Category Archives: Spring 2009

A Midwife, a Librarian and the North Carolina State Legislature

sonogramMidwife Jane Arnold practices through the OB/GYN Department at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and UNC Healthcare. Laura Micham, director of the Duke University Libraries’ Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, is one of her patients. At a recent appointment, Laura and Jane fell into conversation about a project Jane was engaged in. Jane and several of her colleagues were doing research on the history and current state of midwifery in preparation for a presentation to the North Carolina State Legislature. Their goal was to educate legislators about what midwives do and how the midwifery model of care contributes to positive maternal, fetal, and newborn health outcomes in the state of North Carolina and nationally. Laura told Jane about collections at the Bingham Center that document the history of midwifery and other aspects of the women’s health movement. “She was intrigued,” Laura said, “and asked if I would work with her on the presentation.”

Because Laura is also women’s studies librarian for the Duke University Libraries and selects materials for the Libraries’ general collections, she was able to identify a wide range of resources in addition to special collections that could support the project. Laura said, “I was happy to help with research on statistics, images, and basic information about the profession of midwifery.”

After reviewing a selection of materials at the Bingham Center, Jane decided that focusing on midwifery’s present and very recent past would be the best approach to take with the legislators. However, she was so inspired by the Center’s holdings that she has decided to propose a Grand Rounds presentation at the UNC Hospital on the history of midwifery that would be informed by Bingham Center collections as well as the holdings of other area libraries. Laura said, “I look forward to working with Jane and her colleagues on this endeavor and welcome it as an opportunity to collaborate with librarians at UNC to promote a tremendously worthy profession and give back to a group of women who have made an enormous difference in my life.”

Collections Highlight: Celebrating and Preserving the Art of Documentary Filmmaking at the Full Frame Archive

Kirston Johnson

Born into Brothels

Born into Brothels, directed by Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman, won the 2004 Full Frame Audience Award and was Best Documentary Feature at the 77th Academy Awards.

In the ten years since the founding of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, this organization has exhibited the most important contemporary documentaries from America and abroad. It has also created signature film series made up of new and vintage works which explored themes that have contributed to community discourse and have gone on to become hallmarks of international film exhibition. As documentaries play a vital role as witness and effectively comment on all aspects of society, the sum total of these works serves as an essential historical record of the last ten years. They reveal turbulent, changing times, a complex and powerful decade of events that have both shocked and inspired those who lived through them.

Nancy Buirski, Founder of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival,
The Power of Ten, 2007 Full Frame Program

When the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival began in 1998 as the DoubleTake Documentary Film Festival, it changed Durham, North Carolina’s cultural landscape forever. During that first festival, a total of forty-five films were screened in three cinemas at Durham’s historic Carolina Theater. Three prizes were awarded to individual filmmakers for new documentaries and Albert Maysles and Michael Apted, pioneers of documentary filmmaking, were honored for lifetime achievement. Within a few years the Festival had made Durham a mecca for documentary filmmakers and film lovers from around the world.

City of Cranes

City of Cranes/Eva Weber

Now, more than a decade later, close to one hundred films are screened every April during the four-day Festival and between ten and twelve prizes are awarded for new documentaries made by both U.S. (including several from NC) and international filmmakers. The Festival also continues to present career awards to established filmmakers who have made significant contributions to the documentary arts.

As the Festival’s reputation grew, so did the appreciation of documentary film as a unique record of the social, cultural, political, and economic realities experienced by people around the world. In recognition of the genre’s significance, the Full Frame Festival and the Duke University Libraries entered into a partnership in 2007 to create the Full Frame Archive. The Libraries agreed to acquire, archive, and preserve copies of the Festival’s award-winning films at the Archive of Documentary Arts in the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.

I for India

I for India/Sandhya Suri

The Full Frame Archive is one of only a few collections in the nation dedicated to preserving award-winning documentary films, which are a unique resource for interdisciplinary research. The Archive staff creates preservation masters of each film and houses them in the Library’s secure, climate-controlled storage facility. DVD copies of the films are made available at the Special Collections Library to Duke students and faculty and the larger scholarly community for teaching and research.

