Category Archives: From Our Collections

Rights! Camera! Action!: Escuela

Date: Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at), or Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963 or kirston.johnson(at)

Courtesy of Women Make Movies

Rights! Camera! Action! is starting off the spring semester with a screening of Hannah Weyer’s 2002 documentary, Escuela. This film centers on Liliana Luis, the daughter of Mexican American farm workers, as she begins her first year of high school.

The Rights! Camera! Action! film series, which is sponsored by the Archive for Human Rights, the Archive of Documentary Arts, the Duke Human Rights Center, and the Franklin Humanities Institute, features documentaries on human rights themes that were award winners at the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The films are archived at the RBMSCL, where they form part of a rich and expanding collection of human rights materials.

Opening Reception for “Conscience of a Nation”

Date: Wednesday 20 January 2010
Time: 4:30 PM
Location: Perkins Library Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Karen Jean Hunt, 919-660-5922 or k.j.hunt(at)

Join the exhibit curators and the staff of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture as they celebrate the legacy of Professor John Hope Franklin (1915-2009).

Speakers will include Judge Allyson Duncan, a 1975 Duke Law graduate, and Dr. Walter Brown, former dean of North Carolina Central University’s School of Education.

“Conscience of a Nation: John Hope Franklin on African American History”

Date: 13 January-31 March 2010
Location and Time: Rare Book Room cases during library hours
Contact Information: Janie Morris, 919-660-5819 or janie.morris(at), or Paula Mangiafico, 919-660-5915 or paula.mangiafico(at)

Sit-In Songs LP, 1962. From the Frederick Herzog Papers

The recent passing of historian, author, teacher, and activist John Hope Franklin has prompted all of us at the RBMSCL to consider the role of historical research and education in ending injustice, fear, and hatred. As Dr. Franklin wrote in a 3 June 2002 letter to fellow historian Nell Irvin Painter (on display in this exhibit), history’s responsibility is “to illuminate and interpret the past in order to ‘map’ what we think the future should be.”

Inspired by Dr. Franklin’s powerful words, this exhibit is a tribute to his legacy. The exhibit uses materials from the RBMSCL’s collections to explore four themes crucial to understanding the history of African Americans in the United States: African American enslavement, segregation and the Jim Crow era, the Civil Rights Movement, and the contributions of African American historians.

Dr. Franklin’s papers (collection inventory here) are held by the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture. For more information on using this collection, contact the Franklin Research Center staff at franklin-collection(at)

“Cedric Chatterley: Photographs of Honeyboy Edwards”

Date: 18 January-28 March 2010
Location and Time: Special Collections Gallery during library hours
Contact Information: Karen Glynn, 919-660-5968 or karen.glynn(at)

David “Honeyboy” Edwards at home on South Wells near 43rd Street, Chicago, Illinois, winter, 1994.

In this series of black and white photographs, photographer Cedric Chatterley traces the life of blues musician David “Honeyboy” Edwards, beginning at his birth place in Shaw, Mississippi and continuing through the Mississippi Delta to New Orleans, Memphis, and Chicago. Chatterley drove thousands of miles—often with Honeyboy himself—photographing important people and places in Honeyboy’s long career, as well as his performances at blues festivals, concerts, and recording sessions.

Reflecting on the photographs, Chatterley writes, “Touring with Honeyboy in the 1990s, and also traveling alone with his life’s story in hand, were formative times for me as an image maker. . . . From him I learned that there is a rhythm, a cadence, and a particular way in which time and sight and sound and memory—expressed and unexpressed—are inseparable when they come together to shape an image, whether that image is delivered in the form of a song, photograph, or any other form of expression.”

If you’re unable to visit the libraries, you can still see the photographs in the online exhibit.

These photographs belong to the Cedric N. Chatterley Photographs, 1985-2003 (collection inventory here), a collection recently acquired by the RBMSCL’s Archive of Documentary Arts. For more information on using this collection, contact the RBMSCL at special-collections(at)

On 28 January, two additional exhibits of Chatterley’s work—including his handmade cameras—will open at the Center for Documentary Studies. The CDS will also host a public reception for Chatterley that evening at 6 PM. More information is available here.

