Category Archives: Fall 2008

Images of the Russian Civil War in Siberia from the Robert L. Eichelberger Collection at Duke University Libraries

Collections Highlight

Eric Zitser

eichelbergerRobert L. Eichelberger (1886-1961), a 1909 West Point graduate, served with distinction in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of lieutenant general before his retirement in 1948; he later received a fourth star. Throughout his career, during many extended assignments away from home, Eichelberger wrote letters every day—and sometimes as frequently as four times a day—to his wife, Emma, a native of Asheville, NC. Addressing her “Dear Miss Em,” Eichelberger filled the letters with details of his experiences (without divulging military secrets) and anecdotes about colleagues, including Douglas MacArthur, referring to them in a code only Miss Em would understand. And along with the letters he sent photographs.

After Eichelberger died, Emma Eichelberger donated her husband’s personal papers, comprising nearly 30,000 items, to Duke’s Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library. While the bulk of the collection dates from the World War II era, a series of unique and almost unknown photographic images of the Russian Civil War in eastern Siberia recall one of the general’s earliest assignments.

golden horn bay
Golden Horn Bay

Eichelberger was posted to Siberia in 1918, where he served for two years as assistant chief of staff, Operations Division, and chief intelligence officer with the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). The AEF went to Russia by order of President Woodrow Wilson on a mission that constituted America’s first attempt to use its armed forces for peacekeeping purposes.

From an office on Svetlanka St., in Vladivostok, Eichelberger oversaw an intelligence network that extended over 5,000 miles into the Ural Mountains. In his official capacity as America’s chief intelligence officer in Siberia, he interviewed (frequently over a bottle of vodka) hundreds of Russians from all walks of life, including “everything from a Baron to a prostitute.”1 The intelligence he gathered, his analysis of it, and the reports he wrote allowed his commanding officer, Lieutenant-General William S. Graves, to set an American course in the face of “competing signals” from both Washington and the Inter-Allied Military Council, a ten-nation coalition of American, British, French, and Japanese officers. The Council debated, formulated, and tried to implement a coherent Allied policy for Siberia and eastern Russia between 1918 and 1920.

Inter-Allied Council
Members of the Inter-Allied Council

Materials in the Eichelberger Papers pertaining to his participation in the AEF’s incursion into Siberia are grouped into two series: military papers and pictures. The Military Papers Series includes typed letters, handwritten notes, intelligence summaries, memoranda and reports, and leaflets, as well as maps. An oversize “top secret” map is one of a series made on tracing paper to record the changing locations of military bases and troop strength of American forces in Siberia along the railroad linking Vladivostok and the Nikolsk-Ussuri and Suchan mines.

The U.S. government considered the mines and the railroad necessary for the “economic relief” of the Russian people. These same installations were also deemed critical to the success of the U.S. military’s political mission, namely, supporting “any efforts at self-government or self-defense in which the Russians themselves might be willing to accept assistance.” The question, of course, was which one of the various warring factions in the Russian Civil War constituted the true representatives of the Russian nation.

The Picture Series, comprising over a thousand photographs, complements the written record of Eichelberger’s tour of duty in eastern Siberia and is equally important. Some of the photographs are loose and some have been pasted, probably by Emma Eichelberger, into two photo albums. The albums contain official AEF photos (primarily of foreign troops parading down Svetlanka) as well as scenic views of Siberia’s architectural and natural landscapes, among them Golden Horn Bay.

boy soldierThe many loose photos differ in character from the official pictures and panoramic landscapes preserved in the albums. These are much less romanticized images of everyday life in eastern Siberia: an enormous hog outside a Chinese tailor’s shop; three peasant children; a young Russian soldier almost drowning in his big fur hat and heavy military overcoat.

Eichelberger’s Siberian photos provide unique visual documentation of both American involvement in the Russian Civil War and daily life during war-time in an ethnically and religiously diverse region on the border of three major 20th-century powers: Russia, Japan, and China. And now these images are available on the Web at to anyone with access to an Internet browser. The Eichelberger photographs and other related photographs have been digitized to form a collection titled “Americans in the Land of Lenin: Documentary Photographs of Early Soviet Russia.” “Americans in the Land of Lenin” was modeled, at least in part, on the University of Michigan’s “Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collections,” which consists of materials related to the American intervention in northern Russia at the end of World War I.

The Duke project encompasses roughly 1,400 images, many with captions and other annotations, and is one of the largest collections of photographs of the Russian Civil War in the United States. The launch of “Americans in the Land of Lenin” marks the completion of the first step in the digitization of Duke University’s extensive collection of 20th-century Russian visual culture.

Erik Zitser is the librarian for Slavic and East European Studies.

1All the quotes from Eichelberger’s correspondence are taken from Paul Chwialkowski’s 1991 Duke University doctoral dissertation, “A ‘Near Great’ General: The Life and Career of Robert L. Eichelberger” (Ph.D., Duke University, 1991). Chwialkowski’s thesis has been published under the title In Caesar’s Shadow: The Life of General Robert Eichelberger [ Contributions in military studies, no. 141] (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1993).

Read More about Robert Eichelberger and the U.S. in Siberia

About Eichelberger:

Dear Miss Em: General Eichelberger’s War in the Pacific, 1942-1945. Ed. by Jay Luvaas. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1972.

John F. Shortal. Forged by Fire: General Robert L. Eichelberger and the Pacific War. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1987.

Paul Chwialkowski. In Caesar’s Shadow: The Life of General Robert Eichelberger. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993.


Ric Hardman. Fifteen Flags. Boston: Little, Brown, c1968.

