April 2015 | Nate Pedersen

Duke Acquires Significant Women's History Collection

The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University has acquired Lisa Baskin's women's history collection. Baskin's collection of approximately 8,600 rare books, as well as manuscripts, journals, ephemera, and artifacts, was one of the most significant women's history collections in private hands.  The collection, which includes Virginia Woolf's writing desk, will be absorbed into the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture within the Rubenstein Library.

"I am delighted that my collection will be available to students, scholars and the community at Duke University, a great teaching and research institution," Baskin said in a Duke University press release. "Because of Duke's powerful commitment to the central role of libraries, and digitization in teaching, it is clear to me that my collection will be an integral part of the university in the coming years and long into the future. I trust that this new and exciting life for my books and manuscripts will help to transform and enlarge the notion of what history is about, deeply reflecting my own interests."

Baskin's collection includes a large selection of letters and manuscripts from anarchist Emma Goldman, correspondence between important suffragists Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Emmeline Pankhurst, and Lucretia Mott, decorated bindings from British binders Sara Prideaux, Katharine Adams, and Sybil Pye, and a manuscript of Harriet Beecher Stowe's publicity blurb for Narrative of Sojourner Truth.

After the collection is cataloged, it will be available to researchers.  Selected items will also go on display in the Rubenstein Library after it completes a renovation scheduled to finish in August 2015.

[Image of Woolf's writing desk from Duke University]