With over one hundred award winning films currently in the Full Frame Archive’s collection and at least eight new documentaries slated for preservation each year, the Archive has the potential to support research and teaching in a wide variety of disciplines and programs. Faculty from Duke’s Film/Video/Digital Program, Women’s Studies Program, Human Rights Center, and Divinity School have already used the films, which are transcultural in scope and explore themes as varied as world religions and spirituality, race, gender, human rights and war as well as an array of esoteric topics, each with its own unique appeal. The films are as individual as the filmmakers themselves and as diverse as the human experience. There are films on everything from modern life in a Tibetan monastery, female soldiers in Iraq and a children’s home in Russia, to demolition derbies, the art of making samosas, and the high-pressure world of professional Scrabble tournaments.

Intimacy of Strangers

The Intimacy of Strangers/Eva Weber

To encourage the use of the films, the Archive staff is making them available on campus for collaborative events that bring together students and faculty from different departments. Duke’s Divinity School recently screened 2007 Full Frame award winner The Monastery, followed by a panel discussion that included participants from the Center for Documentary Studies, the Department of Religion, and the Divinity School.

The Full Frame Archive promotes the groundbreaking work created by today’s documentary filmmakers and guarantees a lasting legacy for both the Festival and the artists. In a predominantly visual culture, and as visual studies increasingly become a part of every aspect of teaching and learning, this exciting collaboration encourages the use of documentary film as a catalyst for interdisciplinary scholarship, dynamic dialogue, and social change.

Non-circulating DVD copies of each preserved film will be available for use in the reading room of the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, as well as for classroom screenings and special events. Licensed copies of the award-winning documentaries will be purchased from the filmmakers and will be more widely available through the circulating collection at Lilly Library. For a complete list of films preserved to date, please visit the Archive’s website at To find more information about the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina, and to see a listing of 2009 events, please visit the Festival website at

The Full Frame Archive receives support from the following sponsors:

  • Eastman Kodak
  • Alpha Cine Labs, Seattle
  • Duke University Office of the President
  • The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Read More about Documentary Filmmaking

  • Patricia Aufderheide. Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, ©2007.
  • Erik Barnouw. Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
  • Stella Bruzzi. New Documentary. London; New York: Routledge, ©2006.
  • Jack C. Ellis and Betsy A. McLane. A New History of Documentary Film. New York: Continuum, ©2005.
  • Lewis Jacobs. The Documentary Tradition, from Nanook to Woodstock. New York: Hopkinson and Blake, ©1971.
  • Introduction to Documentary Production. Ed. by Searle Kochberg, London: Wallflower, ©2002.
  • Making History: Art and Documentary in Britain from 1929 to Now. Ed. by Barson, Morris, Nash, and Company, London: Tate Publishing, ©2006.
  • Bill Nichols. Introduction to Documentary. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, ©2001.
  • Liz Stubbs. Documentary Filmmakers Speak. New York: Allworth Press, ©2002.
  • Beyond Document: Essays on Nonfiction Film. Ed. by Charles Warren, Middletown, CT: University Press of New England [for] Wesleyan University Press, ©1996.

Kirston Johnson is Moving Image Archivist at the Full Frame Archive.

Mobile Library

BlackberryLast fall the Duke Libraries introduced Mobile Library, a website at designed specifically for faculty, students and staff using an iPhone, Blackberry, or other handheld device. The site gives library hours and directions, contact information for the Perkins reference desk, and links to other mobile sites. Mobile Library also offers real-time updates on computer workstation availability in the Link, Perkins, Bostock, Lilly and the Music Library.

Preserving Scholarship in a Digital World

by Cara Bonnett

Consider: The coolest thing to be done with your data will likely be thought of by someone else.

digitalThat’s the idea driving Paolo Mangiafico to explore new methods for managing and archiving the deluge of digital information at Duke. Mangiafico, formerly on the staff of the Duke Libraries, is the University’s new director of digital information strategy. His mission: to make sure Duke’s vast and varied digital output—from course Web sites and dissertations to wikis and raw scientific data—will be available to future scholars to use in ways we can’t currently imagine.

“The academy is based on building on the work someone has done before you,” Mangiafico said. “We need to provide incentives for people to share data, help other people get to that data and mash it up, and make sure the stuff persists over time. Someone might not think to do those mash-ups until twenty years from now.”

