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DCDC21 Conference: Call for papers

National Archives - Thu, 09/10/2020 - 13:25

The DCDC21 conference will explore how crisis can act as a catalyst for change within libraries, archives, museums and cultural organisations. It will look at the impact that crisis can have on working practices, collections and audience engagement, and how periods of turbulence can lead to new opportunities for research and collaboration. It will seek to examine how cultural heritage organisations can look beyond times of crisis and foster innovation and collaboration in their institutions and communities.

In the midst of an extraordinary time in history, cultural heritage organisations across the globe are facing unprecedented changes and challenges. These events are forcing a reassessment of our place in, and our relationship with, society at large.

The response to recent events has been as varied as the sector itself. Libraries, archives and museums responded swiftly to their communities’ changing needs through adapting their offerings and fostering a spirit of collaboration, innovation and engagement in the digital environment. However, not all organisations have been able to respond in the same way, and the emphasis on digital solutions has highlighted the digital divide between institutions and users, and existing inequalities in digital infrastructure.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has further emphasised the deep inequalities which exist within societies based on race, gender, disability and socio-economic background. Initiatives and techniques seen previously as underpinning inclusivity, such as the digitisation of collections, look uncertain within the context of the ‘digital divide’, leaving us to question some of the fundamental assumptions around many of our collective activities.

DCDC21 is now inviting proposals in a range of formats on the theme of ‘catalysts for change’. Proposals should be submitted by 6 November 2020. For more information, please visit https://dcdcconference.com/cfp/.

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Looking Back, Moving Forward with Southerners on New Ground

The Devil's Tale - Fri, 09/04/2020 - 16:18

Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Online via Zoom: Registration required to receive Zoom link
Contact: Kelly Wooten, kelly.wooten@duke.edu or Laura Micham, laura.m@duke.edu

Please join the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture for a panel discussion grounded in the history of Southerners on New Ground (SONG) that will explore how activist archives inform intersectional struggles for social justice. Mandy Carter (SONG co-founder), Wesley Hogan (historian), Lisa Levenstein (historian), and Mab Segrest (SONG co-founder) will reflect on the importance and contemporary relevance of SONG’s organizing in the 1990s and beyond.

Wesley Hogan’s On the Freedom Side and Lisa Levenstein’s They Didn’t See Us Coming both incorporate research using the SONG Records and the papers of two SONG co-founders, Mandy Carter and Mab Segrest, from the Rubenstein Library.

Co-sponsored by the Duke Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies and the Center for Documentary Studies.

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The National Archives now open, offering greater access to our collections

National Archives - Fri, 09/04/2020 - 08:00

We’re very pleased to be able to welcome visitors back into our reading rooms, offering a limited service to visitors who need access to our collection of original documents for their research. Following regular reviews since our initial re-opening in July, we are now able to expand our services and increase our capacity, so that we can accommodate more visitors and give them greater access to our collections.

Our second floor map and large document reading room is now also open, and we have increased the number of seats available in our first floor document reading room. Visitors can order more documents each day (nine instead of six), and we will have a small number of two-day appointments available for visitors wishing to research bulk document orders (between 20 and 40).

All visitors are still required to book their visit and order their documents in advance.

In addition, we are pleased to announce that we have restarted our naturalisation certification (HO 334) service, although other record copying and paid search services remain suspended for the time being.

Our building and services will look very different to regular visitors, as we’ve been busy introducing a number of measures to ensure the safety of our visitors and staff. These include:

  • New booking system to help us manage visitor numbers – all visits have to be pre-booked without exception, with a limit of one visit per week, and all documents ordered in advance
  • New document delivery processes to protect visitors and staff, and to ensure that documents are quarantined appropriately
  • One-way systems and capacity controls in frequently used areas
  • Floor markers and temporary signage to help with social distancing
  • Rigorous cleaning during and at the end of each day
  • Easier access to sinks for hand washing and provision of hand sanitiser.

This short video shows what you can expect when you visit. Due to a change in the law, all visitors are now required to wear face coverings during their visit.

