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)duke.edu.

“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)duke.edu

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)duke.edu 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.

Try Our New Chat Widget!

Are you confounded by collection guides? Can you not find your way through a finding aid? Do descriptive inventories make you dizzy? Do we have the solution for you!

Today, the RBMSCL’s Research Services department is flipping the switch on a new widget that will allow you to chat with one of the RBMSCL’s reference librarians as you pore over box lists and biographical notes. The icon above will now be located at the top of the left-hand menu column for each of our finding aids. During RBMSCL hours, click it and you’ll instantly be connected with a reference librarian ready to help you with your questions.

Browsing through finding aids at 2 AM? The “online” icon will be replaced with the icon on the right, which will take you to our “Ask a Question” e-mail form, so you’ll never be more than a click away from getting the reference help you need.

In the Lab: The Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

We’re going to be teaming up with our friends in the Verne and Tanya Roberts Conservation Lab here at the Duke University Libraries for a regular series of posts on RBMSCL materials in the lab for conservation treatment. We’ll start with a look at the Dutch-language edition of the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum.

A Little History

This six-volume world atlas was created and published between 1648 and 1655 by Willem Janszoon Blaeu and his son, Joan Blaeu, two of the finest map makers of the 17th century.

Dutch cartographer and publisher Willem Blaeu (1571-1638) studied astronomy and cartography under the well-known astronomer and alchemist Tycho Brahe. In 1633, he was appointed the official cartographer of the Dutch East India Company. Joan Blaeu (1596-1673), himself an accomplished cartographer, took over the press after his father’s death in 1638. Under his supervision, they became the largest publisher of their kind in 17th century Europe.

These folio volumes are full of engraved maps and vignettes that were hand-colored with a strikingly vibrant palette. They are bound in gold-tooled stiff-board vellum bindings.

Conservation Work

The atlases arrived in the lab in fairly good condition considering their age. Still, due to their size, it will take Erin Hammeke, Special Collections Conservator, many hours to complete the necessary repairs.

The texts and maps are printed on a good quality rag paper that is still quite strong. There are minor paper tears, badly folded maps, and some insect holes in all of the volumes which make safe handling difficult. The vellum bindings also exhibit small tears that need to be mended.

Each atlas requires surface cleaning to remove dirt and debris from the covers and individual pages. Erin will use soft brushes, special erasers, and a museum vacuum, all of which are designed to remove debris while reducing potential damage to the paper’s surface. Wheat starch paste and strong but thin Japanese and Korean tissues are used for the paper repairs. When the conservation is complete, Erin will construct a custom fitted enclosure for each volume.

Post contributed by Beth Doyle, Collections Conservator, and Erin Hammeke, Conservator for Special Collections

Want to know more about the Conservation Lab? Friend them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter!

A Holiday Recipe from Us to You

This season, as you begin to plan your holiday parties, the RBMSCL would like to offer this gem of a recipe, from 1929’s Electric Refrigerator Menus and Recipes.

Frozen Cheese

1/4 lb. American cheese
1 small cream cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
6 maraschino cherries
6 green mint cherries
1/2 pint cream

Grate the American cheese. Add cream cheese, and mayonnaise dressing and beat thoroughly. Fold in 6 maraschino cherries and 6 green mint cherries, chopped fine, and 1/2 pint cream, beaten stiff. Freeze until set. Remove to serving dish and sprinkle with 1/2 cup chopped nuts or paprika. Serve with salad course.

To those of you brave enough to make this, please send us photos. Yum?

New Finding Aid: The South Asian Pamphlets Collection

Indian Handicrafts, July 1963
Indian Handicrafts, July 1963



The RBMSCL’s South Asian Pamphlets Collection (collection guide here) contains some 7500 pamphlets published in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka between 1920 and 2005.

These English-language publications were received by Duke University’s Perkins Library over four decades through the Library of Congress South Asia Cooperative Acquisition Program (SACAP).

The pamphlets cover such topics as agriculture, arts, economic development, education, industry and commerce, international relations, politics and government, religion and philosophy, rural development, tourism, and women. In particular, the pamphlets form an impressive body of primary sources on ethnic and political conflict, as well as the effects of wars, poverty, and mass education, and issues regarding Islam and other religious traditions.

Researchers wishing to use these pamphlets should note that the entire collection is stored in our off-site storage facility. Please contact the RBMSCL (special-collections(at)duke.edu) at least 24 hours before your visit so that we can request the pamphlets you’d like to see.

Zine Mania, Round Two: Zine Making Workshop

Date: Thursday, 19 November, 2009
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: Duke Women’s Center Lower Lounge
Contact Information: Kelly Wooten, 919-660-5967 or kelly.wooten(at)duke.edu

Bring your inner riot grrrl to Duke’s Women’s Center and get ready to cut and paste with the staff of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture. You’ll learn all about the Bingham Center’s massive zine collection, as well as how to make your very own zine.

Dispatches from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University