Mangiafico’s efforts—one element of a new University initiative funded in part by a Mellon Foundation grant —are aimed at developing not just a digital attic, but a technological infrastructure and set of policies that will add value to researchers’ current work. The endeavor also stirs up some sticky issues, such as how to turn research data into “knowledge in the service of society” with greater efficiency and how to reward digital collaboration in an academic environment.

Because the traditional tenure system is still tied to print publication, researchers may feel especially protective of their data—despite the documented citation advantage of open access articles, said Kevin Smith, Duke’s scholarly communications officer. “There’s a mental roadblock: If I make the data available, will somebody else jump my claim, take my data and publish my article before I do,” said Smith, whose blog,, explores legal issues such as authors’ rights, copyright and fair use.

Despite these concerns, the open access movement has made progress nationally, with a 2008 mandate from the National Institutes for Health requiring scientists to submit finished papers to the PubMed Central database to allow public access. And there has been progress at Duke, too. This spring, the University instituted a requirement that all theses and dissertations be contributed to an open access repository.

But there is further to go, said Ricardo Pietrobon, associate vice chair of surgery at Duke and director of Research on Research, a collaborative effort to maximize research productivity and patient outcomes. According to Pietrobon, inefficient access and distribution systems in biomedical research, for example, can mean a ten-year gap between publication of a clinical trial and implementation in clinical practice. “The more we can streamline that conversion of information to practice, the faster we can improve patient care,” he said.

Even at Duke, where the community is interested in sharing, coordinating parallel campus efforts can still be challenging. Systems are already in place to manage and preserve vital University records, such as Board of Trustee minutes, payroll records and student transcripts. And the University Archives works closely with the Office of News and Communication, for example, to preserve all Duke press releases and new multimedia content such as podcasts and “Duke on Camera” video clips.

However, while a 2006 survey of 120 interdisciplinary centers and 50 academic departments and programs across Duke identified a handful of existing digital repositories (see sidebar below), there are no long-term plans for management and preservation of “born digital” data such as electronic course catalogs or department newsletters, University Archivist Tim Pyatt said. “What worries me is the stuff I don’t know about—keeping track of the new content that comes up that doesn’t have that paper equivalent,” Pyatt said. “Hundreds of us are trying to find these solutions independently. We need to be thinking about this together, so we’re not spending multiple resources to solve the same problem.”

That’s where Mangiafico, who led the Duke Libraries’ first digitization projects in the 1990s, comes in. As more materials take on new life in the digital world—from Duke’s famed ancient papyri collection to past issues of Duke’s yearbook, the Chanticleer,—he wants the Duke community to think more strategically about what is worth saving and, for what is saved, how those digital assets might be used in the future.

“It’s hard to decide what’s important in advance, but the tools and infrastructure we build now need to factor in the long term,” Mangiafico said. Only through that kind of forethought and coordination can the University facilitate the kind of data-driven “mash-ups” that will fuel the next generation of unexpected collaborations. Mangiafico predicts: “With enough eyeballs, you make better discoveries.”

About the Digital Information initiative

What: The initiative is a joint project of the Office of the Provost, the Duke University Libraries and the Office of Information Technology. It has been funded in part by a $325,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in partnership with Dartmouth College.

Who: Paolo Mangiafico, who was named Duke’s director of digital information strategy last fall, will support the provost’s new digital information steering committee, to be made up of faculty, archivists, information technology staff and representatives from other areas of the university.

Next steps: The committee will begin discussions this spring about goals, priorities, policies and potential pilot projects. Mangiafico also plans to assemble an informal group of information technology, library and other staff to share best practices and work toward common approaches.

Beyond Duke: Duke and Dartmouth share an advisory group to guide development of a digital information strategy that can serve as a model for other institutions. The advisory group, which comprises university information technology directors, library directors and vice provosts from Duke, Dartmouth, the University of Chicago, Princeton, Yale, University of Virginia and Williams, met for the first time in December and plans to meet again this fall.

