New Acquisitions Week, Day Two: Self-Portraits in Image and Word

We’re celebrating the beginning of a new fiscal year with a week’s worth of new acquisitions from the first half of 2012.  Two newly acquired selections will be featured in a post every day this week.  All of these amazing resources will be available for today’s scholars, and for future generations of researchers in the Rubenstein Library!

  • Quintilian, Institutiones Oratoriae: This 1482 incunable (or book printed in Europe before 1501) printed in Tarvisio, Italy, is a rare edition of one of the great Renaissance guides to rhetoric.  The remarkable copy now at Duke is unique, bearing the extensive handwritten annotations of a 16th-century scholar, Augustino Pistoia (or Agostino da Pistoia).  In addition, Pistoia drew two self-portraits at the end of the text, and noted the date on which he finished reading the work: “On the 20th of October [?] 1583 I Augostino Pistoia have read this book by Quintiliano under the teaching of mag. Pompeo Gilante my master/ 1583 1584.”
Self-portrait by Augustino Pistoia, in Quintilian, Institutiones Orationae (1482).
  • Edith Ella Baldwin Papers: Born in 1870 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Ms. Baldwin was an artist, craftswoman, and author.  Frustrated in her early attempts to publish her writings, Baldwin decided instead to keep one copy of each of her works for posterity, making a binding for each herself.  The collection consists of 38 unpublished volumes of stories, novels, poetry, lecture notes, and family history, including a novel about sex education for women, diary excerpts describing her visits with painter Mary Cassatt in 1890s Paris, and copies of letters from her aunt, Ellen Frances Baldwin, dating from 1848 to 1854. Edith Baldwin’s writings tend to cover timeless themes of religion and love, although many compositions feature contemporary issues such as automobiles, labor strikes, and women’s rights. The Baldwin Papers add to the rich body of materials documenting women’s literary expression in the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture.

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New Acquisitions Week, Day One: Moveable Brains and Laughing Cows

We’re celebrating the beginning of a new fiscal year with a week’s worth of new acquisitions from the first half of 2012.  Two newly acquired selections will be featured in a post every day this week.  All of these amazing resources will be available for today’s scholars, and for future generations of researchers in the Rubenstein Library!

Diagram of the brain, from Ludwig Fick, Phantom des Menschenhirns (1885).
  • Joy Golden Papers: Joy Golden was a well-known advertising copywriter who started her own creative company, Joy Radio, in the 1980s that specialized in humorous radio advertising. She did a series of commercials for Laughing Cow Cheese that became particularly well known.  She also was active in the Friars Club, including holding the position of Governor.  Her papers include files related to her work in advertising from the 1960s forward, and audiotapes of many of the radio advertisements created by her company.  Her papers add to the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History‘s rich collections on women and advertising and the development of radio advertising.



A Thoroughly Forgotten Duke Figure

Trinity College Faculty, 1878-1879
Trinity College faculty for the 1878-1879 academic year. Lemuel Johnson is seated to the right of President Braxton Craven.

LEMUEL JOHNSON (15 January 1828 – 29 April 1900) taught for more than thirty years the entire mathematics curriculum at Trinity College when it was a fledgling institution located in Randolph County, North Carolina.

Though there is no present building or other monument to his name at Duke, the Rubenstein Library holds in various collections a small memorial to this pioneer faculty member in the form of four manuscript letters, a mathematics primer that was widely distributed during the Civil War era, a carte de visite of him and another of the Trinity faculty of the late 1870s, and an 1887 map of Durham County printed from his own manuscript map, the first published presentation of the bounds of this county after its formation in 1881 from sections of Orange, Wake, and Granville.

He was the second graduate of Normal College, Trinity’s predecessor, when it was a very humble institution situated in a rural, red clay, Quaker-Methodist corner of the Carolina piedmont. There, beginning in 1852, he taught courses in arithmetic, mensuration, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus as well as performing the duties of college treasurer, librarian, and first president of the Trinity College alumni association.