Getting Past the Gates

Postcard of the Trinity College Gates, 1906
Postcard of the Trinity College Gates, 1906

This past Saturday was the deadline for applications to Duke University’s undergraduate class of 2014. We thought we’d mark the occasion with a look back at a time before Scantrons and SAT prep courses, when students seeking admission to Trinity College (the forerunner of Duke University) might be asked to take a rather perilous entrance examination.

Administered to students without records of study from approved schools, the results of the examination determined which curriculum and class the student would join. The Annual Catalogue of Trinity College for the 1900-1901 school year presented prospective students with “Specimen Entrance Examination Questions” to help them prepare for the July examinations. Here they are, slightly edited for length.

Let us know how you do. We’ll be in the stacks, reading up on Silas Marner and the Battle of Buena Vista.

1. Describe the English explorations in North America.
2. Say what you can about the career of Capt. John Smith in America.
3. Compare the life of the Southern and the Northern Colonies.
4. Discuss the Navigation Laws.
5. What were the policies of Hamilton, Jefferson, and Calhoun?
6. Describe the battles of Saratoga, New Orleans, Buena Vista, and Gettysburg.
7. Who were Lycurgus, Plato, Cicero, and Solon?
8. Give outline of the Persian wars against Greece.
9. Say what you can about the Reformation.
10. What part did England take in the Wars against Napoleon?

I. Decline it, who, goose, man-servant, heir-at-law.

II. Indicate possession in the following expressions by means of the possessive case instead of the phrase:
1. The armies of Lee and Grant.
2. The army of neither Lee nor Grant.
3. The property of Mr. Brown, book-seller and publisher.

III. Discuss all errors in the following:
1. This is his most favorite expression.
2. He is wiser than all men of his age.
3. He walked as if he was flying.
4. I wish I was in New York.
5. He promises to earnestly try and do better.
6. You feared you would miss the train.

V. Questions on the Required Reading:
1. What part do the Witches play in Macbeth?
2. Give an account of the Banquet scene.
3. Write a paragraph on the character of Macduff.
4. Comment on the following words in Macbeth: Obscene bird, benison, addition, seeling night, speculation, surcease, a modern ecstacy.
5. Give the story of Comus.
6. What authors are mentioned in L’Allegro and Il Penseroso? What landscapes are described?
7. Comment on the following expressions in Milton’s Minor Poems:

  1. Yet once more, O ye laurels.
  2. Sisters of the sacred well.
  3. In Heaven yclep’ d Euphrosyne.
  4. How faery Mab the junkets eat.
  5. All in a robe of darkest grain.
  6. Ennobled hath the buskined stage.

8. What does Macaulay say of the Puritans in his essay on Milton?
9. What reasons does Burke give for the love of liberty in America?

VI. Devote an hour to writing a paper on one of the following subjects, making special effort to give the story accurately, and to express it correctly as to spelling, punctuation, use of capital letters, and division into paragraphs:
1. The Tournament Scene in Ivanhoe.
2. The Story of Silas Marner.
3. The Spectator Club.
4. The Woman’s College in the Princess.

1. Multiply ap + 3ap-2 – 2ap-1 by 2apx1 + apx2 – 3ap.
2. Divide x3n + y3n by xn + yn.
3. Factor 8x3 – 27.
4. [(2x + 3) ÷ (2x + 1)] + (1 ÷ 3x) = (1 ÷ x) + 1. Find x.

State what books in Mathematics you have studied and the amount of work done in each.

1. State the Latin authors you have read and the amount from each.
2. Translate—Cæsar, De Bell. Gall. iv, 15.

  1.   Construe fully each word in section I.

3. Cicero In Cat. iii, 4, ll 1-11. (Do not translate).

  1. Select and decline one noun from each declension represented in the section.
  2. Locate the verb forms, explaining the subjunctives.

