Post contributed by Rachel Ingold, Curator, History of Medicine Collections.
Date: Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Time: Noon (12 p.m.)
Location: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room (Room 153), Rubenstein Library
Contact: Rachel Ingold, firstname.lastname@example.org, (919)684-8549
Please join us Tuesday, November 19 at noon for our next Trent History of Medicine Lecture Series. Justin Barr, M.D., Ph.D., will present Creating a Profession: The Education of American Surgeons, 1900-1960.
In 1900, anyone with a medical degree could declare themselves a surgeon and operate on patients. By 1960, American surgeons had to complete rigorous, uniform, and regulated training called residency. Influenced by war, supported by the federal government, and driven by professional organizations, the transformation of residencies over these decades from extraordinary, unique experiences to mandated, standardized education helped create a unified profession of surgery that continues to influence health care in this country.
Dr. Barr is currently a general surgery resident and an instructor in the Department of History at Duke University.
All are welcome to attend. Light lunch will be served.
Sponsored by the History of Medicine Collections in the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
The post Trent History of Medicine Lecture Series Event, Nov. 19: Education of American Surgeons, 1900-1960 appeared first on The Devil's Tale.
From 27 November to 4 January, join us at The National Archives for a unique festive offering this season. Exploring the centuries-old traditions forced to go underground when Christmas was outlawed, 1657: Rebel Christmas includes an immersive gallery experience and exciting events programme suitable for all ages.
Our Keeper’s Gallery will play host to a recreated apothecary shop from 1657. Step inside to experience the sights and smells of an underground workshop keeping the festivities alive, where visitors can smell the ingredients for traditional mince pies and graffiti their own rebellious Christmas slogans.
We will be open on the first Sunday of December, from 11:00-16:00, for a whole day of Rebel Christmas activities. Pop in for free tours of the gallery experience, enjoy carol singing from a live Christmas choir and take part in a chocolate tasting. For younger visitors, there will be face painting and a drop-in Time Travel Craft Club.
December’s First Sunday coincides with Museum Shop Sunday, which celebrates the role museum and gallery shops play in supporting arts, cultural and heritage attractions.
Our shop will also be open for two late night shopping evenings in December. Enjoy a mince pie and festive carolling from a live choir while browsing our Christmas range, stocked with a wide selection of gifts for history lovers.
Visit our Keeper’s Gallery page for details of the full programme, including prices for individual events and opening times.
Today we mark World Digital Preservation Day by announcing an online research week looking at ways to make our web-based technical registry PRONOM more accessible.
PRONOM currently holds information on almost 1,700 distinct file formats. This includes different versions of the multiple Microsoft Word document types that have existed, for example. However, almost 600 entries in the registry contain only a brief description of the format. Furthermore, 400 formats do not have a file signature, which are based on the internal structure of the file and allow us to identify the format with a high degree of certainty.
A key step in preserving digital content for the future is understanding what file format the information was stored in so that we can then identify appropriate software to access that information. If the software is becoming hard to obtain, we can re-save the information in a new format for easier access. This identification is undertaken using tools such as our DROID (Digital Record Object Identification) software. These tools are integrated into all commonly available digital preservation systems.
Digital preservation staff at The National Archives have been involved in file format research for almost 20 years and PRONOM has been publicly available for 15 years. The virtual research week will focus on improving the PRONOM file format registry and be coordinated through a GitHub repository and our online PRONOM discussion group.
We would particularly welcome contributions that help us to fill out online file format entries, perhaps adding links to the software company that created the format, providing sample files for different formats, or helping to develop format signatures. The research week will be held between Monday 18 and Friday 22 November.
The post Online research project announced to mark World Digital Preservation Day appeared first on The National Archives.
Post contributed by Hillary Gatlin, Records Manager.
With the 150th anniversary of the first American college football game fast approaching (Rutgers faced off with Princeton on November 6, 1869), let’s take a look back at Duke University’s early football history.Trinity College Football Team, 1888
The beginnings of Duke football stretch all the way back to Trinity College. The first “Duke” football game was played on Thanksgiving Day 1888. Football was introduced to Trinity College by President John Franklin Crowell, who imported it from the northeast. Born in York, Pennsylvania, Crowell had attended Dartmouth College before transferring to Yale where he earned a B.A. degree in 1883. Crowell then served as principal of Schuylkill Seminary in Pennsylvania, eventually returning to Yale to study at both the Divinity and Graduate Schools. Crowell began his presidency at Trinity College in 1887.
Crowell was a strong advocate of physical fitness and felt a football team would benefit the health of the Trinity College community, a far cry from current health concerns about the modern game. Crowell was in fact the coach of the first football team, which defeated the University of North Carolina in its first game 16-0 on Thanksgiving Day 1888 at the state fairgrounds in Raleigh. Crowell’s version of football, imported from Yale, used an oval ball and focused on rushing rather than kicking. These new “scientific rules” of the American Intercollegiate Conference resulted in this game being considered the first true college football game in the American South.
