Category Archives: Instruction

Dwayne Dixon Zine Collection Expands

Cover of Smash Action, no. 3Dwayne Dixon, a graduate student in cultural anthropology at Duke,  recently donated a treasure trove of new titles to the his zine collection, part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture.

Dixon wrote in an email to Bingham Center archivists:

While DJing a party last night at a professor’s house, I was told by a faculty member in the Music Dept that my zine collection was being used by a grad instructor teaching a course on punk history. I was so thrilled, as you can imagine, and it inspired me to unbox the last treasured horde of zines. I must confess I held the best in reserve in my initial donation. I have approx. 68 zines that are aesthetically, politically, and creatively rich.  Hand-screened covers, some of the best zine writing ever, and incendiary politics that changed my life.  I want others to be moved, too—by Mimi Nguyen’s Slander zine, by [anonymous’] Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars zine, by the dense tangle of punk and race and gender and a changing America of the last 2 decades.

As Dixon mentions in his note, classes frequently use zines as a resource for learning. As with any other historical manuscript or artifact, zines help illuminate specific aspects of culture through their method of creation and their content. Zine authors use the freedom of the medium to confront important cultural issues as well as to divulge their own reflections and emotions. The handmade nature of zines also allows for more artistic presentations of information, creating visually engaging objects that also serve as reading material.

Cover of A Renegade's Handbook to Love & Sabotage, issue 1While zine culture still exists in a variety of vibrant formats, the movement was at its most powerful from the late 1980’s to the mid-1990’s. During that time, Dixon snapped up a great number of these publications and eventually gifted them to the Bingham Center in 2001 with an initial donation of over a hundred zines. Including the latest addition, the Dixon collection now contains almost two hundred zines chronicling topics such as body image, depression, politics, racial inequality, history, and personal exploration.

The new addition has been added to the finding aid and is now available for research.  Come take a look!

Post contributed by Rosemary K. J. Davis,  Bingham Center volunteer.

The Anatomy of Anatomy Day

Monday was the annual Anatomy Day visit to the History of Medicine Collections. This is one of my favorite times of the year!

In the fall, all of the first year medical students here at Duke—about one hundred of them—visit the History of Medicine Collections to view historical anatomical atlases. This is a chance for them to see how anatomy has been represented over hundreds of years, and also provides stimulating and interesting texts that they can compare to what they are seeing in the dissection lab.

Curator Rachel Ingold talks with medical students at Anatomy Day.
Curator Rachel Ingold talks with medical students at Anatomy Day. Photo by Angela Mace.

Faculty and staff contribute to Anatomy Day by engaging with students and asking questions about the texts on display. This year, participants included the main coordinator of the event, Dr. Jeff Baker, along with Dr. Ara Tourian, Dr. Rick Madden, Professor Valeria Finucci, Professor Shannon Withycombe, and Rubenstein Library staff members Laura Micham, Kate Collins, Andy Armacost, and Jessica Janecki. Materials on display ranged from a 17th century copy of a 14th century illuminated Islamic medical manuscript to the controversial Pernkopf atlases from the mid-twentieth century.

The comments I heard this year were “awesome,” “I love anatomy so I loved everything,” and “overall, this experience was great and I liked to see the progression of anatomical representations.” I overheard students have serious ethical discussions about dissection and talk about the variety of ways they learn about the human body. I also talked to a student who told me that the greatest tool out of all the tools a student could have in the anatomy lab is the hand.

Dr. Rick Madden talks with medical students at Anatomy Day.
Dr. Rick Madden talks with medical students at Anatomy Day. Photo by Mark Zupan.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s Anatomy Day and talking with students about the array of anatomical texts here at the History of Medicine Collections!

For more photos, visit the “Anatomy Day 2011” set on our Flickr photostream!

Post contributed by Rachel Ingold, Curator for the History of Medicine Collections.

