Category Archives: Rubenstein Library

Congratulations to Our 2017 Library Writing and Research Award Winners!

Every year the Duke University Libraries run a series of essay contests recognizing the original research of Duke students and encouraging the use of library resources. We are pleased to announce the winners of our 2016-2017 library writing and research awards.

Lowell Aptman Prize

Recognizing excellence in undergraduate research using sources from the Libraries’ general collections.

  • Honor Thesis Prize: Anna Mukamal for “Creative Impulse in the Modern Age: The Embodiment of Anxiety in the Early Poetry of T. S. Eliot (1910-1917)”
  • Third/Fourth-Year Prize: Jack Harrington for “In The Empire’s Back Yard: The Radicalization of Public Opinion In Ireland and It’s Impact on the Anglo-Irish War (1913-1920)”
  • First/Second-Year Prize: McKenzie Cook for “World War I and The London Theatre”

Chester P. Middlesworth Award

Recognizing excellence of analysis, research, and writing in the use of primary sources and rare materials held by the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

  • Maegan Stanley for “In Honest Affection and Friendlinesse”
  • Hannah Rogers for “Subversion as Service: The Life and Controversy of Jeanne Audrey Powers”

Ole R. Holsti Prize

Recognizing excellence in undergraduate research using primary sources for political science or public policy.

  • Honors Thesis Prize: Tara Bansal for “Analyzing the Development of Social Capital in the Slums of Bangalore”
  • Semester Paper Prize: Kushal Kadakia for “Rethinking R&D: Partnerships as Drivers for Global Health Innovation”

Rudolph William Rosati Creative Writing Award

Recognizing outstanding undergraduate creative writing.

  • Sabrina Hao for “My Name is Elizabeth”
  • Rajiv Golla for “From Graves to Gardens”
  • Valerie Muensterman for “Earth Once Removed”

Join Us at the Awards Reception!

We will be celebrating our winners and their achievements at a special awards reception coinciding with Duke Family Weekend.  All are invited to join us for refreshments and the opportunity to honor the recipients.

Date: Friday, October 20
Time: 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Location: Rubenstein Library 249 (Carpenter Conference Room)

In-Depth Look at SNCC’s Past Offers Lessons for Activists Today

Man and woman looking over a brochure for a political candidate before election day in Lowndes County, Alabama, November, 1966, Photograph by Jim Peppler, Courtesy of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama.

What can the immediate past teach us about voting rights, self-determination, and democracy today? A new website created by the SNCC Legacy Project and Duke University explores how the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)—the only youth-led national civil rights group—organized a grassroots movement in the 1960s that empowered Black communities and transformed the nation.  Told from the perspectives of the activists themselves, the SNCC Digital Gateway: Learn from the Past, Organize for the Future, Make Democracy Work (snccdigital.org) highlights SNCC’s thinking and work building democracy from the ground up, making those experiences and strategies accessible to activists, educators, and engaged citizens today.

Generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the site uses documentary footage, audio recordings, photographs, and documents to chronicle how SNCC organizers, alongside thousands of local Black residents in the Deep South, worked to enable Black people to take control of their lives. The gateway unveils and examines the inner workings of SNCC over the course of its 12-year existence—its structure, how it coordinated sit-ins and other direct action protests, and how it organized voter registration efforts and economic cooperatives to effect social change. SNCC had more field staff than any civil rights organization and was considered the cutting edge of the civil rights movement.

The SNCC Digital Gateway also presents the voices of today’s young activists in the Movement for Black Lives, sharing their views on the impact of SNCC and the southern civil rights movement of the 1960s on their activities today. “Reading through the SNCC Digital Gateway website is like taking a masters class in community organizing,” explains Jennifer Bryant, a community organizer based in Washington, D.C. “The primary source documents provide a deeper understanding of how SNCC was structured, the day-to-day work of field organizers and how campaigns were shaped. The site serves as a reminder that the civil rights movement was fought by everyday people. It provides hope that in these perilous times, we too can fight and win.” Courtland Cox, chairman of the SNCC Legacy Project, who served as an organizer in Mississippi and Alabama in the 1960s, explains, “Our experiences have created a level of ‘informational wealth’ that we need to pass on to young people. This unprecedented collaboration with Duke University hopefully will pilot a way for other academic institutions to re-engage history and those who make it.”

The website is a product of a groundbreaking partnership among veteran civil rights activists of the SNCC Legacy Project, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke, Duke University Libraries, and civil rights scholars. Wesley Hogan, director of the Center for Documentary Studies, who has written extensively about SNCC’s work and legacy explains, “The way we are working together—activists, archivists, and scholars—is a powerful new model. This project gives us a unique opportunity to understand the work of the local people who broke apart Jim Crow that would otherwise be lost to future generations.”


For more information, contact:

Wesley Hogan, Director, Center for Documentary Studies
(919) 660-3610
wesley.hogan@duke.edu

Courtland Cox, Chairman, SNCC Legacy Project
(220) 550-8455
courtlandc@starpower.net

John Gartrell, John Hope Franklin Research Center, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
(919) 660-5922
john.gartrell@duke.edu

New Exhibit: Incredible Insects!

A weevil (family Curculionidae), one of many insects on
display as part of the of the new Incredible Insects exhibit.

Incredible Insects: A Celebration of Insect Biology
On display June 13 – October 15, 2017
in the Chappell Family Gallery and Stone Family Gallery, Perkins and Rubenstein Libraries, Duke West Campus (Click for map)

Please check our website for current library hours.

About the Exhibit

Insects are the most numerous and diverse animals on earth. They can be found in almost every environment. Because of their tremendous diversity, they play many important roles in nature, as well as in human society—enchanting us with their beauty, unsettling us with their strangeness. Whether revered or reviled, these fascinating and ubiquitous organisms can truly be said to have conquered the planet.

A new library exhibit offers a glimpse into the multifaceted world of insects, including research on insects conducted here at Duke.

There are three times as many species of insects than all other animals (mammals, birds, fish reptiles, amphibians) combined. The number of individual insects is estimated to be in excess of a quintillion (that’s a 10 with 18 zeros behind it).

The exhibit is divided into several sections, including insect evolution and diversity, coloration and camouflage, types and stages of insect metamorphosis, the roles of insects in human history and culture, and a fascinating look at two of nature’s greatest mysteries: the migration of the monarch butterfly and the clockwork-like appearance of periodical cicadas.

Periodical cicadas are one of the most remarkable phenomena of nature. They suddenly appear in the millions every 13 or 17 years. Then they disappear as suddenly as they came,

Exhibit visitors can also hear sound recordings of insect calls at a nearby kiosk and see up-close images of insects taken with electron microscopes.

Around the corner from the Chappell Family Gallery, viewers can step inside the Rubenstein Library’s Stone Family Gallery and peruse several selections of rare books that complement the exhibit.  The exhibit curators selected these works because they represent some of the earliest scientific investigations to discover general aspects of biology and natural history through the study of insects.

Image of a fly drawn by Robert Hooke in his Micrographia (1667), one of several rare historical volumes on entomology on display in the Stone Family Gallery.

Incredible Insects was curated by a team of entymology students, faculty and staff from the Duke biology department.

For more information, visit the Incredible Insects exhibit website.

 

It’s National Library Week: Are You One for the Books?

Are you in the library so often you’ve practically become a part of it yourself?

Join us as we celebrate National Library Week (April 9 – 15) and show off your love of the Libraries by being one for the books… literally!

Last year we celebrated National Library Week by asking people to #ThankALibrarian and tell us how a librarian had helped them recently (see video).

This year, we invite you to become a part of our amazing collections by making a “bookface” and participating in a video celebrating all of the resources the Duke Libraries have to offer!

We will be photographing bookfaces outside Perkins Library on Monday, April 10, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Lilly Library on Friday, April 14, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.  We’ll also have fun celebratory buttons you can take with you!

Join us to help make this year’s National Library Week one for the books!

P.S. Look out for a Snapchat Geotag in Rubenstein, Perkins, Bostock, and Lilly and posts to our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts throughout the entire week!

Thanks for loving your library. You’re one for the books!

Comics and Graphic Novels at the Library

Underground & Independent Comics collection

Did you know that Duke University Libraries can provide you with access to a variety of comics and graphic novels?  Keep reading to find out more!

Rare and Original Issues at the Rubenstein Library

The Rubenstein’s comic collection spans many decades, publishers, and styles: from Golden Age Batman to modern graphic novels, and everything in between.

Edwin and Terry Murray Comic Book Collection

With more than 67,000 comic books from the 1930s to the 2000s, this is our largest collection.  All of the comic book titles are in the process of being added to the library catalog, so you will be able to search the catalog for your favorite superhero!   The titles currently available can also be found in the catalog by searching for “Edwin and Terry Murray Collection (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library).”   You can try searching by genres, such as “Detective and mystery comics” and  “Underground comics,” as well.

Comic Book and Graphic Novel Collection

Contains thousands of additional comics and graphic novels with rich materials in international comics, especially Argentina and France, and comics created by women.  Find them in the Guide to the Comic Book and Graphic Novel Collection, 1938-2012.

The Underground and Independent Comics Database

The Underground and Independent Comics database is the first-ever scholarly online collection for researchers and students of adult comic books and graphic novels. It features the comics themselves along with interviews, commentary, and criticism. Includes artists such as Jessica Abel, Jaime Hernandez, Jason, Harvey Pekar, Dave Sim, and many more. There are comics from around the world, including Canada, France, Italy, Spain, England, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Korea, Japan.

Comics and Graphic Novels in the Stacks

You can check out comics and graphic novels from our circulating collections.  We also have comics and graphic novels scattered throughout our libraries, with most of them housed at Lilly Library on East campus.  You’ll find everything from The Walking Dead to Persepolis.

There are several ways to identify titles.  If you want to browse, relevant call number sections include PN6700-6790 and NC1300-1766. You can do a title search in our library catalog for specific titles.   You can also use the subject headings Comic books, strips, etc. and graphic novels to discover more titles.

Manga

We have manga in the East Asian collection on the second floor of Bostock.  We hold about 600 titles in Japanese and 150 titles translated into English just in PN6790.J3 – PN6790.J34.  You can also find Korean manhwa in PN6790 K6 – PN6790.K64.  Popular titles held at Duke include One Piece, Dragon ball, Naruto, Astro Boy, as well as the complete works of Tezuka Osamu.

Come Visit Us This Week!

We’ll have a table outside of the Perk on Tuesday March 28th from 1-2 and on Wednesday March 29th from 11-12.  We’ll be showing off some of the works in our collections, demonstrating The Underground and Independent Comics database, and answering questions!

Haggadah Exhibit Opening Reception, Mar. 22

CAPTURING THE MOMENT: CENTURIES OF THE PASSOVER HAGGADAH

Opening Reception and Guest Speaker Professor Kalman Bland, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies

DATE: Wednesday, March 22
TIME: 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room, Rubenstein Library

Join us to celebrate the opening of a new exhibit of the Passover Haggadah, a Jewish text written for the Passover Seder meal.  This exhibit explores the long and interesting history of the Haggadot (pl. of Haggadah) and how their illustrations and texts shed light on cultural, religious and political changes.

On display in the Jerry and Bruce Chappell Family Gallery (near the main entrance to Perkins Library) February 23 – June 11.

For more information contact Meg Brown, meg.brown@duke.edu.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

Parking available at the Bryan Center Garage.

From Kielbasa to Sfincione: A Personal and Academic Exploration of Urban Foods

Guest post by Ashley Rose Young, Ph.D. candidate in History at Duke and the Business History Graduate Intern at the Hartman Center.

My life has always revolved around the sale and distribution of food. My food-centric lifestyle is not all that surprising, as my family owns and operates gourmet food stores in Pittsburgh. By the time I was three years old, I was working behind the counter, standing on a plastic milk carton so that customers could see me while I earned my family “business degree.” After years of practice (and a growth spurt or two) I could easily reach over the counter to hand my family’s homemade kielbasas to customers. My grandfather made those sausages. He established the family business, too, by starting as an itinerant vendor at a roadside food stand in the 1940s. Over time, he worked his way towards opening a series of grocery stores with the support of my grandmother, mother, aunts, and uncles. Together, my family created a business committed to supporting small-scale local farmers and artisans while preserving the culinary heritage of Pittsburgh.

A profile of McGinnis Sisters Special Food Stores featuring a photo of the author (age 6) with her grandparents, mother, and aunts.

Inspired by my own experiences and those of my family, my dissertation research focuses on urban food economies in the United States. Specifically, I study street food and market vendors in New Orleans and the global influences on the city’s Creole cuisine. As a major Atlantic port city, New Orleans was connected to communities and food cultures throughout the Atlantic Rim, adopting ingredients like okra from West Africa and cooking techniques like starting soups with a French-style roux. Tracing those influences, I have visited archives and conducted fieldwork in countries like France, Italy, and Morocco, all of which influenced the development Creole cuisine. At the National Library in France, I studied the parallels and dissimilarities between artistic renderings of street food vendors in Paris and those in New Orleans. While the images were different in the ways they revealed cultural bias, in both places it was common for artists to pair images of food vendors with sheet music that captured their cries of “Piping hot rice fritters!” and “Beautiful cakes!”

Fascinated by the prevalence of street cries in New Orleans’ historic soundscape, I sought connections to modern day street food cultures. In order to do so, I conducted fieldwork in Palermo, Sicily—a city known for its musical food vendors. Although most people do not associate New Orleans with Italian food culture, in the late nineteenth century, the city had one of the largest Sicilian immigrant populations in the world. In fact, at that time, New Orleanians colloquially referred to the French Quarter as “Little Palermo.” The sonorous voices of Sicilian food vendors rang throughout the city. Folklorists captured their calls on the page in compendiums like Gumbo Ya-Ya: Folktales of Louisiana (1945). In that volume, an Italian vendor is described as singing while he hawks his wares: “Cantal—ope—ah! Fresh and fine, just off a de vine, only a dime!”