Crowell brought football to Trinity College, but not without controversy. Many church leaders, highly influential given Trinity’s close relationship with the Methodist Church, complained about and protested the matches, declaring the sport to be too dangerous. After Crowell’s resignation as President in 1894, the next President of Trinity College, John Carlisle Kilgo, banned football that December, stating that it was too dangerous to play.
Trinity students and alumni were not happy about the ban. They routinely complained about the absence of football and fought for its reinstatement. There was even a demonstration in the fall of 1913. However, administrators would not budge. Football was too dangerous, too expensive, immoral “in the methods used to win victories”, and resulted in scandalous conduct. Intercollegiate football remained banned at Trinity College.
Football began to be reinstated in 1918. A commission was formed to review the case for football on campus, and play eventually resumed on October 1, 1920 with Trinity beating Guildford College 20-6.A player heroically dives for the ball during a game in the 1920’s.
College football has been a continual presence on campus since 1920, including through the creation of Duke University and the beginnings of West Campus. The first football game at Wallace Wade Stadium, then called Duke Stadium, took place on October 5, 1929. Over 90 years ago, Duke’s reinstated program lost big to Pittsburgh, 57 to 7.This is the kick-off to a Duke game in Duke Stadium, later known as Wallace Wade Stadium, circa 1929.
Please join us Tuesday November 5, Rubenstein Library 349, Breedlove Conference Room, for a conversation with Professor Richard Bell, Associate Professor of History, University of Maryland, as he shares his latest book STOLEN: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home. Bell will describe his research of the fascinating story of five free African American boys stolen from Philadelphia in 1825 and sold into slavery in Mississippi, and the efforts of parents, neighbors, and activists to rescue them and bring their captors to justice.
This event is co-sponsored by the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History & Culture and the Department of History
Lunch will be served
Last night we welcomed volunteers from the museum and archive sectors for the London Heritage Volunteer Awards. We were the first archive to host the awards, which celebrate the achievements of volunteers across heritage sites in London.
Speaking at the event, Jeff James, Chief Executive and Keeper of The National Archives, said “Collectively our volunteers dedicate 18,000 hours each year to support our work. It’s important to us that we take time to say thank you for the invaluable contribution they make”.
The contributions of many volunteers at The National Archives were recognised at the event. Principal Records Specialist Bruno Pappalardo, who led a joint volunteer project with the National Maritime Museum, was highly commended for the Special Award for Volunteer Management. The project, which involved cataloguing over half a million letters to the Navy Board, was also runner up in the Best Team category. Elsewhere, Brenda Mortimer was runner up in the Going the Extra Mile category and the Transparent Papers Project was runner up in the Bringing Innovation group.
An array of original documents that have recently been catalogued were on display, highlighting the vast and varied contributions of our volunteers. The documents range from seal moulds to petitions relating to 19th century criminals which thanks to the volunteer projects, are now easier to find on our catalogue. In addition, the Library volunteers displayed some rare books.
Our catering partner Graysons provided wine and refreshments for guests.
Click here for more information on volunteering at The National Archives.
Post contributed by Steph Crowell, Trent History of Medicine Intern.
Frank Clyde Brown was an English professor at Trinity College in 1909. Although, to call him just an English professor is a bit of a disservice- he was also the chairman of the English department, the University Marshal, the Comptroller of the University… he wore many hats while he was here. But, most importantly for today, he was an avid folklorist throughout his career.
He was so interested in North Carolina and Appalachian folklore that he helped to begin the North Carolina Folklore Society. Although busy with his many university roles, he still found the time to roam about North Carolina (or send his students to do so) and collect people’s stories and beliefs. The resulting collection of all these research materials, the Frank Clyde Brown Papers, 1912-1974, is absolutely massive. Alongside the huge print collection, there is a digitized collection of audio performances Brown collected during the course of his research- the physical wax cylinders and discs that they come from are still in the collection to be seen, but the only way to listen to them is through Duke’s Digital Repository.
But, in the spirit of the season, I took a look at box 45 of the print collection. Folk medicine is a wonderful and often strange portion of the history of medicine, and I quickly found that this collection reflected that idea. In this particular box are folders full of small pieces of paper that have bits of folk knowledge printed on them, as well as the source of that knowledge, be it a person or a book.3:B:Z(8)-3:B:Z(16), Frank Clyde Brown papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. Click to enlarge.
As you can see, some of these cures may not be quite what you expect. You couldn’t expect that washing your face with cool water may help alleviate a headache, but water that runs north? Why is that significant? Do beetles really only have two drops of blood in their bodies?
The thing that’s most interesting about this box is how the materials transition from folk medicine cures of diseases and insect bites into the supernatural. Some of these cures could arguably be called magical, but conceptually they still have to do with curing something wrong with the body- but what about spiritual health? What bad omens are out there that could impact my health? How do I know if he loves me or not? How can I get an edge on my exam tomorrow?4:A-4:C, Frank Clyde Brown papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. Click to enlarge.