Online repositories at Duke

Here are a few examples of existing campus repositories:

  • Duke Law Faculty Scholarship Repository: a full-text electronic archive of scholarly works by Duke Law faculty
  • Duke Student Portfolio: an electronic archive of undergraduate student work (text, audio and video files), managed by the College of Arts & Sciences
  • DukeSpace: a project of Duke Libraries and University Archives that provides access to electronic theses and dissertations, as well as selected University records
  • MedSpace: Duke Medicine Digital Repository, Medical Center Archives repository
  • Faculty Database System: an electronic collection that includes faculty directory information, as well as curricula vitae and research

Staying Ahead of the Digital Avalanche

Part detective, part digital archaeologist. That’s how electronic records archivist Seth Shaw sees himself. He excavates data from 3 1/2-inch floppy disks, digital camera memory cards, and hard drives circa 2000. A Nobel Laureate in economics even revealed his username and password to Shaw in order to donate his e-mail correspondence to the Duke Libraries.

And unlike the archivists of generations past who could set boxes of letters or old photographs aside for later cataloging, Shaw faces the twin ticking time bombs of technology obsolescence and “bit rot.” “When you stick papers in a box, you don’t have to go back and check every month to make sure they’re still there. You don’t assume the box is spontaneously going to die on you, like a hard drive might,” Shaw said.

Shaw is on the front lines of a new Duke initiative to preserve the “born digital” artifacts that might someday document the work of a future Nobel Laureate or help tell the story of campus life in 2009 when the University marks its 100th anniversary in 2024. His job highlights the uncertainty inherent in trying to ensure that the University’s most precious digital resources are preserved and usable beyond the short lifespan of current technologies.

In an effort to capture the first rough draft of Duke’s current history, for example, Shaw wrote his own computer program to copy seven years’ worth of multimedia files off servers and hard drives in the Office of News and Communication. He left with 211 gigabytes’ worth of University news and the knowledge that each passing day generates a new flood of digital data he can’t possibly hope to sift through, let alone store.

Meanwhile, Shaw also faces growing skittishness among prospective donors, who fear what one Duke student called the “promiscuous access” of online data sharing. “It’s one thing to have a box of papers on the shelf in the library that someone might pull down,” Shaw said. “It’s a whole different story if you donate your papers and someone could type your name into Google and find your files.”

In an era when the first draft of scholarship is written in wikis and blogs and researchers can store an entire career on a Flash drive, Shaw sometimes feels as if he’s trying to outrun an avalanche. “We’re trying to make preservation decisions in a foggy crystal ball,” Shaw said. “There is no future-proofing. We’ll always be trying to keep up with technology.”

Cara BonnettCara Bonnett is Managing Editor, News & Information, for Duke’s Office of Information Technology.

Exhibits – Spring 2009

Perkins Gallery


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

To mark the Duke Gardens’ 75th anniversary, this exhibit explores 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 in association with Gardens for Peace. View a short video of the opening of the terraces in 1939 at the exhibit website.


Chinese Paintings from the Kingdom of Min

An exhibit that reveals the culture of China through literature and art. Books from the collections of the Duke University Libraries will be on display with paintings and books from the collection of Professor Emeritus Paul Wang. In an era of complex international relationships, this exhibit invites viewers to see China as a humanistic society as well as an influential economic and political power.


The Sea is History—Moun Kantè,Yoleros, Balseros, Boteros

Photo of Haitian girl

Photo from Historian’s Office, United States Coast Guard, Washington, D.C.

Four coordinated events: two exhibits, one at Perkins Library and the other at the Franklin Humanities Institute, and two related panel discussions to commemorate the hundreds of thousands of Dominicans, Haitians and Cubans who have left their homelands in fragile boats and rafts over the last three decades in search of better lives. The exhibit in the Perkins Gallery will feature books, photos and ephemera drawn from the collections of the Duke University Libraries, together with works of art made by the boat people themselves. The art is on loan from the collection of Holly Ackerman, Librarian for Latin America and Iberia, who is the curator of the exhibits. The Perkins exhibit and a program in September are co-sponsored by the Libraries, Franklin Humanities Institute, Vice-Provost for International Affairs, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Global Studies Institute, Duke in the Andes, Atlantic Studies and the Departments of African and African American Studies, Romance Studies and Women’s Studies. Professors Michaeline Crichlow and Deborah Jenson are partners in planning the series of events.