A drawing and sheet music depicting a rice fritter vendor in twentieth century New Orleans. “The Calas Girl,” Cooking in the Old Créole Days: La Cuisine Créole à l’Usage des Petits Menages (New York, R. H. Russell, 1903).

Modern-day Palermo’s urban food scene shares similarities with New Orleans’ historic one. Like the Big Easy, Palermo’s streets are crowded with food vendors who entreat passersby with humorous and delightful calls. One of their more popular grab-n-go foods in the city is sfincione, or street pizza. Sfincione is simple and economical—a tasty combination of spongy crust, tomato sauce, olive oil, and a healthy sprinkling of dried parsley. Commenting on those humble origins with a bit of humor, one of the traditional Palermitano street cries is: “Scarsu d’ogghio e chinu i prubulazzo!” Or, in English, “Lack of oil and plenty of dust!” Another more enticing cry is, “Uara u sfuinnavi uara! Chistu è sfinciuni ra bella viaro!”—“I’ve just taken it out of the oven! This is a very beautiful sfincione!” The street cries of Palermo work in similar ways to those of historic New Orleans, attracting the attention of potential customers with a witty, entertaining performance. For food vendors past and present, charm is a major component of their business strategy. I had witnessed the power of charisma so long ago, perched on my milk carton while my mother wrapped parcels of sausage and joked with customers.

Sfincione vendor, Palermo, Sicily, 2014. Photo by Ashley Rose Young.

Entranced by that charm and my newfound academic approach to food, a dissertation (or one might say obsession) was brought to life. Even when traveling without a research agenda, I was constantly analyzing the local food cultures around me to connect what I observed in New Orleans with what I witnessed abroad. There were a few surprises along the way. While in Peru for an academic conference, for example, I learned about a maize beer called chicha de jora that resembled a fermented corn beverage popularized by Choctaw Indians in colonial New Orleans. Although I had originally focused my dissertation research on New Orleans’ connections to Europe, West Africa, and the Caribbean, the discovery of chicha de jora encouraged me to study Latin American influences on Creole cuisine as well.

Municipal Market, Cusco, Peru, 2014. Photo by Ashley Rose Young.

Photography was a means of crystalizing these connections while also honoring the distinctiveness of community food cultures. Over the years, as I wandered through countless markets, I sought to capture the vibrancy of locally grown produce, the entrepreneurial spirit of food vendors, and the enduring presence of local food cultures in an age of homogenized industrial food.

I now have the opportunity to share these dynamic cultures in an exhibit I’ve curated for Perkins Library: To Market, to Market! Urban Street Food Culture Around the Globe. Through this exhibit, you can compare the texture and shape of ruby red radishes in Paris with their kaleidoscopic counterparts in Durham. Or you can draw parallels between curbside displays of fish in Essaouira, Morocco with those for sale at the Vietnamese Farmers’ Market in New Orleans East. The exhibit, which consists of twenty-four photographs, is loosely organized, encouraging you to create your own narrative of the interconnectivity of urban food around the world.

The exhibit is installed on the Student Wall on the first floor of Perkins Library, opposite the Thompson Writing Studio. It runs through March 31, 2017.

HIV/AIDS and the Health Humanities: A Global Perspective

medicine-collection
World AIDS Day Event to take place in Rubenstein on November 30, 3-6 pm

The papers of Maria de Bruyn, a medical anthropologist, are a recent acquisition by the History of Medicine Collections and will be the focus of this event and several others this fall. The Duke University History of Medicine Collections is a rich resource for teaching Duke medical students about the centuries of medical experimentation that inform the modern practice of medicine.

On November 30, the Franklin Humanities Institute Health Humanities Lab will host a special World AIDS Day event featuring a keynote address by de Bruyn and a lecture by poet and writer Kelley Swain.

In addition, students in professor Kearsley Stewart’s Duke Global Health Institute’s fall seminar on HIV/AIDS will discuss their three-week workshop with Swain and present an exhibit of their work based on materials from the Maria de Bruyn collection.

A reception is to follow the presentations. The event is free and open to the public and will take place on November 30, 3:00 – 6:00 pm, in Rubenstein Room 153. Contact Kearsley Stewart for more information, k.stewart@duke.edu.

 

New AEDs Installed in Libraries

aed

Inspired by the heroic efforts of Duke EMS students to successfully save a professor who underwent cardiac arrest in the Link last year, four new automated external defibrillators (AEDs) have been installed throughout Perkins and Rubenstein Libraries.

The AEDs are now active and ready to be deployed in case of emergency. Instructions on how to operate the devices are available at each location. The locations are as follows:

  • 1st Floor, Rubenstein Library: Between the women’s restroom and the elevator
  • 3rd Floor, Rubenstein Library: Between the women’s restroom and the elevator
  • Lower Level 1, Perkins Library: The Link, next to Fish Staircase
  • 3rd Floor, Perkins Library: Next to Fish Staircase

Upon opening the AED wall box, an audible alarm will sound alerting personnel in the area that the AED was removed.

Through these installations, we hope to improve safety and emergency response time for everyone who works and studies in the Duke University Libraries.

Archives Alive: A Look at Courses for Spring 2017

Detail from Latin MS No. 8, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Detail from Latin MS No. 8, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

As bookbagging classes for the Spring semester commences, we are excited to announce the next wave of Archives Alive courses offered for Duke undergraduates. These courses are aimed at enabling students to develop innovative and significant projects based on original materials held in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

As opposed to traditional offerings, Archives Alive courses provide students with weekly opportunities to conduct “hands-on” explorations into the rich and varied collections of rare print, manuscript, photographic, and audio materials. Students gain first-hand exposure to advanced research techniques in the new classroom space of the Rubenstein Library.

This upcoming semester, the Rubenstein Library will host two engaging courses that debuted last year. “History of the Book,” a phenomenally successful course on written text in its earliest forms through the 21st century, has been described by students as “thrilling,” “awesome,” and “engaging.” Another course dealing with recording technology, music, local history, and digital tools, “NC Jukebox,” has students raving about the hands-on explorations into century-old correspondence and audio recordings.

These classes for Spring 2017 are listed as follows:

Topics in Digital History & Humanities: NC Jukebox
HISTORY 390S-1/ISS 390S/MUSIC 290S-1
Curriculum Codes: ALP, CZ, R
Thursday 10:05-12:30
Instructors: Trudi Abel/Victoria Szabo

History of the Book
CLST 360/MEDREN 346/ISS 360/HISTORY 367
Curriculum Code: ALP
MW 3:05-4:20. Rubenstein Library 150
Instructor: Clare Woods

Read the full course descriptions on the Arts & Sciences website.

 

Celebrating 50 Years of Lemurs at Duke

50th lemurs

  • What: Opening of 50 Years of Lemurs at Duke exhibit
  • When: Thursday, October 27, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
  • Where: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room (Rubenstein 153) and Chappell Family Gallery (map)
  • Who: Free and open to the public

The Duke Lemur Center and the Duke University Libraries will debut a new exhibit in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Lemur Center, home to the world’s largest and most diverse collection of lemurs – Earth’s most threatened group of mammals – outside of Madagascar.

A public event celebrating the opening of the exhibit will take place on Thursday, October 27, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

fingerprintinglemur

The event will include short introductory remarks by Anne Yoder, Director of the Lemur Center, followed by a drop-in reception with light refreshments to view 50 Years of Lemurs at Duke, an exhibition curated by Lemur Center staff. The exhibition explores different facets of the Center, including ways in which it has worked to support research, both locally and around the world, for half of a century.

Most importantly, the exhibit will feature the true stars of the center: the lemurs! Guests will have the opportunity to admire these honorary mascots of the university in both pictures and on film. Members of the Lemur Center staff will be available to answer questions and share stories.

The event is free and open to the public and all are welcome to join in celebrating a semicentennial era of lemurs at Duke!

50th lemur center

Homecoming Hours for Library Exhibits

Exhibits in the Mary Duke Biddle Room (shown here) in the Rubenstein Library will be open on Saturday for Duke Homecoming weekend.
Exhibits in the Mary Duke Biddle Room (shown here) in the Rubenstein Library will be open on Saturday for Duke Homecoming weekend.

The Rubenstein Library exhibit suite (Mary Duke Biddle Room, Stone Family Gallery, and Josiah C. Trent History of Medicine Room) will all be open on Saturday, October 1, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., for Duke Homecoming weekend.

Library visitors can see Virginia Woolf’s writing desk, a copy of the Bay Psalm Book (first book printed in what is now the United States), two of our double-elephant folios of Audubon’s Birds of America, and many other treasures from the Rubenstein Library.

Exhibits currently on display include:

Visit our library exhibits website to find out more.

 

Join Our Student Advisory Boards!

Help us improve the library experience at Duke and make your voice heard by joining one of our student advisory boards.
Help us improve the library experience at Duke and make your voice heard by joining one of our student advisory boards.

The Duke University Libraries are now accepting applications for membership on the 2016-2017 student library advisory boards.

Members of these advisory boards will help improve the learning and research environment for Duke University students and advise the Libraries on topics such as study spaces, research resources, integrating library services into academic courses, and marketing library services to students.

The boards will typically meet four times a semester to discuss all aspects of Duke Libraries and provide feedback to library staff. This is an amazing opportunity for students to serve on the advisory board of a large, nationally recognized non-profit organization.

All three advisory boards are now taking applications or nominations.  Application deadlines are:

Members  of the Graduate and Professional Student Advisory Board and the Undergraduate Advisory Board will be selected and notified by mid-September, and groups will begin to meet in late September. More information is available on our website, where you will also find links to the online applications forms.

For more information or questions about these opportunities, please contact:

Graduate and Professional Student Advisory Board
and Undergraduate Advisory Board

emily_dalyEmily Daly
Head, Assessment and User Experience Department
Librarian for Education
emily.daly@duke.edu
919-660-5879

 

First-Year Advisory Board

boers-greta Greta Boers
Librarian for Linguistics and Classical Studies
greta.boers@duke.edu
919-660-5864

 

On the Road with the Frank C. Brown Collection

Guest post by Winston Atkins, Preservation Officer for the Duke University Libraries and Principal Investigator for the grant to digitize Frank Clyde Brown’s recordings of early twentieth-century folk music.

Frank C. Brown in the field, date and location unknown. Brown often used a car battery to power the recording devices he used.
Frank C. Brown in the field, date and location unknown. Brown often used a car battery to power the recording devices he used.

 

We are a nation linked by iHeartRadio stations playing “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones—that much is certain. I come to understand this as I drive the Frank Clyde Brown Collection’s 60 wax cylinders and 76 aluminum discs of folk songs and ballads to the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) in Andover, Massachusetts. There, the NEDCC will use a new and highly innovative technology called IRENE to help us rediscover these performances, which have been essentially unavailable to scholars for nearly a century.

It’s almost too easy to contrast that single, frequently repeated song (unloved by me) with my cargo, but I do it anyway: it’s a 15-hour trip and I’ve got time. The 136 cylinders and discs hold an estimated 1,367 performances collected by Brown as he traveled across North Carolina between 1915 and his death in 1943. Brown, an English professor who also served as comptroller during Trinity College’s transition into Duke University, somehow also found time to drive into back areas throughout North Carolina to record this music. There’s a certain symmetry to me driving his recordings from Duke to Andover.

Because they are too fragile to be played as intended, the cylinders and discs will be digitized using a non-contact visual scanning technology known as IRENE. Image courtesy of NEDCC.org.
Because they are too fragile to be played as intended, the cylinders and discs will be digitized using a non-contact visual scanning technology known as IRENE. Image courtesy of NEDCC.org.

The wax cylinders are especially brittle, though, which is why Craig Breaden and I finally decided I should drive them to the NEDCC rather than ship them. Craig, the Rubenstein Library’s Audiovisual Archivist, serves as the Project Manager for this grant. We’ve taken special care in packing, and each cylinder is stored in its own box. Twenty cylinders are then housed in a storage box, and for the trip, each storage box is packed in a larger box and surrounded by foam packing peanuts. The single storage box of aluminum discs is packed the same way. Although not as fragile as the wax cylinders, some of the discs use an acetate “lacquer” for the recording medium, which can be damaged.

The care extends to the trip: I’ve rented a minivan, which provides the bonus of a separate air conditioning system for the back storage area. That helps keep the cargo at a uniform temperature—changes in temperature are particularly hard on wax cylinders. In fact, I decide not to eat dinner while the outdoor temperature is above 75 degrees because I don’t want to leave the air conditioning off for too long. I drive to Hartford, Connecticut, that night and when I check into the motel, I take all four boxes into my room, where I put them on the bed instead of on the floor, just in case the fan coil unit leaks. They look kind of cozy there.

FCBrownBeddedF
The boxed-up cylinders and discs, resting from their journey.

What makes the IRENE technology worth the trouble? Craig and I will write more about it over the course of this project, but IRENE is perfect for material like this. IRENE makes ultra-high resolution visual scans of a disc’s or cylinder’s grooves to create an image of the track; its software converts the images to sound files. Creating visual scans first means that we can get an accurate digital sound file without a needle or stylus. That provides two important advantages: we don’t risk further damage to the grooves of these fragile media, and IRENE can sometimes recover sound from cracked or broken discs and cylinders if it can get an image of the grooves sufficient to match up with the other pieces. It’s amazing, and only the NEDCC provides this service.

NEDCC6
Jane Pipik, Manager of Audio Preservation Services at NEDCC, demonstrates how IRENE translates visual groove scans into digital sound files.