In a context where the supernatural is accepted and has an effect on one’s personal health, it also stands to reason that one should be afraid of witches. Someone who has the power to bedevil you against your will, curse you with bad luck, make you sick? Because of this fear, the next few folders that follow the common sense cures and the charms are things to directly deal with witches. There are counter-spells, ways of identifying witches, and, most importantly, ways to keep them as far away from you as possible.4:A-4:C, Frank Clyde Brown papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. Click to enlarge.
It can be difficult these days to think that medicine can or should be magical, but in the spirit of the season I would invite you to try. These materials are available to you to look at with many more cures and curses, all you have to do is register and request and we’ll be happy to retrieve them for you.
A note about the collection: if you’re looking at the collection, just keep in mind that these papers directly quote real people; as such, there are a handful of these items that contain racial slurs and some other outdated language that we find offensive today.
Staff recommendations from the collection:
Honorable mentions for Halloween:
Users of our website may experience two brief periods of disruption over the next few days as we carry out routine maintenance work of our online services and technical infrastructure.
On Wednesday 30 October, our website will be unavailable for around 15 minutes at 08:00 GMT – users will still be able to access Discovery to search our collection.
On Monday 4 November, all online services (including our website and Discovery) will be unavailable for up to two hours, between 17:00 and 19:00 GMT.
We apologise for any inconvenience that these essential works may cause.
We are conducting a study into how people make meaning when interacting with archives. We are interested in observing you as you carry out your regular activities in the archives. Activities might include, but are not limited to:
- Using Discovery to locate records
- Photographing physical records
- Reading, writing, and note‐taking
- Downloading and manipulating digital data sets
We are interested in as broad a range of activities as possible, so please do get in touch if you would like to participate. The study will involve being observed by a researcher while you carry out your regular activities, followed by a short interview.Participation will take 1 hour
In appreciation for your time, you will receive £10.Am I eligible to take part?
If you use The National Archives (or any other archive) and are over the age of 18, you’re eligible to take part.Where and when will the observation take place?
At The National Archives, on your choice of the following dates:
Thursday 24th October
Tuesday 5th November
Saturday 16th November
Thursday 21st November
Contact Alex Leigh by emailing email@example.com.
The post How do you make meaning when interacting with archives? appeared first on The National Archives.
Post contributed by Chiara Amoretti, PhD candidate, University of Bristol, UK
After the generous award of a Mary Lily Research Grant, I travelled to Duke University this winter to conduct research for my doctoral dissertation, a study on modern and contemporary women writers and the creation of a female divine. My project focuses on three authors, including Kathy Acker, so I was excited to have the opportunity to consult the Kathy Acker Papers housed here at the Rubenstein Library. The collection spans notebooks, drafts, typescripts, annotations, correspondence and much more. My research goal was to find any evidence that Acker engaged with religion and religious discourse or texts, but more importantly how she engaged with it. To better understand her published work’s fragmented use of such suggestions, I wanted to see how Acker had originally worked them into her texts.
In order to do this, I studied the many notebooks containing Acker’s drafts for her novels and other unpublished material. Her drafts amazed me not just for the evidence of relentless work and self-editing that she put her writing through, but especially for the many different uses of heterodox religious language that appear therein. I was particularly struck to find one of her notebooks containing a discussion of her cancer treatment, in an extended metaphor, as a Shamanic initiation rite. This seems to highlight the spiritual significance, for Acker, of her choice of alternative medicine, and a way to reclaim her lived experience in response to her diagnosis.
The archive also illuminated my understanding of Acker’s fascination with para-religious activities and discourses. Her interest in astrology, which her published work hints at, takes on deeper meaning after seeing the natal charts of herself, and other people in her life, that Acker consulted. This shows her attachment to diverse forms of spiritual meaning-making, especially towards the end of her life. My visit to the Acker Papers has been invaluable for my research, showing me many unexpected ways in which Acker devised her own spiritual narrative experimentation.
Funding totalling £660,000 has been distributed to 43 places of deposit across England and Wales under the Government’s New Burdens programme.
The funding is designed to help places of deposit process an increased number of public record transfers between 2015 and 2024 as certain public sector organisations transition from a 30 to a 20-year-rule.
In each year of these years, £660,000 is available from HM Treasury for local authority places of deposit. A further £50,000 annually has also been allocated for coroners to cover the cost of preparing more material for transfer.
To receive New Burdens funding, archive services must first declare the public record transfers that they have received in their annual accessions report. Record transfers that are eligible for funding include those from magistrates’ courts, prisons, coroners’ courts, NHS bodies and some arms-length bodies.
The total number of eligible records transferred to all services in the previous year are then totalled and the funds are allocated between places of deposit based on the proportion of these records that they each received.
A particular benefit of this funding is that archive services can spend this funding flexibly to develop their general capacity to manage records, both public and non-public. In previous years, places of deposit have used the funding to create additional storage, such as new shelving or strong-rooms. The funding has also enabled archive services to employ additional archivists, upgrade their catalogues or pay for conservation materials.
Some services have even leveraged additional funding to undertake large-scale development projects such as a new building or digital preservation system, essential if they are to be able to handle the new types of public records now being created.
