“Losing the Land” with Andrew Kahrl

Date: Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Time: 3:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Janie Morris, 919-660-5819 or janie.morris(at)duke.edu

From the Davis Family Papers.

Dr. Andrew Kahrl will discuss the rise and demise of black beaches and coastal property ownership from the early 20th century to the present. Kahrl’s talk, titled “Losing the Land: African American Ownership of Coastal Property,” is based in part on his findings in the Behind the Veil oral history collection at the RBMSCL.

This event is part of the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the RBMSCL’s John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Kahrl is assistant professor of history at Marquette University and a former fellow at the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies.

New Audubon Pages on Display

Stacks Manager Josh Larkin-Rowley and Duke Law student Amanda Pooler examine Audubon's Raven.

Every month, RBMSCL staff members turn the pages of the four volume double elephant folio set of John James Audubon’s Birds of America. This keeps the rare volumes from developing “preferential openings”—tendencies to open to one particular page that often result when books are on display for long periods of time.

Duke Law student Amanda Pooler, making her first visit to the Rare Book Room, helped select the new openings. She chose the Brown Pelican (Pelicanus Fuscus), the state bird of her native Louisiana, as well as the Raven (Corvus Corax); the Carolina Parrot (Psittacus Carolinensis); and the Kittiwake Gull (Larus Tridactylus).

Stop by the RBMSCL reading room (103 Perkins) during open hours to view these gorgeous prints.

Thanks to Beth Doyle, Collections Conservator, for helping with this post. Check out Beth’s own post on the Audubons over at Preservation Underground.

“Abusing Power: Satirical Journals from the Special Collections Library”

Date: 22 February-11 April 2010
Location and Time: Perkins Library Gallery during library hours
Contact Information: Meg Brown, meg.brown(at)duke.edu

"Pobre España" by Anonymous. From La Flaca, 12 September 1872.

The RBMSCL’s outstanding collection of over 60 satirical magazines from Europe and North and South America offers a panoramic view of international journalistic caricature from its origins in the 1830s to the present day. This exhibit, which gathers vivid examples from these periodicals and places them in their historical context, surveys the spectrum of comic journalism, examining the visual languages of graphic satire, and investigating its rhetorical power.

Curated by Neil McWilliam, Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies with the assistance of students in his “From Caricature to Comic Strip” course, the exhibit coincides with “Lines of Attack: Conflicts in Caricature,” an exhibition of contemporary and historical graphic satire at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

To see images from the exhibit, and to learn more about the RBMSCL’s collection of satirical journals, visit the exhibit’s online guide.

Women’s Education Symposium Redux: Activism Panel

Date: Friday, 26 February 2010
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Perkins Library Room 118
Contact Information: Kelly Wooten, 919-660-5967 or kelly.wooten(at)duke.edu

Beginning this month, the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture invites you to grab your lunch and watch videos from their 30 October 2009 symposium, “What Does It Mean to Be an Educated Woman?”

This month, the “Activism and Education” panel will be shown. Visit the symposium schedule to see the list of speakers. Desserts will be provided!

Viewings of the second and third panels have been scheduled for 26 March and 23 April, respectively. Stop by The Devil’s Tale in the coming weeks for reminders and more information.

If you won’t be able to attend the viewings, the videos are also available online.

Remembering Susan Hill

With great sadness, the RBMSCL would like to recognize the passing of Susan Hill, who died Saturday, 30 January, 2010, from breast cancer. Hill gained national prominence as a champion for women’s rights. She was president of the National Women’s Health Organization, a group of abortion clinics in the eastern U.S.

In 2003, Hill donated her papers and the records of the NWHO to the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture (collection guide here).

“We are honored to preserve the papers of Susan Hill. Our thoughts are with her many friends and family members at this difficult time,” said Laura Micham, Director of the Bingham Center.

Her obituary was published in Raleigh’s News and Observer.

Behind the Scenes: Intern Angela DiVeglia

Most people associate Victorian women with high tea and corsets, not with struggles for justice and equality. However, Angela DiVeglia, graduate intern at the Sallie Bingham Center and co-curator of “I Take Up My Pen: 19th Century British Women Writers,” spends much of her days examining the relationships between current feminist thought and the work done by early feminists in the United States and Great Britain.

Angela DiVeglia gives this Frances Power Cobbe pamphlet a thumbs-up.

Several of the items in the library’s current exhibit, such as the pamphlet above (Our Policy: An Address to Women Concerning the Suffrage by Frances Power Cobbe), were produced by strong and outspoken feminists who wrote and lectured widely during a time when women were still expected to remain within the domestic sphere.

DiVeglia writes, “It’s really inspiring and grounding to work with these kinds of materials; it’s easy to think of our own struggles outside of their historical contexts, to feel like we’re the only people fighting these particular fights. Seeing pamphlets and books produced by people like Frances Cobbe and Annie Wood Besant—women who were often ostracized for their work, and who occupy marginal places in history—reminds us that we’re actually part of a huge, rich legacy of people who want to create a better world.”

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the exhibit yet, it will be on display in the Perkins Library Gallery until February 21!

A Valentine’s Day Puzzle

William Tell Steiger, undated
William Tell Steiger, undated

In November 1828, William Tell Steiger wrote in his notebook that he had presented his beloved Anna Maria Shriver with an anagram: “O evil here I am at.”

He continues, “she deciphered it and returned an anagram in answer containing the following: ‘That love deserves to be returned.'”

Three years later, the couple married on September 20th.

We leave you to puzzle out the first anagram (which you can find in our Steiger-Shriver Family Papers). And yes, Anna Maria Shriver was the great-great-great aunt of journalist and First Lady of California Maria Shriver.

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