Identity Crisis

On June 5, 2013 By

Our manuscripts cataloger, Alice Poffinberger, recently showed me a merchant’s daybook from Normal College, Randolph County, NC. For those unfamiliar with the history of Duke, Normal College was renamed Trinity College in 1859, which was renamed Duke University in 1924. The Normal College daybook dates from 1852 to 1853, and [...]

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Paying My Respects

On May 21, 2013 By

During a recent visit to Philadelphia, I paid my respects to two of my favorite people from the history of Duke University: Julian Abele and Horace Trumbauer. Trumbauer’s architecture firm was hired to design the new campuses of Duke University, which were constructed between 1925 and 1932.

Abele was the first [...]

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Mad Men Monday, Episode 5

On April 29, 2013 By

Episode 5, which aired on April 28st, depicted the Mad Men characters reacting to the news that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Across the board, everyone was upset and unnerved, but there was considerable awkwardness in their interactions with each other in the aftermath.  Pete and Harry argued about [...]

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Hello again from the Duke University Union records!  When last we met, I told you about a mysterious memorandum concerning CORE and the fact that it was not known to suffer from any communist infiltration.  Now, I have an equally interesting tale, involving an unlikely cast of characters: President Keith Brodie, Coach K, [...]

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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 [...]

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For the last several months, I have been processing the collection of the Duke University Union for the Duke Archives.  The collection contains a wide variety of records and information: want to know how many people were injured during the Grateful Dead concert at Duke?  Check the Union records!  Interested in a local artist that [...]

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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 [...]

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Dates: December 5, 2012-March 3, 2013
Location: Rare Book Room cases (directly outside the Biddle Rare Book Room, Perkins Library)
Online Exhibit: http://exhibits.library.duke.edu/exhibits/show/desegregation
Contact Information: Valerie Gillispie, valerie.gillispie(at)duke.edu

Fifty years ago, Duke University first admitted African-American students into its undergraduate classes. Drawing upon the collections of the Continue Reading

In 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 [...]

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Recently, I was tasked with the job of researching and learning about the life of Benjamin Newton Duke, affectionately known as “Mr. Ben.” Mr. Ben was the older brother of James B. Duke, and one of tobacco tycoon Washington Duke’s children.

J.B. was placed in charge of many of the family’s business ventures and became [...]

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