Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
Address: Box 90185
Durham, NC 27708-0185
Reading Room: 103 Perkins Library
Phone: (919) 660-5828 Fax: (919) 660-5934
Contact: Laura Micham, Director of the Library's Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture and Women's Studies Bibliographer.
Email: cwhc@duke.edu
Internet address: http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/specoll
Hours: Mon-Thu: 9 am - 9 pm; Fri: 9 am - 5 pm; Sat: 1-5 pm. Summers and vacations, Mon-Fri: 9 am - 5 pm; Sat: 1-5 pm.
Wheelchair Access: yes
The Manuscript Department was established in 1931, and the Rare Book Department was formally organized in 1942. Between 1989 and 1992 the two departments combined to form the present Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.
Information about holdings
Time periods/geographical regions documented:
Primarily the 20th century American South.
Significant People/organizations/subjects documented:
  • Lesbian Pulp Novel Collection;
  • Reevy Collection of Books on the History of Sexuality (168 items);
  • John Addington Symonds Papers, 1870-1894 (bulk, 1889-1892; 12 items);
  • Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance Archives and Periodicals Collection, 1972-1994 (archives: 18,000 items, periodicals: 33,750 items);
  • Julia Penelope Papers, 1966-1994 (25,00 items);
  • North Carolina Lesbian and Gay Health Project Records, 1982-1996 (13,800 items);
  • Milo Guthrie Papers, 1962-1990 (15,150 items);
  • William Gedney Photographs and Writings, 1950s-1994 (49,870 items);
  • Sarah Dyer zine collection, 1974-2000 (1750 items);
  • Sarah Wood zine collection, 1990s (100 items);
  • Modern Language Association gay and Lesbian Caucus Lesbian and Gay Studies Newsletter Archives, 1974-1998 (5,568 items);
  • The Front Page (Raleigh, NC) records, 1977, 1980-1999 (25,000 items;
  • Will Inman papers, 1910-2001 (39,401 items);
  • Lightning Brown Papers, 1983-1985 (1500 items);
  • OutRight! Records, 1990-1995 (4500 items);
  • Jim Grimsley Papers, 1970-1997 (2500 items);
  • Mab Segrest Papers, 1967-1996 (17,625 items);
  • Dawn Langley Simmons Papers, 1952-1998 (407 items);
  • James T. Sears papers, 1967-1999 (ongoing accessions; currently 26,500 items);
  • Carl Corley papers, 1939-present (650 items);
  • William Cannicott Olson Papers, 1956-1985 (7,877 items);
  • Loreen Weeks and Fred Klasse Papers, 1892-1937 (160 items);
  • Percy Ryberg papers; Charles Baker Journals, 1859, 1861-1879, and 1900-1904 (25 volumes);
  • Minnie Bruce Pratt; Mandy Carter; and
  • Catherine Nicholson.

Other holdings potentially of interest to researchers in LGBT studies include the manuscript collections of Robin Morgan, kate Millett, Phyllis Chesler, Charles Torrence nesbitt, William Eliza Terrell, and Alma Strikeleather Wall, and a 1904 edition of "The Songs of Bilitis."

Collecting interests We actively collect materials in LGBT history and culture, with a primary emphasis on the LGBT activism and literature in the American South. We also emphasize collecting LGBT materials that intersect with our other collecting priorities (e.g. women's studies, African-American studies, history of advertising, English-language literature, Southern history and culture, documentary photography, history of economic thought).

Use requirements Patrons must register and show photo identification. Individual collections may have restrictions; please consult with reference staff in advance of visiting the library to see if any additional permisions to use specific holdings are required. Services Research space, copying, audiovisual facilities, exhibitions, reference assistance on site, telephone reference, Internet reference (email/web), and loan agreements for exhibits.
Other services/notes: Occasional exhibitions; support Duke University classes in LGBT studies.

Indices, finding aids, collection descriptions On-line public catalog, OCLC records, published guide to the collections (1980), and in-house finding aids.

News about collections LGBT collections are advertised in The Broadside, the RBMSCL newsletter, along with our other collections.