Nikolai Nikitin. Northern Aurora. Translated by B. Isaacs and R. Prokofieva. (Soviet Union?: s.n., 1950s).

Arif Saparov. The Game is Up. Arlington, VA: Joint Publications Research Service, 1972.

Evgeny Zamyatin. The Islanders. Vsevolod Ivanov. Armored-Train 14-69. Ann Arbor, MI: Trilogy Publishers, c1978.

Personal Narratives

William S. Graves. America’s Siberian Adventure, 1918–1920. New York: J. Cape & H. Smith, [c1931].

John Ward. With the “Die-Hards” in Siberia. New York: Doran, c1920; [2007?] reprint, n.p.: Kessinger Publishing. Electronic edition at

Ned Elvin Wick. Service in Siberia. Rapid City, SD: Fenwynn Press, c1975.

Additional Resources

Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collections. Ann Arbor, MI: Bentley Historical Library, s.d.,

Gibson Bell Smith, “Guarding the Railroad, Taming the Cossacks: The U.S. Army in Russia, 1918–1920,” Prologue Magazine 34, no. 4 (2002),

John M House, “Wolfhounds and Polar Bears in Siberia: America’s Military Intervention, 1918-1920” (Ft. Belvoir Defense Technical Information Center, 1986)

Dining at Duke

Ted Minah and the Duke University Dining Halls

Mary Samouelian

fork and knife
We know things are tough all over, but can’t we have any silverware? Restaurants seem to have steaks or good cuts of meat now. How about the Union? Must we eat chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken (poorly prepared too)? Will we ever have pitchers of cream on the table at breakfast like last year? Why continually run out of food?

Duke dining hall suggestion box, 1945

This comment from a suggestion box in the men’s dining hall on West Campus captures student sentiment about the state of campus cuisine when Theodore W. “Ted” Minah arrived in January 1946 as the newly appointed manager of the Duke University dining rooms. The student discontent was in reaction to an outdated compulsory meal ticket system, wartime food rationing, and a decline in the quality of the dining services that was due to poor food preparation and an untrained staff.

cafeteria 1947

Minah faced logistical challenges as well, such as feeding the influx of returning veterans, who increased the number of students on campus to 5,000. Long lines in the dining halls and insufficient seating only added to the student discontent. Under these circumstances, it would have been understandable if Ted Minah had turned down Duke’s offer. But as the materials in the Theodore W. “Ted” Minah Records and Papers in the University Archives reveal, Minah was no ordinary man. During his twenty-eight years at Duke, he transformed the dining halls into an award-winning, highly rated operation that served millions of meals to generations of Duke students.

graduate diningEarly in Minah’s tenure he resolved to make the dining halls more than just a place to grab a quick meal. His objectives and operational philosophy for the dining halls were to provide a social atmosphere where students could mingle and have a healthy meal. More importantly, Minah believed that good dining was part of the students’ overall education. Dining halls including the Great Hall and the Oak Room were designed, and in some cases, renovated, to encourage students from different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds to engage with each other and with faculty and guests. The Men’s Graduate Center (now Trent Hall) was a shining example of this model. Constructed in 1953, the new dining hall featured a cafeteria, private dining rooms where those students with “allied interests” could eat together, and a coffee lounge where graduate students, faculty, and friends could gather informally. In 1961, the Graduate Center was opened to freshman and sophomore nursing students, with the hope that dining there would contribute to their “social education.”

cookiesMinah also believed that “adventurous and stimulating eating habits” contributed to a student’s education. His office is said to have been filled with cookbooks and magazines, and the assorted recipes preserved in his records and papers suggest that he frequently experimented to meet changing student tastes. While some of Minah’s culinary offerings were popular with all Duke students (including the famous Duke Toll House cookies and hermit cookies, which some alumni still reminisce about!), others like the congealed apple and cottage cheese salad were reserved for the more “daring” appetite. Minah’s success in providing food that was healthful, nutritious, and palatable earned him the Silver Plate Award as Outstanding Food Services Operator in the Colleges and Universities Division in 1968.

Employing students in the dining halls was another Minah innovation. In a 1974 interview he claimed to be the first university dining director in the country to develop a program for student employees. The idea for the program probably derived from his own experience: Minah learned the food business from the bottom up—starting on the dish machine, washing pots, and then working his way up to the status of journeyman cook while still in college. In the program Minah established at Duke, interested students were recruited, trained, and given opportunities to become dishwashers and cooks, cashiers and waiters, with the promise of gaining valuable work experience while still having ample time for an academic and social schedule.

Incentives spurred the workers to move up into better and higher paying positions. Countless letters from students seeking employment in the dining halls speak to the program’s success. One, dating from 1966 reads, “my sister … spoke to you concerning my working in the dining hall next fall, and I was glad to hear that a place is available … I appreciate your giving me the opportunity to work at Duke and am looking forward to it.”

blue and white room 1968

Minah’s rapport with students never faltered, even in difficult situations. During his career he weathered three boycotts—grapes, lettuce, and meat—and the 1968 dining hall strike for “decent living wages.” While the episodes were marked by controversy and strongly held views, Minah always tried to reach common ground with students, not only to meet their demands, but to keep the dining halls open. During the dining hall strike, he recalled that “there were some 250 students who volunteered to work—they simply didn’t want this crowd (union supporters) to take over the university.”

