All posts by Kate Collins

Vacancy: The Disquieting Beauty of Emptiness – A Conversation with Photographer Lynn Saville

Date: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Perkins Library, Room 217 (Click for Map)
Contact Information: Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963,

Please join us for a conversation with internationally renowned photographer Lynn Saville on Thursday, May 23rd from 1:00 until 2:00pm in Perkins Library Room 217. Lynn will discuss her latest project, “Vacancy: The Disquieting Beauty of Emptiness,” which focuses on New York City and the strikingly beautiful visual effects of economic turmoil.

Fine-art and documentary photographer Lynn Saville was educated at Duke University and Pratt Institute. Saville specializes in photographing both cities and rural settings at twilight and dawn, or as she describes it, “the boundary times between night and day.”

Lynn Savile, Dyckman Street, C-Print, 2011
Lynn Savile, Dyckman Street, C-Print, 2012

Lynn Saville has received numerous awards and grants and her photographs are published in two monographs: Acquainted With the Night (Rizzoli, 1997) and Night/Shift (Random House/Moncelli, 2009). Her work is represented by the Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York and her prints are included in numerous permanent collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the George Eastman House, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the International Museum of Photography, the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University, and many others. She lives in New York City with her husband, the poet Philip Fried.

This event is free and open to the public.

Star Trek Lives Long and Prospers at the Rubenstein

With the opening of Star Trek Into Darkness this week, it seemed like a good time to check out what our collections have on Star Trek.  As it turns out, Star Trek’s long history before becoming a star-powered summer blockbuster is well represented in our collections.

I found a number of Star Trek comic books in the Edwin and Terry Murray Comic Book Collection which are a lot of fun:

Star Trek Comic May 1973
“The Hijacked Planet” Star Trek #18 (May 1973), Gold Key Comics
"All Those Years Ago" Star Trek Annual v. 1 #1 (1985), DC Comics
“All Those Years Ago” Star Trek Annual v. 1 #1 (1985), DC Comics














But my favorite piece comes from the Edwin and Terry Murray Fanzine Collection. Fanzines are nonprofessional publications produced by fans of particular pop culture genres or works.  Most of the fanzines in the Murray collection are from comic book fans, but there are some from the genres of science fiction and fantasy, including issue 3 of Spockanalia. Spockanalia was the first fanzine devoted exclusively to Star Trek. The first issue was published in 1967 during the first season of the original television series. Spocknalia 3 was published in 1968 and features essays on Star Trek, fiction, drawings, and even a letter from Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Here are some highlights:


Cover of Spockanalia 3
Cover of Spockanalia 3, drawn by Allan Asherman


Letter from Gene Roddenberry
Letter from Gene Roddenberry


Vulcan Graffiti, by Sherna Comerford
Vulcan Graffiti, by Sherna Burley
Enterprise Graffiti, by Sherna Comerford
Enterprise Graffiti, by Sherna Burley














Young Vulcan's Handbook of Emotional Control
Young Vulcan’s Handbook of Emotional Control, by Deborah Langsam

Post contributed by Kate Collins, Research Services Librarian

Mad Men Monday, Episode 7

Mad Men Mondays logo

The CGC staff move into the SCDP office space and everyone scrambles to figure out their place at the new agency.  A number of staff members get laid off. Don meets Sylvia at a hotel for a daytime tryst.  Ted leads a creative meeting discussing Fleischmann’s Margarine.  Later he and Don continue brainstorming over drinks in Ted’s office and Ted drinks too much.  Pete’s difficult mother shows up at his apartment and he becomes responsible for her care.  Because of her issues Pete misses an important meeting with Mohawk Airlines.  Ted and Don fly upstate to the Mohawk meeting in Ted’s airplane through a storm.  Sylvia waits for Don at the hotel at his request and a red dress is delivered to her room.  Joan is in pain and Bob Benson takes her discreetly to the emergency room, where he talks the nurse into admitting her.  Later Joan returns the favor by advocating for his job during a meeting about staffing cuts. Sylvia breaks off the affair with Don and he seems devastated.  The episode ends with news of Robert Kennedy’s assassination, which Megan watches in tears.

Episode seven’s plot referred to St. Joseph’s Children’s Aspirin, Fleischmann’s Margarine, Topaz Pantyhose, Mohawk Airlines, gin and tonics, among other things.  Enjoy our selection of ads and images that illustrate some of the products and cultural references mentioned in last night’s Mad Men.  A gallery of our highlighted images may also be found on Pinterest and Flickr.