4. Translate Vergil, Aen., v, 13-25.
5. Write the Latin for the following: The Belgians, who inhabit one of the three parts of Gaul, are the bravest of all the Gauls, because they do not import wine.

(The following sentences are taken from Woodruff’s Greek Prose Composition).

Translate into Greek:

69. 5. Tarsus is a large and prosperous city, at which the Cilician queen arrived five days before Cyrus. When the inhabitants of this city heard that Cyrus was coming, they fled to the mountains.

125. 2. Clearchus first spoke of the oaths which they had taken in the name of the gods, and said he would not count the man happy who was conscious that he had violated them. He said the Greeks would be insane, if they should kill Tissaphernes, for he was their greatest blessing.

1. Translate into good English: One page selected from the texts the student may have read.
2. Give the disjunctive pronouns in full.
3. Explain the partitive constructions in full.
4. Give the principal parts of: Etre, dire, aller, pouvoir, faire, tenir.
5. Translate the following phrases:

  1. Ces chevaux-la sont a Paul.
  2. Je me mets a lire.
  3. Nous en serons-nous alles.
  4. Il vient d’apparaitre dans la rue.

6. Translate into French: I see a book on the table; whose is it? It is your brother’s. Take it to him, if you please. I will give it to him when I see him this evening. At what o’clock do you think he will come? I think he will not come before eight or nine. My house is larger than yours, but yours is finer than mine. Have you read the paper this morning? No, I have not yet read it; I am going to read it immediately.

1. Translate into good English:
One page selected from the texts the student may have read.
2. Inflect in full:

  1. Der kleine Bruder.
  2. Diese schoene Frau.
  3. Kein kaltes Wasser.
  4. Grosses Hans.

3. Inflect in full:

  1. Ich.
  2. Er.
  3. Jener.

4. Give the principal parts of: Entlassen, befehlen, geschehen, ausbringen, kennen, denken, studieren.
5. Translate the following phrases:

  1. Es wurde viel getanzt.
  2. Er soll sehr reich sein.
  3. Das kind kam gelaufen.
  4. Wie lange sind Sie in Berlin gewesen?

6. Translate into German:

  1. In the room we found three little girls who had beautiful flowers in their hands.
  2. When will you go to Paris? I wanted to go to-day, but now I shall be obliged to wait till (bis) to-morrow.
  3. If he had taken the book with him, he would have told me so.
  4. He looks (aussehen) as if lie were sick.
  5. His younger brother said that he had arrived (ankommen) in town.
  6. He claims to have read the book.
  7. I did this in order to see if he could speak German.
  8. The letter has not yet been written, but it will be carried (tragen) to the city this afternoon.
  9. Come at half-past six and drink a cup of tea with us.
  10. Tell him he is to go and get (holen) me some bread.

Paul Samuelson Papers Coming to Duke

Paul A. Samuelson, 1950.

The papers of preeminent American economist Paul A. Samuelson (1914-2009), the first American recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics, will be added to the Economists Papers Project in the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke. Before his death on December 13th, Samuelson had decided to donate his papers to Duke, where they will join the collections of his MIT Nobel Prize-winning colleagues Robert Solow and Franco Modigliani, as well as those of Nobelists Kenneth Arrow, Lawrence Klein (Samuelson’s first Ph.D. student), Robert E. Lucas, Douglass North, Vernon Smith, and Leonid Hurwicz (all links lead to collection inventories). The Economists Papers Project, developed jointly by Duke’s History of Political Economy group and the RBMSCL, is the most significant archival collection of economists’ papers in the world.

Samuelson was the singular force leading to the post-World War II reconceptualization of economics as a scientific discipline. His “neoclassical synthesis” wedded modern microeconomics to Keynesian macroeconomics, both of which were stabilized through his landmark Foundations of Economic Analysis (1947). His textbook, Principles of Economics, grounded the vocabulary and teaching practices of the economics profession in the second half of the twentieth century, and his career in MIT’s economics department made it the world leader in scientific economics.

Post contributed by E. Roy Weintraub, Professor of Economics, Duke University.