catering 1951Recognizing that students were a vital part of the dining halls’ success, Minah was always open to their suggestions and ideas. The “chowman” was one such initiative. Students proposed the service to counter the night-time bootlegging of food in dorms that had culminated in unsanitary conditions in rooms, food poisoning, and complaints about students knocking on door at all hours of the night trying to sell food. Introduced in 1950 and run by the M.S.G.A. (Men’s Student Government Association) Catering Service, the student chowman vendors peddled sandwiches, milk, ice cream and other snack foods from 10:30 to midnight to hungry West Campus students. Student vendors earned a commission—up to 20% of the sales, which was about $500 per student per semester. Eventually replaced by “robot rooms” (vending machines) in 1961, the chowman left a legacy of feeding Duke students for nearly eleven years.

kitchen 1952As important as students were to the success of the dining halls, they were just one side of the equation; the dining hall employees were the other half. When Minah arrived at Duke, more than 90% of the food services employees were African American, and, as he said, “there was no one in the vicinity that had had restaurant experience…” Demonstrating a commitment to equal opportunity that was rare for the time, Minah set out to “provide an atmosphere in which all those employees who are in our employ will have the opportunity and desire to improve their skills and by their increased productivity attain higher goals of status and remuneration.” Minah backed up his words with action.

In 1947, he initiated an on-the-job training program, taking advantage of the U.S. government’s offer to fund education for returning veterans of World War II under the G.I. Bill. In the program’s first year, six veterans were enrolled in training for institutional or restaurant management, with fourteen others learning to be professional cooks and bakers. Over the course of several years, Minah expanded on-the-job training, enabling cooks and supervisors to attend schools including the Culinary Arts School and the Cornell Hotel School. He also instituted promotion policies and worked to ensure that pay and benefits were competitive. By 1967, nearly half of the supervisors and clerical staff (including cashiers) were African American, and for many years there was less than a 5% turnover rate in Minah’s department.

minah and jonesMinah’s commitment to his employees is well-documented. His records and papers are replete with thank-you letters from employees grateful for Minah’s interest in their well-being; service bulletins and newspaper advertisements promoting dining hall employees who were available for summer jobs in North Carolina and out-of-state resorts (an arrangement that enabled them to combine vacation with extra income); and letters of recommendations, including Minah’s letter praising William “Big Bill” Jones. Minah had known Jones since 1937 and, when he came to Duke in 1946, Minah thought Jones would be ideal as the banquet manager for the dining halls. The two worked together at Duke for nearly thirty years, and in 1970 Minah wrote of Jones:

I shall always consider it a great privilege to have been associated with him for the past 33 years since we began working together in the Brown University Dining Halls back in 1937. He has taught me a great deal not only about the operation of a dining hall service but how better to understand my fellow man.

Managing employees and the operations of the dining halls were only part of what Minah did every day. His duties also included buying, warehousing, preparing, and serving food; service and selling; housekeeping; office management and accounting; and renovations, repairs, installations and alterations. In performing his responsibilities, Minah’s goal was to “initiate and engage in continuing experimentation, research and self-development which will raise the standards of [the] profession.” As with his other operational philosophies, Minah’s actions matched his words. During his tenure at Duke, he not only introduced new dining hall concepts (for some of Minah’s innovations, see the sidebar), but also established a reputation for successful high-profile catering events, including Duke presidential inaugurations, receptions for dignitaries such as Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and banquets, including a 1,000-person affair in the Cameron Indoor Stadium honoring Dr. Wilburt C. Davison, the first dean of Duke Medical School.

Ted Minah was a prolific writer, publishing dozens of articles in College and University Business and Institutions Magazine, and he frequently provided counsel and the benefit of his experience to the industry. Minah served as president of the College and University Food Service Directors (1964), vice president of the North Carolina Restaurant Association (1950), and president of the Kiwanis Club of Durham. With each position he had the opportunity to promote healthy eating, employee training, new methods of cooking, and the importance of the food services industry. The National Association of College & University Food Services recognized Minah’s significant contributions to the profession by renaming its highest award the Theodore W. Minah Distinguished Service Award in 1973; Minah had received the award when it was established in 1967. Today, the award is still bestowed on those who have made an outstanding and enduring contribution to the food service industry and to the association.

By his retirement in 1974, Minah had transformed dining services at Duke University from a small, disjointed department to an award-winning operation of twelve dining halls serving approximately 15,000 meals per day. Throughout the nation, Ted Minah was known as the “dean” of college and university food service directors. He died in 1991 at the age of 82.

Minah’s records and papers, which were received by the University Archives soon after his retirement, show a complex man who was kindhearted, creative, and wholly committed to his profession, students, employees and the University. For those who worked with or knew Ted, and for those being introduced to him for the first time, he will be remembered for the indelible mark he made on the foodservice industry and Duke University.

All quotes are from materials in the Theodore W. “Ted” Minah Records and Papers in the University Archives.

Duke Dining Trivia

  • Ted Minah and his dining hall staff catered inauguration dinners for Dr. Arthur Hollis Edens (October 21, 1949), Dr. Douglas M. Knight (December 10, 1963), and Terry Sanford (October 18, 1970). Julian Deryl Hart (1960-1963) is missing from the list because as president pro tem (he was appointed to the position following the Gross-Edens controversy) he did not have as formal an inauguration dinner.
  • Institutions Magazine presented its Honors Award (the highest honor in the food service industry) to two Duke dining facilities: the Graduate Center (1953) and Gilbert-Addoms Dining Hall (1960).
  • The Oak Room closed in 2003 to make way for the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture. The Blue & White Room has become the DukeCard Office.
  • The gargoyles in the Cambridge Inn watch over the coats of arms of the colleges of Cambridge University.

