The Duke University Libraries has had a long-standing reputation for their digitization projects, and this collection is certainly one of their best. This particular segment of their work focuses on the lives of African-American women, and it contains the full-text memories of Elizabeth Johnson Harris, slave letters from Hannah Valentine, and a rather unusual stand-alone letter from Vilet Lester. Hannah Valentine was born in 1867 to former slaves, and visitors can read her 85-page handwritten memoir here. In her memoir, she talks about the importance of religion in her life, and there are also a few poems by her as well. The letters from Hannah Valentine, a house slave, reveal a rare firsthand glimpse into the lives of slaves in Virginia. Finally, the very unique letter from Vilet Lester offers just a slight, but revealing glimpse, into her life in Bullock County, Georgia in 1857. >From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2010. http://scout.wisc.edu/
About the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
Developing an understanding of human experience and culture requires access to historical documentation in many forms and subject areas. The Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University preserves such documentation and promotes its use. While the library's holdings are developed in relation to instructional and research interests in the University, they are available for use by visiting scholars and the general public as well as Duke faculty and students. The library's collections range from ancient papyri to the records of modern advertising. They number more than 200,000 printed volumes and more than 11,500,000 items in manuscript and archival collections. They support research in a wide variety of disciplines and programs, including African-American studies, anthropology, classics, economics, history, literature, political science, religion, sociology, and women's studies.