St Joseph Aspirin for Children

Topaz hosery - Blog

Fleischmann's Margarine


Fly Mohawk


Gilbey's Gin


Robert F Kennedy Newsweek Cover



A Candid Doris Duke

Post contributed by Mary Samouelian, Doris Duke Collection Archivist

Cecil Beaton's portrait of Doris Duke
Cecil Beaton’s portrait of Doris Duke

One of the most well-known photographs in the Doris Duke Photograph Collection is a very glamorous Doris Duke draped in a floral gown and pearls, standing against an ornate backdrop. The photograph was taken in the early 1930s by Cecil Beaton, a fashion photographer known primarily for his portraits of celebrated persons. For most people this image is Doris Duke.

Doris Duke’s class portrait, probably from kindergarten
Doris Duke’s class portrait, probably from kindergarten

However, the recently published Doris Duke Photograph Collection finding aid sets out to introduce you to a Doris Duke who is very different from her public persona. Approximately 3,500 photographs out of 12,000 photographs in the collection have been digitized and are viewable from within the finding aid. Amongst these digitized items you can scroll through images of Doris as a young girl, Doris’ volunteer work for the United States Government during World War II, images of her travel, various estates,and an assortment of pictures of her dogs, cats, cows, and camels!

If you are interested in seeing the actual photographs, you can hover the cursor over any of the images and information about the physical location of the photograph within the collection is displayed. You can then request the box(es) you are interested in using through Duke University’s library catalogue.

Finding aid how to
Hover over digitized photographs to find out which box it’s stored in

The finding aid also describes photographs that have not been digitized but are available for use in the Rubenstein Library. Some of the more fascinating images in the collection are tinted photographs of Duke Farms (Somerville, New Jersey) from the 1900s, autographed pictures of a sultry Rudolph Valentino (Doris’ school girl crush), and color glass mounted slides of Doris Duke’s trip to the Middle East in 1938.


KIC’n It at the Rubenstein Library

As our faithful readers know, back in February we finished moving our collections in preparation for our upcoming renovation, but there is one thing that didn’t make the trip with us: our old photocopier. Instead we’ve upgraded to a KIC Scanner for our reading room. What’s a KIC Scanner?

KIC Scanner
This is a KIC Scanner

It’s a free, self-service scanner that make it easy to produce high resolution color scans. The KIC Scanner can accommodate material up to 17 x 24 inches, and it has an adjustable bed that makes it possible to scan most books without injuring their spines.

You can save your file in a variety of formats including PDF, JPG, and RTF, and for typed or printed material you can also create a searchable PDF. Once you’re done scanning, you can email the resulting files to yourself or save them to a USB flash drive.

Sample Scan
A scan from The Nature-Printed British Sea-Weeds, made on our KIC scanner

Post Contributed by Kate Collins, Research Services Librarian.

Robin Morgan & Marie Anderson: The Women’s Pages & The Women’s Liberation Movement

Date: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Perkins Library, Room 318 (Rubenstein Library Classroom)
Contact Information: Kelly Wooten, kelly.wooten(at)

robin morgan
Police officer and Robin Morgan, Miss America protest, Atlantic City, 1968

Please join the staff of Sallie Bingham Center of Women’s History and Culture for a talk by Kimberly Wilmot Voss addressing the intersection of the women’s pages of newspapers and women’s liberation leaders in the 1960s and 70s, and the differences in coverage by those women journalists compared to the mainstream press.

Voss is an Assistant Professor and Area Coordinator of Journalism, University of Central Florida, and is a 2012 recipient of a Mary Lily Research Grant from the Sallie Bingham Center.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Mad Men Monday, Episode 3

Mad Men Mondays logo


Episode 3, shown on April 14th, showcased a couple of client meetings in the SCDP offices, along with some personal get-togethers outside the workplace.