You can find more details of the New Burdens scheme, including the eligibility criteria and how the funds can be used, on our website or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are working with UK Power Networks on Sunday 27 October on planned electrical works that will require both buildings at The National Archives to be powered down. The work is due to be completed by 14:00 that day, at which point our Estates team will monitor all the remedial work which is required as the power is switched back on. This allows us to undertake statutory five-year electrical maintenance.
We do not anticipate any issues. However, to ensure that we are prepared for all eventualities, relevant staff at The National Archives will be on standby. They are working on plans to ensure that the building will be able to open as quickly as possible if we encounter any issues.
Please do check our website and social media platforms on Sunday 27 October and Monday 28 October for further information, and to ensure that all works have been successfully completed and that we will open as usual on Tuesday 29 October. We do not want anyone to have a wasted journey. Our website and Discovery, our online catalogue, will be unaffected by these works.
Post contributed by Paula Jeannet, Visual Materials Processing Archivist at the Rubenstein Library
Did you know that October is American Archives Month? During this time archivists and their allies take to social media and other outlets to raise public awareness about the importance of preserving the historical record. This year’s theme in North Carolina is “Activism and Social Justice in North Carolina.” To honor that theme, this post highlights an inspiring N.C. activist organization whose records are in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Officially founded in 1992 in Durham, N.C., Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF) has brought college and high school students and farmworkers together to collectively work for economic justice, consumer awareness, and improved living and working conditions for people who grow and harvest our food.
The long arc of SAF’s activist work, which began in the 1970s, is well-represented in their archives in the Rubenstein library. The collection’s 148 boxes house materials documenting SAF’s founding, its operations, meetings, and planning, and records on every program from inception to launch. There are many photographs, audio, video, and, with the arrival of the 2000s, digital records.These educational fliers and worksheets are found in Box 145 of the Printed Materials Series.
College-age interns, many of them from farmworker families, travel to isolated rural migrant camps to document living conditions through photography, oral histories, and writing. Thousands of SAF student alumni have also gone out into the world to join and found other social justice programs and organizations.NC migrant camp at night during health outreach. Photo by Jim Coleman, 2010. From “Theater in the Fields” SAF publication. Cover of “Recollections of Home / Recuerdos de mi tierra: A Compilation of Folklife Documentaries by Student Action with Farmworkers’ Interns,” 2000. Photo by Rachel LaCour, 1999: Latino teenagers at a quinceañera. Table of contents from “Recollections of Home / Recuerdos de mi tierra.” Page from “Fields Without Borders / Campos sin fronteras”: Women’s stories, often overlooked, are told through photographs as well as oral histories, preserved in this publication in the Printed Materials and in the Audiovisual series of the SAF collection. Photo by Chris Sims, 2004.
Student projects such as this 2011 video documentary created by three students are housed in the SAF collection at the Rubenstein (student project folders require permission for access). Through Story+, a summer research internship sponsored by Duke University libraries and the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, students have created several other SAF video documentaries.
An integral part of SAF’s work is educational programming and outreach for children, teens, and adults. In 2014, SAF’s Levante Leadership program was recognized as one of the most effective programs in the nation that improves educational outcomes for Latino students.
SAF also organized and participated in protest actions, including the Mount Olive Pickle Company and Burger King labor protests. These actions directly led to improved conditions in the factories and fields.
Did you know that many farmworkers are forced to live next to fields sprayed with pesticides? SAF has mounted successful long-term campaigns on specific issues such as pesticide safety that include outreach tools such as this video for children called “José Learns About Pesticides.”
Theater in the Fields brings a powerful message and educational opportunities to the fields where agricultural workers toil. The giant puppet “Big Papa” is also found in the SAF archives! The puppet was created by NC sculpture artist Daniel L. Mathewson (1964-2011) for the play “Gigantes en los Campos/Giants in the Fields,” written by NC writer Cara Page. The Big Papa character had few lines, but loomed ominously over scenes in the play as a method of intimidation and mockery of the farmworker characters.This publication is found in the Printed Materials series of the Student Action with Farmworker’s collection, along with the other materials featured in this blog post. Actors in Teatro en el Campo
The mobilization of students and farmworkers originally begun at Duke in the 1970s was in part inspired by a 1960 documentary by N.C. journalist Edward Murrow, “Harvest of Shame.” Today, the same labor, health, and social justice issues continue to plague the U.S. agriculture system, so Student Action with Farmworkers continues its work to improve conditions and to make their vision a reality, that “One day, all farmworkers will have dignity in their work and livelihood.”
During this Archives Month, we salute those who give so much of their energies to justice, and to those who recognize the importance of keeping this history alive in collective memory by placing their records in an archive.
The records of the Student Action with Farmworkers organization span the entirety of their history, and are available at the Rubenstein Library. Learn more by visiting the online collection guide.
To learn more about SAF, view this video. There are more videos on this site, many using archival resources from the collection to tell the farmworkers’ stories. Also, check out their 25th anniversary “More Than One Story” exhibit and web site.
