Category Archives: Fall 2008

Exhibits – Fall 2008

Perkins Gallery


Seven Elections That Changed U.S. History

Long before the “hanging chads” of the 2000 election, presidential contests offered drama, intrigue, and narrow victories. The seven elections featured in this exhibit were selected for the pivotal role they played in shaping U.S. history and our electoral process. All materials displayed are from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.


“How full of life those days seemed”: New Approaches to Art, Literature, Sexuality, and Society in Bloomsbury

Roger Fry, The London Garden from Frys Twelve Original WoodcutsThe members of the Bloomsbury group explored alternative ways of living and advanced fresh ideas in the arts and social sciences. Their shared spirit of collaboration, community, and inquiry spurred the creation of works as diverse as Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, J.M. Keynes’s General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, and Roger Fry’s study of Cezanne. This exhibit features books and manuscripts from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library documenting the activities of the group’s members, including Woolf, Keynes, Fry, Vanessa Bell, Lytton Strachey, and Duncan Grant, and of the Hogarth Press, created and operated by Woolf with her husband Leonard.

The exhibit at Perkins is one of the elements in the campus-wide celebration of the Bloomsbury Group. Learn more about “Vision and Design: A Year of Bloomsbury” at


Sarah P. Duke Gardens—Hanes’ Dream, Sarah’s Gift, Our Treasure

Planned to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the dedication of the Gardens’ terraces, the exhibit will explore topics such as the geological importance of the stone used to create the terraces, the work to save endangered plants, the significance of the Metasequoia trees, and the more recent work on the gardens for peace.

Special Collections Gallery


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.


The New Road: I-26 and the Footprints of Progress

A long-term resident of Madison County, North Carolina, Rob Amberg has been photographing the region since 1973. The pictures in this exhibit document the social, cultural, and environmental impact of the construction of an interstate highway in his rural mountain community.

Special Collections Biddle Rare Book Room Cases


Not Just Mad Men: Real Advertising Careers in the 1960s

Not just madmenAn exhibit inspired by the popularity of the AMC television series Mad Men, which centers on the lives of executives at a fictional advertising agency in the early 1960s. The series has generated much discussion among viewers, as well as among present-day advertising industry professionals and media outlets. Drawing from materials in the collections of the Special Collections Library’s Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History, the exhibit highlights the real-life careers of 1960s advertising professionals who held positions in four of the types of agency occupations depicted on the television series: copywriters; creative directors; art directors; and account executives.

Generally, the Special Collections and Perkins galleries are open Monday-Saturday, 9am-9pm, and 10am-9pm on Sunday. Visit for more information or call 919.684.3009 to confirm hours.

Mellon Funds Design of Next-Generation Library System

A $475,700 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the Duke University Libraries will lead to the design of a next-generation, open-source library system that is flexible, customizable and nimble enough to meet the changing and complex needs of 21st-century libraries and library users. The goal of the Open Library Environment (OLE) Project is to develop a design document for library automation technology that fits modern library workflows, is built on Service Oriented Architecture, and offers an alternative to commercial Integrated Library System products.

Leaders of the OLE Project, representing libraries in the U.S., Canada, and Australia, will involve the library community in the design process through workshops, meetings, webcasts and online discussions. Through those activities, they will develop a plan for a library technology system that breaks away from an emphasis on print-based workflows, reflects the changing nature of library materials and new approaches to scholarly work, meshes well with other enterprise systems, and can be modified easily to suit the needs of different institutions. The project website at gives detailed information about the project and includes FAQs, recommended reading, and a comment section.

“The information environment is changing rapidly, but the technology of library management systems has not kept pace,” said Lynne O’Brien, principal investigator on the project and director of Academic Technology and Instructional Services for the Duke University Libraries. “This project is a wonderful opportunity to design a system that supports library innovation and better meets the needs of today’s researchers.”

O’Brien is joined on the OLE Project team by colleagues from Duke as well individuals from the University of Kansas, Lehigh University, the University of Pennsylvania, the National Library of Australia, Library and Archives Canada, Vanderbilt University, the Orbis Cascade Alliance, Rutgers University, the University of Florida, the University of Chicago, Columbia University, the University of Maryland and Whittier College.

Because the OLE Project is a collaborative, community-based venture, there will be many opportunities for individuals from other libraries to participate in the project through regional and virtual meetings, discussion of plans and documents, comments via the project website and listserv and discussions at professional meetings.

In addition to its development of a design document, the OLE Project is intended to create a community of interest that could be tapped to build the planned system in a follow-on project.