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 above. Described as “football miscellany,” it features football players, Leonard “Dinkey” Darnell and Jasper “Jap” Davis, in an iconic archery pose, dated July 1939. I wish I knew the story behind this image. Was it from a physical education class on archery? The Women’s Athletic Association had an archery season. Maybe the men joined them one afternoon for a bit of fun? I hope you enjoy the image as much as I do.
Post contributed by Kim Sims, Technical Services Archivist for University Archives.
This morning, we’re sending best wishes to our friends at the Duke University Medical Center Archives, who have just entered the blogosphere!
Visit their new blog for stories about the history of the DUMC community; interesting images, artifacts, and documents from their collections (like the illustration at right); and information about their resources, services, news, and events.
Every fall the Rubenstein Library welcomes a new group of graduate student interns from Duke and other area universities. Maybe I just have a soft spot for our interns since I was once one, but I think anyone at the Rubenstein would tell you that our interns are an integral part of the work we do, helping us with processing collections, creating finding aids, answering reference questions, coordinating events, and much more. I’d like to introduce you to some of the interns who are working with the Research Services department this year:
Dominique Dery, Research Services Intern
What she’s studying: I’m currently a PhD student studying Political Theory and Religion and Politics in the Political Science department at Duke. My dissertation links historical accounts of civic friendship with contemporary theoretical and ethnographic work on civic engagement and community service. What’s she’s been working on at the Rubenstein Library: As the Research Services intern, I serve patrons at the front desk of the Rubenstein, and I also respond to queries from researchers who can’t make it in to the library themselves. So far I’ve searched through and ordered reproductions of letters, sheet music, and pamphlets. What she likes to do when she’s not with us: When I’m not writing or at the Rubenstein, I love to help out at a friend’s farm in Rougemont and hike along the Eno. Most interesting thing she’s come across in our collections: The most interesting thing I’ve come across so far has been the correspondence between Carson McCullers and Tennessee Williams while on the hunt for mention of another writer in McCullers’ papers; I love McCullers’ fiction and it was fascinating to get to see some of her letters to her dear friend Tennessee (also known as ’10′ in some of the letters).
What she’s studying: I am a sixth year graduate student in Political Science at Duke University. I focus on international relations, and my work looks at how leaders interact during international crises. What’s she’s been working on at the Rubenstein Library: In doing research for patrons, I have come across some really neat old advertisements, including some fascinating ads from the turn of the century. I am also doing research for the Hartman Center on Pan American Airlines. Both my parents are pilots, and my father flew for Delta Airlines, who bought out Pan Am. I really feel a connection to the material. What she likes to do when she’s not with us: In my free time, I am an avid tennis player. Most interesting thing she’s come across in our collections: I came across this beautiful advertisement from 1896 for Liberty Bicycles on the back of a Kodak ad I was searching for. I think as a political scientist the tag line really resonates with me, and the artwork is a beautiful example of Art Nouveau in advertising.
What she’s studying: I’m a library and information science student at UNC-Chapel Hill. What’s she’s working on at the Rubenstein Library: Various projects for the University Archives, including the Chapel sermon recordings digitization project (some of the recordings are being used in the Great Black Preachers of Duke Chapel series on iTunes U), and creating information pages about members of the Duke family. What she likes to do when she’s not with us: Outside of work and school, I love knitting, baking, and Duke basketball! Most interesting thing she’s come across in our collections: A 1958 Duke Law School banquet program signed by “Dick Nixon.”
What she’s studying: I’m working on a dual masters degree; I just finished my MA in Public History at NC State, and I’m working on my MSLS from Chapel Hill. What she’s working on at the Rubenstein Library: I’ve been working on a range of things: migrating the website to Drupal, migrating subject guides to LibGuides (and revamping some of them), assisting with remote reference and reproduction, assisting with preparation for classes, helping out with 25th anniversary events, and processing zines. What she likes to do when she’s not with us: Outside of school and work, I’m interested in photography, old movies, traveling, baking, dance fitness classes, and used bookshops. Although there is distressingly little time outside of school and work. Most interesting thing she’s come across in our collections: Two of the most interesting things I’ve come across were the pink corset book and a picture of Kathy Acker with the Spice Girls.
As we reflect on the milestone of integration, we must also consider the challenges faced by African American students at Duke, especially during the 1960s. This upcoming February will mark 45 years since the Allen Building Takeover of 1969. The Takeover was a seminal event in which nearly 100 black students occupied the administrative building for a day, demanding changes to a number of policies. After leaving peacefully, a crowd gathered outside the building confronted police, and teargas was fired on the crowd.
A new exhibit on the Takeover, curated by Caitlin M. Johnson, Trinity ’12, is now on display on the first floor of the Allen Building. Thirty panels describe the build-up to the protest, the events of that day, and the outcome of the Takeover. Featuring many images from the University Archives and the Durham Morning Herald and Durham Sun, Johnson’s exhibit forms a powerful narrative about Duke’s path toward real integration.