All of us associated with this project feel like the Brown Collection is a great collection, the music a treasure waiting to be rediscovered. The recordings contain ballads and folk songs that can be traced back to England, songs that traveled to North Carolina from other parts of the United States, and songs like those around the murder of Laura Foster by Tom Dula (a.k.a. Tom Dooley) that originated here.

And that’s what distinguishes this music from the Stones’ “Start Me Up.” Although the same song might be represented several times in the collection, each performance is unique; each musician provided his or her own take on the lyrics and music, or of the people from whom he or she learned the music. Even though the title might be the same, each performance potentially offers insights to us about the culture of the musicians’ locale. That is what makes the trip worth it.


The grant to digitize Frank Clyde Brown’s recordings is part of the Council on Library and Information Resources’ Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards program, a national competition that funds the digitization of rare and unique content held by libraries and cultural memory institutions and that would otherwise be unavailable to the public. The Council on Library and Information Resources is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. 

The program receives generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.  Additional information is available at mellon.org.

Commencement Weekend Hours for Library Exhibits

The Trent History of Medicine Room (shown here), Mary Duke Biddle Room, and Stone Family Gallery in the Rubenstein Library will all be open on Saturday for Duke Commencement weekend.
Exhibits in the Trent History of Medicine Room (shown here), Mary Duke Biddle Room, and Stone Family Gallery in the Rubenstein Library will all be open on Saturday for Duke Commencement weekend.

The Rubenstein Library exhibit suite (Mary Duke Biddle Room, Stone Family Gallery, and Josiah C. Trent History of Medicine Room) will all be open on Saturday, May 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., for Duke Commencement weekend.

Library visitors can see Virginia Woolf’s writing desk, a copy of the Bay Psalm Book (first book printed in what is now the United States), our double-elephant folios of Audubon’s Birds of America, and many other treasures from the Rubenstein Library.

Exhibits currently on display include:

Visit our library exhibits website to find out more.

 

Archive Opening and Lecture with John Palfrey, Apr. 7

 

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Palfrey is the author of “BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More than Ever in the Age of Google”

What: Lecture and Opening of the Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Archive
When: Thursday, April 7, 5:00 p.m.
Where: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room, Rubenstein Library
Reception to follow

9780465042999Join the Duke University Libraries as we celebrate the opening of the Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Archive with a special lecture featuring educator and technology expert John Palfrey, distinguished authority on education and technology and author of BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google (Basic Books, 2015).

Palfrey is the Head of School at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He is also a faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Previously, Palfrey served as Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School and as the founding chairman of the Digital Public Library of America. He has written extensively on internet law, intellectual property, and the potential of new technologies to strengthen democracies locally and around the world.

Palfrey’s talk will be followed by a brief response by N. Katherine Hayles, James B. Duke Professor of Literature at Duke and author of numerous books, including How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis (University of Chicago, 2012).

Sponsored by the Duke University Libraries, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Information Science + Studies Program, Information Initiative at Duke, Masters of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Studies Program, Center for Documentary Studies, Forum for Scholars and Publics, and the UNC School of Information and Library Science.

Rosati Visiting Writer: Roxana Robinson, Feb. 2

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Author Roxana Robinson

Duke University Libraries will host a reading and discussion with Roxana Robinson, critically acclaimed fiction writer and author most recently of the novel Sparta.

When: Tuesday, February 2, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Where: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room, Rubenstein Library Room 153
Q&A, book signing, and reception to follow.

Ms. Robinson is the Libraries’ inaugural Rosati Visiting Writer. She will be in residence at Duke January 28-February 18, 2016. She is the acclaimed author of numerous novels and short stories, as well as the definitive biography of Georgia O’Keefe. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, and elsewhere. She teaches in the Hunter College/CUNY MFA Program, has received NEA and Guggenheim fellowships, and is President of the Authors’ Guild.

This event is free and open to the public.

Master Class Opportunity for Duke Undergrads [REGISTRATION REQUIRED]
In addition to her public reading, Ms. Robinson will conduct a master class in writing for Duke undergraduate students on Tuesday, February 9, 10:05 a.m.-12:35 p.m. Interested students should register for the master class with Sara Seten Berghausen (sara@duke.edu). The registration deadline is February 3, 2016.

Library Receives Grant to Digitize Early Twentieth-Century Folk Music

Some 60 wax cylinders and 76 aluminum discs containing approximately 1,367 songs recorded in the 1920s and 1930s will be digitized as part of the project.
Some 60 wax cylinders and 76 aluminum discs containing approximately 1,367 songs recorded in the 1920s and 1930s will be digitized as part of the project.

Duke University Libraries has received a $74,595 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to digitize a large collection of North Carolina folk music that has never been widely heard.

The collection includes some 1,367 songs recorded in the 1920s and 1930s on wax cylinders and aluminum discs. The recordings were made in the field by folklorist, professor of English, and Duke University administrator Frank Clyde Brown (1870-1943), who traveled across North Carolina collecting folk songs, sayings, stories, and other folklore between 1912 and his death in 1943. Brown collected songs from at least 52 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, representing all regions of the state.

“The recordings include music unique to North Carolina, as well as popular American folk songs, traditional British ballads, and a range of other tunes,” said Winston Atkins, Preservation Officer for Duke University Libraries and the principal investigator for the project. “Taken together, they represent an important and untapped primary source of American folk music in the early twentieth century.”

The songs have never been widely accessible due to the age and fragility of the recording technology Brown used, as well as the difficulty of transferring them to more modern media formats.

Wax Cylinder from the Frank C Brown Collection
Because they are too fragile to be played as intended, the cylinders and discs will be digitized using a non-contact visual scanning technology known as IRENE.

“Until recently, there has been no non-destructive way to recover audio on historical wax cylinders and aluminum discs, which require a mechanical stylus and can be damaged if played today,” said Craig Breaden, Audiovisual Archivist in Duke’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

The Duke recordings will be digitized using a new non-contact technology, known as IRENE, at the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, Massachusetts. IRENE takes ultra-high resolution visual scans of the grooves imprinted on the cylinders and discs and mathematically translates those into digital sound files that are remarkably faithful to the original recordings. Because there is no actual contact with the recording, IRENE’s scans can also capture sounds from damaged media.

The method has been used successfully to digitize other historical audio collections, including some of the earliest examples of recorded sound made by Thomas Edison.

Digitization will begin in the summer of 2016 and take approximately one year. The recordings will then be described and processed, and the collection will be made freely and publicly available through the Duke University Libraries website in 2018.

Undated photograph of Frank C. Brown from the Duke University Archives.
Undated photograph of Frank C. Brown from the Duke University Archives.

Born in 1870, Frank Clyde Brown began his career as a professor of English at Trinity College in Durham (the forerunner of Duke University) in 1909 and later became chairman of the department. Between 1924 and 1930, as Trinity expanded into Duke University, Brown served as the institution’s first comptroller, overseeing the construction of West Campus and the renovation of East Campus. He also served as university marshal, entertaining distinguished visitors to the new university.

In 1913, at the urging of legendary folklorist and musicologist John A. Lomax, Brown founded the North Carolina Folklore Society and was elected its first president. He later served as its secretary-treasurer, program chairman, and primary collector until his death in 1943. His efforts to record the sounds and nuances of North Carolina’s “folk” were part of a national trend in the early twentieth century to preserve American folk culture, aided by new technologies that allowed folklorists to make recordings in the field. The 1,367 songs captured by Brown are a significant part of that legacy.

The seven-volume Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, published posthumously by Duke University Press between 1952 and 1964, represents Brown’s lifetime of collecting. It is widely regarded as one of the premiere collections of American folklore ever published and is available online. Four of the seven volumes are dedicated to the music Brown recorded and include transcribed melodies and song lyrics. However, the editors of Brown’s work left out an estimated 400 songs he recorded. These “bonus tracks,” which are found on the wax cylinders and aluminum discs but not in the published collection, will be digitized as part of the project.

"All Day Singing." Woodcut by Clare Leighton, from Vol. 2 of the Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, published by Duke University Press in 1952.
“All Day Singing.” Woodcut by Clare Leighton, from Vol. 2 of the Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, published by Duke University Press in 1952.

Brown’s original manuscripts and notes, which were used to compile the collection, along with his original recordings, are housed in Duke’s Rubenstein Library.

In 2015, two Duke faculty members—Victoria Szabo and Trudi Abel—incorporated some of the Frank C. Brown recordings into NC Jukebox, an interdisciplinary Bass Connections course introducing undergraduate and graduate students to digital history. Students conducted original research on the history of the recordings and tracked down the descendants of some of the singers and musicians. The course will be offered again in Spring 2017.

The grant to digitize Brown’s recordings is part of CLIR’s Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards program, a national competition that funds the digitization of rare and unique content held by libraries and cultural memory institutions that would otherwise be unavailable to the public.

 

William Henry Harrison and Reform?

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Guest post by Carson Holloway, Librarian for History of Science and Technology, Military History, British and Irish Studies, Canadian Studies and General History

Why does this beautifully crafted lapel pin connect Harrison’s name with reform? Such questions provide a good deal of the appeal of fourteen campaign pins on display as part of the Kenneth Hubbard Collection of Political Campaign Ephemera in the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. In the current season of election news, Hubbard, a Duke alumnus and donor, has provided tokens of particular interest in contextualizing some notable presidential campaigns between 1840 and 1948.

William Henry Harrison’s is a name to ponder. Some might recognize that he was a President before the American Civil War. The alliteration of his name may sound familiar. Fewer could identify him as hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe, though more would recognize the campaign slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler too,” referring to Harrison and his running mate, and successor.  Harrison, the oldest person elected President until Ronald Reagan, died from pneumonia contracted at his inauguration after serving fewer than forty days.

Harrison Lapel Pin

“Reform,” in Harrison’s campaign of 1840, was economic reform required as a result of a protracted depression known as the “Panic of 1837.”  Over a third of American banks in New York and elsewhere faltered and then failed after President Andrew Jackson’s administration decentralized the Federal banking system and British banks raised interest rates in response to perceived risk. Jackson’s Democratic successor, Van Buren, was unable to correct the economic course and prices for important agricultural export products like cotton plummeted. Whether Harrison’s Whig reforms would have been effective is questionable. The severe economic downturn lasted until 1844.

Like the Harrison pin, each of the items on display in the Rubenstein is interesting in its own right. A few have great aesthetic appeal like the Harrison pin. Other buttons illustrate powerful personalities and world-changing events. One particularly rare pin is from the only presidential campaign in which the candidate was running while serving a term in federal prison!

Library Writing and Research Award Winners

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Congratulations to the 2015 Library Writing and Research Award Winners!

The Duke University Libraries are pleased to announce the winners of the 2014-2015 library writing and research awards. The Aptman Prize, the Middlesworth Award, and the Holsti Prize recognize excellence in student research using sources from the Libraries’ general collections, the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and primary sources for political science or public policy, respectively. New this year is the Rudolph William Rosati Creative Writing Award which is given in recognition of an outstanding work of creative writing.

Aptman Prize
Honor Thesis Prize: Tiffany Lieu
Third/Fourth-Year Prize: Jaclyn Grace
First/Second-Year Prize: Zachary Fuchs

Chester P. Middlesworth Award
Undergraduate: Michael Sotsky

Holsti Prize
Honors Thesis: Charlotte Lee
Semester Paper: Jack Dolgin

Rudolph William Rosati Creative Writing Award
Antonio Lopez, Jr.

We will be celebrating their achievements at an awards reception on Friday, October 30 from 3:30-4:30 in the Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room. All are invited to join us for refreshments and the opportunity to honor the recipients.

Note: In our original blog post about these awards, we inadvertently omitted Jack Dolgin’s name when we first announced the winners. Our apologies to Mr. Dolgin!

History Hackathon – a collaborative happening

Students in Rubenstein Reading Room

What is a History Hackathon?

The term “Hackathon” traditionally refers to an event in which computer programmers collaborate intensively on software projects. But Duke University Libraries and the History Department are putting a historical twist on their approach to the Hackathon phenomenon. In this case, the History Hackathon is a contest for undergraduate student teams to research, collaborate, and create projects inspired by the resources available in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library collections. Projects may include performances, essays, websites, infographics, lectures, podcasts, and more. A panel of experts will serve as judges and rank the top three teams. Cash Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.

The History Hackathon will take place over a 72-hour period from October 23-25, in the Rubenstein Library and The Edge.  All the  guidelines, rules, and details may be found at the History Hackathon: a Collaborative Happening  site.Students in the Edge

  • When:  Friday, October 23rd to
    Sunday, October 25th

http://sites.duke.edu/historyhackathon/register/

Contact : HistoryHackathon@duke.edu


Sponsored by the Duke History Department,  the Duke University Libraries, the David M. Rubenstein Library, and the Duke University Undergraduate Research Support Office.

Contributor: Susannah Roberson

 

 

Mountain Music of North Carolina: Terry McKinney, Oct. 6

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Date: Tuesday, October 6
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room, Rubenstein Library

Join us for an evening of music and conversation in the Rubenstein Library as we explore the deep roots of the Mountain Music of North Carolina.

Terry McKinney–bluegrass, country, and gospel musician–will give a free performance as part of the Archives Alive course NC Jukebox, which explores the history of music making in early twentieth-century North Carolina.

This event is free and open to the public.

To learn more about the Archives Alive initiative, a joint venture of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library and Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, visit the website.

 

Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin to Speak at Duke, Nov. 5

UPDATE: Tickets for this event are now sold out! 

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will discuss her books, the American presidency, and leadership lessons from the White House at 6 p.m. Thursday, November 5, in Duke University’s Reynolds Industries Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

Doris Kearns Goodwin will be joined onstage by David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group and Chair of the Duke University Board of Trustees.
Doris Kearns Goodwin will be joined onstage by David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group and Chair of the Duke University Board of Trustees.

