contributed by Val Gillispie, Duke University Archivist.

franklin

John Hope Franklin’s Grownup School List

We are in the middle of processing the John Hope Franklin Papers, and it has been inspiring to see Franklin’s wide range of intellectual interests and community engagements. He was a very busy man! One recent discovery, mixed in with folded programs and family correspondence, is Franklin’s “Grownup School List,” an all-encompassing list he created of must-reads in African American history. Always a humble scholar, he omitted his own monumental works. We’ve reproduced the Grownup School List here, along with Franklin’s annotations. You can find all of these books, along with Franklin’s own extensive scholarship, online or in the Duke Libraries.

PicMonkey Collage

Post contributed by Meghan Lyon, Technical Services Archivist.  This is the second in a series of posts on interesting documents in our collections to celebrate Black History Month.

Logo for the Commemoration of 50 Years of Black Students at Duke University

Researching an Important Duke Milestone

Logo for the Commemoration of 50 Years of Black Students at Duke UniversityIn 2013, Duke will mark 50 years since the desegregation of the undergraduate student body.  The campus-wide theme, “Celebrating the Past, Charting the Future: Commemorating 50 Years of Black Students at Duke University” will be woven into annual events, like commencement, reunion, and Founder’s Day, and will also be a topic of reflection through exhibits, speakers, and service opportunities. Working together across the University, this milestone year offers all of us the opportunity to learn more about Duke’s history.

The University Archives has a rich photographic collection, and we have added a number of photos on Flickr as part of the anniversary celebration. They show us moments of protest and performance, as well as celebration. The photographs are featured on a new website dedicated to this fiftieth anniversary commemoration.

The University Archives contains many collections that provide historical context and primary source documentation on the desegregation of the school, the black student experience at Duke, and much more. Interested in diving in? A new guide to conducting research on African-American history at Duke is now available, and the UA staff is glad to consult on particular questions or projects. (Contact us here!)

Post contributed by Val Gillispie, University Archivist.

Rubenstein Library Research Services staff check out the reading room's new e-records computer work station.

E-Records in the Reading Room

Special Collections Library reading rooms often require special equipment to view non-traditional record formats such as VHS players, cassette players, microfilm readers, etc. The Rubenstein Library recently welcomed a new piece to the set: a desktop computer.

Rubenstein Library Research Services staff check out the reading room's new e-records computer work station.
Rubenstein Library Research Services staff check out the reading room's new e-records computer work station.

Though public computers have been available in our reference room for a long time to assist in finding and requesting physical materials in the reading room this new machine has been designed to support providing local access to electronic records and audio/video materials.

Some of the materials you can explore on the computer include:

Visit the reading room today and start that e-research!

Post contributed by Seth Shaw, Electronic Records Archivist.

Cover of Catalogue of Trinity College, 1858-1859

Duke University Archives @ the Internet Archives

Cover of Catalogue of Trinity College, 1858-1859
Cover of the Annual Catalogue of Trinity College, 1858-1859

The recent digitization of many years of the Chanticleer, Duke University’s yearbook, has been a great benefit for both archivists and researchers.

Now, the yearly catalogs, known as Bulletins, are being digitized thanks to the Internet Archive’s Scribe machine located here at the Duke University Libraries. These newly-searchable resources provide more and better access to historical information about Duke University. The catalogs include information like courses offered, of course, but they are also full of other useful facts.

For instance:

  • What was the Trinity College undergraduate tuition for the 1892-1893 academic year (the college’s first year in Durham)? ($25.00 per term)
  • How many bound volumes did the Library contain at the end of the 1923-1924 academic year? (71,520)

In addition, there were specialized catalogs for graduate and professional education, so that someone researching the School of Medicine, for example, can learn more about that program in particular. There are even fun extras like aerial views of campus from the 1930s.

Virtually turning the pages of these historical catalogs provides a wealth of information. In the 1934-1935 Law School bulletin, for example, it lists the current students. One, Richard Milhous Nixon of Whittier, California, was a first-year student at the time. We can also tell from the catalog that school started on September 19 that year, and that “in addition to concert programs, recitals, and lectures, motion pictures are shown in the campus auditorium twice a week.” Sounds like a pretty interesting place to get an education!

Find links to Chanticleers and Bulletins at the Duke University Archives section of the Internet Archive. Additional Bulletins will be digitized in the near future, along with other Duke University resources.

Post contributed by Val Gillispie, Duke University Archivist.

The Scribe Scanner

5,000 Digital Books and Counting

The Internet Archive just reached an important milestone by digitizing 5,000 books at Duke. The 5,000th book, The British Album: In Two Volumes, contains poetry by “Della Crusca, Anna Matilda, Arley, Benedict, The Bard” and other writers on themes including love, horror, jealousy, and death, and is part of the general collections of the Rubenstein Library. The “Ode to Death” begins “THOU, whose remorseless rage, Nor vows, nor tears assuage, TRIUMPHANT DEATH!—to thee I raise, The bursting notes of dauntless praise!” The second volume can be found here.

The Scribe Scanner
The Scribe Scanner. Photo by Rita Johnston.

The Internet Archive scanning center at Duke University has been in operation for one and a half years and has digitized materials from collections within the Rubenstein Library, including the University Archives, Utopian Literature, and Confederate Imprints. I scan about 450 pages per hour and around 50 books a week. Most books in the public domain under 11 x 13 inches in size can be digitized on the Scribe book scanner, as well as pamphlets and loose documents.

Books digitized through Internet Archive are usually available on the site by the next day, are full-text searchable, and can be read in a web browser or downloaded to a computer; e-book reader; or mobile device. You can find newly digitized Duke materials by clicking on the RSS feed link at the bottom right on this blog or by visiting the Duke University Libraries Internet Archive page. Patrons can request a book to be digitized by the Internet Archive by contacting Rubenstein Library staff.

Post contributed by Rita Johnston, Scribe scanner operator.

"Come and Join Us Brothers," 1863

Researching the Civil War?

This has been the most terrific days battle since commincement. The enemy made a terrible charge over our Breastworks with re-inforcementz & succeeded in charging some of our men out of them, capturing many of our Division. All our Regiment that were left from the first days fight were captured.
—from the Henry Beverige Diary, Thursday, May 12, 1864.

Beverige, a soldier and hospital steward with the 25th Virginia Regiment of the Confederate States of America, describes one of the many terrifying, bloody days of the American Civil War. His diary is one of the numerous first person accounts available in the Rubenstein Library. Other perspectives on life during the conflict are offered by fiery teenager Alice Williamson;  Confederate spy Rose O’Neal Greenhow, African Americans such as Edgar Dinsmore, and the many others who experienced the loneliness, losses, and deprivations—and occasional triumphs—of the conflict.

"Come and Join Us Brothers," 1863

To commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, Rubenstein Library staff have collaborated on a guide to Civil War resources that provides highlights of our rich collections. Special sections describe manuscript and print material related to military history, medicine, women, African Americans, literature, and music in the Rubenstein Library, as well as other library guides and relevant databases and websites.

We anticipate that this guide will be helpful for scholars, genealogists, and anyone with a personal interest in Civil War history. Please contact us if you have questions or comments about our collections.

Post contributed by Elizabeth Dunn, Research Services Librarian.