At the Nasher Museum at Duke


Beyond Beauty: Photographs from the Duke University Special Collections Library

An exhibit featuring more than 80 original photographs, films, personal artifacts and rare published portfolios, many of which will be on view for the first time. The exhibition includes photographic material from the 1860s to the present selected from Duke’s Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library by the curatorial team of Patricia Leighten, professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies; Sarah Schroth, Nancy Hanks Senior Curator at the Nasher Museum; Karen Glynn, visual materials archivist at the Special Collections Library; and Margaret Morrison, a Duke student intern at the Nasher Museum.

Special Collections Gallery


William Gedney & Paul Kwilecki: Seminal Collections from the Archive of Documentary Arts

Photo by William Gedney

Photo by William Gedney

An exhibit featuring selections from two of the Archive’s major collections. The 50,000-item Gedney collection documents his work from the 1950s to 1989. Subjects include photographs of cross country road trips; rural New York; Manhattan; Brooklyn; rural Kentucky; hippies in San Francisco; composers; gay rallies and demonstrations; St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf; India; England; Ireland; France; and, a large number of nocturnal pictures. Paul Kwilecki’s black-and-white prints document life in Decatur County,Georgia, where he began as a self-taught photographer in 1960; he continues to work in the same locale today.


Bathers: Photographs by Jennette Williams

Jennette Williams, a fine arts photography instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, has been selected to receive the fourth Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography for her platinum prints and color photographs of women at European and Turkish bath houses. The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University and The Honickman Foundation (THF), based in Philadelphia, co-sponsor this prestigious biennial prize for American photographers. The only prize of its kind, the CDS / Honickman First Book Prize competition is open to American photographers of any age who have never published a book-length work.

Special Collections Biddle Rare Book Room Cases


Home Gardening for Love and the Kitchen Table

Seed and nursery catalogs, almanacs, ‘how to’ books, and cookbooks tell a colorful story about the gardening of flowers, fruits, and vegetables in the U.S. Examples of women’s writing about gardening will also be featured in this exhibit.


Highlighting Human Rights

An exhibit drawn from the diverse materials making up the collections of the Archive for Human Rights at the Duke University Libraries

Knowledge Bytes

Internet Sites Selected for the Readers of Duke University Libraries

The Pew Center on the States: Trends to Watch

Map from Pew Center website

Change is upon us, both at the Libraries—as this issue of the magazine relates—and in the United States. To provide some insight into the nature of future national and state issues, the Pew Center on the States has created a “Trends to Watch” site for policymakers, public officials, and the general public. The site’s homepage presents an overview related to eight major economic, technological, social, and environmental trends and issues likely “to be profound determinants of the prospects of states in the next 10 years.” These issues include migration patterns (“The Big Sort”), liabilities (“Bills Coming Due”), and climate change (“Green Wave”). Visitors can click on each of these eight major trends and issues to retrieve thematic and interactive maps, data tables, and press releases. Additionally, visitors can compare all of the 50 states via handy and easy-to-read charts and graphs. The site is cleanly designed and easy to navigate. Visitors who want to be alerted to additions to the site can sign up for the Center’s weekly online newsletter and its RSS feed.

2010 Census [pdf]

Short forms, long forms, Alaska Native, and so on. Any way you look at it, the United States Census is a complicated and fascinating feature of our national life. As dictated by the U.S. Constitution, the census is taken every ten years through a process that is evaluated almost constantly. Recently, the U.S. Census Bureau created the 2010 Census site in order to inform the general public about the upcoming census. Visitors to the page can read about census updates and statistical modifications and see the timeline for the 2010 census. The site also contains links to data from previous censuses, and a fun “Did You Know?” section. Interested parties can also look at the current U.S. population, learn about part-time job opportunities with the Census Bureau, and scan frequently asked questions. Rounding out the site are census data from 1990 and 2000, a population finder that allows users to find the population of any area or zip code, and a map of population density.

Periodical Historical Atlas of Europe

This seventh edition of the Periodical Historical Atlas of Europe, available in English and French, is a project of Christos Nussli. It consists of maps “depicting with accuracy the states of this continent on the first day of each centennial year from AD 1 to AD 1700.” A legend helps users understand each of the maps, which are presented as expandable thumbnails. The site also links to a bibliography and maps from De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors. Though the site functions in part as an advertisement for Nussli’s CD version of the atlas, it is nonetheless a useful stop in its own right.