Goodwin will be joined on stage in conversation with David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group and Chair of the Duke University Board of Trustees. The event is one of several programs this year celebrating the opening of the renovated the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke.

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. She is the author of six critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling books. She appears regularly on network TV programs and was an on-air consultant for PBS documentaries on Lyndon B. Johnson, the Kennedy Family, and Ken Burn’s The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.

Goodwin was born and raised on Long Island, New York. She received her B.A. from Colby College and her Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University. Goodwin served as an assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson in his last year in the White House. She later assisted Johnson in the preparation of his memoirs.

Goodwin’s monumental history of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (2005) reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The book won the Lincoln Prize, the New York Historical Society Book Prize, the Richard Nelson Current Award, the New York State Archives History Makers Award, and was the basis of the 2012 feature film Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day Lewis.

Goodwin’s most recent book, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism (2013), is a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air. Dreamworks Studios/Steven Spielberg have acquired the film rights to the book.

Goodwin lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with her husband Richard N. Goodwin, who worked in the White House under both Kennedy and Johnson. The Goodwins have three sons.

The evening with Goodwin and Rubenstein will be presented as the Weaver Memorial Lecture, hosted every other year by the Duke University Libraries in memory of William B. Weaver, a 1972 Duke graduate and former member of the Library Advisory Board. The event is co-sponsored by the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Sanford School of Public Policy, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, and the Department of History. Copies of Goodwin’s books will be available for sale at the event.

Admission is free, but tickets are required and are available through the Duke Box Office. A small service charge may apply for tickets ordered by phone, online, or mail. Visit tickets.duke.edu for more information.

Recording during this event is not permitted. Questions? Contact Aaron Welborn, Director of Communications, Duke University Libraries, at 919-660-5816 or aaron.welborn@duke.edu.

Beyond the Blue Fence: Finishing Rubenstein

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The construction fence surrounding Rubenstein Library.

Although the inside of Rubenstein Library is now fully renovated and open for use, you may have noticed that, outside, construction vehicles and fencing linger on.

In case you’re wondering, the blue fence around Rubenstein Library is hiding a new landscaping project that will take place over the next few months. Workers will be replacing the topsoil, installing irrigation measures, planting new trees and shrubs, and hardscaping. The whole project is scheduled to be complete by December 31, 2015.

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The corner entrance to Rubenstein will be open after December 31.

In the meantime, the corner entrance to Rubenstein will remain closed so that work vehicles can move back and forth without affecting pedestrians. (You can still see the gorgeous vaulted interior behind that door if you enter through the main library entrance, walk through the Photography Gallery, and hang a left).

Come December, the fences will be down, plantings will be in place, and the public will be free to use BOTH library entrances. Thanks for being patient while we put the finishing touches on Duke’s latest point of pride!

You’re Invited! Rubenstein Library Open House, Sept. 10

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Thursday, September 10
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Rubenstein Library, Floors 1-3 

Remarks at 2:30 p.m. in the Gothic Reading Room
by Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian
and Vice Provost for Library Affairs

 

After almost three years under construction, the renovated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library is officially open.

Help us celebrate the transformation of a library that is truly one of the crown jewels of Duke by joining us for a special open house for the entire Duke and Triangle-area community on Thursday, September 10, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

  • Tour the new spaces and exhibits.
  • Meet and mingle with library staff.
  • Learn how the Rubenstein Library can support your research.
  • Free giveaways and light refreshments.
  • Free and open to the public.

Visitor Parking Information: Free parking will be available at Parking Garage IV (click for map), next to the Bryan Center, for visitors traveling to the open house from off-campus. Take a ticket when you enter the parking deck. When you exit, inform the parking booth attendant that you were visiting the Rubenstein Library Open House. The attendant will take your ticket and allow you to exit at no cost.

Additional visitor parking information is available on Duke’s Parking and Transportation website.

 Things to See

More Opening Events and Exhibits

We’re lining up a number of events and exhibits to celebrate the opening of the Rubenstein Library throughout the fall of 2015. Check out our opening events site for a complete listing and stay tuned for regular updates.

About the Rubenstein Library Renovation

The construction crane looms over a gutted Rubenstein Library stack core, December 2013.
The construction crane looms over a gutted Rubenstein Library stack core, December 2013. See our Flickr album of renovation images for more.

The renovation of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, housed in Duke’s original West Campus library building, is the final phase of the Perkins Project, a 15-year-long effort to renovate and re-imagine Duke’s West Campus library complex that started back in 2000. (Read more about the history of the Perkins Project on our renovation website.)

Construction work on the Rubenstein began in late 2012, and the building will officially open to the public on August 24, 2015.

The 1948 library tower under scaffolding, August 2014. See our Flickr gallery of renovation photos for more.
The 1948 library tower under scaffolding, August 2014.

The Rubenstein renovation has transformed one of the university’s oldest and most recognizable buildings into a state-of-the-art research facility where students, faculty, and visitors can engage with the Libraries’ collection of rare and unique scholarly materials.

The research, instruction, storage, and exhibition capabilities of the Rubenstein Library have all been greatly increased. The new library also features state-of-the-art closed stacks with high-tech security and a closely-monitored environment.

Workers re-hang portraits of historic Duke luminaries in the renovated Gothic Reading Room, July 2015.
Workers re-hang portraits of historic Duke luminaries in the renovated Gothic Reading Room, July 2015.

Updates have also extended to the Mary Duke Biddle Room and the Gothic Reading Room. The charm and character of these signature Duke spaces has been preserved, but their finishes, furnishings, lighting, technology infrastructure, and exhibition facilities have all been enhanced.

Finally, the library’s main entrance has been redesigned with new doors, windows, and lighting to give the entire library complex a more unified and welcoming presence on the historic West Quad.

Mark your calendars and join us 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. on September 10!

 

 

Rubenstein Library Test Kitchen Tasting Event, Dec. 3

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Something’s cooking in the Rubenstein Library Test Kitchen! Come experience the flavors of history on December 3 and take home a zine of our favorite recipes!

In case you still have room after Thanksgiving, here’s something to whet your appetite this week.

WHAT: Rubenstein Library Test Kitchen Tasting Event
WHEN: Wednesday, December 3
TIME: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Perkins Library Room 217

Perhaps you’ve been following along with the Rubenstein Library Test Kitchen blog posts lately. Every Friday in October and November, the Devil’s Tale blog has featured a recipe from our archival collections that a library staff member has found, prepared, and tasted. They have been a regular feature on our library website, featured on DukeToday, and covered by WUNC Public Radio.

To cap off this culinary experiment, the Test Kitchen crew will be hosting a “tasting event” where you can satisfy your hunger for history and sample all of the recipes we’ve prepared to date. Try dishes from the 18th to 20th centuries, learn about ingredients they don’t make any more (like “sack” and “oleo”), and take home a zine of our favorite recipes for your next dinner party.

Here’s what’s on the menu:

This event is free and open to all. Utensils not needed, but curiosity and hunger are recommended.

Enter Our Student Book Collectors Contest

The deadline to enter our student book collectors contest is February 10, 2015.

The Friends of the Duke University Libraries are proud to present the 2015 Andrew T. Nadell Book Collectors Contest. Since 1947, the Friends have presented the contest in alternate years to promote reading for enjoyment and the development of students’ personal libraries.

The contest includes an undergraduate and a graduate division. Cash prizes for each division are as follows:

First Prize
Undergraduate: $1,000
Graduate: $1,000

Second Prize
Undergraduate: $500
Graduate: $500

Winners of the contest will also be eligible to enter the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, where they will compete for a $2,500 prize and an invitation to the awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., at the Library of Congress.

Students do not have to be “book collectors” to enter the contest. Collections may be in any area of interest, and they do not have to be academic in nature. A collection should reflect a clearly defined unifying theme and will be judged by the extent to which its books and materials represent that field of interest. Entries may incorporate books and manuscripts, ephemera, maps, prints and drawings, and autograph material as long as they are relevant to the collection’s focus. The books do not need to be rare and monetary value will not be considered during judging.

Students who are interested in entering can visit the Book Collectors Contest homepage for more information and read about winning entries from past years. Students may also contact Megan Crain at megan.crain@duke.edu with any questions.

Entries must be received by February 10, 2015.

Library Research Award Winners Announced

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A snapshot from last year’s awards ceremony. Pictured here (from left to right): Ernest Zitser, librarian for Slavic, Eurasian, and Eastern European Stuides; and 2012-2013 Aptman Prize winners Theodore Leonhardt (center) and Mary Tung (right).

The Duke University Libraries are pleased to announce the winners of the 2013-2014 library research awards.

Every year the Libraries run a series of essay contests recognizing the original research of Duke students and encouraging the use of library resources. This year competition for the awards was particularly keen, reflecting the quality of student research at Duke. The annual Duke University Libraries research awards reception, scheduled as part of Duke Family Weekend on Friday, October 24, at 3:30 p.m. in Lilly Library’s Thomas Room, will honor all the winners and applicants. The entire University community is invited to join us for refreshments and the opportunity to honor the recipients and applicants for the 2014 Aptman Prize, Holsti Prize, and Middlesworth Award.

Over 70 student entrants and their faculty supporters  participated in the process this year. Several of the entries mentioned Duke University librarians and library resources in their applications. Many thanks were reserved for the staff of the Document Delivery Department, which makes other libraries’ collections available for Duke students’ use. In addition, entrants made note of the support of several individual librarians, including Holly Ackerman, Rachel Ariel, Greta Boers, former librarian Margaret Brill, Linda Daniel, Elizabeth Dunn, Joel Herndon, Carson Holloway, Karen Jean Hunt, Kelley Lawton, Catherine Shreve, Lee Sorensen, Erik Zitser and  Luo Zhou.

The Lowell Aptman Prizes are awarded to undergraduates whose research makes excellent use of library resources and collections. It is awarded in three divisions: Honors Thesis, 3rd- and 4th-year students, and 1st- and 2nd-year students.

Honor Thesis Category

  • Winner: Mary Tung – “Bankrolling Apartheid: The Coins that Forged Modernity, Fostered Nationalism, and Funded Apartheid South Africa”
  • Runner-Up:  Rhyne King – “Persian History and Historiography: Understanding the Praxis and Politics of Religion in the Achaemenid Empire”

3rd- and 4th-Year Category

  • Winner: Carmi Medoff – “The Kodak Girl: Every Woman’s Woman”
  • Runner-Up: Brandon Maffei – “Unstable Grounds: Women as Revolutionaries in the Weather Underground”

1st- and 2nd-Year Category

  • Winner: Gayle Powell – “The Advent of  Black Sororities on Duke University’s Campus”
  • Runner-Up: Zachary Johnson – “Dreams of My Father and Self-Identifying”

The Ole R. Holsti Prize, our newest library research award, is awarded to students who exhibit excellence in the field of political science and public policy research. This is the first year the Holsti Prize has been awarded, and we look forward to many more.

  • Co-Winners: Nadia Hajji (“Post-Transitional Justice in Spain: Passing the Historical Memory Law”) and Lauren Hansson (“German Jewish Refugees in 1933: Failure of the League of Nations”)

The Chester P. Middlesworth Award recognizes students whose research makes use of the primary sources and rare materials held in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

  • Winner: Andrea Lewis –  “The Association is Dying: Black Student Activism and the Evolution of Conscious Space-Making at Duke University”

Congratulations to all of our winners!

Access Expanded Through New Library Agreement

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Starting Oct. 1, Duke students, faculty, and staff will be able to check out books in-person from nearly a dozen other major research libraries.

 

Duke University students, faculty, and staff will soon enjoy on-site library borrowing privileges at several other major research universities, courtesy of a new program known as BorrowDirect Plus.

Under a new pilot agreement beginning October 1, 2014, students, faculty, and staff from the following institutions will have reciprocal on-site borrowing privileges: Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University.

Guest users who have been verified and have home library accounts in good standing will have in-person access to materials at any of the participating libraries. When visiting one of these libraries, members of the BorrowDirect Plus community will need to show their campus ID card and log into their home library account to show their current status. Once verified, they will be issued a library card from the institution they are visiting.

Items, collections, and participating libraries available will vary by institution. The lending library’s policies and loan periods apply to guest borrowers, and it is recommended that users considering a visit to another library view their policies ahead of time. Borrowed items may be returned at either the lending library or the user’s home library. (For example, a book checked out at Yale could be returned here at Duke, and vice versa.)

For the most part, these same materials are already available through BorrowDirect, a rapid book request and delivery system used by all of the participating institutions (with the exception of Duke). The new agreement expands the system to include this in-person component.

Bento Searching Is Here!

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The new “Bento Box” approach to displaying library search results on our website takes its name from the popular and often elaborately prepared Japanese lunches.

Starting today, if you search for a book, article, film, or other library resource on our website, you may notice something different.

We’ve changed the way search results appear in the library catalog, subdividing them into different groups according to the type of media (books, articles, images, etc.) and related tools and services (library research guides, library website links, and other resources). If you search for “Civil War women soldiers,” for example, you don’t just get results for books we have on that subject, but also links to related scholarly articles, images of women in the Civil War from databases and digitized archival collections, links to historical documents in the Rubenstein Library, helpful research guides, and more.

This unified approach to displaying and segmenting search results is commonly referred to as the “Bento Box” method, because of its resemblance to the popular and often elaborately prepared Japanese lunch boxes. It is designed to provide a quick, easy, and more intuitive way to find the information you need.

Bento searching was pioneered by our library colleagues down the road at NC State, and it has started catching on at other libraries around the country. It has the benefit of helping users gain quick access to a limited set of results across a variety of resources, services, and tools, while providing links to the full results.

We made an announcement about rolling out Bento over the summer. But in fact we’ve been developing, testing, and documenting our progress for over a year, and we greatly appreciate all the feedback our users have given us along the way. Your input has helped us design a better, simpler, more intuitively organized search interface for Duke students, faculty, and researchers.