Among his most memorable achievements as an educator was his tutoring of the gifted Giles sisters, every evening in his parlor after a full day of classroom teaching. Mary Z. Giles, Persis P. Giles, and Theresa Giles were graduated with the Trinity class of 1878 (although segregated into a “Ladies” column with less than full membership), an event that the Wilmington Morning Star reported as “unprecedented in the history of North Carolina colleges.” Indeed, the celebrated Sallie Walker Stockard, early historian of Alamance county and first female matriculate at the University of North Carolina, received her diploma in Chapel Hill in 1898.

In the last years of his life, Professor Johnson supported himself through hard times by teaching in rural high schools and by working intermittently as a civil engineer, and his maps of Randolph and Davidson counties are available online via the NC Maps site.

Post contributed by David Southern, Rubenstein Library researcher and Managing Editor for the Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle at the Duke University Press.

LCRM Update #3

Letter, Patricia Nixon to Elna Spaulding
Letter, Patricia Nixon to Elna Spaulding, June 30, 1969. Women-in-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes Records, Box 1, Folder 3 (File ID: wiams01003143).


In last month’s update  for the progress of the CCC Project at Duke, I discussed how an interest group tried to lobby Congress to oppose civil rights reform.  In that case, the National Restaurant Association lobbied Congress to block a piece of legislation that it felt would harm its members.  Contacting officials to enact desirable policies is certainly one of the most important activities of advocacy organizations, yet before lobbying can occur, an organization must become sustainable through fundraising.  This month, we take a look at the Women-in-Action for the Prevention of Violence Records and how that nascent organization contacted a wide array of individuals, corporations, and institutions to raise funds for their efforts to combat domestic violence and promote racial harmony.

The President of Women-in-Action, Mrs. Elna Spaulding, wrote letters to many of the luminaries of the late 1960s in her effort to garner funding.  Potential benefactors included the Eckert Corporation, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, financial firm Lehman Brothers, Coretta Scott King, the producers of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Senator Jesse Helms, and (pictured here) first lady Pat Nixon.  Many of the recipients did not respond; most responded like Mrs. Nixon, with well-wishes but no funding.  However, Mrs. Spaulding was successful enough to take her fledgling organization and make it into a major community actor in both Durham and elsewhere in North Carolina.  We encourage you to peruse the correspondence in the Women-in-Action Records to find out for yourself who gave to the cause.

The grant-funded CCC Project is designed to digitize selected manuscripts and photographs relating to the long civil rights movement. For more information on this project, including updates on the progress of digitization, please check out the CCC website. As part of the outreach efforts of the CCC Project, monthly blog posts to The Devil’s Tale will provide updates on the latest Rubenstein Library collections to be digitized for the project. Stay tuned!

Post contributed by Josh Hager, CCC Graduate Assistant

In Memoriam: Joan Preiss

Joan Papert Preiss, tireless activist and organizer for farm workers’ rights, passed away in Durham on June 1, 2012. Preiss helped to found and chaired the Triangle Friends of the United Farm Workers (TFUFW) from 1973 into the 2000s. One of the most active groups in the Eastern U.S. associated with the United Farm Workers of America, TFUFW helped to bring Cesar Chavez, Baldemar Velásquez, and Dolores Huerta to speak at Duke and organized regional boycotts of products to improve conditions for migrant farm workers. Preiss also served on the board of the National Farm Worker Ministry, which has published a memorial to her, and was involved with the work of Student Action with Farmworkers since its foundation at Duke in 1992.

Joan Preiss and Baldemar Velásquez, founder of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee. From the Joan Preiss Papers.

Preiss’s legacy can be explored in her papers at the Rubenstein Library. The papers contain extensive documentation of  boycotts coordinated by TFUFW with other groups, including the creative and colorful picket signs, leaflets, and other materials (such as the “pickle tiara”) for which Preiss became known in Durham and beyond.

Preiss wearing her pickle tiara during the FLOC boycott of Mt. Olive Pickles. From the Joan Preiss Papers.

The Student Action with Farmworkers Records in the Library’s Human Rights Archive also contain documentation of Preiss’s involvement with SAF and students at Duke preceding SAF’s foundation.

Post contributed by Will Hansen, Assistant Curator of Collections, and Meghan Lyon, Technical Services Archivist.

A Different Take on “Yes We Can!”

Currently, there is a debate among faculty at the University of Chicago regarding whether or not President Barack Obama’s presidential library should be erected on campus.  Duke University experienced a similar debate in 1981, in what is today referred to as the Nixon Library Controversy.

For a little background, we turn to the Committee Against the Nixon –Duke Library (CANDL) Records finding aid:

In late July 1981, Terry Sanford initiated negotiations with former president Richard Nixon (Duke Law 1937) to locate the Nixon presidential library on the campus of his alma mater. When this information was revealed to faculty members during the week of August 10, 1981, many opposed the proposition as well as Sanford’s failure to consult the faculty prior to initiating negotiations.

Many who opposed the library had moral objections to memorializing a president whose behavior in office was reproachable, and they feared a negative effect on the university’s reputation. Other concerns included the effects of greatly increased tourist traffic on campus and the aesthetic nature of the large proposed structure. However, supporters of erecting the Nixon Library on campus argued that the scholarly and academic benefits of locating the vast Nixon Presidential Materials collection on campus should and would outweigh any moral concerns. These supporters tended to denounce the actions of vocal dissenters as divisive and/or arrogant.

Meetings of the Academic Council and Board of Trustees during September and October 1981 were dominated by this debate, and a group of faculty formed the Committee Against the Nixon-Duke Library (CANDL) to organize the efforts of faculty, students, alumni, and others opposed to the proposed library. Although the Academic Council voted not to recommend further negotiations with Nixon in a 35-34 decision September 3, 1981, the Board of Trustees later voted 9-2 to proceed. By April 1982 negotiations had stalled, and a year later Nixon’s representatives announced that a site at Chapman College in San Clemente, California, had been chosen for the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library.

Duke University Archives houses several collections related to the Controversy.  Our most recent acquisition is the Peter Wood Papers on the Nixon Library Controversy.  Wood was Professor of History during this time and was a member of CANDL.  Included in his papers is the following flyer:

CANDL Flyer, ca. 1981
Click to enlarge.

For more information about the Nixon Library Controversy, we invite you to consult resources within Duke University Archives, including the following collections:

Post contributed by Kim Sims, Technical Services Archivist for University Archives.

Looking Back: Happy Birthday SPAM!

2012 marks the 75th anniversary of everyone’s favorite processed meat: Spam. In the frontispiece of Time in late 1936, Hormel Foods announced the introduction of two new canned meats: a spiced ham and a spiced luncheon meat. The name Spam was inaugurated the following year, putting this canned meat on the road to becoming the most memorable of Hormel’s product lineup of soups, chili con carne, and flavor-sealed chicken and ham. Spam, which now comes in 12 varieties, has sold over 7 billion cans worldwide. To celebrate this anniversary, Hormel is introducing its first spokescharacter, Sir Can-A-Lot.

Advertisement for Spam from Time Magazine, June 20, 1938

Early advertisements for Spam called it a “tempting new miracle meat of many uses for many occasions,” specifically suggesting that Spam & Eggs would be “grand on Sunday mornings,” that Spam & Salad would make for “a cool, inviting luncheon,” and that Baked Spam could provide “a distinguished main course in only 20 minutes.” Copy highlighted Spam as the choice of a thrifty household, claiming that Spaghetti with Spam could serve four for only a dime each. All the advertisements took care to emphasize that Spam did not need refrigeration, which made it perfect for picnics or to feed unexpected guests. “SPAM’s always ready for action – morning, noon and night,” the ads proclaimed.

Post contributed by Jackie Reid Wachholz, Director of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History.

RIP, Andy Griffith

It’s a sad news day with the report that North Carolina-native Andy Griffith has died at age 86. Best known for his role as sheriff of the fictional Mayberry, Griffith is also a prominent figure in our AdViews Collection of vintage television commercials. Along with commercials for the Andy Griffith Show, Griffith advertised for a number of products, including Scope mouthwash, Post cereals, and Gaines dog food.

Video links available through the AdViews digital collection.

To watch Andy Griffith and his friends from Mayberry, visit the AdViews Collection portal on the Duke Library’s Digital Collections page. If you’re interested in researching Andy Griffith’s life and career, you should also visit the Southern Historical Collection at UNC, where his personal papers are housed.