My RBMSCL: Screen Printed Mural in Perkins

When most people think of screen printing they usually visualize Warhol’s “Marilyn” or an indie rock gig poster or a pastel colored beachscape print, but not many folks know that screen prints can also be found printed directly on walls. This summer I had the opportunity to make a mural on a wall in Perkins library (in a hallway leading to the Gothic Reading Room) using a vertical screen printing technique that I’ve been researching. The project is the culmination of a Collaboration Development Grant from the Duke Council for the Arts. The grant also involved bringing Dutch artist Stefan Hoffmann to Duke to share his highly-developed vertical screen printing methods with me; students; staff; and Duke Art, Art History and Visual Studies professor Merrill Shatzman.

Bill Fick's Screen Printed Mural
Close-Up of Bill Fick's Mural

Beyond applying newly developed vertical screen printing techniques, the mural also gave me the opportunity to take advantage, and bring attention, to the RBMSCL’s Edwin and Terry Murray Comic Book Collection. In the past four years I’ve been using the Murray Collection as a teaching tool and resource for my Art of the Comic Book and Zines class. The mural design used appropriated images taken from an assortment of comics found in the collection. These included Marge’s Little Lulu and Tubby, Classics Illustrated – The Black Tulip, The Mark of Zorro and Walt Disney’s Donald Duck. I also used images taken from books found in the Lilly Library comics and graphic novels section (A Steve Ditko monograph and Love and Rockets, New Stories No. 1 by the Hernandez brothers). The images ranged from faces/heads to a standing figure to a tulip flower. I really wasn’t thinking about content but more about interesting shapes and forms—although I did use some text that related to the location of the piece.

The concept for the mural was to make a colorful and active design that used pop culture and street art/graffiti strategies (practiced by contemporary artists like Shepard Fairey, Faile, and Bäst and pioneered by artists like Polke, Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, and Warhol). This included layering, repetition, and patterning, which can be easily implemented using the vertical screen printing method—one image per screen applied to the wall over and over again. This method also yields unexpected relationships between content and shapes that I find very exciting. The viewer can make their own narrative or allow it to be purely decorative. For this reason, the mural is untitled.

For more information about this project and other vertical screen printing information go to

Post contributed by Bill Fick, Visiting Assistant Professor of the Practice of Visual Arts. Thanks to Will Hansen, Assistant Curator of Collections, for coordinating this post.

Today is Zine Library Day!

Making Zines at Girls Rock CampAnd we’ve been celebrating by making zines!

Future rock stars at NC Girls Rock Camp made zine pages in a workshops led by Kelly Wooten, Tali Beesley, and Alex Krensky of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture; Erin Hammeke, conservator for Special Collections; and Rosemary Davis of the Duke University Archives. This is the fifth year our librarians have led zine workshops for NC Girls Rock Camp!

A Completed Zine PageYou can celebrate our anniversary and Zine Library Day by downloading the Bingham Center’s fun new mini-zine and making your own!

You’ll find more pictures from this year’s workshops—and past ones, too—at the Bingham Center’s Flickr photostream.

Learn more about Zine Library Day on this wiki.

Post contributed by Kelly Wooten, Research Services and Collection Development Librarian for the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture.

Instruction is Sweet!

Bill Fick's "Art of the Comic Book and Zines" Class
Photo by Bill Fick.

85 classes! The RBMSCL had another packed semester of instruction, as our librarians welcomed a group of fledgling Walt Whitman scholars from North Carolina State University, two classes from the Trinity School, and even a local Girl Scout troop—in addition to scores of Duke undergraduate and graduate students. We couldn’t have been more pleased when a student from Bill Fick’s “Art of the Comic Book and Zines” class (pictured at right) observed, “this place is like a candy shop—only it’s free!”

Here’s a goodie grab bag of some of the classes we taught this past semester:

  • Architectural Theory from Antiquity to the Renaissance
  • Art of the Comic Book and Zines
  • Cannibalism to Anorexia:  Embodying Social Meaning (Writing 20)
  • Digital Durham
  • Documenting the South
  • The Family in Documentary Photography
  • From Huck Finn to Miley Cyrus: Children’s History Through Popular Culture (Writing 20)
  • History of Punk
  • Introduction to Contemporary Latin America
  • Introduction to Oral History
  • Language in Immigrant America
  • Legal Documents: Yesterday & Today (Writing 20)
  • Looking In, Looking Out: The Language of Photographic Texts (Writing 20)
  • Major Italian Authors
  • Maps, Exploration, and Empire
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Photographing South Africa
  • Play, Games, and Culture (Writing 20)
  • Reading the Qur’an
  • Religion and Politics
  • Russian Art and Politics
  • Staging Sexualities
  • Suburbs, Malls, Office Buildings
  • Weimar and Nazi Germany
  • Women as Leaders

Wondering if the RBMSCL could support your Fall 2011 course? Send us an e-mail at special-collections(at)!

Spying on Galileo

Professor Begali's class in the Rare Book RoomOn Friday, April 8th, Professor Matteo Gilebbi’s Italian 22 course, offered by the Romance Studies Department, held a special lesson at the RBMSCL. The class was led by guest speaker Professor Mattia Begali. While Professor Begali’s expertise centers on the Baroque period, Professor Gilebbi’s research focuses on the use of new technologies in the fields of literature and pedagogy. This unique collaboration sought to facilitate student learning processes through the merger of old and new media.

This particular lesson aimed to utilize the RBMSCL as a pedagogic and engaging space for students interested in Italian culture and language. The class focused on the intellectual network of scholars who were active in Rome during Galileo’s affair. By using both ancient editions available in the RBSMCL’s collections and online sources, students were able to explore the visual rhetoric presented in works of authors such as Roberto Bellarmino and Tommaso Campanella, while endeavoring to understand their role and position in Galileo’s entourage.


Instruction Session in the Rare Book RoomThis past semester, RBMSCL librarians led over 90 instruction sessions with students from Duke University and beyond—including students taking courses on advertising history at Elon University and Johnson & Wales University. We’ve pulled together a mere sampling of the courses we’ve supported over the past few months. We think you’ll see that the RBMSCL has something for every research interest!

  • Advertising in Society
  • The Age of Jim Crow: Racial Segregation from Plessy to Brown
  • African American Women and History
  • American Business History
  • Animals and Ethics: Welfare, Rights, Utilitarianism, and Beyond
  • Book Art: Text as Image (videos produced by students in the class)
  • Citizen Organizing, 1776-Present
  • Classics of American Literature, 1860 to1915
  • Consumerism in Great Britain and the U.S.
  • Documenting Race, Class, and Gender (Writing 20)
  • Enlightenment Orientalism
  • Globalization in Writing (Writing 20)
  • Hidden Children: Children and Childhood in U.S. History and Across Cultures Cultures (Writing 20)
  • History of Photography, 1839 to the Present
  • Human Rights Activism
  • Intermediate German Conversation
  • Introduction to German Literature
  • Introduction to Old English
  • Methods of Social Research
  • Native American History through Autobiography
  • New Media, Memory, and the Visual Archive
  • New Testament Greek Reading
  • Photography in Context: Photographic Meaning and the Archive of Documentary Arts
  • The Politics and Obligations of Memory
  • Reading Gender, Writing Technoscience (Writing 20)
  • Southern History
  • Witchcraft in Comparative Perspective
  • Writing Sound and Sound Writing: Hearing Race (Writing 20)
  • Writing the Self (Writing 20)

Wondering if the RBMSCL could support your Spring 2011 course? Send us an e-mail at special-collections(at)!

Dear Diary: Girls Rock!