The post Into the Fields and into the Archives: Student Action with Farmworkers appeared first on The Devil's Tale.
Bombing Britain: an air raid map uses wartime data from our collection to pinpoint more than 30,000 UK locations that were subject to air raids over the course of the Second World War – including the first attack on 16 October 1939.
The map is free to use and is based on 6,500 pages of brief, daily reports compiled by wartime intelligence officers for the Ministry of Home Security and senior officials. Routledge, Taylor and Francis digitised the reports as part of their War, State and Society online resource.
By clicking on a pin on the map, people will be able to view and download information on an air raid, including the date, location and number of casualties.
The map was researched by Dr Laura Blomvall from the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York and is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) through The White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities’ (WRoCAH) Innovation Placement Scheme.
Dr George Hay, Military Historian at The National Archives, said: “We hold vast collections that tell the story of both the British and German strategic bombing campaigns of the Second World War. This interactive map makes use of the intelligence reports that followed German raids on the United Kingdom, and visually demonstrates the impact and reach of those attacks.
“This map will be a fantastic resource, not only for military and social historians, but for anyone interested in the impact of wartime air raids across the UK.”
The post Interactive map shows devastating impact of Second World War air raids appeared first on The National Archives.
Post contributed by Steph Crowell, Trent Intern for the History of Medicine Collections.
In the spirit of the season, and in preparation for Screamfest VI here at the Rubenstein, we’ve been combing through our collections for all things creepy and unsettling. The History of Medicine has plenty of these things to go around, from medical instruments and artifacts to anatomical flap books to scary stories submitted to Duke’s old parapsychology lab (which includes the original material for the movie Poltergeist!), and much more. Being so spoiled for choice, we thought it best to ease into the festivities with some small, humble, yet significant contributors to the history of medicine: insects.
One might expect something called The Minor Horrors of War to contain stories related to the horrors of battle, the horrors of field medicine, or something equally gruesome, but this little volume takes a different direction: it talks about the how different arthropods and annelids may cause and treat illnesses for soldiers in the field. It covers lice, bedbugs, flies, mites, moths, and, leeches.Frontispiece and title page
The wonderful thing about this book is the author’s ability to break up the technical entomological information he provides with easy-to-understand and frequently witty prose. For example, in the flies section of the book there is a particularly gruesome section on the impact of the Congo-floor-maggot, blow-flies, and others responsible for myiasis (“the presence of… larvae in the living body… as well as the disorders… caused thereby.” pp. 81). He ends this section a kind of silver lining to the discussion and says that we have “at least discovered the reason why Beelzebub was called the ‘Lord of the Flies’” (86).
Throughout the book, as you can probably tell by the images so far, are figures depicting many of the creatures being discussed. Throughout, you can see all these different kinds of creatures in varying degrees of magnification depending on the needs of the author. As shown below with a couple pictures of mites, this magnification can range from birds-eye views of different phases of an insect’s development to an incredible zoom-in that can more clearly show the reader each individual extremity and wrinkly that may be found on the insect’s body.
Finally, onto leeching. Leeching is perhaps one of the most famous uses of invertebrates in medicine (you can read a little about why that is the case here), and leeches are the creature that this author spends the most time describing. Unfortunately, you won’t find many images of a leeching session in progress but, just like in the rest of the book, there are many illustrations on the fine details of the leech itself. Despite the author’s claim that leeches are “undoubtedly degenerate earth worms” (124), he spends a great deal of time describing both medicinal leeches and exotic leeches (pictured below).
If you have some time, particularly this month, we would highly recommend stopping by for a little while and taking a look at this book. You can find the catalog record here. It’s as easy as hitting the green request button on the page- just remember to give us a couple of days’ notice of your visit so we can be sure we have time to get it ready for you.
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for news and announcements related to Screamfest VI. It’s on the 30th this year, so be sure to leave some room in your schedule to come take a break with us! If you have any questions, as always feel free to drop by or contact us any time.
The insect folk– a more pleasant depiction of various kinds of insects. Dating back to 1903, this book was created to appeal to children and depicts friendlier versions of friendlier insects, such as dragonflies and crickets.
A natural history of the most remarkable quadrupeds– Like the previous book, this is more of juvenile-friendly account of certain creatures. It extends beyond insects to cover other animals like birds, reptiles, and more.
A short discourse concerning pestilential contagion– this could be a drier bit of reading, but if you’re interested in how insects who spread disease such as the plague were dealt with in the public health sphere, this could be a book for you.
Post contributed by [Matthew] Farrell, Digital Records Archivist.
The Duke University Archives collects records documenting University history. We’ve done it for a long time, and we’d like to think we’re (pretty) good at it. While there are a lot of organizational, legal, and business-oriented reasons to preserve the records of Duke, a university isn’t really a university without the students who live, study, and work here. So in addition to the records documenting Duke’s administration, building and grounds, and athletics, we also collect materials documenting student life.
One of the biggest and best sources of such materials are student organizations (fun fact: there are over 800 organizations listed in DukeGroups !). We accept records in a large number of formats, but since I’m the digital records archivist, I’m going to focus on DIGITAL FORMATS.
We accept many, many types of digital stuff from all types of student organizations. Some examples:
- Arts organization Amandla Chorus donated video recordings of their dance performances.
- Club Athletics organization Duke Taekwondo sent us digital photographs of their competitions.
- Political action organization Graduate Students Union donated document files in both MS Word and PDF regarding their struggle to gain official recognition as a labor union at Duke.
- Cultural organization Desarrolla asked us to crawl their website with our web archiving service.
- Social Justice organization Duke Students & Workers in Solidarity gave permission for us to harvest Tweets related to their occupation of the Allen Building in 2016.
We can work with your organization to identify the best way to get digital records to the Archives. Google Drive and Box are popular methods to transfer files to us from the Cloud. We can lend you a hard drive for files stored on local laptop or desktop computers. We can accept removable storage media of many different types (CDs, DVDs, thumb drives, ZIP disks, or Floppy disks). We have a whole website set up to give student organizations information about how to transfer materials to the Archives. We’ll consult with you to ensure that you’re sending us the records you want to send us, and not any sensitive material.
Bottom line: we want to make it as easy as possible for your organization to donate your records to our holdings, to ensure that the mark your group is currently making (or made if you’ve already graduated) enters the historical record, able to inspire future generations of Duke students.
Post contributed by Laura Smith, a Doctoral Candidate, History Department at the University of Arkansas. She is a 2019-2020 History of Medicine Collections travel grant recipient.
This question was the starting point for my dissertation research, and it has guided every research trip I have taken in my quest to understand how medical education functioned in the 1800s. The answer? It depends on the time period. In the 19th century, this wasn’t a question easy to answer. People didn’t always trust doctors, and they didn’t really start until medical schools began to provide enough clinical experience for their graduates to consistently produce better health outcomes for patients. I came to Duke to better understand the evolution of clinical experience in medical schools of the 1800s. These pictures trace that history.
Frederick Augustus Davisson went to Lexington, KY in the 1830s on his journey to becoming a physician. He took classes at Transylvania medical school from its most notable professors, Drs. Caldwell and Dudley, men whose publications and work in their communities initially gave Transylvania a decent reputation as far as medical schools went in this era. Davisson took good notes. He recorded the books that were suggested for him to read, books popular at the time.Davisson’s entry of medical books recommended to him.
His notes also reflect that medical knowledge in the 1800s was experimental, controversial, and personal as his writings reflect the differing opinions of his professors. “Dr. Dudley thinks his own plan better than any” for treating the retention of fluid in the genitals as it is “far more certain less painful and greatly more expeditious.” Dudley used a knife to drain fluid as opposed to a needle, explaining the benefits of each to his students.Davisson’s notes describing Dr. Dudley’s approach to a procedure.
The idea that medical knowledge was not solidified but debated in this era hints that a major challenge to the authority of doctors was surprisingly the slander of other physicians and schools. When Dr. James Conquest Cross, a professor at Transylvania, released a pamphlet on why Louisville, KY needed a medical school, many wondered how another school could be necessary when Lexington already had Transylvania so nearby. In the pamphlet, Cross argued that Transylvania’s school offered no actual experience in hospitals, no dissections, and therefore practiced antiquated medicine. Students improved with the advice of practicing physician-instructors, but nothing compared with the experience of practicing medicine themselves. Questioning the merit of Transylvania, Cross asked, “Who has ever seen a human body opened before the medical class, for pathological purposes? Which of her numerous alumni ever made, a pathological dissection under the eyes of one of her teachers? Of that individual we confess, we are just as ignorant as we are of the inhabitants of the moon.” Until Transylvania aligned with a teaching hospital like a school at Louisville would, it could not graduate credible physicians. The Rubenstein Library’s collections show rebuttal from Transylvania, however. The medical class of 1834 defended their professors, argued they had dissecting experience, and claimed Cross invented lies because of disappointment about being refused a higher position on the faculty. If it’s difficult for us to know who to believe in this debate, it was even more difficult for the public watching this conflict unfold.Statement from the medical students at Transylvania University defending their professors.
In the end, Louisville did build a medical school. Louisville Medical Institute wooed students with the promise of study in a working hospital, and Duke’s papers from Courtney J. Clark give a rare glimpse into what that early clinical experience looked like. Clark traveled from Alabama to take courses at the Louisville Medical Institute in the same era that Davisson went to Kentucky, and while Clark had similar lecture experience from Kentucky physicians, he also had notes from real cases he studied that Davisson did not. As Clark observed patients in the Louisville Marine Hospital, he learned from his practice, but his work and the work of the LMI faculty also benefitted the poor of the community who could receive low-cost medical care. Clark recorded the prescriptions and health plans of other physicians while closely monitoring the success of patients. When most medical history books praise the progressive teaching methods of Northern schools, these notes show that the medical schools of the US South made clear attempts to give experience while attempting to foster positive relationships with their communities.Clark’s notes describing his examination of a patient.
