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.

Networks for Freedom

Date: Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Amy McDonald, 919-681-7987 or amy.mcdonald(at)

1862 broadside.

Join the staff of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture for a program with historian Deborah Lee, recipient of a 2010-2011 Franklin Research Center travel grant.

Dr. Lee’s research traces the networks of anti-slavery activists that operated between 1810 and 1865 in the upper Potomac River basin. As Dr. Lee writes, “these white and black anti-slavery men and women used sophisticated peaceful means—persuasion, law, philanthropy, colonization, and the underground railroad—to help thousands of individual bondspeople obtain freedom, fray the institution of slavery locally, and advance the movement nationally.”

Dr. Lee’s visit to the RBMSCL will allow her to examine a number of our 19th century manuscript collections, including the Rankin-Parker Papers, the John Rutherfoord Papers, and the Funkhouser Family Papers.

Light refreshments will be served.

Hot New Finding Aids!

Is the heat wave getting to be too much to bear? Head on over to the RBMSCL and do some research in our cool reading room!

Full Frame Festival Program, 2007. From the Full Frame Archive Film Collection.

Full Frame Archive Film Collection, 1998-2010

The largest film festival in the United States entirely devoted to documentary film, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival has been an annual highlight of Durham’s cultural scene since 1998.

In 2007, Duke University Libraries and Full Frame, with support from Eastman Kodak and Alpha Cine Labs in Seattle, announced the creation of the Full Frame Archive, to be housed at the RBMSCL, with the aim of acquiring, archiving, and preserving copies of all of the Festival’s award-winning films. The Full Frame Archive Film Collection comprises preservation masters of documentary films that won awards at the Full Frame Film Festival between 1998 and 2010. Each year’s festival will bring new additions to the collection!

Confederate States of America Collection, 1850-1876

One of our older collections has a brand new finding aid. This perennially-popular collection includes a wide variety of records from the administrative bodies within the Confederate States of America, including original and typed copies of acts and statutes of the C.S.A. Congress, Army soldiers’ correspondence and papers of several Army units, and records from the Treasury Department. There might even be a clue about the lost Confederate gold!

Rights! Camera! Action!: Trouble the Water

Date: Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Sarah P. Duke Gardens (map and directions)
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at), or Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963 or kirston.johnson(at)

As Hurricane Katrina bore down on New Orleans, 9th Ward resident Kimberly Rivers Roberts, an aspiring rap artist, and her husband Scott, used their Hi 8 camera to film their experience of the storm, from the trepidation of the day before the storm’s landfall to the failing of the levees. Trouble the Water weaves this home movie footage with archival news segments and verite footage shot over the next two years to tell the story of a community struggling to rebuild itself.

The film screening will be preceded by a panel discussion with Wahneema Lubiano and Mark Anthony Neal, both of Duke’s Department of African and African American Studies.

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, the Franklin Humanities Institute, and Screen/Society at Duke’s Arts of the Moving Image Program, 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.

The Star-Spangled Cucumber

As archivists, we know that we’re supposed to mark the Fourth of July with a remembrance of that most celebrated of documents, our Declaration of Independence. We think, though, that we’ll leave the remembering and celebrating to our fine colleagues at the National Archives, and give some attention to a document of a completely different sort—a pamphlet bearing one of the most wonderful titles we’ve ever come across:

Lest you think we’re joking, here’s a link to the catalog record. The pamphlet reprints an oration delivered by David Daggett to the citizens of New Haven, Connecticut on the Fourth of July, 1799.

Of course, at the risk of spoiling the fun, we have to note that the title is actually a reference to Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Since Swift was a pretty funny guy himself, we’re hoping you’ll forgive us.

Happy Fourth of July from the RBMSCL!

Thanks to Beth Ann Koelsch, who brought this treasure to our attention many years ago.

Happy United Nations Charter Day!

The United Nations Conference on International Organization officially convened between April 25 and June 26, 1945 in San Francisco. On 26 June 1945, delegations from 50 countries signed the United Nations Charter, a constituent treaty by which all member nations are bound in an international body and in which organization’s mission and commitment to peaceful resolution are defined.

The Veil by Julie Chen, 2002.
Photo courtesy of Vamp and Tramp Booksellers.

Over fifty years later, book artist Julie Chen wove the text of the famously eloquent Preamble into her 2002 free-standing concertina, The Veil. This carousel book offers the artist’s reflections on the political conflicts in the Middle East through both words and abstract visual meditations which unfold over the text of the charter. The Veil will be featured in the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture’s Book + Arts Exhibit this October.

Post contributed by Christine Well, UNC SILS graduate student volunteer, Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture.

Preserving Duke’s Webpages (At Least 457,009 of Them)

Archive-It's capture of

As I was preparing for my last year at the School for Information and Library Science (SILS) at UNC, I knew that I needed to gain some practical experience in the library field in addition to my current part-time job. At SILS, I became fascinated with electronic records and how they are being preserved for the future. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) defines electronic records as “any information that is recorded in a form that only a computer can process and that satisfies the definition of a record.” The actual definition of a record can vary slightly depending on who is consulted (i.e., NARA or the Society of American Archivists).

I contacted Duke’s University Archivist, Tim Pyatt, who put me in touch with Seth Shaw, the Electronic Records Archivist. Unbeknownst to me, Tim and Seth had been discussing the need of preserving information found on Duke’s various websites. When I approached them about a possible field experience, they felt that this would be a good project for me to assist with.

Online material has become an integral part of many institutions and Duke is no different. In order to preserve this information, web sites need to be collected and archived. Out of all the ways to do this (and there are many), we decided that the Internet Archive’s tool, Archive-It, would be the best option. Before starting to capture websites, we created a policy that defined what types of materials we wanted to collect. I used that policy to select the websites of 350 out of 500 Duke student organizations for capture.

This project provided me with a good amount of hands-on experience that will definitely be beneficial as I pursue my career in library science. Although I’ve finished my field experience, there will soon be a new field experience student to take up the reins and assist Seth in making sure that part of Duke’s cultural heritage is preserved.

Post contributed by Stephanie Brantley, RBMSCL Technical Services field experience student.

Gee, Paperclips are Expensive…

Archival supplies are often the overlooked backbone of special collections. Imagine if we didn’t have boxes to hold all those priceless papers, or rubber stamps to warn everyone that the enclosed tintypes were “FRAGILE”?

Stainless Steel Paperclips

Boxes, folders, envelopes, interleaving paper: all of these things have been specially made treated to be acid-free, lignin-free, and archivally safe for the materials we store in them. They are designed to extend the life of our collections by preventing items from shifting during transport, or letting users grab a sturdy folder instead of a delicate manuscript. Some boxes and folders are chemically engineered to absorb oxidative gases from items like old newspapers, preventing them from yellowing or damaging other papers that might be stored in the same box.

Specially designed supplies usually result in extremely expensive supply costs for a special collections library. Regular cardboard boxes can cost as little as a dollar, while our archival boxes for letter-sized paper cost as much as $10. Oversized material requires extra-large folders and boxes, which can run as much as $40 per box! Even tiny supplies pack a punch: stainless steel paper clips, for example, cost a whopping 8 cents per paper clip. Regular paper clips are much cheaper (less than 1 cent), but they also rust and damage paper.

As archivists, we want to protect our collections so they will last as long as possible. Special supplies, while expensive, are critical to our success.

Post contributed by Meghan Lyon, Technical Services Assistant.

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.

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