NB: The Paul Samuelson Papers will be transferred to Duke in stages over the next several months. If you are interested in conducting research in the Samuelson Papers once they are made available, please contact Will Hansen at william.hansen(at)

“I Take Up My Pen: 19th Century British Women Writers”

Date: 15 December 2009-21 February 2010
Location and Time: Perkins Library Gallery during library hours
Contact Information: Meg Brown, meg.brown(at)

An Amusing Story by T. Conti
“An Amusing Story” by T. Conti. From the Illustrated London News, 1 April, 1893

Tumultuous, changeable 19th century Britain was the era of the professional woman writer. Amid emerging controversies over women’s suffrage and a woman’s rights over her property, her children, and her own body, women demanded a place alongside men in the world of letters to contribute to cultural discourse, to make their opinions heard, and to tell their own stories.

“I Take Up My Pen: 19th Century British Women Writers” focuses on women’s use of writing as a powerful tool to alter their positions within a social order that traditionally confined them to the home. The women represented here—including Jane Austen, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and the Brontë sisters—are lecturers, suffragists, publishers, world travelers, professional writers, poets, journalists, and labor reformers. The exhibit also highlights the fascinating array of literary publications available to 19th century readers and writers: everything from periodicals and the penny press to three-volume bound editions, gift books, pamphlets, letters, and diaries.

Curator Angela DiVeglia arranges exhibit materials
Curator Angela DiVeglia arranges exhibit materials

An online guide to the exhibit offers links to the digitized full-text versions of many rare 19th century works in the RBMSCL’s collections.

“I Take Up My Pen: 19th Century British Women Writers” is presented by the Duke University Libraries and curated by Sara Seten Berghausen, Angela DiVeglia, Anna Gibson, and William Hansen with co-sponsorship from the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

For more pictures of the curators installing this exhibit, visit the Duke University Libraries on Flickr!

Merry New Finding Aids!

A few new finding aids to make your season merry and bright. All of the following collections are open for research. Please contact the Special Collections Library at special-collections(at) with any questions.

A poster from the Durham Savoyards’ 1972 production of The Mikado.

Durham Savoyards Records, 1898-1989 and undated

This collection contains the archives of the Durham Savoyards, a Durham production company of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. Dating from 1898 to 1989, the materials consist of minutes, correspondence, programs, financial records, posters, director’s notes, stage design, photographs, videocassettes, color slides, and clippings. The collection also includes “The Savoyards, Durham Savoyards Limited, 1989” and “Mindful of the Whys and Wherefores; a Savoyard Producer’s Journal” by James L. Parmentier. Photographs predating the 1963 founding of the Savoyards depict comic operas said to have been performed at Durham’s Southern Conservatory of Music.

American Association of University Women Records, 1913-1976 and undated

The records of the American Association of University Women’s Durham chapter span the years from its founding in 1913 through the 1970s. The central organizational records are almost complete for this period, including minutes of Executive Board meetings, Presidents’ files, financial records, membership information, and national and state convention files.

Baher Azmy Papers, 1986-2007 and undated

Azmy, an Egyptian-American lawyer and Professor of Law at Seton Hall University Law School Center for Social Justice, was the attorney for Murat Kurnaz, a citizen of Turkey and permanent resident of Germany, who was held in extra-judicial detention by the U.S. military at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. The material documents Professor Azmy’s legal motions and public efforts for writ of habeas corpus and the release and repatriation of Mr. Kurnaz.

Join the Preservation Underground

When they’re not busy discovering moldy bananas in books, building storage boxes for pink dragons, or digitizing somewhere around 5,000 broadsides, the Preservation Department here at the Duke University Libraries is going to be keeping us up-to-date on their work through their new blog, Preservation Underground. We hope they have as much fun with theirs as we have with The Devil’s Tale—and we really hope the bananas keep to the produce section from now on.

And yes, they’ll still be writing the occasional guest post for us about RBMSCL materials in the conservation lab. Take a look at their fine work on the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum.