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Author Dawn Langley Simmons had one of the first sex-reassignment surgeries in the United States. She was brought up as Gordon Langley Hall in England at Sissinghurst Castle, home of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, and adopted by the actress Margaret Rutherford. After surgery she assumed the identity Dawn Pepita Langley Hall, then became Dawn Langley Simmons after her marriage to John Paul Simmons. The Dawn Langley Simmons Papers span the years 1848-2001, with the bulk of the papers being dated between 1969 and 2001. The collection includes material collected and created by Simmons when she was using the names Gordon Langley Hall, Dawn Pepita Langley Hall, and Dawn Langley Simmons. The collection houses extensive files of correspondence dating from the 1950s to 2000, with topics ranging from Simmons' formative years in Great Britain, her relationship with her mother, Marjorie Hall Copper, literary circles in Great Britain, later personal events such as her wedding, and Simmons' development as a writer. Significant correspondents or individuals mentioned in letters include Margaret Rutherford, Isabel Whitney, Vita Sackville-West, Sir Harold Nicolson, Nigel Nicolson, Robert Holmes, and Edwin Peacock. The collection also includes writings by Simmons in the form of typescripts and diaries; printed material and clippings, including articles and reviews by and about Simmons; legal and financial papers; an extensive collection of scrapbooks; photographs; audiovisual materials; and other material relating to Simmons' personal life and career as a writer.

The Dawn Langley Simmons Papers span the years 1848-2001, with the bulk of the papers being dated between 1969 and 2001. The collection consists of material collected and created by Simmons when she was using the names Gordon Langley Hall, Dawn Pepita Langley Hall, and Dawn Langley Simmons. Extensive files of correspondence dating from the 1950s to 2000 document Simmons' formative years in Kent and Sussex, Great Britain; her relationship with her mother, Marjorie Hall Copper; literary circles in Great Britain; later personal events such as her wedding and purchase of her house in Charleston, S.C.; and Simmons' development as a writer. Significant correspondents or individuals mentioned in letters and other materials include Robert Holmes, Sir Harold Nicolson, Nigel Nicolson, Edwin Peacock, Margaret Rutherford, Vita Sackville-West, and Isabel Whitney. The collection also includes writings by Simmons in the form of typescripts and diaries; printed material and clippings including articles by and about Simmons; legal and financial papers; an extensive collection of scrapbooks; photographs; audiovisual materials; and other material relating to Simmons' personal life and career as a writer. The writings in the collection are primarily typescripts but include a few proofs and printers' galleys. Many of the pieces are unpublished. The publication process of the 1995 autobiography Dawn: A Charleston Legend is extensively documented by a series of edited manuscripts and proofs as well as correspondence with the publisher. Collection materials also document to some extent sex change treatments begun in 1967 at the Gender Identity Clinic of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore; Simmons' 1969 interracial marriage to John-Paul Simmons; and the disruption in their lives in part brought on by the negative reaction of Charleston society to their marriage.

The collection also contains an electronic file of an unpublished manuscript, WANTING MAGIC, by J. Theodore Ellis, including his unpublished notes, footnotes, and reflections based on the works of Hall-Simmons and related individuals, as well as professional studies of transsexualism and sexual identity. Includes a printout of selected pages of the manuscript. There is also Ellis' copy of Simmon's GREAT WHITE OWL OF SISSINGHURST.

The Audiovisual Materials Series includes video and audio tape recordings and photographs. The recordings include professionally-produced audio broadcasts discussing Simmons' transgender life and her interracial marriage - and an amateur audio tape of Simmons' wedding. Several hundred photographs document Isabel Whitney and her family as well as Simmons' family and friends. Original recordings are closed to research; listening copies are available for most items. Otherwise, staff must arrange for use copies to be made.

The largest series in the collection, the Correspondence Series consists chiefly of incoming correspondence, spanning five decades, from family and friends, from publishers concerning Simmons' writing, and from other individuals. There is some correspondence written by Simmons scattered throughout.

Brief but detailed entries in the eleven volumes housed in the Diaries Series describe Simmons' writing career, emotional states, and family matters during the time periods from 1975-1976 and 1987-1989, ending with the years 1990-1994.

The Legal and Financial Papers Series chiefly consist of documents concerning Simmons' father, Jack Copper, Isabel Whitney and her family and estate, Simmons and her husband, and Simmons' inheritance from Whitney.

The Printed Materials Series houses clippings, travel guides, flyers, and other items that document Simmons' interests, travels, and hobbies; includes early journalistic writings (chiefly columns), and a hardcover copy of her children's book, the Great White Owl of Sissinghurst.

The twenty-odd albums found in the Scrapbooks Series feature memorabilia, clippings, photos, and correspondence assembled by Simmons concerning her writing career, family, hobbies, and interest in celebrities and royalty.

The small Volumes Series consists of two manuscripts collected by Simmons: a nineteenth-century diary written by Sarah Combs, a transcript of this diary, and an early twentieth century travelogue written by a member of the Whitney family.

The Writings Series primarily consists of typescripts of works by Simmons. There are a few written pieces by other authors. Other writings by Simmons can be found in the Correspondence Series (in the topical correspondence folders for the 1950s and 1960s and scattered throughout in other files); in the William Carter Spann Series, which contains research Simmons conducted in preparation for a book on President Carter's nephew; in the Diaries Series; and in the Printed Materials Series, which contains early columns and later writings by Simmons.

Oversize Materials housed separately from the main collection include posters, cover proofs, newspaper and magazine clippings, and a few diplomas and awards.

Acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.

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Isabella S. Gardner diary, 1852-1874 and undated 0.6 lin. ft. Linear Feet — 8 items

Collection comprises a printed 1853 "West of England Pocket Book or Gentleman's Diary with an almanack" presented to Isabella Gardner by her husband in 1852. Gardner filled the volume with routine diary entries, usually briefly mentioning the weather and the health of family members, whether they were any visitors, along with any travel or activities and with whom the family took tea or had dinner. More unusual entries have to do with a tooth extraction, the birth of Frank, and a fire at their home. Entries became less frequent from October to December 1853. Also, several pages list household accounts and amounts paid, usually for food and servant salaries. Several items post-dating the diary were laid-in, including four brief letters to and from family members, a recipe for a throat tonic, a note with dates of ancestors, and a religious flier. A child later made drawings in available spaces on pages of the diary.

Collection comprises a printed 1853 "West of England Pocket Book or Gentleman's Diary with an almanack" presented to Isabella Gardner by her husband in 1852. Gardner filled the volume with routine diary entries, usually briefly mentioning the weather and the health of family members, whether they were any visitors, along with any travel or activities and with whom the family took tea or had dinner. More unusual entries have to do with a tooth extraction, the birth of Frank, and a fire at their home. Entries became less frequent from October to December 1853. Also, several pages list household accounts and amounts paid, usually for food and servant salaries. Several items post-dating the diary were laid-in, including four brief letters to and from family members, a recipe for a throat tonic, a note with dates of ancestors, and a religious flier. A child later made drawings in available spaces on pages of the diary.

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A native of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, Margaret Taylor Smith attended Duke University from 1943-1947. After graduating with a degree in sociology, Smith and her husband relocated to Birmingham, Michigan. Smith raised four children while taking an active part in her community through volunteer work and leadership. Smith's work as a research associate studying family life became the basis for a 1987 book, Mother, I Have Something to Tell You. Smith served as the chair of the Board of Trustees of the Kresge Foundation, a national organization that awards grants to support non-profit organizations. In addition, Smith continues her commitment to Duke University by holding leadership positions on multiple boards, by acting as a founding member and chair of the Council on Women's Studies, and by enabling the creation of the Sarah W. and George N. Taylor Endowment Fund for women's leadership and the Margaret Taylor Smith Endowed Directorship for Women's Studies. The Margaret Taylor Smith Papers contain materials dating from 1918 to 2010, with the bulk dating between 1980 and 2008. The collection documents Smith's voluntarism, leadership, and philanthropic activities at Duke University, especially in women's studies; her sociological research on American families, specifically relationships between mothers and children, that resulted in the publication of a book, Mother I Have Something To Tell You; her social and family life; and her professional activities and voluntarism, particularly at the Kresge Foundation. The collection is organized into five series: Duke University, Mother, I Have Something To Tell You, Personal Papers, Professional Voluntarism, and Additions.

The Margaret Taylor Smith Papers contain materials dating from 1918 to 2010, with the bulk dating between 1980 and 2008. The collection documents Smith's voluntarism, leadership, and philanthropic activities at Duke University, especially in women's studies; her sociological research that resulted in the publication of a book; her social and family life; and her professional activities and voluntarism, particularly at the Kresge Foundation. Smith's original folder titles were retained. Smith, an avid note taker, often recorded information on the exterior of folders and manila envelopes. These folders were retained and appear in the collection. The collection is organized into five series: Duke University, Mother, I Have Something To Tell You, Personal Papers, Professional Voluntarism, and Additions.