We are asking everyone booking a visit to agree to a new coronavirus visitor charter, aimed at encouraging all visitors to do their bit to help us ensure everyone’s safety. We will not permit anyone to enter the building who has not pre-booked, so please do not travel if you have not been able to book as we will not be able to let you in. We are open from Tuesday to Friday, between 10:00 and 14:50.

We are currently able to provide access to our first floor document reading room and second floor map and large document reading room only – our other facilities will remain closed, including our reference library, our exhibition spaces, our shop, and our cafés. We will also be unable to provide many of our other usual reading room services, including, access to microfilm and microfiche, research advice, record copying and access to our computers.

We will continue to provide free downloads of digital records on our website for the time being, as we are initially only able to re-open for a very limited number of researchers. We will keep this, and all of our opening arrangements, under constant review.

Our full Q&A below provides more detailed information about our opening arrangements.

What services are available?

We re-opened our doors in late July to offer a limited service to visitors who need access to our collection of original documents for their research. Visitors must book an appointment to visit our document reading room to consult up to nine documents which they have ordered in advance.

We have worked hard to get the appropriate procedures and staffing levels in place for us to ensure everyone’s safety, in line with government guidance on social distancing. As a result, we are currently unable to open our other on site facilities, including our reference library, our exhibition spaces, our shop, and our restaurant and cafés. We will also be unable to provide many of our other usual reading room services, including access to microfilm and microfiche , research advice, record copying and access to our computers.

Appointments are released on our website on a rolling weekly basis every Monday morning at 10:00. Daily bookings will be available between Tuesday and Friday, when we will be open between 10:00 and 14:50, and your appointment will last for the whole day. We will not permit anyone to enter the building who has not pre-booked a slot, so please do not travel if you have not been able to book as we will not be able to let you in.

What safety measures are in place?

We’re doing all we can to help everyone feel safe when they’re on site, but we need your help too. We ask that all visitors behave responsibly and respect the measures that we have put in place, including:

  • One-way systems and capacity controls in frequently used areas
  • Floor markers and temporary signage to help with social distancing (two metres)
  • Rigorous cleaning during and at the end of each day, including in washrooms
  • Easier access to sinks for hand washing and provision of hand sanitiser.

We will also ask everyone booking a visit to agree to a new coronavirus visitor charter, aimed at encouraging all visitors to do their bit to help us ensure everyone’s safety.

Due to a change in the law, all visitors will be required to wear face coverings during their visit.

We will review these arrangements regularly to ensure that they continue to meet government guidance.

We confirm we have complied with the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19, and have also now received the We’re Good to Go mark – the UK’s official mark that shows we are following all government and public health guidance to create a safe and clean environment for everyone.

Why do I have to book in advance?

Although we are expanding our services, we are still only able to welcome a very limited number of researchers. This is why we have introduced a booking system to help us manage numbers – we will also be asking visitors to book a maximum of one visit per week initially to help us administer demand fairly. A small number of two-day visits will be available for bulk order bookings.

Visits must be booked at least a week in advance, and will be made available two weeks before the date of the visit, on a rolling weekly basis every Monday morning from 10:00. Each booking is for one person only on a first come, first served basis – you will not be able to bring anyone with you unless they book a visit themselves. Please be considerate of others when you book – we may cancel your booking if you try to book more than one visit per week, unless you have booked a two-day bulk order visit.

Booking in advance will also help ensure that we have sufficient time to quarantine documents before and after they have been handled by others. You will be able to order up to nine documents when you book your visit, and will be able to suggest a smaller list of alternative documents if any of your first choice are unavailable, for example if they are being used by another visitor or if they are in quarantine if another visitor has seen them within the previous 72 hours. We will let you know before you arrive whether any of the documents that you have ordered are likely to be unavailable for this reason.

A small number of consecutive two-day appointments in both reading rooms are now available for visitors wishing to research bulk document orders (between 20 and 40). Appointments are available for Tuesday/Wednesday and Thursday/Friday only. We are able to offer a small number of camera stands for use in the reading rooms – these must also be booked in advance.

If you book a visit and are delayed or unable to attend, please contact us as far in advance as possible using the Live Chat service on our website.

Should I wear a face covering or gloves?

Due to a change in the law, all visitors are required to wear face coverings during their visit. If you are travelling to us on public transport you must also wear a face covering.

