Bridget Booher collection on Sheldon Robert Harte, 1933-1941, 1987-1991

Navigate the Collection

Using These Materials Teaser

Using These Materials Links:

Using These Materials

Collection is open for research.
More about accessing and using these materials...


In 1990, Bridget Booher began research on Duke alum, Sheldon Robert Harte, for a final paper for her history course. Harte worked as a secretary and security guard for Leon Trotsky. Harte was killed following a raid of the Trotsky compound in 1940. This collection contains Booher's research materials including correspondence from alumni with recollections of Harte, Booher's notes, and copies of Harte's submissions to the literary magazine, The Archive.
0.25 Linear Feet
Collection ID:
University Archives Record Group:
30 -- Student and Alumni Papers and Materials
30 -- Student and Alumni Papers and Materials > 01 -- Individuals


Scope and content:

Collection contains materials related to Booher's research on Sheldon Robert Harte. This includes correspondence from alumni containing recollections of Harte during his time at Duke University, Booher's research notes and materials, Harte's Duke transcript, and the written works Harte published in The Archive.

Biographical / historical:

Sheldon Robert Harte was born in 1915 in New York. He attended Duke University from 1933 to 1937. During his time at Duke, Harte joined the Colombian Literary Society and submitted essays, short stories, and plays to the student literary magazine, The Archive. In 1936, he co-founded the Duke University chapter of the American Student Union. He returned to New York City in 1937 and later joined the Socialist Workers Party. In 1940, Harte was hired as a bodyguard and secretary for Leon Trotsky who was living in exile in Mexico City, Mexico, and he adopted the pseudonym, Bob Shields. A pro-Stalinist group raided the Trotsky compound and attempted to assassinate Trotsky on the night of May 23, 1940. Harte, who was the guard on duty that night, was reported to be missing after the night's events, and several weeks later, he was discovered to have been killed. Trotsky commissioned a memorial in honor of Sheldon Robert Harte at the compound. His first and middle names are transposed on the memorial identifying him as Robert Sheldon Harte.

Bridget Booher received both a bachelor's degree in comparative literature in 1982 and a master's degree in liberal studies in 1992 from Duke. From 2006 to 2014, Booher served as a writer and editor for Duke Magazine. In 1990, she researched Sheldon Robert Harte for a history course. She used her findings to write a paper titled "Death of a Romantic Revolutionary: Sheldon Robert Harte, Duke '37." Booher became director of Women's Impact Network in 2014. She also wrote Women at Duke Illustrated which was published in 2014.

Acquisition information:
The Bridget Booher collection on Sheldon Robert Harte was received by the University Archives as a gift from Bridget Booher in 2019.
Processing information:

Processed by April Blevins, April 2023

Accessions described in this collection guide: UA2023-0002

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.

College students' writings, American
College students -- Research
Student activities -- North Carolina
Duke University -- Students
Duke University -- Alumni and alumnae


Using These Materials

Using These Materials Links:

Using These Materials


Collection is open for research.

Terms of access:

Copyright for official university records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Before you visit:
Please consult our up-to-date information for visitors page, as our services and guidelines periodically change.
Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Bridget Booher collection on Sheldon Robert Harte, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.