This comparison between two Kentucky medical schools through the notebooks of students shed light on how division within the medical community hurt physician trust. Rifts between schools like that between the cities of Lexington and Kentucky turned into ugly and public spectacles partly because for-profit schools competed so intensely for students and prestige. Ironically, long-lasting feuds between schools presented the public with a feeling that doctors could not be trusted as they could not even come to agreement among themselves, and in this way, doctors in the 1800s eroded their own medical authority.
So why do we trust doctors now? We trust doctors because most of us have agreed to trust science and evidence-based conclusions. We trust doctors when they time and again heal us. But perhaps, we also trust doctors because they appear unified, a surprisingly recent development in medical history offering a cautionary tale useful in our own professional and public divisions. Yes, even in 2019.
Post contributed by Craig Breaden, Audiovisual Archivist
Radio Haiti on YouTube? Now there’s an idea…. When the Radio Haiti team at the Rubenstein Library embarked on a pilot project to see how the collection would perform on YouTube and the Internet Archive, we imagined it would be a fairly straightforward process, and that it was a natural fit. The idea for the pilot, funded as part of an NEH grant, came from discussions around how to effectively re-broadcast the archive. “Take the archive to its listeners,” was a rallying cry, “to Haitians in Haiti!” This approach captured the spirit of Radio Haiti, whose tireless advocacy for democracy in Haiti was brought to a halt only by assassinations and death threats carried out under an umbrella of impunity. With our pilot now complete, we are left with some expectations unfulfilled, some questions still unresolved. But even so, we learned a lot about the process, while enjoying one unqualified success.
If research libraries are square pegs, YouTube is the round hole. Librarians and archivists love metadata, YouTube loves “views.” Researchers and users love a good search tool, YouTube loves to put your eyes on ads. The differences between the missions of an ad-supported social media platform and a dot-EDU library have the potential to obscure the common goal of content delivery. We knew using YouTube, if not exactly a deal with a devil, demanded compromise and creative thinking. The first challenge was finding workflows that we could apply to the entire archive, including batch conversion of audio to video and bulk uploading of content and metadata. It was with the metadata where we started running into trouble. With paltry character limits on titles, descriptions, and keywords, YouTube left us scratching our head (when video is clearly the data hog, how does text get such short shrift?) and scrambling for a solution to provide adequate description for the recordings. The situation seemed especially acute because our Radio Haiti metadata is trilingual (English, Haitian Creole, French), and takes a lot of text space to accommodate our anticipated user populations. Ultimately we built in a default: every description that exceeded the 5000-character limit had an ellipsis added to the end along with a link to the Duke Digital Repository (DDR) page for that recording, so that, on YouTube, we still depended on the Library resource for full description.
View the YouTube pilot here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLUqSmRQNALyrAMYxV44JOQ/videos
The Internet Archive, as its name might suggest, was far more accommodating, offering robust metadata fields without the ads or YouTube’s relentless “Up Next” pushiness. It has the spirit and ethic of our great public libraries, with a dedication to the public weal. Radio Haiti would be far from its first radio archive, and its mission, like any real archive’s, is long-term preservation. There were only two downsides to the Internet Archive platform, and the first one it shared with YouTube: There was no way to group related recordings (for example, multipart programs) via a relator metadata field in the upload spreadsheet. That work would have to be done “manually,” in the description field, which might not be a big deal if there were 100 or so recordings, but the Radio Haiti Archive has 5,308 audio files. Needless to say, the relationships between files that our DDR could make would not be replicated on these platforms. The second, more obvious downside, is that for all its virtues the Internet Archive just doesn’t have the audiences that YouTube, media titan, boasts.
View the Internet Archive Pilot here: https://archive.org/details/radiohaiti
And that one unqualified, and unexpected, success? Our team of developers, driven by this pilot project to compress the digital footprint of Duke Digital Repository pages, thus decreasing load times in areas with limited digital infrastructure, made successful modifications repository-wide to the DDR. Data transfer required for a first-time visit was cut to as much as one sixth of the original size, meaning users’ browsers could render the site much faster and, in Haiti, where mobile data transfer is limited by plans that are typically purchased daily, more cheaply. So, while allowing faster load times in Haiti for our re-broadcasting of the Radio Haiti Archive, they also made the DDR as a whole more efficient. For me, this is a great example of a specific need driving innovation. The Radio Haiti project improved the delivery of Duke University Libraries’ digital resources while also providing the opportunity for our team to see both the trees and the forest in our work.
The processing of the Radio Haiti Archive and the Radio Haiti Archive digital collection were made possible through grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Today we have made available to the public more than 100 previously top secret files from the Security Service, or MI5.
The records cover a range of subjects and span the First and Second World Wars and post-war era up to the late-1960s. Personal files include individuals classed as Second World War German intelligence agents and officers, Cold War-era Soviet intelligence officers, British Communists, and extreme right wing activists who came to the attention of MI5.
Many of the files related to the Portland Spy Ring case and the arrests and interviews of Gordon Lonsdale (KV 2/4429-4466), Ethel Gee (KV 2/4472-4474), Harry Houghton (KV 2/4476-4483), and Peter and Helen Kroger (KV 2/4484-4490).