If you have a legitimate reason not to wear a face covering, please indicate this on the form when you book your visit – this will help our staff prepare for your arrival and ensure that your visit is not delayed.

We will not allow gloves to be worn in our reading rooms, unless you are handling photographs, in line with long-standing guidance relating to the preservation of our collection. All visitors will be asked to wash their hands thoroughly before and after their visit to the reading rooms.

Some of our staff (for example, our document services staff and security officers) are likely to be wearing face shields and other protective equipment.

Are you quarantining documents after they’ve been handled?

Yes. All documents will have to be ordered in advance, at the point of pre-booking a reading room visit. Documents will be delivered to you on a trolley (rather than in our normal document lockers), so that we can minimise human contact before it reaches you. When you have finished looking at your documents, we will quarantine them for a period of time before they can be handled by another visitor.

If another visitor has already handled a document that you have requested within a certain amount of time before your visit, we will be unable to provide you with access to that document – for this reason, we are suggesting that visitors suggest a number of alternative documents that can be supplied if available.

Will document supports, such as wedges and weights, be available?

Yes, we will supply the appropriate document handling aids, including foam wedges and weights, when we deliver your documents to you. These will also be quarantined for 72 hours before and after you use them.

What’s different about the map and large document reading room?

The map and large document reading room, located on our second floor, is where researchers can access some of the larger and older documents from our collection, including rolls, scrolls, maps and parchment, many of which date from before 1688. The desks in this reading room are much larger than in our first floor document reading room, in order to accommodate the specialist needs of the collections researched here.

The map and large document reading room did not re-open in our initial phase, but we are pleased to be able to open it on a limited basis now.

What are bulk orders and how can I use them?

If you wish to research several documents from the same catalogue series, for example from FO 371 (Foreign Office correspondence), we would class this as a ‘bulk order’. You will be able to order between 20 and 40 documents in your bulk order, but they must all be from the same series, without exception.

There are a few series that we cannot supply as bulk orders – we will contact you if your request is for one of these series.

I’ve booked a visit and want to change the documents I’ve ordered, can I do this?

We understand that some of our visitors may change their minds about the documents that they wish to research, and for this reason we may allow you to make changes within the first 48 hours after you have booked your visit – however, this depends on the documents that you wish to research and their availability, and when you have booked your visit. The confirmation email that you receive when you book will include details of how to contact us with any changes to your document order.

These restrictions are in place because of the quarantine arrangements, which are there to keep everyone safe.

Will I need a reader’s ticket to visit, and should I bring it with me?

Yes, but we can make arrangements to renew expired readers’ tickets or issue new ones if you do not have a current reader’s ticket.

If you already have a reader’s ticket, you will be asked to enter the number when you book, and you will need to bring the ticket with you on the day.

If you do not have a current reader’s ticket, there is an option for this on the booking form – on selecting that option you will receive a link within your confirmation email which will allow you to register for your ticket. You will need to register to renew expired tickets as well as apply for a new one. Registration will need to be completed within 24 hours of your booking. You will then need to bring appropriate forms of identification to complete your registration on the day.

Will I be able to get help with my research?

We will of course do all we can to help you with practical advice during your visit, but we will not be able to offer any research advice in person in the reading rooms. The computers in the reading rooms will not be available, although we will continue to provide free wifi for visitors. Our email and Live Chat enquiry services will remain available on our website, and we would recommend that you use them to plan your research before you visit. We are currently unable to respond to phone enquiries.

Can I access the finding aids in the reading rooms?

You will not be able to use our finding aids during your visit, but we may be able to check these for you to help you identify document references when planning your visit. Please use our enquiry form  to do this – you will need to specify exactly what you are looking for and which finding aids need to be checked. We will not be able to undertake open-ended searches on your behalf or conduct searches that will take more than 15 minutes to research. If you want more than one search to be conducted on your behalf, we will consider this in light of the number of requests we have received from other researchers. We aim to complete these searches within five working days, but your search may take longer if the finding aids in question are in quarantine after previous use.

Will I be able to use the computers in the reading rooms?

