Exhibits – Spring 2008

Perkins Gallery


Pivotal Books/Personal Reflections

An exhibit of books that have had a lasting impact on the lives of members of the Duke community. Faculty, students, staff, alumni, and friends are invited to recommend books for inclusion in the exhibit. We are looking for books that have transformed your thinking on a subject or were inspirational or the catalyst for a significant idea. We are also seeking books that have comforted you or sparked your creativity. We will exhibit poetry, essays, non-fiction, and novels.—We are even willing to display the childhood favorite that gave you your first sense of the power of books and reading. The goal is to exhibit a selection of books that represents the range of viewpoints and experiences of the diverse members of the Duke community.

Write an informal recommendation of no more than 200 words describing a book’s impact on you. Please send your statement no later than 1 May 2008 to Ilene Nelson at ilene.nelson@duke.edu as a Word document attachment in an email message. We will display your statement with a copy of the book in the cases in the Perkins gallery, if the title you recommend is selected for the exhibit.

Special Collections Gallery


Photo by Eric MillerThen and Now: Eight South African Photographers

Curated by South African photographer Paul Weinberg whose work is archived at Duke, Then and Now was funded by the Conference, Workshop and Cultural Initiative (CWCI) Fund, a European Union-South Africa partnership program, and Duke University’s Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.

Then and Now comprises 160 images, 20 apiece from eight participating photographers. For each photographer, 10 prints are from the apartheid period and 10 prints are post-apartheid. A complete set of the prints is available at the Special Collections Library and in Grahamstown, South Africa, at the Albany Museum, where they were first exhibited in a show that opened on 10 September 2007.

All 160 prints are being displayed at Duke in a multi-venue exhibit. About one third will be on view at the Special Collections Gallery, the Center for Documentary Studies (1317 W. Pettigrew Street) will display another third of the images, and the remainder will be exhibited at the President’s Gallery (Allen Building), the Divinity Library, and the Graduate Liberal Studies Program ( 2114 Campus Drive). The exhibit is also available online at http://library.duke.edu/exhibits/thenandnow/


Olive Pierce—Forty Years of Photographs (1963-2003)

Olive Pierce’s photographs reflect a spirit of community. This retrospective of black and white gelatin silver prints documents life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as in Maine fishing communities. A lifelong political activist, Pierce’s photographs of Iraqis under U.S. economic sanctions in 1999 and Maine citizens demonstrating in 2003 for and against involvement in Iraq make the connection between the local and global communities.

Special Collections Biddle Rare Book Room Cases


Historical sheet musicSongs of Glory, Songs of Sorrow: The Civil War in Music

The American Civil War remains the most devastating war in United States history, with deaths numbering about 618,000–more than in all the nation’s other wars combined, from the Revolutionary War through the Iraq War. This exhibit features sheet music and broadside verse expressing the triumphs and tragedies of the war’s battles, grieving mothers, soldier boys, flags, military officers, and even humor. Themes specific to the Civil War yet universal to all armed conflicts remind us of the high cost paid when peaceful solutions and diplomacy fail to win the day.

A performance highlighting the Special Collections Library’s Civil War music will be presented in September 2008 in the Special Collections Library’s Biddle Rare Book Room. The specific date and time will be announced later.

Hours for the Special Collections and Perkins galleries: Monday-Saturday, 9am-9pm, and 10am-9pm on Sunday. Call 919.660.5968 for more information about the Special Collections Gallery and 919.684.3009 for the most current Perkins hours.