Don’t like it? You also have the option of setting your default search options on our homepage if you find that Bento searching doesn’t meet your needs. Just click on the little gear icon on the bottom left corner of the search box on the library homepage. If you spend more time searching for journal articles rather than books, you can set “Articles” as your preferred search tab, and it will appear as the default every time you visit our site. You can change and customize your default search settings at any time.

Make My Default Search
Use the gear icon to change your default search to Articles, Books & Media, or All.

So give it a spin and let us know what you think! Use our feedback form to tell us how we’re doing or report a problem or issue.

Service Opportunity: Join Our Student Library Advisory Boards

Help us improve the library experience at Duke and make your voice heard by joining one of our student advisory boards.
Help us improve the library experience at Duke and make your voice heard by joining one of our student advisory boards.

The Duke University Libraries are now accepting applications for membership on the 2014-2015 student library advisory boards.

Members of these boards will help improve the learning and research environment for Duke University students and advise the Libraries on topics such as study spaces, research resources, integrating library services into academic courses, and marketing library services to students.

All three advisory boards are now taking applications or nominations. Deadlines for applying are:

Members will be selected and notified by mid-September, and groups will begin to meet in late September. More information is available on our website, where you will also find links to the online applications forms.

For more information or questions about these opportunities, please contact:

 

Graduate and Professional Student Advisory Board
and 
Undergraduate Advisory Board

emily_dalyEmily Daly
Head, Assessment and User Experience Department
Librarian for Education
emily.daly@duke.edu
919-660-5879

 

 

First-Year Advisory Board

boers-gretaGreta Boers
Librarian for Linguistics and Classical Studies
greta.boers@duke.edu
919-660-5864

 

 

 

munden-daveDave Munden
Evening Reference Librarian and Supervisor, Lilly Library
dave.munden@duke.edu
919-660-5998

 

 

Library Dances with ADF

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The American Dance Festival and Duke Libraries have been ‘Fred and Ginger’ since 1977 when the Festival moved from Vermont to Durham.  Every summer, dancers stretch on the lawns of East Campus, perform at DPAC and bring with them their scholars and speakers.  The campuses are a space in motion.  Duke Libraries is part of the fun, providing an ideal place to explore the ADF and its great tradition—casually or in depth.

Duke Libraries’ rich collection of material supporting dance begins at the Lilly Library–across the street from ADF headquarters on Broad Street.  Sit in the ambiance of the oak-lined Kendrick S. Few reading room and glance at DanceView, Dance Teacher, Dance Magazine, DDD (dancedancedance, from Japan) and many other dance magazine current issues.  Lilly’s historic and contemporary books on dance cluster at the call number GV1588 or there about.  Read about your favorite ADF dance company or relax with Bust a Move: Six Decades of Dance Crazes  (itbooks).

Have a favorite ADF performance or ensemble?  A number of recorded performances dating from the 1930s forward are available for viewing.  For example, nearly every ADF performance of Pilobolus or the Paul Taylor Dance Company may be found in the Festival film archives at the Lilly Library.

The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library on west campus is the home for the ADF archives.  Scholars and enthusiasts can delight to American Dance Festival Photographic Materials Collection, photos created and collected by the American Dance Festival, between 1930 and 2000.  Co-administrated by the library and the ADF, contact Dean Jeffery to request viewing original material, using the many finding aids http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/findingaids/adfadfcob.pdf.  Browse the archives at http://www.americandancefestival.org/archives/.

Springsteen’s “Born to Run” First Draft to Be Displayed in Perkins Library

Last December, a unique first-draft manuscript of the lyrics to Bruce Springsteen’s 1975 hit song “Born to Run” was placed up for auction at Sotheby’s. The seller of the document remained anonymous, but it was known that the manuscript once belonged to Mike Appel, Springsteen’s former manager. The bids poured in online, in person, and by phone, and one happy bidder went home with a piece of American music history.

That successful purchaser happened to be Floyd Bradley, a leadership donor to the Duke University Libraries and the Nasher Museum of Art, whose parents met in 1942 while students at Duke.

The Bradley and Springsteen families actually share a number of connections. Mr. Bradley’s mother Carol Lake Bradley (WC’43) and Mr. Springsteen’s mother were neighbors and friends in New Jersey. Mr. Bradley’s father, Floyd Henry “Pete” Bradley, Jr. (T’45), sold his house to Mr. Springsteen’s mother-in-law.

Mr. Bradley is also a proud Duke father whose daughter, Melissa, is a graduating senior this year. And so it came about, through special arrangement with Mr. Bradley and his wife Martha Hummer-Bradley, that the “Born to Run” manuscript will be on public display during Duke’s Commencement Weekend in honor of Melissa’s graduation.

The first draft manuscript of Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" will be displayed in Perkins Library. Image courtesy of Sotheby's. Click for high-res version.
The first draft manuscript of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” will be displayed in Perkins Library. Image courtesy of Sotheby’s. Click for high-res version.

The document will be exhibited in front of the Circulation Desk on the Perkins Library main floor Thursday and Friday, May 8-9, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, May 10-11, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

After May 11, the manuscript will be moved to the third floor of Perkins, where it will remain on display in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library until June 27 and be available to view during normal library hours.

The “Born to Run” manuscript, written by Springsteen in 1974 in Long Branch, New Jersey, may look like nothing more than a piece of notebook paper scrawled with thirty lines of blue ink. But it offers a glimpse into the creative process of a musical icon. The draft contains a great deal of material that was never included in the final version. Yet the chorus is nearly identical to what we hear in the finished song. The margins and spaces are crowded with second thoughts and edits, illuminating the moments in which a rock and roll anthem was born.

“Born to Run” was the title track of Springsteen’s third album, released to great commercial and critical success in August 1975. Just a few months later, on March 28, 1976, Springsteen and his E Street Band performed in Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium to a packed house. According to a Rolling Stone reporter who was there, “The band played every song from Born to Run in one set, and at show’s end, ‘Raise Your Hand’ did its job: everybody stayed up through the three-song encore that ended with ‘Quarter to Three.’”

Visitors to campus are invited to stop by the library and view this special piece of music history.

Ticket stub from Springsteen's performance at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium in March 1976, just a few months after "Born to Run" was released. Image from Brucebase.
Ticket stub from Springsteen’s performance at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium in March 1976, just a few months after “Born to Run” was released. Image from Brucebase.

Viewing the “Born to Run” Manuscript

Please note: During the summer, all Duke University libraries are open on a more limited schedule than during the academic year. Please check our online schedule of library hours before visiting.

May 8 – 11
On exhibit in front of the Circulation Desk, 1st Floor of Perkins Library
Thursday and Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

May 12 – June 27
On exhibit in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, 3rd Floor of Perkins Library
Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Closed May 24 for Memorial Day Weekend)
Closed Sundays

Student Writing Prizes: Earn $1,000!

Enter your research paper and you could win $1,000 or $1,500 cash!
Enter your research paper and you could win $1,000 or $1,500 cash!

The Lowell Aptman Prizes, Chester P. Middlesworth Awards, and Ole R. Holsti Prize were established by Duke University Libraries to reward excellence in research and writing. If you’re a Duke student, consider submitting a paper for one of these prizes—you could win $1,000 to $1,500!

The Aptman Prizes recognize undergraduates’ excellence in research, including their analysis, evaluation and synthesis of sources, and encourages students to make use of the general library collections and services at Duke University. Prizes are awarded in three categories (first- and second-year students, third-and fourth-year students, and fourth-year students working on an honors thesis), and each one comes with a cash award of $1,000. Funding for the awards has been generously provided by Eileen and Lowell (T’89) Aptman.

The Middlesworth Awards recognize excellence of research, analysis, and writing by Duke University students in the use of primary sources and rare materials held by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Prizes are awarded in two categories (undergraduates and graduate students), and each one comes with a cash prize of $1,000. Funding for the awards has been generously provided by Chester P. Middlesworth (A.B., 1949) of Statesville, North Carolina.

The Holsti Prize recognizes excellence in undergraduate research using primary sources for political science or public policy. Ole R. Holsti (George V. Allen Professor Emeritus of Political Science) provided funding for this generous prize, which comes with a cash prize of $1,500.

The deadline for all three student library research awards is May 15, 2014. 

All winners will be recognized at a reception held the Friday afternoon of Duke Family Weekend (October 24, 2014), where they will receive award certificates and cash prizes.

For more information, including complete guidelines, application instructions, and selection criteria, visit our library research awards website.

 

Questions?

For questions about the Aptman Prizes, contact:
Carson Holloway
919-660-5997
carson.holloway@duke.edu

For questions about the Middlesworth Awards, contact:
David Pavelich
919-660-5825
david.pavelich@duke.edu

For questions about the Holsti Prize, contact:
Catherine Shreve
919-660-6934
catherine.shreve@duke.edu

New Exhibit: Cheap Thrills: The Highs and Lows of Cabaret Culture in Paris, 1880-1939

cabaret couture
Cheap Thrills: The Highs and Lows of Cabaret Culture in Paris, 1880-1939, on exhibit February 18 – May 12 in the Perkins Library Gallery.

On exhibit February 18 – May 12, 2014
Perkins Library Gallery, Duke West Campus (Click for map)
Public Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am–7pm; Saturday, 9am–7pm; Sunday, 10am–7pm
Hours may vary on holidays. Please check our posted library hours for more information.

About the Exhibit

A new exhibit in the Perkins Library Gallery  provides a glimpse into the fascinating world of the Parisian cabaret. Starting in the second half of the nineteenth century, the cabaret became a fixture of Parisian culture. Unlike other social institutions of the time, everyone was freely admitted to these venues, so they became a space in which all—regardless of race, color, class, or creed—could freely mingle. Cheap Thrills: The Highs and Lows of Cabaret Culture in Paris, 1880-1939, seeks to shine the spotlight on the wide spectrum of artists who found a home and a stage in the darkened halls of the cabaret.

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Illustrated cabaret sheet music from Gil Blas Illustre, a French periodical from the late-19th to early 20th centuries.

Music was, of course, essential to the cabaret. It animated the crowd, roused the performers, and vivified the dancing. In order to capture power of cabaret music, members of the Duke New Music Ensemble composed and recorded songs for the exhibit. Based on historical cabaret tunes, these songs represent a modern take on a classic experience. The graphic and print materials composing the exhibit all come from the collections of the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Lilly Library, the Music Library, and Perkins Library.

Related Events and Programs

In addition to the Perkins Library exhibit, there are several related exciting events and programs throughout the spring semester that explore the unique social and cultural significance of the cabaret.

The Nasher Museum of Art is exhibiting a coordinating collection of cabaret material in their Academic Focus Gallery. Be sure to check out Night in the City of Light: Paris’s Cabarets 1881-1914, on exhibit February 15 – June 29, 2014.

In addition to the exhibit, the Nasher Museum will be screening French Cabaret from Stage to Screen on March 22, at 2 p.m. The screening is free and open to the public.

The Duke New Music Ensemble will have two concerts featuring cabaret music. On April 6 at 5 p.m., the Ensemble will be presenting “Melodies and Cacophonies from Paris’s Cabarets” at Fullsteam Brewery in downtown Durham.  Later in the month, on April 13, the Ensemble will be hosting their Spring Concert in Baldwin Auditorium at 8 p.m. featuring selections from cabaret tunes.

Life Is a Cabaret: The Library Party

Last, but certainly not least, the entire Duke community is invited to experience the cabaret first-hand, right in the heart of Perkins Library. The annual Duke Library Party, whose theme this year is “Life Is a Cabaret,” will take place this Friday, February 21, from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. The evening will feature appetizers and desserts from Durham Catering; music from the John Brown Band, the Duke New Music Ensemble, and student DJs; and free giveaways to the first 200 guests. Come in your best cabaret or cocktail attire and prepare to dance the night away!

Library Party Logo for web

When: Friday, February 21
Time: 9:00 p.m. to Midnight
Where: Perkins Library
Admission: Free
Dress: Cocktail Attire, or Your Best Cabaret Costume

The Library Party is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Office of the President, SOFC/DSG, George Grody, Markets and Management Studies Department.

The exhibits and programs are sponsored by the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies; Department of Music; Department of Romance Studies; Department of Theater Studies; Program in Literature; Program in Women’s Studies; Center for European Studies; Center for French and Francophone Studies; Friends of Duke University Libraries; Duke University Libraries; and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

Book Talk and Signing with Judy Juanita, Feb. 19

Date: Wednesday, February 19
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. (reception starts at 5:00)
Location: Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture, Flowers Building (Click for Map)
Contact: John Gartrell, Director, Franklin Research Center, 919-660-5922, john.gartrell@duke.edu

virgin soul imagePoet, playwright, and activist Judy Juanita joins us to discuss her first novel, Virgin Soul. Virgin Soul tells the story of Geneice, a young college student in 1960s San Francisco balancing school and activism when she joins the burgeoning Black Panther Party during its formative years.

This event is part II of the “Women in the Movement” series hosted by the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture for 2013/14. The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Documentary Studies, Program in Women’s Studies, Department of African & African American Studies, Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, Franklin Humanities Institute, and Center for African and African American Research.

Free and open to the public.

Cabaret Couture

la_revue_003
Composite photograph of cabaret star Josephine Baker and the cast of “Plantation Days,” a 1923 musical revue by African American jazz pianist James P. Johnson. Parisian cabarets featured comedians, clowns, acrobats, and a variety of other entertainments. But singers and dancers always attracted the largest crowds.