Our computers, used by many visitors to access digitised collections on our website and those of our partners, will not be available when we re-open due to the challenges of keeping them clean and safe for everyone. You will however be able to use your own device to connect to our free wifi.

Will I be able to order documents held off site (at Deepstore)?

Yes, we are now able to offer wider access to our documents, including those stored off site at Deepstore.

Can I leave during the day and return later?

Yes, you will be allowed to leave the building/site to get refreshments, although this will obviously reduce your research time. We’d encourage visitors to bring their own refreshments, where possible.

Will I be able to use the lockers?

A limited number of our ground floor lockers will be available for visitors to use, to ensure sufficient distancing in the locker area. These lockers will be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day. We’ll also be carefully managing how visitors and staff move in and out of this area, so please try to minimise your return visits to your locker as much as possible.

Will I be able to use the toilets and washrooms when I visit?

Yes – although we have limited the availability of the toilets and washrooms to make it easier for us to keep them clean to a high standard, a number of our public toilets will be open, including our accessible toilets.

Will I be able to get a cup of tea/coffee or lunch?

Although we are not serving any food or drink, we will make a number of tables and chairs available for visitors to use in our restaurant, which has been rearranged to allow sufficient distance from other visitors. You will also be able to use the picnic furniture in our gardens, which remain open and accessible to all. Please be mindful of other visitors and staff, and dispose of your rubbish responsibly.

Will the car park be open?

Yes, our car park will be available and free of charge to visitors who have pre-booked their reading room visit. We’d encourage all visitors to follow government guidance and avoid public transport as far as possible, preferably walking or cycling to The National Archives.

If you have to use public transport to reach us, please check the government guidance for the latest advice and updates on using the tube, bus and train network safely.

Will arrangements for disabled visitors change?

We have worked hard to ensure that our safety measures and new arrangements do not discriminate against any of our visitors. If you need someone to accompany when you visit, they will also have to book a visit. If you have any other special requirements, please let us know when you make your booking.

Are digital records still free to download from your website?

Yes, we will continue to provide free downloads of our digital collection for the time being, as we are initially only able to reopen our reading rooms for a very limited number of researchers. We will continue to review this regularly.

When will record copying/other suspended services resume?

We have already restarted our naturalisation certification (HO 334) service, although other record copying and paid search services remain suspended for the time being.

We will continue to review the situation as more of our staff return to the building.

When will events/education visits/behind the scenes tours etc. resume on site?

We’ve suspended all of our on site events, including school visits and tours, until further notice, but we’ll continue to review the situation and plan to restart them when we are confident that we can deliver them safely.

In the meantime we are providing a wide variety of education and learning resources free of charge on our website, along with a full online events programme. Our social media channels offer behind the scenes glimpses of our collection, including a curator-led tour of last year’s Cold War exhibition.

Why are you collecting information about my visit?

We will keep a secure temporary record of your visit for 21 days, after which it will be destroyed – during this time your information may be shared with the NHS test and trace service if necessary, for example if a visitor on the same day as you tests positive. We are doing this to help reduce the risk of a local outbreak of coronavirus and in line with government guidance, as we want to do everything we can to protect our staff, visitors and the wider community.

Can I still submit a Freedom of Information (FOI) request?

Please refer to our detailed Q&A about FOI requests for information about how this service has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The post The National Archives now open, offering greater access to our collections appeared first on The National Archives.

Artwork to commemorate heroes of the Blitz commissioned by Ancestry

National Archives - Fri, 09/04/2020 - 04:31

Family history experts Ancestry have commissioned 33 artists around the UK to create artwork based on Civil Gallantry Award records held at The National Archives to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the start of the Blitz.

The aerial bombing campaign of industrial towns and cities during the Second World War started on 7 September 1940 and continued for more than eight months causing widespread destruction across the UK.

Anna Marrow, Ancestry Blitz Art ‘Extinguishing Fires’

Inspired by the War Artists Advisory Committee established in 1939, the new online gallery depicts 80 stories from areas hit hardest by the Blitz and reveals personal stories of everyday heroism on the home front.

Each piece of art is based on an historical record and true story from the Civil Gallantry Award collection.