Duke Dining “Firsts”

During his tenure, Ted Minah introduced many innovations. A few of the more notable include:

blue and white room 1962

  • The “scramble” cafeteria Ted Minah introduced the concept of free-flow service counters in the Blue & White Room in 1962. This system didn’t require students to line up, but instead gave them the freedom to go directly to the counter that served the food they wanted. This change made it possible to serve large numbers of students in a short time. While the “scramble” concept was wildly popular with students, it befuddled their visiting parents.
  • The Cambridge Inn Created to return some of the business lost to the “robot room” and to meet the needs of student requests for a room large enough for groups to gather formally or informally, the “C.I.” became the first university/college self-service snack bar in the country. Open 7:30 to midnight, it boasted “raid-it-yourself” refrigerators, snack bar and pizza kitchen. Students who could not eat during regularly planned dinners or those who craved late-night snacking welcomed the new snack bar.
  • Food waste refrigeration Minah was the first Durham food handler to adopt the practice of putting garbage in cold storage until it could be hauled away. Thousands of noses rejoiced.
  • The Oak Room Opened in 1946, the Oak Room became the first dining hall within a dining hall system to rely on student waiters and waitresses. It offered table service in an intimate restaurant-style dining setting (coat and ties required for men) where faculty, student and guests could meet on common ground.
  • Food credit system Ted Minah discontinued meal tickets and instituted a cash cafeteria service for the men on West Campus and a cafeteria board system for the Woman’s College on East. The parents received the bills (instead of relying on the students to have enough cash readily available). Over time the food credit system became a million dollar business, with losses of less than $250 annually.

Read More about Dining at Duke

The Inventory of the Theodore W. “Ted” Minah Records and Papers ( and photograph exhibit “Dining at Duke” at

News Service Biographical Files, circa 1930s-2004. University Archives, Duke University.

Theodore W. “Ted” Minah Records and Papers, 1941-1975. University Archives, Duke University.


Mary SamouelianMary Samouelian was the 2007-2008 Isobel Craven Drill Intern in University Archives. In 2008 at the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists, she received the Theodore Calvin Pease Award, which recognizes superior writing achievements by students of archival administration. Samouelian received the award for her paper, “Embracing Web 2.0: Archives and the Newest Generation of Web Applications,” an investigation of the extent to which Web 2.0 features have been integrated into archival digitization projects.

The Perkins Project

New Library Spaces in 2008

Ilene Nelson

The Duke community has been enjoying the fruits of the Perkins Project since the 2005 dedication of the new Bostock Library and von der Heyden Pavilion. In 2006 a transformed first floor of Perkins opened, followed a year later by Perkins lower floor 2 and the Deryl Hart administrative suite. Now, in 2008, we have re-opened Perkins’ floors 2-4, and a state-of-the-art teaching and learning center fills what was the Perkins basement. Perkins lower floor 1 is also the new home of the Libraries’ Preservation and Shipping and Receiving departments. Also in 2008, the Libraries’ technical services operations moved from Perkins to the Smith Warehouse. Below are brief introductions to the new library spaces and a description of the upcoming work that will complete the Perkins Project.

perkins study room
Students using one of the 8 study rooms that are available on Perkins floors 2-4. The new spaces also include a total of 131 individual closed carrels that can be reserved by faculty, graduate students, and (beginning in 2009) undergraduates who are writing honors theses.

perkins stacks

Perkins floors 2-4, each encompassing 30,800 sq.ft., have a combined total of 82,404 linear feet of shelving.

perkins seating

The informal groupings of comfortable, upholstered chairs have been popular in the new Libraries’ spaces that have already opened. The early indications are that the trend will hold on Perkins floors 2-4 where there are 286 seats, including those at study tables.

The Link—to Innovation in the Classroom

link classroom

The Link immediately dazzles everyone who walks into the new 24,000 sq.ft. teaching and learning center on lower floor 1 of Perkins Library. Floor to ceiling windows, brightly colored accent walls, and sleek contemporary furnishing are the backdrop for the flexible teaching spaces, technology services, and learning tools that the Link offers students and faculty. Innovation is in the air. Ed Gomes, associate dean for arts and sciences information technology said, “We think this will be a place where faculty can experiment and learn how to integrate new technologies into teaching. It’s also a place where the University will learn how to introduce new technologies into classrooms and create models to use elsewhere on campus.”

link chairs

The Link features six classrooms, four seminar rooms and eleven group study rooms, as well as kiosk-style computing and informal space for collaboration or individual work. This fall forty-six courses, offered by more than twenty departments, are meeting in Link classrooms. Instructor Janet Maceda is using the Link’s built-in video capture tools to teach international graduate students how to give better academic presentations in English. During the first week of classes, Nicholas School of the Environment professor Prasad Kasibhatla used the Link’s videoconference feature to teach his Duke course from Abu Dhabi. He is still planning exactly how he’ll take advantage of the Link capabilities once he’s back on campus. Scott Huettel will project functional magnetic resonance imaging files in his neurobiology course. Christina Askounis, who is teaching is teaching an advanced composition course in the Link said, “…I love my classroom in the Link! The transformation of the entire space down there is astonishing…” She continued:

I’m teaching “Writing Humor” in 059, and so far we have used the wireless connection and the big screen at the front of the room for a Powerpoint presentation of theories of humor which included a lot of visuals (cartoons, etc.) and hyperlinks to short clips of comic material (Monty Python, “I Love Lucy,” etc.) as examples to illustrate various devices and/or theories…Students have also used the set-up to access material on their own laptops to show to the class as part of assignments. I hope to explore more of the room’s potential uses as the semester goes on, including that amazing white board surface that covers the entire back wall!