As you might have heard, the Duke Library Party has been resurrected after a one-year hiatus, thanks to the help of the Duke Marketing Club. The date: February 21, 2014. The theme: “Life Is a Cabaret.” Party-goers will be invited to enjoy a rollicking nightlife scene right out of late 19th- and early 20th-century Paris, in what was only hours earlier just another room in Perkins Library. Of course, one must always be fashionably attired when attending such soirées, so we have put together a gallery of cabaret fashions to inspire your inner Parisian of the Belle Époque.

But first, a note on the phenomenon of the cabaret itself. Cabarets took Parisian culture by storm. Until 1867, song lyrics and theatrical performances were carefully censored and regulated in France. By the 1880s, these restrictions had relaxed, and a freer, more risqué form of entertainment began to flourish in the bohemian, working-class neighborhood of Montmartre. Legendary cabarets like the Moulin Rouge, the Chat Noir, and the Mirliton were filled with comedians, clowns, acrobats, and—most importantly—singers and dancers. The songs were bold and bawdy, the dancing suggestive, and audiences adored it.

The historical, artistic, and cultural impact of cabaret life will be the subject of an upcoming library exhibit—Cheap Thrills: The Highs and Lows of Cabaret Culture in Paris, 1880-1939—which will go on display in the Perkins Library Gallery on February 19 and run through May. The exhibit will highlight the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library’s extensive collection of cabaret-related materials, including biographies, guidebooks, periodicals, and musical scores.

Now back to the fashion show.

 gil_blas_005

One of the more ladylike ensembles, this particular dress worn by cabaret star and modern dance pioneer Loie Fuller would have you floating through the crowd this February.

gil_blas_001

For a more scandalous look, this illustration from Gil Blas is classic cabaret, right down to the black stockings and abundant use of tassels. (Don’t forget the fan!) Gentlemen: note the top hats, high collars, and ubiquitous mustaches.

gil_blas_015

Prepare to dance the night away, just like this lovely lady in a flouncy, frilled frock.

josephine_baker_003

Though we can’t recommend this particular ensemble (the Library Party is a respectable event, and banana leaves are hard to come by in February anyway), Josephine Baker’s iconic “banana girdle” outfit is one of the most famous examples of cabaret style.

So there are a few ideas to inspire you, with more to come. Start assembling your bejeweled, ruffled, bohemian, mustachioed wardrobe and get ready to party in the City of Light!

(With the exception of the composite photo at top, all images are taken from two French publications of the time: Gil Blas, a Parisian literary periodical, and Le Mirliton, a weekly newsletter published by the famous cabaret of the same name. All come from the collections of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.)

 

Save the Date! “Life Is a Cabaret” Library Party: Feb. 21

Library Party Logo for web

The Library Party is a unique Duke tradition. For one night only, Perkins and Bostock Libraries throw open their doors for a night of music, food, and un-shushed entertainment. The event is free and open to the entire Duke community.

After a year on hiatus as we prepared for the Rubenstein Library renovation, the Library Party is back! Once again, the Libraries are partnering with the Duke Marketing Club to organize this year’s event. The theme—“Life is a Cabaret”—is inspired by an upcoming exhibit on 19th- and early-20th-century Parisian cabarets that will be on display in the Perkins Gallery February–May, with a companion exhibit at the Nasher Museum’s Academic Focus Gallery.

Life Is a Cabaret will feature live music, costumes, decorations, food and beverages, and plenty of joie de vivre!

When: Friday, February 21
Time: 9 PM to Midnight
Where: Perkins Library
Admission: Free
Dress: Cocktail Attire, or Your Best Cabaret Costume

Students: Never been to a Library Party? Check out these images, videos, and recaps from our Heroes and Villains Library Party in 2012 and the Mad Men and Mad Women Library Party in 2011.

Many thanks to the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Duke Student Government/SOFC, George Grody, and the Markets and Management Studies Department for sponsoring this event.

Stay tuned for more updates!

 

Illustration of cabaret girls by Albert Guillaume from Gil Blas, a Parisian literary periodical published 1879-1914.
Illustration of cabaret girls by Albert Guillaume from Gil Blas, a Parisian literary periodical published 1879-1914.

About the Exhibit

Cheap Thrills: The Highs and Lows of Cabaret Culture in Paris, 1880-1939

On display in the Perkins Library Gallery, February 18 – May 12

This upcoming exhibit offers a whirlwind tour of Montmartre’s famed late-19th-century musical revues—the Chat Noir, Folies Bergère, and Moulin Rouge—which boasted such chanteuses as Yvette Guilbert and Josephine Baker. Cheap Thrills highlights the Libraries’ extensive collection of cabaret-related materials, including biographies, guidebooks, periodicals, and musical scores. The exhibit will be sonified, with recreated performances of the cabarets’ raucous ballads and rallying performances, all arranged and recorded by the Duke New Music Ensemble.

Companion Exhibit:
Night in the City of Light: Paris’s Cabarets, 1881-1914

On display in the Nasher Museum of Art’s Academic Focus Gallery, February 15 – June 29

Related Performances and Screenings

Saturday, March 22 (2-4:45 pm): Film Screenings and Discussion: “French Cabaret from Stage to Screen,” Nasher Museum of Art

Sunday, April 6 (5 pm): Duke New Music Ensemble [dnme] presents “Melodies and Cacophonies from Paris’s Cabarets,” Fullsteam Brewery, Durham

Sunday, April 13 (8 pm): Duke New Music Ensemble [dnme] Spring Concert with selections of cabaret melodies to coincide with the exhibitions “Night in the City of Light: Paris’s Cabarets, 1881-1914” and “Cheap Thrills: The Highs and Lows of Cabaret Culture in Paris, 1881-1939,” Baldwin Auditorium, Duke East Campus

Library Blogs Monthly Recap: October 2013

October disappeared while we were illicitly munching on Halloween candy, and November has appeared out of nowhere, with its shorter days and longer shadows. In case you missed something, here’s a summary of some of the top stories from around the Libraries for the month of October.

 

DoingDHImageDoing Digital Humanities: New Workshops this Fall

Our Digital Scholarship Services department has organized a series of panels, presentations, and workshops this fall to focus on basic skills in digital humanities research.

 

 

4426568251_f9ed0bd32eThe Big Picture About Peer Review

Kevin Smith, Director of Copyright and Scholarly Communications, reacts to a recent report in the journal Science and why its conclusions on open-access publishing and peer review were so wrong.

 

facultybooks13Fall Faculty Books: Yoga, Cholesterol, and Britten                                              

The faculty at Duke have been busy writing on spectrum of topics, from minority aging to differential equations and everything in between. Check out this extensive list of books penned by our very own Duke faculty members, all available in the library.

 

fantasy_collecting_600x360Fantasy Collecting Source Code Released

The source code for Fantasy Collecting, an art education and market simulation program developed here at Duke, was recently made publicly available. Fantasy Collecting is a bit like fantasy football for the art world. Students aim to increase the value and scope of their virtual art collections through promoting, acquiring, and trading art.

 

 A Postcard from Our National Book Collecting Contest Winner 

Ashley Young, a Ph.D. student at Duke and 2nd-prize winner in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, wrote about her trip to the awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Library of Congress.

 

httpexhibitslibrarydukeedupluginsdropboxfilesncmph080010030_609b67fac8Soul and Service: The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

A new exhibit at the Center for Documentary Arts celebrates the 115th anniversary of NC Mutual, the country’s largest and oldest African-American owned insurance company. The exhibit is co-sponsored by NC Mutual and the John Hope Franklin Research Center, part of the Rubenstein Library.

 

ResearchLibrariesAptman and Middlesworth Prize Winners Announced

The winners of the Aptman and Middlesworth research prize were recognized at a special awards ceremony during Duke Family Weekend. These students were recognized for their outstanding work in research and the utilization of library sources.

 

 

Gedney Book Shortlisted for Photobook of the Year

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The inside cover of Iris Garden (2013), featuring work by William Gedney.

A new photobook featuring the work of  William Gedney (1932-1989) has been short-listed for the prestigious 2013 Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. Gedney’s life work is housed in the Archive of Documentary Arts, part of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke. Thousands of his photographs and notebooks made between 1950 and 1989 have been digitized and are freely available on our website.

The photobook, Iris Garden, combines forty-four photos by Gedney with twenty-two stories written by legendary avant-garde composer John Cage. It was edited by Alec Soth, designed by Hans Seeger, and published by Little Brown Mushroom. Both the Rubenstein Library and Kirston Johnson, curator of the Archive of Documentary Arts, are acknowledged for their help in providing the photographs which beautifully illustrate the book.

irisgarden
The cover of Iris Garden (2013), edited by Alec Soth and designed by Hans Seeger.

The layout of Iris Garden is a complicated arrangement of segments folded and layered inside and around each other. There is no one proper way to read through it. By opening and unfolding different pages, the reader enjoys a new order and experience every time. The structure parallels Cage’s interest in the idea that “all things—stories, incidental sounds from the environment, and, by extension, beings—are related, and that this complexity is more evident when it is not oversimplified by an idea of relationship in one person’s mind.”

The Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards are held annually to recognize photobooks of superior quality and content. The ten books that were named to the short list represent, according to judge Vince Aletti, “a particular attention to the book as an object, in which selection of images, sequence, scale, typography, and materials are all carefully considered.”

A final winners of the PhotoBook Awards will be announced at Paris Photo at the Grand Palais on November 15.

Aptman and Middlesworth Prize Winners Announced

ResearchLibraries

Award Ceremony for Aptman and Middlesworth Prize Winners
When: Friday October 25, 2013
Time: 3:30 – 4:40 p.m.
Where: Thomas Reading Room, Lilly Library (Click for Map)

The Duke University Libraries are pleased to announce the winners of our 2013 Chester P. Middlesworth Awards and Lowell Aptman Prizes!

The Middlesworth Awards were established to encourage and recognize excellence of research, analysis, and writing by Duke University students in the use of primary sources and rare materials held by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. This year the awards were presented in three categories: first-year students, non-first year undergraduates, and graduate students. The winners include:

  • First-Year Student: Ashley Gartin for her paper, “Unity and the Duke Vigil: Civil Rights Challenges at Duke University”
  • Undergraduate (non-first year): Chantel Liggett for her paper, “Divergent Priorities, Diverging Visions: Lesbian Separatist versus Gay Male Integrationist Ideology Surrounding Duke in the 1970s and 80s”
  • Graduate Student: Tessa Handa for her paper, “The Orientalist Reality, Tourism, and Photography: the Parrish Family Albums in Japan, 1899-1904”

The Lowell Aptman Prizes recognize undergraduates’ excellence in research, including their analysis, evaluation and synthesis of sources, and encourages students to make use of the general library collections and services at Duke University. These prizes are also awarded in three categories, one for first and second year students, another for third and fourth year students, and a  final category reserved for fourth year students submitting an honors thesis. This year’s winners are:

  • First/Second Year: Theodore Leonhardt for his paper, “Finding a Role: The Decision to Fight in the Falklands and the Redefinition of British Imperialism”
  • Third/Fourth Year: Mary Tung for her paper, “Engraving the Nation: The Decimal Coinage Bill of 1959, the Mint and Coinage Act of 1964, and the Creation of White South Africa”
  • Honors Thesis: Jocelyn Streid for her thesis, “The Salvation Project: The Secularization of Christian Narratives in American Cancer Care”
All are welcome at the award ceremony, to be held October 25 during Duke Family Weekend. Help us celebrate and congratulate these students on their magnificent work!

 

Student Workers Leave Their Mark on the Library

Graduating library student workers and their supervisors gather outside the Gothic Reading Room.
Graduating library student workers and their supervisors gather outside the Gothic Reading Room.

Every year, about 50 library student workers graduate from Duke. Many of them have worked for the Libraries their entire four years at Duke, and have made indispensable contributions to our mission. So this past Monday, April 22, University Librarian Deborah Jakubs thanked them by hosting a reception in their honor outside the Gothic Reading Room on the second floor of Rubenstein Library.

The Duke University Libraries employ more than 200 student workers. (That’s nearly as many people as our full-time staff!) Alumni who return for Reunion and Homecoming Weekends often tell us they worked in the Libraries as undergraduates and remember the experience fondly. Many even show their gratitude by contributing to the Libraries Annual Fund. As a token of her appreciation for their contributions to the Libraries’ success, Jakubs gave each student at the reception a lapel pin and writing pen, both featuring the Reading Blue Devil (the official Duke University Libraries mascot), and a complimentary one-year membership in the Friends of the Duke University Libraries. As Friends of the Libraries, they’ll receive our magazine twice a year, so they can keep up with our activities and achievements and the Rubenstein Library renovation project.

The students were invited to write on the wall outside the Gothic Reading Room and bid farewell to the Libraries.
The students were invited to write on the wall outside the Gothic Reading Room and bid farewell to the Libraries.

Because the Rubenstein Library will soon undergo a complete renovation, students were encouraged to write farewell messages on the wall outside the Gothic Reading Room. Many of them bid farewell to their department. Some wrote notes of appreciation for their supervisors. Throughout the end of the academic year, all interested students are welcome to contribute to this homage to their time at Duke by adding a comment on the wall outside the Gothic Reading Room. If the Libraries have left a mark on you during your time here at Duke, let us know by leaving your mark on the library!

A Conversation with Photographer Edward Ranney, May 7

Moray, 1975. Toned gelatin silver print by Edward Ranney.
Moray, 1975. Toned gelatin silver print by Edward Ranney.

Who: Edward Ranney
When: Tuesday, May 7, 1:00 p.m.
Where: Perkins Library, Room 217 (Click for map)
Contact: Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963, kirston.johnson@duke.edu

Edward Ranney is an internationally recognized photographer who has photographed the natural and man-altered landscape for over forty years. His work of the 1970s in the southern Andes of Peru resulted in the book Monuments of the Incas (1982), which was reprinted in an expanded edition in 2010.