Dr William Butler, Head of Military Records at The National Archives, said: “The Civilian Gallantry Award records are a treasure trove of stories, highlighting the incredible and often dangerous work carried out by individuals working as air raid wardens, first aid workers, firewatchers and messengers during the Second World War.

 

“They provide vivid details of the exploits and heroic deeds of civilians fighting a war away from the battlefields and highlight the sacrifices so often made on the home front.

“This collection of artwork, commissioned by Ancestry, pays tribute to the original War Artists Advisory Committee by adding new reflections on the experiences of many communities during that turbulent time in our history.”

Michael Snodgrass, Ancestry Blitz Artwork ‘Messenger’

Click here to view Ancestry’s online gallery of the new art collection

Explore our Second World War research guides here

The post Artwork to commemorate heroes of the Blitz commissioned by Ancestry appeared first on The National Archives.

OUCH! : Over a Century of Getting Vaccinated at Duke

The Devil's Tale - Tue, 09/01/2020 - 09:00

Post contributed by Brooke Guthrie, Research Services Librarian.

You may have noticed (and we really hope that you have) that campus life is a bit different in Fall 2020. We’re all wearing masks, washing our hands, and obsessively monitoring our symptoms. We’ve also spent at least a few minutes speculating on the many unknowns—including the possibility of a coronavirus vaccine and how it might be distributed to the Duke community. The Duke Compact asks students, staff, and faculty to pledge to “Get the flu shot and other required vaccinations by designated deadlines.” And that made us wonder about the history of vaccinations at Duke.

You can learn a lot about Duke history from the Duke Chronicle and its predecessor, the Trinity Chronicle. Luckily for us, issues of the newspaper from 1905 to 2000 have been digitized by Duke University Libraries and can be fairly easily searched. Searching the newspaper reveals that campus-wide vaccination efforts are nothing new to Duke. Here are a few of the examples we found.

We’ll start by going way, way back to a time before Duke was called Duke. In 1914, during the Trinity College days, a vaccine against typhoid fever was offered to students, faculty, and their families. In addition to announcing the availability of the vaccine, the Trinity Chronicle published information on the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine as well as the number of deaths caused by typhoid in the state (about 1,200 each year). The article ends by noting that the administration “is anxious to see a large number of students avail themselves of the opportunity to obtain immunity from typhoid.”

October 7, 1914 front page of the Trinity Chronicle with article discussing typhoid vaccine. Read article.

A little over a decade later, in 1928, students were asked to get a smallpox vaccine. The very short announcement suggests that vaccination is no big deal: “the nurse will give the vaccines in a few minutes, and it will all be over.” Although noting that there were no serious cases on campus, the article says that six students were confined and lists their names. (Reporting campus illnesses and including the names of the ill was a fairly common practice back then.)

Polio was perhaps one of the most troubling diseases in the mid-twentieth century and the widespread concern was justified. In 1948, the worst year for polio in North Carolina, 2,516 cases and 143 deaths were reported in the state. In October of 1950, a Duke undergraduate named Daniel Rathbun died after contracting polio and spending two weeks in an iron lung at Duke Hospital. When a polio vaccine became available in 1955, vaccination campaigns were held throughout the country. In October of 1956, the Duke Chronicle announced that student health would offer the vaccine to all under 45 years old. For students, the vaccine cost $3.00. The article discusses what is known about the relatively new vaccine, emphasizes the importance of getting vaccinated, and notes that previously most college students were required to get vaccinated for typhoid fever (as if to say “why should this be any different?”).

October 12, 1956 Duke Chronicle article announcing polio vaccinations on campus. Read article.

Efforts to vaccinate campus continued through the rest of the 20th century. In the mid-1970s, an outbreak of swine flu in the United States led to a nationwide vaccination drive. In November of 1976, Duke announced that it had 5,000 shots available to students and staff. In the 1980s, measles was a cause for concern on campus. In March 1985, the Chronicle published a large notice to let unvaccinated students know that “YOU NEED TO BE VACCINATED NOW.” A few years later in January 1989, a statewide outbreak spread to campus and Duke quickly “issued more stringent vaccination requirements” for both students and staff. Soon after Duke issued the new requirements, all unvaccinated students and staff were excluded from campus for two weeks. Staff were told to stay home. Students were barred from campus housing and had their Duke cards deactivated.