While the technological resources of the Link are being put to good use by the faculty whose courses meet there, history professor Ed Balleisen sees additional advantages to teaching in the Link:

The biggest draws of the new classrooms are less the technology (what I will be using would be just fine in many other Duke classrooms) and more the characteristics of the new teaching spaces:

  1. the wall-sized whiteboards, which I fill with conceptual maps and schematics;
  2. the proximity to librarians, who can help with research projects; and
  3. the break-out rooms that facilitate small group discussions.

link deskIn addition to offering a dynamic environment for teaching and study, the Link serves as the primary distribution point on campus for digital video kits, Web cameras, tablet PCs, iPods with microphones, and other equipment available through the Duke Digital Initiative. The Link is also the new home of the University’s walk-up information and technology service desk, which was located in the student center. The service desk, coordinated by the Office of Information Technology and Arts & Sciences staff, will be open seven days a week, with reference librarians and subject specialists nearby and ready to help students and faculty; consultants from the Libraries’ Center for Instructional Technology are available to assist faculty/instructors.

To learn more about the Link, visit

The Libraries Go Urban Chic:

Moving to the Smith Warehouse

The opening of the Bostock Library and the von der Heyden Pavilion in October 2005 transformed the University Libraries and Duke’s West Campus. The new gateway between Bostock and the Perkins Library joined the social sciences and humanities departments on the quad and the science and engineering buildings on Science and Research drives, unifying the campus and fostering connections among members of the Duke community who had been separated by campus topography.

With students from the sciences, engineering, humanities and social sciences filling the Bostock reading rooms and the Pavilion’s light-filled space almost as soon as the buildings opened, Libraries and campus administrators decided to review the plan in place at the time to renovate space on lower floor 1 of Perkins for the use of the Libraries’ technical services operations (acquisitions, catloging and metadata services, electronic rsources and serials management, gifts processing, and commercial binding). After thoughtful consideration, everyone agreed that the benefits to the entire University of having a teaching and learning center on lower floor 1 outweighed the disadvantages of removing the technical services operations from Perkins.

And so began a chain of events that culminated in the August opening of the Link on lower floor 1 of Perkins, and the move, also in August, of ninety-three library staff members in eight departments to the Smith Warehouse.

The Smith Warehouse, which sits high above Campus Drive between Duke’s east and west campuses, is a 200,000 sq.ft. former Liggett tobacco warehouse. Built 115 years ago, Smith is gradually being reclaimed for use by a variety of University departments. In addition to the Libraries’ technical services functions, Smith now houses Duke’s Facilities Management Department; the administrative offices of Duke Performances; the Department of Information Science + Information Studies; the Arts, Culture, and Technology studios of the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies; the Office of Undergraduate Scholars and Fellows; and the Office of University Special Events and University Ceremonies. When the building is fully occupied in 2009, more than 500 University staff will work at Smith.

The University has been applying sustainable design and construction principles to the renewal of the Smith Warehouse: some of the construction materials were recycled from other campus buildings; high-efficiency insulation was added to the roof; and captured storm water became a source for irrigation and make-up water for a nearby University steam plant. The building’s sustainability has earned the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

office space in Smith

The Libraries developed its space at Smith in the same spirit and went a step further by giving staff an unprecedented role in planning the areas they would occupy. Five staff working groups gathered information and made recommendations concerning every aspect of the refitting of Smith, as well as the transfer of staff and materials to the new facility, and the re-design of workflows and patterns of communication with the rest of the library system to insure maximum effectiveness after the move.

staff at smithStaff participated in decisions about everything from the configuration of their individual workspaces and how they would be furnished to the selection of floor coverings, amount and kind of storage shelving, number of printers and photocopiers, and lighting, air quality standards, and building security. The groups also looked at the needs of Smith staff for on-site technical and human resources support and made recommendations that were adopted.

The decision to move the Perkins technical services operations to Smith also prompted a review of the Libraries’ workflows for processing materials for archives and special collections. Based on the findings of the review, the Libraries took the innovative step of moving the Technical Services Department for the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library and University Archives to the Smith Warehouse as well.

workspace at smithThis has been an especially fortuitous move for the units that make up the department, which were formerly scattered in several workrooms and a series of small isolated offices on the second floor of the 1928 Perkins Library building. The open design of the Smith Warehouse bays has allowed for the configuration of a workspace that is optimal for the specialized cataloging and processing of manuscript, archival and rare book materials. It has also allowed the full integration of staff from new programs in jazz archives, electronic records, and the archives of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

The special collections space at Smith is set up with modern workstations for the staff arrayed along one wall and several hundred linear feet of shelving along the opposite wall. Between these two areas are a large number of movable tables that provide the essential “flat space” necessary for the sorting and processing large and small archival collections. Added to this are a separate inspection room for the receipt of new collections, an industrial freezer for fragile and volatile film and video materials, and an array of work areas for student assistants and interns.

The layout and amenities at the Smith Warehouse may well give Duke’s Special Collections Technical Services Department one of the more modern and efficient work environments in the country. In addition, the immediate proximity of the Libraries’ other technical services staff is stimulating collaboration and consulting on the many cataloging, metadata, and acquisitions issues the two operations have in common.

Where Do We Go from Here?