The Duke University Series comprises materials related to Smith's leadership and professional voluntarism at the university, including correspondence, event planning notes, meeting minutes, endowment information, and speeches.

The Mother, I Have Something To Tell You Series documents the publication of the 1987 book, authored by Jo Brans, based on Smith's sociological research that describes how mothers deal with children who display untraditional behavior. Specifically, Smith researched American families whose children challenged social and sexual mores during the 1960s and 1970s. The series contains correspondence, drafts, speeches, and Smith's research related to the book, including the mothers' subject files, which typically contain written transcripts of Smith's interviews with the women, both with and without Smith's notes, questionnaires and sociological data, and audiocassette recordings of the interviews. Original audio recordings are closed to research. Use copies need to be created before contents can be accessed.

Materials related to Smith's social and family life are located in the Personal Papers Series, which primarily comprises correspondence with family, friends, and some professional associates, but also includes photographs, newspaper clippings, ephemera from Smith's days as an undergraduate at Duke University, and her father's World War I diary.

The Professional Voluntarism Series contains materials documenting Smith's professional activities, including awards, correspondence, speaking engagements, subject files, voluntarism, and philanthropy. The series particularly highlights Smith's work as the chair of the Board of Trustees of the Kresge Foundation, a national organization that awards grants to support non-profit organizations; her volunteer work with the Junior League; and her interest in ethics and ethical dilemmas.

Later Additions have not been processed. Accession (2010-0066) contains email correspondence. Accession (2010-0135) includes addition research materials, correspondence, proposals, and other miscellaneous notes. Accession (2010-0164) includes correspondence regarding the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture; the Duke University Women's Studies department; Smith's Class of 1947 and their reunions; and other miscellaneous materials and notes.

Acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.

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Nestia V. Lloyd diaries, 1923-1925 0.2 Linear Feet — 3 volumes

Three annual diaries (1923-1925) kept by Nestia V. Lloyd, a young woman (b. 1902) living with her parents in London and Wales.

Collection consists of three bound diaries kept by Nestia V. Lloyd for the years 1923, 1924, and 1925. The early pages of the diaries include printed matter such as calendars, tips intended for women in the home (regarding cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene and health, fashion), London theaters (including Lloyd's notes about which shows she saw at which theaters), and notes. Lloyd used the diaries regularly and discussed her personal activities, gifts sent and received for various occasions, financial expenses and housekeeping, her work and schooling, her travels and activities through London and Wales, and family news.

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The Noyes and Balch families resided primarily in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Collection comprises correspondence, including 136 letters (603 pages); 3 diaries; a photograph album and loose photographs, as well as a wooden box in which the family stored letters from Catharine Porter Noyes. The collection centers around Catharine, who detailed her experiences while teaching newly freed slaves at plantations on the Sea Islands of South Carolina, from 1863-1864 and 1869-1870. There are also family letters written to Catharine, 1860-1892, especially from her sister, Ellen (Nellie); Ellen's husband, F. V. “Frank” Balch; and her cousin, Mary, who taught with Ellen in South Carolina, among others family members. Another set of letters were written by Ellen to Frank while he served as secretary to U. S. Senator and abolitionist Charles Sumner (R-Ma) in 1864 in Washington, D.C.; and by artist Emily E. Balch to Richard Noyes Stone. The collection also contains a diary maintained by a 12-year-old girl, probably Ravella Balch, and there are two diaries maintained by Emily E. Balch in 1929. There is a photograph album containing 32 black-and-white photographs of Noyes and Balch family members, as well as family friends. There are also loose black-and-white photographs, dated 1877-1957. Acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture, and as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Collection comprises correspondence, including 136 letters (603 pages); 3 diaries; a photograph album and loose photographs, as well as a wooden box in which the family stored letters from Catharine Porter Noyes. The collection centers around Catharine, who detailed her experiences while teaching newly freed slaves at plantations on the Sea Islands of South Carolina, from 1863-1864 and 1869-1870. She described the challenges of her teaching situation, social events and celebrations, local attitudes about freed blacks and her teaching them, black funeral and religious practices, and general conditions on the islands. She included her hand-drawn maps of the area, indicating its relation to the mainland. In addition to these letters from the Sea Islands, there are letters Catharine wrote while she was in Illinois and at the family home in Jamaica Plain, Mass., before she made her trip South (1854-1863). There are also family letters written to Catharine, 1860-1892, especially from her sister, Ellen (Nellie); Ellen's husband, F. V. “Frank” Balch; and her cousin, Mary, who taught with Ellen in South Carolina, among others family members. Another set of letters were written by Ellen to Frank while he served as secretary to U. S. Senator and abolitionist Charles Sumner (R-Ma) in 1864 in Washington, D.C.; and by artist Emily E. Balch to Richard Noyes Stone.

The collection also contains a diary maintained by a 12-year-old girl, probably Ravella Balch, and there are two diaries maintained by Emily E. Balch in 1929. Common topics in all the letters include family news, health matters, visiting, travel plans, reading, lectures and church services attendance, theater performances, and pastimes. The photograph album contains 32 black-and-white photographs of Noyes and Balch family members, as well as family friends. There are 31 cartes-de-visite and one tintype; two of the cartes-de-visite have been hand-painted. The majority of the photographs are labeled, several in ink in a later hand. In addition to the photograph album, there are 17 loose black-and-white photographs, dated 1877-1957, including 4 cartes-de-visite, 6 tintypes, and 2 photo postcards.

Acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture, and as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

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Parker Pillsbury diaries, 1864-1896 2 Linear Feet — 33 pocket diaries

Parker Pillsbury (1809–1898) was an American minister, lecturer, newspaper editor, and advocate for abolition and women's rights. The collection is composed of 33 pocket diaries Parker Pillsbury kept for the years 1864 to 1896. The diaries offer a consistent, uninterrupted record of Pillsbury's life during these years, particularly his work fighting for the rights of women and African Americans and promoting Free Religion. Pillsbury records his interactions with leading social reformers of the nineteenth century, including William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Abby Kelley and Stephen S. Foster, Gerrit Smith, Wendell Phillips, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Robert Ingersoll, Charles Sumner, Henry Ward Beecher and Theodore Tilton among many others. His entries occasionally are accompanied by tipped in newspaper clippings about national events.

The collection is composed of 33 pocket diaries Parker Pillsbury kept for the years 1864 to 1896. The diaries contain a consistent, uninterrupted record of Pillsbury's life during these years.

Pillsbury wrote daily or nearly daily about the details of his life recording both the mundane and the profound. A typical entry begins with the weather and his location before providing the names of those with whom he met or correspondeded that day, events he attended, lectures he gave, or work he did. Pillsbury writes about his interactions with William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Abby Kelley and Stephen S. Foster, Gerrit Smith, Wendell Phillips, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, the Allcott family, Robert Ingersoll, Charles Sumner, Henry Ward Beecher, Theodore Tilton and many other leading social reformers of the nineteenth century. His entries are occasionally accompanied by tipped in newspaper clippings about national events.

Due to their consistency and span, the diaries provide a decades' long chronology of Pillsbury's involvement with and importance in the major social reform movements of the late nineteenth century, and in particular, the women's rights movement with which he closely associated during these years. The diaries show him to be a ceaseless traveler, moving up and down the east coast, throughout New England, and through western New York and the Midwest, as he lectured, preached, attended women's suffrage conventions, and otherwise attempted to advance the causes of equal rights for women and African Americans and Free Religion.

The diaries illustrate his close and sustained relationship with major figures in the women's rights movements. He writes of his work as joint editor with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony of the Revolution from 1867 to 1870, and his continued friendship and partnership with Anthony in the following decades. He often visited her in Rochester, they lectured together, and he served as her advisor when she was put on trial in Albany by the State Supreme Court for voting without the right to do so.

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Ruth Finlay papers, 1960-2011, bulk 1969-2011 6.8 Linear Feet — 300 Items

The first accession of the collection comprises diaries (39 volumes) written by Ruth Finlay documenting the details of and her emotional reactions to her daily life, activities, behavior, social life, and family life between 1960 and 1994. Topics include her hospitalization, ongoing treatment for, and life following cancer (1985 and onward); her relationships with her husband, children, and grandchildren; and the death of an adult son (December 1988).

The second accession (2006-0030) comprises diaries written by Finlay between January 1995 and August 2004.

The third accession (2011-0191) comprises 12 diaries written by Finlay between September 2004 and July 2010, a wedding log book, two day minders, correspondence, and family photographs.

All accessions acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.

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Sue Coon papers, 1920-2017 3.0 Linear Feet

Personal papers of longtime Duke administrator Sue Coon documenting her family life and history. Consists chiefly of correspondence, photograph albums, the diary of Jane Dunihue, and the scrapbook of Mary Louise Newburn.

Collection consists chiefly of personal correspondence comprising letters and cards, family photograph albums, the diary of Coon's aunt Jane Dunihue, and the scrapbook of Mary Louise Newburn.