Notice published in the March 15, 1985 Duke Chronicle directing students to get the measles vaccine.

Concerns around meningitis in 1987 brought similar calls for large scale vaccination after a small number of students were infected. The Chronicle reported that mandatory vaccination was possible and, in March of 1987, thousands of students received a vaccine in a single day as part of the administration’s goal to distribute 6,000 doses.

Coverage of the 1987 meningitis vaccine effort of campus. Read article.

There are many other examples of vaccination efforts in Duke’s history—the campus-wide distribution of the annual flu vaccine is one we’re all familiar with and, in 1999, students were encouraged to get a hepatitis B vaccine with a hip Chronicle advertisement that said “Hepatitis B is a very uncool thing” and the vaccine will keep you from “turning an embarrassing shade of yellow.”

If you’re interested in exploring this history more, try searching digitized issues of the Duke Chronicle or get in touch with our helpful staff. And, while we have your attention, make sure to get your flu vaccine this year!

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Colonizing Latin America with Pan American World Airways

The Devil's Tale - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 14:58

Post contributed by Leah Tams, Pan Am CLIR Grant Intern.

The United States has long been an empire with colonial holdings, even since its inception. The U.S. has carried out its colonialism in many different ways, depending upon the time period and area being colonized. In the 1930s and 1940s, the “Good Neighbor Policy,” first articulated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, became an avenue for the United States to commercially influence Latin American nations. In the spirit of the Good Neighbor Policy, the United States didn’t send hundreds of people to colonize Latin America—instead, it sent businesses to establish and extend their economic influences within the region. One of the key businesses sent to Latin America was Pan American World Airways (Pan Am).

The Good Neighbor Who Calls Every Day…, Pan American Airways System, 1941, AdAccess Digital Collection

The John W. Hartman Center’s earliest ads from Pan Am illustrate the Good Neighbor Policy in action: “Out of the Muck of the Mazatlán,” Pan Am created airfields in Latin America, which were heralded as “Another ‘Stepping Stone.’” These “stepping stones” would allow the United States to connect with various Latin American cities and civilizations, thus extending U.S. influence southward. Other early advertisements were even more overt in their reference to the policy, proclaiming that Pan Am was indeed “The Good Neighbor Who Calls Every Day” who would create meaningful—and influential—political and economic contact between both regions. As historian Jennifer Van Vleck argues, “the development of commercial aviation did important work to make the U.S. presence in Latin America appear more benign while also bringing the region within closer reach of Washington and Wall Street.”[1]

Once Pan Am had an established presence in Latin America, it was fairly simple to begin advertising the wondrous destinations available—particularly because Pan Am (or, more accurately, Panagra, as the joint venture in South America was known) presented the region as an almost-undiscovered land. Ads from the late 1940s assured travelers that they would “travel in the intrepid footsteps of Pizzaro [sic],” in a paradise “spangled with the glories of past centuries.”[2] These intimations of Francisco Pizarro—the Spanish conquistador who invaded Panama and Peru—and other overt references to the colonialist efforts of Pan Am, which injected U.S. influence and culture into South America, would continue for decades.

Greatest Campaign Since Pizarro, PANAGRA, 1962. J. Walter Thompson Co., Domestic Advertisements Collection

In 1962, the J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT), Pan Am’s principal advertiser, launched a campaign for Panagra that touted the “Charms of South America” to potential travelers. To its travel agents, JWT called this effort the “Greatest Campaign Since Pizarro!” Other Panagra advertisements from the 1960s celebrate Pizarro’s lasting impact upon Lima, Peru, stating that “He laid out the city’s streets, the government buildings, the cathedral, just where you see them today.” With these references to and celebrations of Pizarro, it seems as though Pan Am is encouraging its travelers to once again conquer and colonize Latin America—in fact, Panagra ads from 1965 invite travelers to “Capture the city Pizarro couldn’t!” (referring to Machu Picchu in Peru) and underscore the flippant imperialism of the U.S.