The Perkins Project Enters Its Final Phase

Robert Byrd

With about two-thirds of the Duke University Libraries’ Perkins complex newly constructed or transformed by total renovations, the focus of the Perkins Project turns now to the 1928 West Campus library building and its 1948 addition. This portion of the Perkins complex is at the very heart of the campus designed by the Horace Trumbauer architectural firm and is emblematic of the character of the West Quad and Duke University. The cornerstone for the University is visible on the façade of the 1928 library building.

rare book room

Similarly, the 1928/1948 library building is central to the teaching and research mission of Duke University, since it houses the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library (RBMSCL). According to a statement of principles adopted in 2003 by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the development, preservation, support, stewardship and dissemination of special collections such as these are “both a characteristic of the true research library” and “an obligation assumed by all members of the Association of Research Libraries.” Special collections, the statement asserts, “represent not only the heart of an ARL library’s mission, but are one of the primary identifiers of a research library.”

The treasures of RBMSCL’s distinctive general collections are augmented by the holdings of the University Archives and several research centers: the Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture; the John Hope Franklin Collection of African and African American Documentation; the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History; the Archive of Documentary Arts; and the Archive for Human Rights. RBMSCL’s collections are heavily used by graduate students, faculty, and visiting researchers. However, undergraduate students are the largest user group, a fact that may distinguish Duke from other research libraries. Faculty in numerous disciplines—art and art history, cultural anthropology, economics, history, literature, music, political science, public policy, sociology, etc.—bring their students to the RBMSCL to use special collections for course assignments.

The interests and needs of these different groups of users are addressed in the architectural program for the re-design of the 1928/ 1948 building. The program objectives include increasing the seating capacity of the Special Collections Reading Room; providing consultation rooms to accommodate collaborative projects and staff assistance for users; creating exhibition galleries for display of the collections’ rare and unique materials; relocating the research centers’ curatorial staff to the Deryl Hart Suite where they will be easily accessible to users and available for consultation; and providing instruction spaces for faculty teaching courses that use special collections.

The program also addresses the imperative of a secure stack area where special collections can be shelved in an appropriately controlled environment. Currently, the 1928/1948 building has multi-tiered stack-supported floors typical of its era. By today’s standards, these stack systems have serious deficiencies related to code, security, and temperature and humidity control. In addition, the existing shelving systems are inflexible. Because they were originally designed to hold books, they do not support the larger dimensions and varied formats of special collections and archival materials. In the upcoming renovation, the entire stack core will be removed—from lower floor 1 to the roof—and replaced with a new floor structure on independent footings that will support high-density compact shelving.

The work on the stacks is essential for the well-being of the Libraries’ special collections, but visitors to Perkins will never see the extensive changes. Visitors will, however, be able to appreciate the attention the Biddle Rare Book Room and the Gothic Reading Room receive. The charm and character of these cherished Duke spaces will be be preserved, but their finishes, furnishings, lighting, and technology infrastructure will be enhanced.

The final phase of the Perkins Project will also include an office suite and meeting rooms for the Duke University Libraries administrative staff. This is a change from earlier plans that located the Libraries’ administrative offices in the nearby Old Law building. And, last but not least, the entrance to Perkins will be re-designed with new doors, windows, and lighting to make the 1968 and 1928/1948 buildings a more unified and welcoming presence on the historic West Quad.

The completion of the transformation of the 1928/1948 building will also complete the Perkins Project. It is anticipated that design for the final phase will begin in October 2008, construction approval will be sought in May 2009, and occupancy will occur by August 2011. At that point the Perkins Library master plan, as approved by the Board of Trustees in 2001, will be fully implemented.

Top ten reasons why we Dukies love our library

by Lucy McKinstry

lucy10. Quiet. Finally, no more fire alarms or construction noise.

9. Space. From study carrels to high-tech classrooms, there are so many different and versatile places to work.

8. Atmosphere. With great views and cozy rooms, the library is a happy place to study.

7. Rest. We love sleeping in the comfortable chairs.

6. Motivation. Seeing other people around you pursuing excellence creates a strong incentive.

5. Group study rooms. Essential.

4. People. The resourceful librarians go out of their way to be helpful and encouraging.

3. Parties. What other library hosts an annual cocktail party?

2. Balance. The library is a space respected for both academics and socializing; the von der Heyden Pavilion is a great example of this, where you can see your friends, chat with your professors, and finish your homework.

1. Community. The collaborative energy and spirit of Duke is more visible here in the library than anywhere else on campus.

Lucy McKinstry T’10 presented her ten reasons following remarks by President Richard Brodhead and University Librarian Deborah Jakubs at the 28 August opening of Perkins floors 2–4.


Knowledge Bytes

Internet Sites Selected for the Readers of Duke University Libraries

24-Nation Pew Global Attitudes Survey

The Pew Global Attitudes Project, conducted by the Pew Research Center, “is a series of worldwide public opinion surveys that encompasses a broad array of subjects ranging from people’s assessments of their own lives to their views about the current state of the world and important issues of the day. More than 175,000 interviews in 54 countries have been conducted as part of the project’s work.”

This report from June 2008 examines perceptions of the United States abroad. According to its findings, favorable views of the United States have increased modestly since 2007 in 10 of 21 countries where comparative data are available, although many people also feel that the recent economic slump is in no small part due to the United States. The survey also found a widespread belief that United States’ foreign policy “will change for the better” after the inauguration of a new American president next year.

The 150-page report is available in its entirety. In addition to the topics noted above, it covers perceptions of Iran, China, and Asian powers; environmental issues; and governments’ respect for the rights of their people. Finally, visitors can learn about the survey methods used in the creation of this report and view the results in tabular form.