Post contributed by Meghan Lyon, Technical Services Archivist in the Rubenstein Library.

The British Are Coming! The Printer is Leaving!

Among the many treasures of the Rubenstein Library is an impressive collection of nearly 3,000 historic American newspapers. As part of our major renovation project, these items along with all our collections are being physically prepared for their impending move. In the case of the newspapers, this is a particularly daunting task. Large in scale, centuries old, sometimes folded, and typically preceded, superseded, and sometimes paralleled with alternative titles, it is often difficult to know what goes together and in what order. While such changes in title and places of publication can befuddle those of us working on rehousing the collection in appropriate order, they sometimes offer remarkable clues about America’s history.

Take, for instance, the Massachusetts Spy. Begun by Isaiah Thomas in 1770, it was the first American newspaper geared toward the middle class.  While an average newspaper of the time might have 400 subscribers, Thomas grew the circulation of his paper to more than 3,500. An adamant patriot with close connections to John Hancock, Paul Revere, and other Sons of Liberty, Thomas used his paper to broadcast anti-British views and inflame the colonists to action. The British considered Thomas so dangerous that his name was on the list of twelve people to be summarily executed if captured.

The last edition we have of the Mass Spy published in Boston is issue number 217 published on March 30, 1775, less than a month before the Battle of Lexington.  Subtitled Thomas’s Boston Journal, Thomas included a version of Benjamin Franklin’s “Join or Die” cartoon in the paper’s masthead.

The paper next appears in Worchester, under a new title—The Massachusetts Spy, Or, American Oracle of Liberty—and with a new masthead—this one proclaiming in large letters “Americans!—Liberty or Death!—Join or Die!”

While changes in newspaper titles and places of publication are common, the significance of this one cannot be overstated.  With tensions rapidly escalating in Boston, and with Thomas on the British’s most wanted list, the printer waited until the last possible moment to smuggle his press and himself out of heart of the controversy and to the relative safety of Worchester, some forty miles west of Boston.  And, when he printed his first issue of the newly reconstituted paper on May 3, 1775 he deliberately changed the subtitle and masthead to reflect the nature and urgency of his message.

On the paper’s front page, Thomas gave his own account of the dramatic events that unfolded in prior weeks: “I accordingly removed my Printing Materials from Boston to this Place, and escaped myself from Boston on the memorable 19th of April, 1775, which will be remembered in future as the Anniversary of the Battle of Lexington!” He devotes much of the issue to firsthand accounts of the battle, the first published: “Americans!  Forever bear in mind the Battle of Lexington!—where British Troops, unmolested and unprovoked, wantonly, and in a most inhuman manner fired upon and killed a number of our countrymen, then robbed them of their provisions, ransacked, plundered and burnt their houses!  nor could the tears of defenceless women, some of whom were in the pains of childbirth, the cries of helpless babes, nor the prayers of old age, confined to beds of sickness, appease their thirst for blood!—or divert them from their DESIGN of MURDER and ROBBERY!”

Given the rarity of this issue with its firsthand accounts of the very first battle of the American Revolution, I was surprised to discover that there are two copies in the Rubenstein Library’s newspaper collection.  A further curiosity is that each is signed by Thomas in the lower left-hand corner.

Closer inspection reveals that the signature is photo-mechanically reproduced, a technology not available in 1775. Both our copies are in fact facsimiles reproduced from Thomas’s own copy which resides at the American Antiquarian Society in Worchester, the nation’s third oldest historical society which Thomas founded after he retired as a printer and editor. The facsimiles were most likely produced in 1876 in celebration of the country’s centennial.

The fact that our copies are facsimiles produced more than 125 years ago is fascinating in its own right, and tells us something about the history of how this country has celebrated anniversaries. I do not know yet how these two copies will be boxed and foldered with other original issues from the Mass Spy; but, I do know that our newspapers will be ready to move out of Perkins in time for the renovation — just like Thomas was ready to move out of Boston in time for the Revolution.

Post contributed by Kat Stefko, Head of the Technical Services Dept. in the Rubenstein Library.

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