Lonsdale, real name Konon Molody, was the illegal Soviet spy at the centre of the case, who received information from undercover spies Gee and Houghton who worked at the Admiralty’s Underwater Detection Establishment in Portland, Dorset. Lonsdale then passed the information to the Krogers, whose real names were Morris and Lorna Cohen, who then communicated the secrets obtained back to Moscow from their house in Ruislip. All were jailed for their roles in the spy ring.
Other highlights from the files which are searchable from KV 2/4409 to KV 2/4514 include:
- Arnold Deutsch, the Soviet ‘illegal’ who took the lead role in recruiting the ‘Cambridge Five’ group of Soviet spies. The file includes a written confession by Kim Philby (KV 2/4428).
- Politicians Konni Zilliacus (KV 2/4415-4417) and Manny Shinwell (KV 2/4425), who came to notice through their associations with the British Communist Party.
- The French-born, wealthy American industrialist Charles Bedaux, who passed secrets to the Nazis during the Second World War (KV 2/4412).
There is also a selection of KV 6 files on the Cambridge Union’s first Communist president Pieter Keuneman, who later became a leading figure in the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (KV 6/147-151).
Professor Christopher Andrew, author of The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5, has recorded a podcast giving a fascinating overview of the files in this release.
- Our Cold War exhibition, Protect and Survive, runs until 9 November and is part of our Cold War season of events, talks, creative workshops and family activities.
- Join author, journalist and broadcaster Charlotte Philby as she talks about her forthcoming biography of her British intelligence officer and a double agent grandfather, Kim Philby, on 5 November. Book your tickets here.
- Click here to find out more about previous MI5 releases.
Post contributed by Steph Crowell, Trent History of Medicine Intern.
In 2019, it can be difficult to imagine living in a world where people were allowed to smoke on airplanes, in restaurants, or even in hospitals. Duke itself is doing its part to participate in the history of tobacco regulation these days, declaring that on July 1, 2020, Duke will be one among many universities to finally be a smoke-free campus. If this is news to you, I’m happy to say that the folks at Duke Health have put together an FAQ (and a countdown to July 1).
Because this is such a significant event in Duke’s own history of medicine, we decided to take a look in the Rubenstein’s stacks to see exactly what we had on the subject of tobacco. Below is one of our findings: trading cards.
Yes, trading cards. This set of champion dog trading cards from Ardath Tobacco Company in Great Britain dates back to 1934 and contains twenty-five unique, award-winning dogs. Each card has a colored picture of the featured dog on the front, as well as text telling the avid collector the name of the dog, the breed, and the owners.Champion Dogs, 1934, 1-5 (front), Terence Mitchell Collection of Tobacco-Related Ephemera, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
On the back are more detailed, informal anatomical diagrams of the dogs pointing out their trademark features. A favorite is No. 3, the cocker spaniel, whose eyes are described as “full, not prominent, bright and merry” (pictured below). Also included on the back are the card numbers and branding.Champion Dogs, 1934, 1-5 (back), Terence Mitchell Collection of Tobacco-Related Ephemera, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Champion Dogs, 1934, 1-5 (back), Terence Mitchell Collection of Tobacco-Related Ephemera, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
The collection that houses these cards is massive- it contains multiple sets of trading cards, collectible fabrics, pins, cartons and packs of cigarettes. If you’re curious about the specifics, check out the collection guide. It can be intimidating to look at given the volume of items listed, but Terence Mitchell, the collector, was conscious of this and organized everything by type and topic. As far as trading cards go, there are assorted animals, famous people, famous art pieces, pirates, pieces of architecture, and much more all from a variety of companies in the United States and Great Britain.
The cards served a functional purpose in both the packaging of cigarettes and their marketing. According to the Museum of Obsolete Media, packaging for cigarettes was a bit flimsy from the 19th to early 20th century so these cards were inserted to help it keep its shape. As time went on, however, and the cards began to diversify, people began to be drawn to them because they provided a unique way to see images from around the world that would have been impossible for the average person to afford to go see. It was exciting, enticing, and, most of all, cheap.
These days, because of regulations and public awareness of the negative health impact that tobacco products have on the human body, the age of tobacco trading cards has passed. Companies are forced to be clear about these dangers in their ads, on their packaging, anywhere they might be engaging the public. In a relatively short period of time, this has profoundly affected the way we view tobacco and evaluate the extent to which we will tolerate it in public spaces.
Less than a hundred years after these trading cards were printed, the FDA is still finding its legs in legislating what kinds of warnings should be included on tobacco products. Warnings have been mandatory for only a few years now (to check out all of the FDA’s requirements, check here) and are still in flux.
As these things continue to happen, it can be a comfort to be able to see for oneself exactly why these regulations and initiatives have to be put in place to begin with. This collection of ephemera is available for Researchers to view in the Rubenstein’s reading room. If you’re interested but not sure how that process works, here’s a link to our FAQ, or feel free to contact us to ask any questions you may have!
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