Capture the City Pizarro Couldn’t, PANAGRA, 1965. J. Walter Thompson Co., Domestic Advertisements Collection

To be sure, contemporary advertisements for Pan Am’s flights to Europe portray the continent and its destinations as commodities, most often as dollar amounts. But where European cities and regions are reduced a monetary figure, they are never reduced to places that can be conquered, subdued, or gifted civilization the way that Latin America is. In Latin America, it seems that Pan Am found the perfect candidate for profit and U.S. imperialism, veiled in the thin language of adventure.

[1] Jennifer Van Vleck, Empire of the Air: Aviation and the American Ascendancy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013), 54.

[2] “Panagra Vacation,” 1947, https://repository.duke.edu/dc/adaccess/T1593.

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The National Archives welcomes Swedish School onsite at Kew 

National Archives - Mon, 08/24/2020 - 05:00

We are delighted to announce the commencement of a new strategic collaboration with the Swedish School in London (SSL). The National Archives has a long history of working with and supporting the educational sector, primarily through onsite school visits but also via an extensive programme of online teaching sessions and outreach work. In line with this, we are now welcoming a new partner, the Swedish School, who will locate their Sixth Form on site from November.

Jeff James, Chief Executive and Keeper at The National Archives, said: ’We welcome the Swedish School to Kew and look forward to working alongside them. Both The National Archives and the Swedish School have learning and the acquisition of knowledge at their core.

‘This dynamic, educational partnership will allow both parties to enhance our offer to  students and visitors. We see this as a positive step forward to creating a stimulating, learning environment for the future.’

Jenny Abrahamsson, Headteacher at the Swedish School in London, said: ‘We are delighted to embark on this strategic partnership with The National Archives in Kew, with the relocation of our Sixth Form to this significant British cultural institution. Months of discussion and collaboration in preparation for this move have highlighted just how closely aligned our values around education are, and we look forward to the long-term enrichment of both the Swedish School in London and The National Archives in this exciting new chapter for both.’

The SSL is a registered charity that provides teaching of the Swedish curriculum to Swedish nationals, allowing them to spend time in a different cultural environment without having to take time out from their education. The SSL is consistently rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted and prides itself on offering high quality teaching to pupils of all ages. The Sixth Form (comprising around 70 students and staff) is currently located in Richmond but will move to The National Archives into space not normally occupied by the public.

This collaboration will not adversely impact the services or activities we provide for our visitors, nor will it change our commitment to our statutory obligations under the Public Records Act 1958. There will be no impact on staffing or activities.

It is the result of a long piece of work by the Business Development team at The National Archives who have been looking at commercial opportunities that will realise value and open out more of our collection. As well as supporting our education agenda, this also reinforces our already strong links with the local Richmond community.  We aim to create new, inclusive and exciting spaces, physical and virtual, in which people can encounter our collection in new ways. Income generated from the project will be reinvested in The National Archives to support our services to the public and help to widen the public experience and understanding of archives and our history.

The post The National Archives welcomes Swedish School onsite at Kew  appeared first on The National Archives.

New Online Exhibit! Early Studies in Parapsychology at Duke

The Devil's Tale - Wed, 08/19/2020 - 10:49

Post contributed by Steph Crowell, the Josiah Charles Trent History of Medicine Intern for 2019-2020. Steph curated the digital and physical exhibit Early Studies in Parapsychology at Duke.

Have you ever had a paranormal experience?

It can be easy to dismiss, but we are proud to announce that the new online exhibit Early Studies in Parapsychology at Duke is here to showcase some of the people whose job it is to scientifically study those experiences.

When J.B. and Louisa Rhine came to Duke in 1930, there were no scientific protocols to confirm or reject the reality of clairvoyance or telepathy but that was soon to change. In starting the Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke, the Rhines as well as their fellow researchers made it their jobs to apply the scientific method to these phenomena—with surprising results.

One of the most famous tests to come out of the laboratory is testing with Zener cards. Named after Dr. Karl Zener who helped develop them, Zener cards are simple: each is printed with one of five symbols: a circle, a cross, wavy lines, a square, and a star. A test is deceptively simple. One person holds the cards and another person sits opposite them. A screen separates them. The person with the cards gives them a shuffle and picks one at random and asks the other person if they can sense the symbol on the card.