Since 1985, Ranney has dedicated himself to a comprehensive photographic survey of pre-Columbian sites along the Andean Desert Coast. His recent work with Lucy R. Lippard in the Galisteo Basin, near Sante Fe, was published in Down Country in 2010.

Edward Ranney has received numerous awards, including two Fulbright fellowships for his work in Peru, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Photography Fellowship. His work has been presented in individual exhibitions at the Princeton University Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of New Mexico Art Museum, and the Centro Cultural of Miraflores in Lima, Peru. His other books include Stonework of the MayaPrairie Passage, and Pablo Neruda’s Heights of Macchu Picchu.

This event is free and open to the public.

A Conversation with David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, May 10

David S. Ferriero, Tenth Archivist of the United States
David S. Ferriero, Tenth Archivist of the United States

Who: David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States
When: Friday, May 10, 3:00 p.m.
Where: Gothic Reading Room, Rubenstein Library (Click for map)
Contact: Aaron Welborn, 919-660-5816, aaron.welborn@duke.edu

In 2009, David S. Ferriero was appointed by President Obama as the tenth Archivist of the United States. A former director of the New York Public Libraries, the largest public library system in the country, he is the first librarian to lead the National Archives and Records Administration. From 1996 to 2004, Ferriero served as Duke’s university librarian. In that role, he helped raise more than $50 million to expand and renovate the West Campus libraries, developed initiatives for instructional technology, and worked to increase public access to libraries and museums throughout North Carolina.

Ferriero will receive an honorary degree at Duke’s commencement on May 12. Deborah Jakubs, the Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs at Duke, will lead this Q&A public conversation with him.

Reception to follow. This event is free and open to the public.

 

Parking Information

Starting Friday, May 10, all parking lots on campus will be open and available for parking without charge throughout commencement weekend. Parking is on a first-come basis, so please allow time to find a space. For more information, see the announcement on DukeToday about 2013 commencement parking, or contact Duke Parking and Transportation Services at (919) 684-7275 or tranpark@duke.edu.

 

Find Out More

Student Writing Prizes: Win $1,000!

Student Writing Prizes
Enter your research paper and you could win $1,000 cash!

The Lowell Aptman Prizes and Chester P. Middlesworth Awards were established by Duke University Libraries to reward excellence in research and writing. If you’re a Duke student, consider submitting a paper for one of these prizes—you could win $1,000!

The Aptman Prizes recognize undergraduates’ excellence in research, including their analysis, evaluation and synthesis of sources, and encourages students to make use of the general library collections and services at Duke University. Prizes are awarded in three categories (first- and second-year students, third-and fourth-year students, and fourth-year students working on an honors thesis), and each one comes with a cash award of $1,000. Funding for the awards has been generously provided by Eileen and Lowell (T’89) Aptman.

The Middlesworth Awards recognize excellence of research, analysis, and writing by Duke University students in the use of primary sources and rare materials held by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Prizes are awarded in two categories (undergraduates and graduate students), and each one comes with a cash prize of $1,000. Funding for the awards has been generously provided by Chester P. Middlesworth (A.B., 1949) of Statesville, North Carolina.

The deadline for both awards is May 15, 2013. 

All winners will be recognized at a reception held the Friday afternoon of Duke Family Weekend (October 25, 2013), where they will receive certificates and $1,000.

For more information, including complete guidelines, application instructions, and selection criteria, visit our library research awards website.

 

Questions?

For questions about the Aptman Prizes, contact:
Ernest Zitser
919-660-5847
ernest.zitser@duke.edu

For questions about the Middlesworth Awards, contact:
David Pavelich
919-660-5825
david.pavelich@duke.edu

Scaffolding Installation in Library Stairway: April 9-11

Rubenstein Stairway
April 9-11: Please excuse our scaffolding here, and use the other staircase!

On April 9-11, the staircase on the right side of the 1928 tower entrance of Rubenstein Library will be closed while workers remove a tapestry above the steps. This will require some temporary scaffolding to be installed for a few days, during which time the staircase will be inaccessible.

The staircase on the left side of the entrance will remain open for use.

The tapestry is being removed in preparation for the upcoming Rubenstein Library renovation. For more information about the renovation, including architectural renderings and an estimated timeline, please visit our Rubenstein Library renovation website.

Say goodbye to the old tapestry! We're removing it as part of the upcoming Rubenstein Library renovation. It will return to its proper home at the Nasher Museum.
Say goodbye to the old tapestry! We’re removing it as part of the upcoming Rubenstein Library renovation. It has been on loan to us since 1986 from the Nasher Museum and will return to its proper home.

Book Talk: Selected Letters of William Styron: Feb. 13

Date: Wednesday, February 13
Time: 5:00 p.m. reception, 5:30 talk
Location: Gothic Reading Room, Rubenstein Library, Duke West Campus (Map)
Contact: Aaron Welborn, aaron.welborn@duke.edu, 919-660-5816

Join the Libraries for a public conversation with Rose Styron and R. Blakeslee Gilpin, editors of the recently published Selected Letters of William Styron (Random House, 2012) at 5 p.m. Wednesday, February 13, in the Rubenstein Library’s Gothic Reading Room. The event is free and open to the public.

Styron Letters Cover
Photo credit: Alison Shaw

Born in Virginia, William Styron (1925-2006) was a graduate of Duke University (1947), a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and the author of numerous award-winning books. His first novel, Lie Down in Darkness, was published to critical acclaim when Styron was just twenty-six years old. His controversial The Confessions of Nat Turner won the 1968 Pulitzer Prize, while Sophie’s Choice was awarded the 1980 National Book Award. Darkness Visible, Styron’s groundbreaking recounting of his ordeal with depression, was not only a literary triumph but became a landmark in the field.

Styron’s letters contain some of his most memorable meditations on the craft of writing. They also open a window onto his friendships with Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, John and Jackie Kennedy, Arthur Miller, James Jones, Carlos Fuentes, Wallace Stegner, Robert Penn Warren, Philip Roth, C. Vann Woodward, and many of the other leading writers and intellectuals of the second half of the twentieth century. The book takes readers on a journey from FDR to George W. Bush through the trenchant observations of one of the country’s greatest writers.

Styron’s papers are held at Duke in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Copies of the book will be available for sale at the event.

 

Welcome to Our Redesigned Library Website!

redesigned library website launch
Click on the screenshot to visit our new library website!

Notice anything different? Our library website has a new look!

After soft-launching the site on October 14 and doing extensive back-end testing in the meantime, we’re excited to roll out the new library.duke.edu today.

We’ve been developing, testing, and documenting our website redesign for a year, and we greatly appreciate all the feedback our users have given us along the way. Your input (and patience) has helped us design a better, simpler, more intuitively organized site for Duke students, faculty, and researchers. 

Here are some highlights of what’s new and improved:

Take a look around and let us know what you think. Use our feedback form to tell us how we’re doing or report a problem or issue.

You can also share your comments and thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter.

 

New Exhibit: Caricature and the Dreyfus Affair

Detail from “Le Traître” (The Traitor), a lithograph depicting Alfred Dreyfus that is part of a new exhibit on caricature and the Dreyfus Affair in the Rubenstein Library.

Exhibit Reception—Please Join Us!
Date: Wednesday, January 30
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Rubenstein Library Photography Gallery, Rubenstein Library, Duke West Campus (Map)
Contact: Meg Brown, meg.brown@duke.edu, 919-681-2071

Few legal cases in French history have been so decisive, and so divisive, as the twelve-year trial, re-trial and eventual acquittal of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus, a Jewish military officer, was falsely accused in 1894 of selling military secrets to the German army. The trial sparked a flurry of anti-Semitism in the popular press and inspired Émile Zola’s famous open letter of outrage, “J’Accuse!”

A new exhibition in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke examines how the Dreyfus Affair was depicted in the French popular press, with a particular focus on visual illustrations in newspapers and periodicals that covered the trial. A Mockery of Justice: Caricature and the Dreyfus Affair encourages viewers to reconsider the significance of this historical episode that continues to resonate in the present day. As Zola pointed out, the Dreyfus Affair was about more than one man’s guilt or innocence. Also at stake were the very principles upon which the French Republic rested: liberté, égalité, fraternité. More than one hundred years later, the Dreyfus Affair offers a vivid lesson on the dangers of racial prejudice, blind loyalty to the military, and unthinking nationalism.

Cover illustration from “Le Petit Journal” (1895) showing Alfred Dreyfus being stripped of his military honors and titles.

Drawing on the Rubenstein Library’s extensive collection of  late-19th and early 20th-century French periodicals, the exhibit also features a rare series of colorful and attention-grabbing posters that were disseminated throughout Paris at the time. The posters, collectively known as the Musée des Horreurs, were published pseudo-anonymously and feature unflattering caricatures of prominent Jews, Dreyfus supporters, and other individuals involved in the Dreyfus Affair. Another set of posters, known as Musée des Patriotes, glorifies the so-called anti-Dreyfusards, who publicly condemned Dreyfus and sought to undermine his defense.

A complete original set of the Musée des Horreurs and the Musée des Patriotes was recently acquired by the Rubenstein Library and has been digitized in conjunction with the exhibit.

A Mockery of Justice: Caricature and the Dreyfus Affair was sponsored by the Duke Center for Jewish Studies and curated by Alexis Clark, Kathryn Desplanque, and Emilie Anne-Yvonne Luse, doctoral students in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies.

For more information, visit the online exhibit website. To see the complete set of images from the Musée des Horreurs and Musée des Patriotes, visit our digital collections website.

 

Exhibit Details
A Mockery of Justice: Caricature and the Dreyfus Affair
December 12, 2012 – March 9, 2013
Rubenstein Library Photography Gallery
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library (Click here for map)
Duke University West Campus
Public Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am–7pm; Saturday, 9am–7pm; Sunday, 10am–7pm
Hours may vary during the holidays. Please check our posted library hours for more information.

Strategic Scrapbooking: October 29

Date: Monday, October 29, 2012
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Location: Rare Book Room, Rubenstein Library, Duke West Campus (Map)
Contact: Aaron Welborn, aaron.welborn@duke.edu, 919-660-5816

Men and women 150 years ago grappled with information overload by making scrapbooks — the ancestors of Google and blogging. From Mark Twain to Susan B. Anthony, abolitionists to Confederates, African American janitors to farmwomen, people cut out and pasted down their reading.

Ellen Gruber Garvey, author of Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance (Oxford, 2012) opens a new window into the feelings and thoughts of ordinary and extraordinary Americans. Her groundbreaking book reveals a previously unexplored layer of American popular culture. “Scrapbooks are a democratic archive,” says Garvey. “They tell us what the 99 percent of the past read and cared about.”

Garvey is Professor of English at New Jersey City University. Her talk is titled “Strategic Scrapbooks: Nineteenth-Century Activists Remake the Newspaper for African American History and Women’s Rights.” The talk will also include a display of historical scrapbooks from the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, which Garvey consulted in the writing of her book.

Free and open to the public. A reception with refreshments will follow the program.

Copies of the book will be available for sale.

Duke Acquires Papers of Rabbi Heschel, Influential Religious Leader

Note to editors: A high-resolution photo of images from the Heschel collection is available here: http://today.duke.edu/showcase/mmedia/hires/heschel.jpg.

DURHAM, N.C. — Duke University has acquired the papers of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a scholar, writer and theologian who is widely recognized as one of the most influential religious leaders of the 20th century, the school announced Monday.

Heschel was a highly visible and charismatic leader in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements. He co-founded Clergy Concerned About Vietnam and served as a Jewish liaison with the Vatican during the Second Vatican Council, also known as Vatican II.

Rabbi Heschel marching with Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights activists in Selma. All images are from the Abraham Joshua Heschel Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

The collection, which has never before been available to scholars, consists of manuscripts, correspondence, publications, documents and photographs spanning five decades and at least four languages. Included among the papers are notes and drafts for nearly all of Heschel’s published works, as well as intimate and extensive correspondence with some of the leading religious figures of his time, including Martin Buber, Thomas Merton, Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy and Reinhold Niebuhr.

The papers also contain extensive documentation on Heschel’s life-long commitment to social justice, including planning documents, correspondence with organizers, speeches and even hate mail.

“The presence of the Heschel archive is a significant opportunity to draw together Duke’s traditional strengths in Jewish studies, American history and human rights,” said Laurie Patton, dean of Duke’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. “One of Duke’s paramount values is ‘knowledge in the service of society,’ and Heschel embodied that value in every sphere of life. We are thrilled to be able to house his papers at our university, and hope to create numerous opportunities for ethical and historical reflection on this extraordinary man’s work and life.”

Photographs and other items from the Heschel archive, including a 1935 Nazi-issued work permit.

The archive will open for research after conservation review and archival processing are complete. The opening will be announced on the websites of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library and the Center for Jewish Studies at Duke, which partnered to acquire the papers.

“The acquisition of the Heschel papers assures scholars that the legacy of social activism, human rights and the highest standards of Judaic scholarship will be central to the pursuit of Jewish studies at Duke and many other places,” said Eric Meyers, the Bernice & Morton Lerner professor of religion and director of the Duke Center for Jewish Studies.

“I am delighted that my father’s papers have found a good home at Duke, which has long had an important research program in the fields of Jewish studies and religious studies,” said Susannah Heschel, daughter of Abraham Heschel and the Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College. “Duke’s strong commitment to archival holdings related to Judaica and to human rights places my father’s papers together with those of his beloved student, Rabbi Marshall Meyer, and I know that Duke’s magnificent Rubenstein Library will make the material easily accessible to scholars from around the world.”

Notes and related materials from Heschel’s audience with Pope Paul VI during the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II).

Rabbi Marshall Meyer, whose papers are already placed at the archive, was a student of Heschel’s and credited him with profoundly influencing his human rights work in Argentina.