When we haven’t been attending presentations on the latest and greatest in our profession or meeting our fellow archivists, we’ve been exploring this awesome city. A few evenings ago, we stumbled upon a familiar place.
The venerable Antoine’s has stood in New Orleans’s French Quarter since 1840. And, of course, archivists have a soft spot for old things!
The restaurant is familiar to those of us in the University Archives because of Eddie Cameron—specifically, a scrapbook of photos, clippings, and ephemera from the Duke football team’s trip to play in the 1945 Sugar Bowl. Among the pre-game celebrations was a dinner at Antoine’s with the team’s University of Alabama opponents.
We love this photo of Eddie Cameron and Alabama head coach Frank Thomas mixing up some Café Brûlot Diabolique. Thankfully, the game wasn’t the following day! (Duke won, 29-26, incidentally.)
Most of us will be leaving today, to return to our normal Durham lives of collecting, processing, cataloging, answering questions, teaching, and, well, helping to make the Rubenstein the great place that it is. But we’ll be back here soon, we hope! Thank you, New Orleans, and thanks, Antoine’s, for reminding us of a fun evening in Duke’s history!
The title of this blog post comes from one of the taglines for the 1992 film A League of Their Own, a fictionalized account of the formation of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
I’m currently working to inventory approximately 28,000 acetate negatives of Duke athletics from circa 1928-1982 and recently came across a few images of women playing baseball from as early as 1934 to as late as 1941.
In the decades before Title IX, Duke women participated in sports activities organized by the Women’s Athletic Association. The W.A.A. formed in 1929 as an “outlet for the athletic urge than the physical education classes were able to offer” and to provide a “program of sports activity for women, similar to that afforded to the men by the intramural athletic program.” The W.A.A.’s purpose was to “stimulate interest in athletics, to provide a chance for those interested in sports to develop more skill, and to give the women opportunities for fellowship and recreation.”
In addition to baseball (not softball), women competed in tennis, golf, track & field, equestrian events, field hockey, soccer, fencing, swimming, basketball, and archery. The W.A.A. also sponsored several events and activities, including dances, weekend parties, hikes, and open houses in the gym. It also used a point system to determine which 10 seniors received a blue “D.” The 7 seniors who accrued the highest number of points received white sweaters with the blue “D” attached.
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 away from campus? Or that there are 24 distinct colors in the stone: 7 primary colors with 17 distinct variants of the primary colors? Or that, before choosing the Hillsborough stone, there were several other stone contenders?
Before the Hillsborough stone was chosen to construct West Campus, and before it was known simply as “Duke Stone,” the architects, designers, builders, and James B. Duke himself looked at many different stone samples. They even constructed test walls of stone from other quarries on the East Coast to determine which one they liked the best. Here’s one of the test walls constructed during that phase:
And in this October 15, 1925 photo of construction on East Campus, the test walls are visible off in the distance.
It’s safe to say that we all know and love Duke Stone today—so much so that the panels are going up on the construction wall so that we don’t have to be without the look of it for too long. Next time you’re on campus, see how many primary and variant colors you can find in the stone. Let us know how you do!
One of the most frequently used items in the Duke University Archives is The Chronicle, particularly the 1960s issues. Many students are interested in the decade—which was one of great change in the student body, the curriculum, and in social life—and alumni and other researchers use it to find out details about particular events. This year, as Duke commemorates 50 years of desegregation among the undergraduate class, The Chronicle is especially helpful as a source of information about desegregation and later student protests like the Vigil and the Allen Building Takeover.
Thanks to the work of the Duke University Libraries’ Conservation Department, Digital Production Center, and Digital Projects Services, we now have eleven complete years (fall 1959-spring 1970) of The Chronicle digitized at http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/dukechronicle/. The issues are browsable by year and date and keyword searchable.
Although it will be extremely helpful for research on desegregation and student protest, it will also be helpful for researching topics ranging from the Duke-UNC rivalry to women on campus to ads for local restaurants. Through even small stories and announcements, we learn a lot about campus.
For example, on November 22, 1968, we read that a memorial mass was held to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the passing of John F. Kennedy, Jr.:
On March 1, 1963, we learn of the mysterious origins of the name of Towerview Road:
And on November 7, 1969, we find 1969 at Duke, perfectly preserved:
There are 868 issues of editorials, news stories, sports writing, advertisements, and much more. Let us know what you think, and how you will use the digitized decade of The Chronicle!
Post contributed by Valerie Gillispie, Duke University Archivist.
This spring I assisted my supervisor in processing the Duke Student Government (DSG) Records. One day he called me over to look at a report he had found called “A Color-Coded Guide to Campus Living Groups.” Prepared in the summer of 1992 by Adrianne G. Threatt, this report truly was colorful. It was divided in two parts with maps of the campus living groups on Main West Campus, Edens Quadrangle, East Campus, and North Campus. Part II was straightforward, with four maps showing the approximate number of residents per living group. But Part I showed the same four maps with hand-written commentary about the “distinguishing characteristics” of each living group. Looking at these comments reminded me of my own experience with Duke dorms and their “distinguishing characteristics.”