Dear Zine Diary,

Today was one of my favorite days of the year: zine workshop day at Girls Rock Camp. Amy and I spent the morning doing a zine workshop for about 45 young girls at Durham’s Girls Rock Camp. The day started with everyone standing in a circle, holding hands, and then turning to the person beside them and telling them “You rock!” What a way to start the day. We were able to talk with the girls about zines, as well as more about the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture and how they can come and look at zines in our collection. The girls were so excited to work on their own zine pages. We brought tons of markers, stickers, stamp pads, magazines, and glue sticks for them to make their own zine pages, and they did not disappoint! The zine pages they created included lots of things, such as their band names (Black Lizards, Beach Girls, 24/7, and The Flaming Moonshiners) and stickers proclaiming their love of music (and animals), and included statements like “I want to be a singer, an actress, and an architect.” I was asked how to spell words like “appreciate” and “different.” It was so great. Oh Zine Diary, every day should be like this!

Until next year. . .


Dear Zine Diary,

Kelly and I spent yesterday morning at Girls Rock Camp in Chapel Hill. I was amazed at how eager, smart, and enthusiastic the girls were to learn about women’s history and zine-making! We went around the room and introduced each other and Kelly and I found out the names of the girls’ bands. We talked about the three waves of feminism and we even did the wave! We also talked about female stereotypes and how we can fight them together. Then the girls got down to business with markers, stickers, magazines, glue sticks, and stamps. They made pages for their bands as well as individual pages, and as Rachel mentioned, their pages were creative and inspiring. I was so excited to hear the girls talk about everyday injustices and how they want to fix them. Kelly told them that since they are part of the Third Wave they are the future of feminism and will help to decide the future for women. After yesterday, I’m glad to know the future is in good hands.

Rock on,

For more photos from Girls Rock Camp, visit the Bingham Center’s Flickr photostream!

Post contributed by Rachel Ingold, former Bingham Center intern and Conservation Technician, and Alex Krensky, Bingham Center intern.

Commercials in the Classroom


How have TV commercials changed over time? The answer to part of that question is found in this video about AdViews. Five Duke undergraduates discuss their small group project using commercials found in AdViews as primary sources for a fall 2009 Markets & Management Studies class taught by George Grody.

Using AdViews, the students compared a number of historic 1960s and 1970s commercials with corresponding ones from today. The students analyzed commercials for Hardees, Schick, Bounce, Pledge, and perfume, finding both interesting similarities and drastic contrasts that reflect the branding strategies of each time period.

AdViews, a digital archive of over 8,000 vintage television commercials dating from the 1950s to the 1980s, is one of the newest resources available from the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.

The Hartman Center collects and provides access to commercials, print ads, books, and other documents chronicling the advertising and marketing of products from the mid 19th century to the present. Our staff also provides targeted presentations to a wide range of classes each semester, helping to integrate primary source material into subjects ranging from Anthropology to History to Visual Studies, and most anything in between. Students are able to discover not only how TV commercials have changed, but how advertising tracks the evolution of not only the ad industry but also of society itself.

If you are interested in learning more about AdViews, classroom presentations, or research assistance, please contact the Hartman Center Reference Archivist at hartman-center(at) or 919-660-5827.

Post contributed by Lynn Eaton, Hartman Center Reference Archivist.

Historical Photography Display

Dates and Times: Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 1:00-5:00 PM and Thursday, 28 January 2010, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Karen Glynn, 919-660-5968 or karen.glynn(at)

Unidentified man wearing a blue tie. Quarter-plate tintype, ca. 1850s. From the Jarratt-Puryear Family Papers.
Unidentified man wearing a blue tie. Quarter-plate tintype, ca. 1850s. From the Jarratt-Puryear Family Papers.

The Archive of Documentary Arts‘ annual display showcases the numerous formats that document the evolution of the photographic process from early daguerreotypes to modern digital prints. The display will include photographs by Mathew Brady, Timothy O’Sullivan, Edward Curtis, Doris Ulmann, Eudora Welty, Lewis Hine, Manual Alvarez Bravo, Minor White, and Walker Evans.

Please note that the display is open by appointment only during the hours noted above. Contact Karen Glynn (919-660-5968 or karen.glynn(at) to schedule your appointment.

Unable to visit the display? Over 100 images from the archive’s collection have been reproduced in Beyond Beauty: The Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University. This full-color, 128-page publication is our gift to you with a $50 minimum donation to the archive (donation form here).