“Together, these two collections represent almost a century of social justice thought and action and provide an important connection between the civil rights and human rights movements,” said Patrick Stawski, human rights archivist at the Rubenstein Library.

Born in 1907 in Poland, Heschel was descended from a long line of distinguished rabbis. Heschel believed that prayer and study could not be separated from public action. He famously marched side-by-side with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala., and is credited with coining the civil rights slogan, “We pray with our legs.”

Heschel’s theological works include The Sabbath (1951), Man is Not Alone (1951) and God in Search of Man (1955). His writings continue to influence contemporary discussions of religion and social justice.

For more information, or for press inquiries, please contact: Patrick Stawski, Human Rights Archivist, (919) 660-5823, patrick.stawski@duke.edu 

An Interlude from the Golden Age of Radio

If you’re a fan of the NPR show “The Story” with Dick Gordon, be sure to tune in to today’s episode (“Sixteen Inches of Radio”) featuring Duke’s own Randy Riddle. Riddle is an Academic Technology Consultant in the Center for Instructional Technology. But in his spare time, he collects old radio transcription discs, a recording format dating from the 1930s. Not many of these original discs survive, since many were discarded over the years and some were made of experimental types of plastics that degrade over time.

On “The Story,” Riddle talks with guest host Sean Cole about his interest in old-time syndicated radio programs from the 1930s and 1940s—from popular shows like “Suspense” (which stayed on the air for 20 years) to less well-known gems like “The American Family Robinson,” a thinly-veiled propaganda series produced in the 1930s by the National Industrial Council (a front for the powerful National Association of Manufacturers). That show follows the life and times of Luke Robinson, a small-town newspaper editor, and his wacky family. The plot lines are typically pedestrian, but they are  frequently interlaced with diatribes against Franklin Roosevelt’s “socialist” New Deal policies and praise for lower taxes and less regulation for business and industry (sound familiar?).

Riddle has generously donated many of his original transcription discs to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke, where they are part of the Randy Riddle Collection of Race Records and Radio Programs. However, if you just want a taste of Riddle’s remarkable collection, you can hear selections of “Suspense,” “The American Family Robinson,” and many more old-time radio programs on his personal blog, where he writes about radio history and posts digitized versions of the transcriptions in all their original, scratchy glory.

Label from "The American Family Robinson" Episode 42
Transcription disc label for “The American Family Robinson,” from Riddle’s collection. The show was sponsored by the National Industrial Council as part of their mid-1930s propaganda efforts to combat FDR’s New Deal economic policies.

Library Supplies “Meat” for NPR

If you’ve been following National Public Radio’s summer series on America’s love affair with meat, you’re sure to have noticed the meat marketing billboards recently featured in NPR’s food blog, with images provided courtesy of the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History in Duke University LibrariesDavid M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Billboard advertising grew apace with the interstate highway system, begun in the 1950s. These images were collected by the companies who created them, as demonstration to clients of the roadside advertising they developed. Today, they’re a sign of their times and the technology and economics that drove beef consumption in the United States.

You can revisit and research more of America’s commercial culture through digitized collections from the Hartman Center. The ROAD 2.0 collection contains all the billboard advertisements featured on the NPR blog, and thousands more of these markers of America’s advertising history. Celebrate the birth of our nation and the birth of billboard advertising by searching for “meat” across this collection!

A billboard featuring Fischer's deli meats, circa 1983, from the ROAD 2.0 collection.

 

Library Renovation Update: Third Floor of Perkins to Close July 5

Over the next few months, library users and visitors will start to see some noticeable changes as we prepare for the upcoming renovation of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. (For more background on the renovation, read this article from the Duke University Libraries Magazine. If you want the short version, check out this handy FAQ on the Rubenstein Library website.) 

Construction work will begin in earnest in 2013 and continue through summer 2015. In the meantime, the Libraries are working to relocate special collection materials, services, and personnel to the 3rd floor of Perkins Library, which will become the temporary headquarters of the Rubenstein Library throughout the renovation. The move will be implemented in phases so that library operations and services can be maintained throughout the project, and so that classes and researchers can continue to work with special collections materials without interruption.

Books and library materials on the 3rd floor of Perkins Library are being relocated to Lower Level 2 in preparation for the Rubenstein Library renovation.

 

Books Move Out, Rubenstein Moves In

The first of those implementation phases starts next week. On Monday, June 11, movers will begin shifting books from the 3rd floor of Perkins Library to Perkins Lower Level 2. That work is scheduled to be completed by July 1, and the 3rd floor of Perkins Library will close to the public on July 5, as construction workers begin upfitting the space for the Rubenstein Library’s staff and collections.

One important caveat: Access to the study carrels on the 3rd floor of Perkins will continue and should not be affected. If you have a study carrel on that floor, you will still be able to get to it.

 

Collections on the Move

Because of space limitations, some special collections materials and general circulating collections that were previously housed on-site in the library are being moved to the off-site Library Service Center. However, these materials will still be available to faculty, students, and researchers throughout the course of the renovation. Nothing will be out of your reach.

Books and materials in the general collection can be easily retrieved from the Library Service Center by requesting them through the online catalog. If you have never requested something from the LSC, here’s a quick video that shows you how. (It typically takes less than 24 hours, and you can have materials delivered to the Duke library of your choice.)

Circulating books and materials held at the Library Service Center can be requested through the online catalog and are typically delivered in less than 24 hours.

Researchers interested in using special collection materials are encouraged to contact the Rubenstein Library in advance of their visit, so that materials can be retrieved for them. (See the Rubenstein Library Renovation FAQ for more information on requesting special collection materials during the renovation.)

At this time, the Rubenstein Library’s reading room and current space is scheduled to close on December 17, 2012, and reopen after winter break on the 3rd floor of Perkins Library on January 6, 2013.

 

Stay Tuned for More Renovation Updates

If you want keep up with the progress of the Rubenstein Library renovation, we have plenty of ways to keep you informed.

You can check back here for regular updates, or follow the Rubenstein Library’s blog, The Devil’s Tale.

You can like the Duke University Libraries and the Rubenstein Library on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

And you can check out photos of the renovation on our Flickr photostream.

From “A Long and Happy Life” to “Midstream”

Reynolds Price's final book, "Midstream," will be published in May 2012.

Date: Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Gothic Reading Room, Rubenstein Library, Duke West Campus (map)
Contact: Will Hansen, (919) 660-5958 or william.hansen@duke.edu

To celebrate the publication of Reynolds Price’s final book, Midstream, as well as the fiftieth anniversary of his first book, A Long and Happy Life, the Libraries welcome a distinguished group of Price’s friends, family, and colleagues to discuss his life, work, and legacy.

Speakers include:

Rachel Davies WC’72 AM ’89, student and friend of Reynolds Price
Allan Gurganus, acclaimed author of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and White People
Susan Moldow, Executive Vice President and Publisher of Scribner, and editor of many of Reynolds Price’s books
William Price T’63, former Director of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History, and Reynolds Price’s brother

The event will include a display of materials from the Reynolds Price Papers in the Rubenstein Library, including early handwritten manuscripts of A Long and Happy Life, rare photographs and letters, and more.

Free and open to the public. A reception with refreshments will follow the program.

Co-sponsored by the Department of English.

Heroes and Villains: The Library Party

Duke students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other members of the Duke community are invited to a night of seriously graphic fun, sponsored by the the Duke Marketing Club and Duke University Libraries.

Bringing together the entire Duke community, Heroes & Villains will be an adventure of its own, drawing inspiration from the Duke University Libraries’ vast collection of comic books from all periods and genres.

When: Friday, February 24
What Time: 9 PM to Midnight
Where: Perkins Library
Admission: Free
Dress: Cocktail Attire, or Your Best Heroic/Villainous Costume

Students: Midterms got you feeling like a mere mortal? Throw on your cape and utility belt. Things are about to get supernaturally weird in Perkins.

Need more inspiration? Check out the Edwin and Terry Murray Comic Book Collection in Duke’s Rubenstein Library, one of the largest institutional collections of comics in the world!

Many thanks to our superhero sponsors: the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, the Deans of Trinity College, the Annual Fund, SOFC, Duke University Union, and the Sociology Department.

Find Heroes and Villains on Facebook and Twitter.

Stay tuned for more updates!

“The Public Readings of Charles Dickens,” as performed by Michael Malone

Charles Dickens at his last public reading in London, 1870

Join us for a special celebration of Charles Dickens’s 200th birthday!

When: Wednesday, February 8, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Biddle Rare Book Room, Perkins Library (Map)

Throughout the 1850s and 1860s, Charles Dickens performed in a series of dramatic public readings adapted from his own works, impersonating characters from famous scenes in Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, Great Expectations, and other beloved novels. In celebration of Dickens’s 200th birthday in February, please join award-winning Duke author, Professor of the Practice of Theater Studies, and consummate Dickensian Michael Malone as he re-enacts these entertaining performances.

The event is held in conjunction with the exhibition Charles Dickens: 200 Years of Commerce and Controversy, on display outside of the Biddle Rare Book Room beginning January 30, featuring rare first editions of Dickens’s works and other materials from the holdings of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

A reception with refreshments will be held after the performance. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact:
Will Hansen
william.hansen@duke.edu
919-660-5958

Women’s Health Pioneer Supports Bingham Center

A $1 million pledge to endow the directorship of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University has been made by journalist, activist and women’s health care pioneer Merle Hoffman, President Richard H. Brodhead announced Thursday.

“The Bingham Center is one of the leading women’s history research centers in the U.S., documenting centuries of women’s public and private lives, including education, literature, art and activism,” Brodhead said. “We at Duke are grateful for this generous gift by Merle Hoffman, which will help further the Bingham Center’s mission to preserve and promote the intellectual and cultural legacy of women from all walks of American life.”men’s History and Culture at Duke University has been made by journalist, activist and women’s health care pioneer Merle Hoffman, President Richard H. Brodhead announced Thursday.

The center, part of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, is home to many of Hoffman’s papers.

After abortion laws were liberalized in New York state in 1970, Hoffman founded Choices Women’s Medical Center, one of the first ambulatory surgical centers for women, which has become one of the largest and most comprehensive women’s medical facilities in the U.S.

In 2000, the Bingham Center acquired both Hoffman’s papers and the records of Choices Women’s Medical Center. Since then, the center has collected the papers of numerous other providers, clinics and reproductive rights organizations that document the work of activists, health care workers, attorneys and others involved in reproductive health.

The center also has a large body of works that documents four centuries of political activity surrounding women’s reproductive rights, thanks in part to several generous gifts from Hoffman, said Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo University Librarian and vice provost for library affairs.

“Associating Merle Hoffman’s name with the directorship creates an enduring connection between the Bingham Center’s leadership and Hoffman’s outstanding contributions to the health, safety and empowerment of women everywhere,” Jakubs said.

Hoffman is also the publisher and editor-in-chief of On the Issues Magazine, and her autobiography, Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Board Room, is set to be published in January 2012.

Hoffman said she decided to endow the center’s directorship as a way “to continue to support the visionary efforts by Duke University to honor and document the many courageous women who have fought their own ‘intimate wars’ in the long struggle for reproductive justice. I hope that the Bingham Center will become the bridge between theory and practice that will catalyze future generations to joyfully go further and deeper in the continual battles for women’s equality.”

Center director Laura Micham said Hoffman’s latest gift “will enable us to expand our activities and impact, bringing us closer to our goal of building one of the premier research centers for women’s history and culture in the world.”

The Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture was established in 1988 to acquire, preserve and provide access to published and unpublished materials that reflect the public and private lives of women, past and present. It is named in honor of author, playwright, teacher and feminist activist Sallie Bingham.

Recorded Stories of America’s Jim Crow Past Now Available

Unidentified family photo, donated by Larry Henderson, Alabama.

One hundred oral histories of life in the Jim Crow South, complete with transcripts, have been digitized and made available on the Duke University Libraries website and iTunes U, a dedicated area within the iTunes Store.

From 1993 to 1995, dozens of graduate students at Duke and other schools fanned out across the South to capture stories of segregation as part of “Behind the Veil,” an oral history project at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies (CDS). The students sought to preserve the stories before the men and women who survived Jim Crow passed away. The interviews — some 1,260 in all — were recorded on regular cassette tapes, transcribed and archived in Duke’s special collections library.

Some of the interviews were included in an award-winning book and radio documentary, Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South, produced 10 years ago by the CDS and American RadioWorks.

But many of the interviews were omitted from the book and documentary.

For example, in 1957, a group of African-American businessmen in Memphis launched a boycott of the city’s largest daily paper to protest the paper’s policy of not using courtesy titles, like Mr. or Mrs., when referring to blacks. The businessmen bought every copy they could find of The Commercial Appeal and threw them into the Mississippi River.

“I don’t care how prominent you were, you were just Willie Brown,” said Imogene Watkins Wilson, a schoolteacher whose husband edited the Memphis Tri-State Defender, the city’s leading African-American newspaper. “You weren’t Rev. Willie Brown, you weren’t Dr. Willie Brown, you weren’t Professor Willie Brown. And then, if [they] referred to your wife, she was Suzie. Not Mrs. Suzie, just Suzie.”

Wilson recollected the start of the seven-week boycott in a July 1995 interview with a Duke student, but her story never made the original project’s final cut. Now her memories — along with the personal accounts of scores of other Americans who lived through the Jim Crow era — are among the hundred stories that have been digitized and made available for free for researchers, genealogists, educators and others.

Another newly digitized story is told by Ernest A. Grant of Tuskegee, Ala., who recounts how his mother was forced to flee town for burning a white insurance agent with a hot iron after he made unwelcome advances toward her. And Jesse Johnson of Norfolk, Va., a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, describes officer training in the 1940s at Fort Lee, Va. as “the most segregated, the most prejudiced camp in the United States.”