OneLook Reverse Dictionary

Crossword PuzzleEveryone has had the frustrating experience of not being able to remember a particular word or phrase. Fortunately, there is now the OneLook Reverse Dictionary website that is a remedy for this situation. Essentially, a user enters a concept into a search engine and receives a list of pertinent words and phrases. For example, typing in “joy from the pain of others” returns over one hundred results, including “schadenfreude.” The site offers several additional options, including searches for related concepts, the foreign translation for a word, or basic identifications. Perhaps the most important function of the Reverse Dictionary is that users (if they are so inclined) can also use the database to solve crossword puzzle clues.

Thanks to the Internet Scout Project (Copyright Internet Scout Project, 1994-2009. 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

Red Clay Rambler Bland Simpson to Entertain the Duke Friends

Bland Simpson

Photo by Fayetteville Observer

Teacher, writer, and musician Bland Simpson will provide the evening’s entertainment for the 2009 Friends dinner, playing the piano and reading from and discussing his books. The event will be held on Wednesday, 13 May, at the Duke Gardens’ Doris Duke Center. Members of the Friends of the Duke University Libraries should have received invitations to the event. If you did not receive an invitation but would like to attend—even if you are not a member of the Friends, contact Lizzy Mottern at or 919.660.5856.

Simpson has been on the faculty of UNC-Chapel Hill’s creative writing program since 1982 and served as the program’s director from 2002 to mid-2008. His books include Heart of the Country, A Novel of Southern Music; The Great Dismal, A Carolinian’s Swamp Memoir; The Mystery of Beautiful Nell Cropsey, A Nonfiction Novel; and The Inner Islands: A Carolinian’s Sound Country Chronicle.

A member of the Tony Award-winning string band the Red Clay Ramblers since 1986, Simpson has toured extensively in North America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa and has also collaborated on, or contributed to several musicals: King Mackerel & The Blues Are Running: Songs & Stories of the Carolina Coast; Diamond Studs; Hot Grog; Life on the Mississippi; Lone Star Love, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Texas; Tony-nominee Pump Boys & Dinettes; Cool Spring; Tar Heel Voices; Kudzu, A Southern Musical; and three-time Broadway hit and special Tony Award-winning Fool Moon. In September 2002, Simpson worked with the Ramblers on a Waynesville, NC, preview of the Diane Coburn Bruning-choreographed ballet of their music, Ramblin’ Suite. The ballet premiered at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, 31 October-3 November that year. A second Ramblers ballet, Carolina Jamboree, developed and performed with the Carolina Ballet, premiered at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in February 2005 and was broadcast by UNC TV statewide in early 2006. Carolina Ballet and the Red Clay Ramblers restaged this work in June 2008.

In November 2005 Simpson received the North Carolina Award for Fine Arts, the state’s highest civilian honor. He has also been recognized for his writing and music concerning state and regional heritage in North Carolina.

New Digital Collection Showcases the Arts

Video interviews with 20th century cultural icons Louise Nevelson, Oscar de la Renta, Avery Fisher, Romare Bearden and Marian McPartland, among others, are now available from the Duke University Libraries on iTunesU and YouTube.

The collection’s more than 100 interviews with leading artists, musicians, architects, designers, photographers, directors, actors, writers and art collectors were conducted by arts commentator Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel from the 1970s through the 1990s.

In informal conversations with Diamonstein-Spielvogel, the interviewees discuss their influences and philosophies, the development of their careers, and their work: designer Mary McFadden talks about her journey from her family’s Tennessee cotton farm to the world of fashion, and the New Yorker’s Brendan Gill argues against old critics judging the work of young playwrights.

The interviews preserved in the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Video Archive can be found online at in addition to YouTube and iTunes U.

“The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Archive is a treasure trove for anyone interested in the arts, design, and architecture,” said Scott Lindroth, vice provost for the arts and professor of music at Duke. “Hearing Chuck Close, Frank Gehry and others speak about their work in early stages of their careers is fascinating given their subsequent development, and now that the archive is available online we can all draw inspiration from their insights.”

Diamonstein-Spielvogel conceived, produced and directed the interviews, most about 30 minutes in length, for seven series that were originally broadcast on network and cable television. She donated the tapes to the Duke Libraries and also gave copies to the Library of Congress.