Everyone likes polls, even when they don’t agree with the results. describes itself as “an independent, nonpartisan resource on trends in American public opinion.” It certainly provides an effective means online for keeping tabs on recent polls. The homepage features random samples of selected polls and summary results of other recently conducted polls. In addition, the homepage highlights broad subject categories: “Elections,” “State of the Union,” “National Security,” “In the News,” and “Issues,” each broken down into narrower topics.

Drilling into the site produces the results of recent polls, plus the questions asked of participants, the polling methodology and sample size. The site also offers visitors a directory, contents page, and search tool, as well as a number of subscription services that are available for an annual fee.

Open Secrets

U.S. CapitolOpen Secrets is a free “nonpartisan guide to money’s influence on U.S. elections and public policy,” whose motto is “Count cash and make change.” This is a deep site that provides a great deal of information about contributions to politicians at the federal, state, and local level.

From the homepage, visitors can quickly navigate to details of the financial contributions to presidential candidates, including those who dropped out of the race before the conventions. Also on the homepage are links to congressional and local races and contributions by industry, PACs, lobbyists, and advocacy groups.

Did you know that the average net worth of senators is twice that of members of the House of Representatives? A link to personal financial information allows visitors to search for politicians or the companies in which they have financial interests. Links to “Industries” provides a summary of political giving dating back to 1990, including breakdowns by type of contribution and political party; a list of organizations (usually U.S. companies) that have given the most from that industry; and a list of candidates that have received the most from the industry.

There are many fascinating lines of information to explore on this site. One of the most innovative is the “Money Web,” a social networking tool found under the Politicians & Elections tab/ Presidential that graphically shows connections between candidates and contributors. Click on a bubble and see how the money flows. Use caution, however; as of this writing, the “Money Web” page had not been updated since April.

Thanks to the Internet Scout Project (Copyright Internet Scout Project, 1994-2008. for identifying these sites. If you would like to recommend a Web site for inclusion in a future issue of Duke University Libraries, contact Joline Ezzell at

Going to the Source: Librarians Travel to Build Collections

Christof Galli

Christof Galli

When you can get anything from apricots to zithers delivered to your front door (often with the option of overnight shipping) by shopping online, it may be difficult to believe that librarians sometimes have to leave their computers, their desks, home and country to buy books and other materials for the Libraries’ collections.

Yes, it is true that most of what the Libraries’ acquire, including foreign-language materials, comes to Duke through approval plans and orders placed with domestic and overseas vendors. However, the librarians building our international and area studies collections still need to make periodic trips abroad to buy materials and build relationships in their country (or countries) of interest. This year, Christof Galli, Miree Ku, and Luo Zhou have all been on the road.

In late January, Galli, librarian for Middle East and Islamic Studies, traveled to Egypt to attend the International Cairo Book Fair where he purchased approximately 1,200 titles directly from vendors from various Arabic-speaking countries. He also visited other countries in the region (Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Morocco) and met with prospective vendors. Galli said:

The book buying trip did not just allow me to acquire materials ‘in the field,’ but provided me with an invaluable opportunity to engage anew with Middle Eastern culture in a very direct and unmediated way after an absence of several years. Experiencing daily life on the ground firsthand has helped me immensely in gaining insights into the current complex and complicated political, societal, and cultural issues affecting the region. These insights will in turn enhance my ability to build useful and effective collections…

Miree Ku

Miree Ku

During Korean Studies librarian Miree Ku’s trip to South Korea, she met with officials of the National Institute of Korean History and the Korea Foundation, as well as publishers and vendors. One publisher specializing in literature and history offered Ku his entire catalogue at about half the retail price. Her visit to the National Institute of Korean History was also fruitful. After meetings with researchers and the Institute’s director, Ku received their promise of a gift of copies of all their current publications, if the Duke Libraries would pay the shipping costs. Ku expects to receive books from the Institute this year and next year. She said, “…I am so excited…” and then added, “It was so helpful to me to have established good relationships with them through my previous trips to Korea and attending the annual meetings of the Council on East Asian Libraries.”

Luo Zhou

Luo Zhou

Chinese Studies librarian Luo Zhou visited four libraries in June when she was in China. At the National Library of China she met with the director of the Legislative Service Department and the librarians in charge of the Law Documents Section and the Chinese Studies Documents Section. Zhou came away from the meeting confident that the staff will assist her in getting legal and government information for Duke’s faculty and researchers. While at the NLC, she also met with the librarian in the Gift & Exchange Department to discuss

the Window of China program. The program, in effect from 2006 to 2010, distributes books to foreign colleges and universities. In other years the Duke Libraries received materials through the program, each time with a value of $800. This year, as a result of Zhou’s visit, Duke was selected to receive materials with a total value of $13,000.

Other stops on Zhou’s itinerary included the National Science Library, Peking University Library, and the library at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). At CASS she also received offers of future reference assistance for Duke students and faculty. Zhou said, “The library is rich in statistics on the social conditions in China, which our faculty is very interested in.” She also had a cordial conversation with CASS’s director of international cooperation. “[I learned] that CASS is eager to establish more cooperation with scholars at Duke, and I brought the message back to the director of Duke’s Asian and Pacific Studies Institute.”

In addition to spending time at the four libraries, Zhou met with Beijing vendors of books and databases, as well as film director Wu Wenguang, one of China’s preeminent producers of independent documentary films. Zhou said, “Getting independent films (or underground films) from China is not easy.” Wu talked to her about the history and current state of independent documentary filmmaking in China and suggested titles for the Duke Libraries’ collection.