One day shortly after my freshman year began, I walked into my dorm, Giles, to find all my friends crowded around a single laptop. My roommate was pointing to the screen animatedly, so I stopped to see what all the girls were looking at: it was a list of all the dorms on East Campus, with blurbs about the reputations of each. Giles, it said, was “home to pretty girls who like to have a good time.” Being freshmen, we of course knew everything on the internet is true: we all must have been placed in Giles because the all-knowing, all-seeing Duke housing lottery deemed us pretty girls who liked to have a good time.
Seeing the color-coded maps, then, I was eager to find out the “distinguishing characteristics” for Giles in 1992. According to the guide, Giles was “the dorm for women who were serious about living in an all-female dorm, but their man-hating image has declined in the past couple of years. Now they have a more main-stream group of girls.” To say the least, a far cry from what my friends and I had read 18 years later, in the fall of 2010.
What else had changed about East Campus? The first thing I noticed was that East was not an all-freshman campus. There were fraternity sections, for one thing, and “swing dorms,” which were used as either upper-class or freshman dorms.. In Wilson, there were three fraternity sections—ΣX (Sigma Chi), ΦKΣ (Phi Kappa Sigma), and ΔKE (Delta Kappa Epsilon)—which the author of the maps noted as “apparently a disastrous arrangement.” The “artsy dorm” in 1992 was Epworth, whereas Pegram had that title by my freshman year. Half of Bassett in 1992 was AEΠ’s (Alpha Epsilon Pi) section and the people who chose to live on the other half of Bassett were described as having “group unity” and as being “really religious.” I have only known Bassett as the dorm where all the basketball players lived.
Despite all these changes, many things have stayed the same. In 1992, KA’s (Kappa Alpha) section was in half of Brown; the author described KA as “the Southern fraternity,” who likes “big parties and cooking out.” This reputation holds true today. AEΠ was known as “the Jewish fraternity” and as a “great group of guys” who had “cool theme parties, like Casino night, but their kegs are pretty lame.” AEΠ is still the Jewish fraternity and still considered to be a great group of guys who have fun parties. As to their current kegs quality—no comment.
Being at Duke is exciting because the history that is everywhere makes us feel like part of a much bigger legacy. Yet, we are still able to make that legacy our own. This is why we see both reputations that persist through the years and reputations that constantly change. I would be interested to hear how other students and alums feel about Duke’s “distinguishing characteristics” over the years.
Do you see your Duke in the color-coded guide to the Duke of 1992?
The Duke University Libraries are proud to announce the completion of the still image digitization for the Duke-held collections of the Content, Context, and Capacity (CCC) Project.
This inter-institutional collaborative project of Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, NC State, and NC Central is digitizing records relating to the Long Civil Rights Movement. The Long Civil Rights Movement is a term used by historians to expand the traditional definition of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s both further into the past and into more recent times. Collections from this project date back to as early as the 1880s and to as late as the first decade of the 2000s.
In total, all four institutions will digitize over 350,000 documents. Duke’s share of that total is approximately 66,000 scans from eight archival collections from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. In addition, during the next (final) year of the project, the CCC staff will transition to the digitization of audio collections. Duke will focus on the digitization of the North Carolina tapes from the Behind the Veil Oral History Collection, which is scheduled for publication in 2014.
Check out the gallery of selected documents digitized as part of the project (click to enlarge) and browse each of the eight collection’s finding aids, now containing the embedded digitized documents, below.
Collection descriptions and links to finding aids (containing digitized materials):
Basil Lee Whitener Papers, 1889-1968: Basil Lee Whitener was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1957 to 1968 from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. His papers document his opposition to civil rights legislation as well as his activities as a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Allen Building Takeover Collection, 1969-2002: This collection documents the events and the remembrances of the February 1969 Allen Building Takeover, during which students occupied Duke’s administrative building demanding improvement of African-American life on campus and skirmishes between sympathizers and the police on the quad became violent.
Black Student Alliance Records, 1969-2006: The Black Student Alliance is a Duke African-American student advocacy organization. Its records include evidence of the organization’s projects as well as their publications and compiled scrapbooks illustrating student life.
Researchers will find a great deal of material to analyze in these eight collections. The CCC staff encourages you to visit the finding aids of each collection and start exploring the varied perspectives, narratives, and memories that help to comprise the Long Civil Rights Movement.
The grant-funded CCC Project is designed to digitize selected manuscripts and photographs relating to the long civil rights movement. Funding is provided by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division on the Department of Cultural Resources. For more about Rubenstein Library materials being digitized through the CCC Project, check out previous progress updates posted here at The Devil’s Tale!
Post contributed by Josh Hager, CCC Graduate Assistant.
Dispatches from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University