Undated Zener test, University Archives Photograph Collection.

This test alone required hundreds of tests to determine the probability of randomly guessing correctly and to determine how many guesses in a row were required to get a meaningful result. In addition, it was found the mood of the participant could have a profound effect on results. Researchers also had to ensure that there was no way for a participant to get information from a researcher’s expressions, body language, and that nothing like an accidental reflective surface could give insight to the participant about which card was being held up.

With the laboratory at Duke, there was a wealth of student volunteers to help in testing. Some photos of those students working with both J.B. Rhine and fellow researchers still exist at Duke as part of the University Archives Photograph Collection.

Aside from those, the main collection of Parapsychology Laboratory Records can also be found in the Rubenstein. There are over seven hundred boxes of research notes, paraphernalia, letters, publications, research supplies and more. In addition, the Rubenstein houses other researchers’ personal papers, like Louisa Rhine, J. Gaither Pratt, and William McDougall.

Group photo from the University Archives Photograph Collection

After J.B. Rhine’s retirement in 1965, the laboratory was renamed the Institute of Parapsychology and moved to the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man. Even later, in 2002, the laboratory had to move again to its current home, The Rhine Research Center.

The Rhine Research Center is a non-profit still operating in Durham. You can read more about them and their current projects on their website here. To this day, the research continues and there are still opportunities for students to be involved.

When our exhibit spaces reopen, we invite you to visit the Josiah Charles Trent History of Medicine Room which will host a physical version of the online exhibit. We would like to give special thanks to Barbara Ensrud, Sally Rhine Feather, and John Kruth from the Rhine Research Center for contributing their insight and several photograph’s from the Center’s own archive.

Post contributed by Steph Crowell, the Josiah Charles Trent History of Medicine Intern for 2019-2020. Steph curated the digital and physical exhibit Early Studies in Parapsychology at Duke.

The post New Online Exhibit! Early Studies in Parapsychology at Duke appeared first on The Devil's Tale.

Tickets now available for Meet the Author series

National Archives - Wed, 08/19/2020 - 04:48

This autumn, we will be launching Meet the Author, a brand new programme of free online talks with high-profile authors. From raising a queen to cracking the Enigma code, Cold War espionage to real life murder cases, the discussions will reflect the expansive collection held by The National Archives. Events will usually be chaired by a specialist historian and will be followed by a live Q&A, giving attendees the opportunity to join the conversation by submitting questions.

  • On 9 September, Dermot Turing will discuss his book The Codebreakers of Bletchley Park with Mark Dunton, Principal Records Specialist at The National Archives. The book retells the history of Bletchley Park and explores the work of its most famous alumnus Alan Turing, Dermot Turing’s Uncle.
  • On 16 September, Wendy Holden will talk about her book The Governess with Jessamy Carlson, Family and Local History Engagement Lead at The National Archives. Exploring the extraordinary experiences of Marion Crawford, who became governess to young Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret in 1933, Wendy Holden’s new fiction is based on historical sources and first-hand accounts.
  • On 7 October, Trevor Barnes will be in conversation with MI5 historian Professor Christopher Andrew, talking about his new book Dead Doubles. The book explores the Portland Spy Ring, one of the most infamous espionage cases from the Cold War, and is heavily based on government documents at The National Archives.
  • On 18 November, Rebecca Gowers will discuss her book The Scoundrel Harry Larkyns with Katherine Howells, Visual Collections Researcher at The National Archives. The book uncovers the astonishing true story of the mysterious nineteenth-century figure and his murder at the hands of photographer Eadweard Muybridge, a founding father of cinema.
  • On 23 November, Roger Dalrymple give a talk on his book Crippen: A Crime Sensation in Memory and Modernity. The book explores the case of Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen, who was hanged in London in November 1910 for the murder and mutilation of his wife. The talk will take place on the 110th anniversary of Crippen’s execution.

Talks will start at 7:30pm and last around 45 minutes, followed by a 15 minute Q&A session. Once registered, attendees will have the opportunity to buy a signed book from The National Archives Shop.

Click here for tickets and more information.

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