Last night’s episode featured references to Jaguar, Heinz Ketchup, All laundry detergent, Teflon and Clearasil, Italian food, champagne, and the most mundane product of all:  toilet paper.  Enjoy our selection of highlighted ads, outdoor advertising designs, and advertising cookbooks that reflect the brands and themes that Mad Men characters interacted with last night.  A gallery of our selected images may also be found on Pinterest and Flickr.


clearasil033 - blog


heinz032 - Blog


Italian cooking - blog


jaguar036 - Blog


lady scott040 - blog


moet035 - blog


quilted robe031- Blog


teflon037 - blog


smirnoff038 - Blog




Race, Gender and Identity in Artists’ Books

Date: Monday, March 25, 2013
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Perkins Library, Room 318 (Rubenstein Library Classroom)
Contact Information: Kelly Wooten, kelly.wooten(at)

The book form can become a vehicle for personal histories and obsessions. Please join us for a discussion of how Clarissa Sligh and Nava Atlas have explored their own experiences of race, gender, and identity through book arts. Both artists have placed their papers at the Sallie Bingham Center, which also has a collection of over 300 artists’ books by women.

Photos of Nava Atlas and Clarissa Sligh

Clarissa Sligh  is a visual artist, writer, and lecturer. When she was 15 years old she became the lead plaintiff in the 1955 school desegregation case in Virginia. After working in math and science with NASA and later in business, she began a career as an artist, using photographs, drawings, text, and personal stories to explore themes of transformation and social justice.

Nava Atlas is known both as a vegetarian cookbook author and as a fine artist. Her artists’ books engage images, text, and structure to explore themes of social justice and women’s roles. Many of her works re-appropriate found materials and challenge the language and images used to reinforce gender roles and stereotypes.

Read more about Atlas and Sligh in the Spring 2012 issue of Women at the Center.


Post contributed by Kelly Wooten, Research Services and Collection Development Librarian, Sallie Bingham Center

Family “Letter” Donated to the Franklin Research Center


Braun Family
Marley and Jason Braun donate Slave Bill of Sale to the Rubenstein Library

Marley Braun recently contacted the Rubenstein Library because she wanted to find a proper home for a very peculiar “letter” that belonged to her great-grandmother, Mrs. Edna Balderston. Perhaps Mrs. Balderston was shocked when she opened the “letter” envelope to find that it actually contained two bills of sale for 3 slaves in Baltimore dated October 11, 1805. The slaves listed in the bills were named Elizabeth, age 20, Harriet (her daughter), 6 months, and Delilah, age 14, for a total of $493.

Bill of Sale, October 11, 1805
Bill of Sale, October 11, 1805

The slave bills stayed in the family for a few generations behind glass until Marley, a former 10-year Duke employee, and her husband Andy, ’92 Duke alum, decided the bill deserved a place where it could not only be cared for but shared with people interested in its history. Marley and her son Jason came to the Rubenstein this past week to donate the bill of sale and view other bills of sale currently held by the Rubenstein in the African American Miscellany Collection. The bills within this collection span from 1757-1863 and this new addition will further help document the experience of African Americans during the era of slavery; thanks to the Braun family, Marley, Andy, Jason, and Hayley for this fascinating addition to our collections.


Bill of Sale, Delilah, age 14
Bill of Sale, Delilah, age 14


Bill of Sale, Delilah, age 14
Bill of Sale, Delilah, age 14


Post contributed by John Gartrell, John Hope Franklin Research Center Director.

Black Presence in the Picture File

The Picture File is a collection that covers an expansive scope of visual history. With over 6,000 items spanning the 17th to 20th centuries, it is the kind of collection that makes mining the African American experience both exhaustive and exciting. This reality is best exemplified by the presence of this photograph located in the Geographic Series.

From Picture File, 1600s-1979, Box 4, folder m162.1
From Picture File, 1600s-1979, Box 4, folder m162.1

At first glance, the photograph is rather striking, if not disturbing. An African American man standing with hands shackled, surrounded by four uniformed white men. The back of the photo however describes a different story, “Members of the Georgia Hussars with [unidentified African American man] at Clyo, GA in 1908(?) to prevent lynching of prisoner.” The inscription further notes, “This negro afterward died of tuberculosis and syphilis in Chatham County Jail while awaiting a new trial on appeal.”

Note on back of photoraph
Note on back of photograph

The historical record of local protection against the lynching of African Americans is indeed a controversial one. But this interesting image at least captures the actual presence of authorities standing guard against violence against this incarcerated man.

Post contributed by John Gartrell, Director of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.  This is the third in a series of posts on interesting documents in our collections to celebrate Black History Month.