Luo Zhou, Miree Ku, and Christof Galli, back in their offices at Duke, are still doing follow-up from their travel earlier this year – receiving and managing the processing of materials acquired, ordering items they identified for purchase, and nurturing their relationships with the librarians, booksellers, and others they met with while they were abroad. This fall two of their colleagues will be making their own book-buying trips. Heidi Madden, Western European Studies librarian, will attend the Frankfurt Book Fair, and Holly Ackerman, librarian for Latin America and Iberia, is headed to Guadalajara, Mexico. Ackerman and Madden anticipate that their trips, like those of Galli, Zhou and Ku, will result in richer collections for the Duke University Libraries and better support for the work of students, faculty, and other researchers.

Guy Need Tie?

neck tiesWear this elegant neckwear and proclaim your loyalty to the Duke University Libraries. The four-in-hand ties (available in yellow and watermelon) and the bowties (in ultramarine) are decorated with an image of the Reading Blue Devil weathervane that sits atop the Libraries’ von der Heyden Pavilion. The ties are available from the Duke University Stores or online at

Duke Libraries Co-Sponsor of Human Rights Book Award

The Art of Political MurderThe Art of Political Murder, an exhaustively researched story of assassination, impunity and justice in Guatemala, has won the first annual WOLA-Duke Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America. Francisco Goldman’s book, published by Grove Press, recounts the 1998 killing of Bishop Juan Gerardi, four days after he and a group of lawyers presented a devastating report on human rights abuses committed by the Guatemalan military against civilians. Goldman received the award at a 17 September gala in Washington, D.C. that was attended by some 250 WOLA supporters, including human rights advocates, scholars, Latin American diplomats, and representatives from Duke. Goldman will speak at Duke on 18 November.

WOLA (the Washington Office on Latin America) and Duke University created the prize to honor the best current, non-fiction book published in English on human rights, democracy and social justice in contemporary Latin America. In addition to the Libraries, the Duke Human Rights Center is also a co-sponsor of the award.

The book award is the second cooperative venture between WOLA and Duke University. Under an agreement signed in January 2008, WOLA has donated its historical archives, dating to the organization’s founding in 1974, to the Archive for Human Rights at the Duke University Libraries. The materials in the archives document WOLA’s influential role in keeping human rights and justice central in U.S. policy toward Latin America. In presenting the book award at the gala, University Librarian Deborah Jakubs said, “We are honored that WOLA selected Duke to be the repository for the organization’s archives and entrusted us with their history. This book award is another element of our partnership, and we look forward to further collaboration with WOLA.”

Events – Fall 2008

October 24

Olive Pierce: Girl in window, Vinalhaven, Maine, 1964

Opening reception for Olive Pierce—Forty Years of Photographs (1963-2003), with remarks by photographer Olive Pierce.

Friday, 24 October, 5:30-7:30pm, Perkins Library, Biddle Rare Book Room

October 25

The Libraries Present Duke Moms and Dads!

The Libraries’ annual Parents’ and Family Weekend program featuring a Duke first-year parent who is also a writer or journalist. This year’s guest is Bob Bendetson, whose talk is titled, “Puppets Can Be Jerks and Other Things I Learned Writing Sitcoms.” For more than 20 years, Bob Bendetson has written and produced some of America’s most popular television programs, for which he has earned seven Emmy nominations, four Golden Globe nominations, a Writer’s Guild nomination, and two People’s Choice Awards. His credits include Home Improvement, The Simpsons, and Newhart.

Saturday, 25 October, 11:00am, Perkins Library, Biddle Rare Book Room

November 12

The Weaver Lecture

Oliver Sacks, M.D. will present the 2008 Weaver Lecture, which the Libraries host biennially in memory of William Weaver T’72, a former member of the Library Advisory Board. This year the Weaver Lecture is co-sponsored by the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.

Sacks, professor of clinical neurology and clinical psychiatry at Columbia University and the author of Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, will speak on the subject of “Music, Healing and the Brain.” In addition to Musicophilia, Sacks is also author of nine other books, including Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.

Wednesday, 12 November, 6:00pm, Page Auditorium. No ticket or registration required.

November 14

Rare Music in the Rare Book Room

John PringleReproduction—Some Thoughts on Recreating the Music of Bygone Ages, featuring luthier John Pringle

Pringle will discuss the knotty question of “authenticity” in the performance of what has come to be called Early Music, with special reference to the instruments as tools. Pringle has spent the last thirty years helping to recreate the sounds of music from past times by building stringed instruments based on historical models from the 12th to the 18th centuries.

Friday, 14 November, 4:00pm, Perkins Library, Biddle Rare Rook Room

November 18

Francisco Goldman, author of The Art of Political Murder and winner of the first WOLA-Duke Book Award (see related news note)

The Art of Political Murder, an exhaustively researched story of assassination, impunity and justice in Guatemala, recounts the 1998 killing of Bishop Juan Gerardi.

Tuesday, 18 November, 7:00-8:00pm, followed by a reception and book signing. Perkins Library, Biddle Rare Book Room

December 12

Rare Music in the Rare Book Room

crumhornSound the Bright Flutes!—Seasonal Music for Early Woodwinds, featuring Trio Rossignol (Patricia Petersen, Karen Cook, and Douglas Young)

Members of the Trio will discuss the recorder from its earliest appearance on the musical scene through the contemporary period. Come hear a bit about the instrument’s history and repertory and listen to some delightful seasonal music for the recorder! Pieces for other early winds, such as cornett, shawm, and curtal, will also be included. Co-sponsored by the Libraries and the Duke University Musical Instrument Collections.

Friday, 12 December, 4:00pm, Perkins Library, Biddle Rare Book Room