In the few months that the interviews have been available on the Web, they have already attracted many viewers. From September 2008 through January 2009 there were 1,441 downloads from iTunesU and an additional 764 previews (watching without downloading); there were 16,412 views on YouTube from mid-December through the first week in February.

Events – Spring 2009

April 18

Wearing the Talk about Ethical Fashion

Rachel WeeksAfter graduating from Duke in 2007, Rachel Weeks went to Sri Lanka on a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her interest in ethical fashion, a subject she explored in her Women’s Studies senior honors thesis, “The Wonder Bra: Theorizing Globalization, Women’s Labor, and Consumption for Twenty-First Century Feminism,” a study of the intersections between fashion and academic feminism. But her interest in the topic wasn’t just academic.

While researching socially responsible apparel manufacturing in Sri Lanka, Rachel founded School House, LLC, a “people friendly” fashion collegiate apparel brand. The Fulbrighter joined forces with fashion designer Colleen McCann over the Internet, and together they are now launching a 54-product collection at a number of U.S. universities—beginning with Duke. School House’s factory partner, JK Apparel, is the first living wage factory initiative in Sri Lanka and is supported directly through the sale of School House products.

Rachel felt the first stirrings of what became School House when she and classmate Haley Hoffman were planning DukePlays: the Party, which the Duke Libraries hosted in February 2007. Rachel said, “…absolutely, the idea definitely came to me as a result of the DukePlays party.”

Working with the theme “tradition never looked so good,” Rachel and Haley mounted an exhibit for the party of iconic Duke images drawn from University Archives and created an array of party favors that also paid tribute to campus life through the decades. Even Rachel’s party dress was inspired by the “tradition” theme. She said,

The reaction to my vintage Duke t-shirt dress from both current students and alumni made me start thinking about the collegiate market and the opportunities there were to improve design, product range, etc. Our “Green House” collection dresses are inspired by that first dress—each one is crafted from “recycled” Duke t-shirts…

Models wearing School House clothesPhotos by C. Stephen Hurst

The School House line will be introduced at Duke in a trunk show on Reunions Weekend. The trunk show will give fashionistas—and anyone loyal to Duke—an opportunity to learn more about the factory in Sri Lanka and the women who work there and see and buy School House clothes. For more information about School House, contact Rachel at

Saturday, 18 April, 10:00 am, Perkins Library, von der Heyden Pavilion. Co-sponsored by Alumni Affairs, Women’s Studies, and the Duke University Libraries

April 23

Meet Michael Malone

Hillsborough author Michael Malone will read and sign copies of his newly published novel, The Four Corners of the Sky, at an event that will also be a celebration of the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library’s acquisition of his papers.

Michael Malone

Photo by Marion Ettlinger

The Four Corners of the Sky, described as “a novel of love, sacrifice, and the inexplicable bonds that hold families together,” is Malone’s ninth. Earlier titles, in genres ranging from satire to mystery, include Handling Sin and Time’s Witness. Malone is also the author of short stories, an academic study of male sexuality in the movies, and plays and screenplays. In addition, he has written for the popular soap operas Another World and One Life to Live. For his work as head writer of One Life to Live, he won an Emmy. His other awards include the Edgar, the O. Henry Prize, and the Writers Guild Award. Malone has taught at Yale, the University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore; he is currently visiting professor of the practice in English and theater studies at Duke.

The Malone Papers chiefly comprise drafts and galleys of his novels and other writings, personal and professional correspondence, and teaching materials. Also included are book tour and other promotional materials, videocassettes, audiocassettes, and digital files. For more information, see the Preliminary Inventory of the Michael Malone Papers, circa 1970-2008.

Thursday, 23 April, 4-6pm, Perkins Library, Biddle Rare Book Room

Save the Date: October 30-31, 2009

What Does It Mean to be an Educated Woman? 4th Biennial Symposium of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture

symposiumConversations on pedagogy, scholarship and activism in women’s education and a tribute to the career of Jean O’Barr.

  • Keynote address by Lisa Lee, director, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, at 4:00pm on Friday, October 30, Duke University, Durham, NC/Location TBA
  • Also on Friday, a benefit dinner in honor of Jean O’Barr
  • For more information and to pre-register, call 919.660.5967 or see the symposium website.