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Oral history and research collection forming the basis for Duke University undergraduate Chris D. Howard's 1983 senior honors thesis, including research notes and recorded interviews with political and civil rights leaders in Durham, North Carolina.

Collection contains Howard's research material for an honors thesis. There are fifteen envelopes of research notes, chronologically arranged. The notes concern the early history of Durham, from 1865 to the 1960s, and events related to the struggle for racial equality in Durham, N.C. The collection includes a set of 29 audiocassettes of oral interview recordings conducted by Howard, with local individuals such as Wense Grabarek, Vivian McCoy, Floyd McKissick, Conrad Pearson, Jake Phelps, Ben Ruffin, Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans, and others who participated in, or witnessed this struggle. There are notes and outlines of these interviews (both those on cassette tapes and others conducted by telephone) and a list of persons interviewed by Howard, Also included are copies of two papers, written by other Duke students in 1972 and 1978, about the Civil Rights Movement in Durham, N.C. during the early 1960s. Forms part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture at Duke University.

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Non-profit, inter-racial organization founded in Durham, N.C. in September 1968; Elna Spaulding was founder and first president. Collection comprises correspondence, by-laws, meeting agendas and minutes, budgets, articles of incorporation, as well as information about the organization's relationship to the Women In Action Foundation of Durham, N.C. Documents the organization's involvement in the Durham community on a variety of issues, including easing racial tensions; smoothing the way for court ordered school integration in 1970; providing for the recreational and cultural needs of disadvantaged youth; and establishing a clearinghouse to offer information and referral services to Durham citizens for a variety of social problems.

The records of Women-In-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes, Inc. (WIAPVC), an interracial community service non-profit organization based in Durham, North Carolina, span the years 1968 to 1998. Materials document the organization's history beginning with its foundation in 1968, and include correspondence, by-laws, meeting agendas and minutes, budgets, articles of incorporation, clippings, photographs, a scrapbook, awards, and other documentation of its activities and milestones. The records contain information about the organization's various projects and workshops, and its relationship with the Women In Action Foundation of Durham, N.C., Inc. Persons associated with the organization included business, political, and community leaders and activists, among them Ann Atwater, Mrs. William A. Clement, Mrs. James E. Davis, Dr. Juanita Kreps, Mrs. H.M. Michaux, Mrs. Kenneth C. Royall, Margaret Rose Sanford, Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans, and Mrs. Albert Whiting. There are also letters of support from Senators B. Everett Jordan and Sam Erwin.

The bulk of the early items in the Correspondence Series, dating from 1968 to 1969, reflects the tenacity and persistence on the part of Spaulding, the first president, in seeking money for the organization's activities. She sought funding from national and North Carolina foundations and local businesses. Among the contributors were the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, the Grant Foundation, and the City of Durham. Money was also raised by dues paid by its members, which became a point of controversy for the organization.

The Administrative Files include agendas and minutes for WIAPVC's general, board, executive, and advisory committees. Agendas and programs for general meetings indicate that the leaders in the organization attempted to maintain a balance between focusing on some aspect of the group itself (such as its by-laws and self-evaluation) and programs of community-wide importance. The advisory committee evolved from the steering committee and was made up of subcommittee chairs.

Folders in the Subcommittees Series generally contain correspondence, reports, and guidelines. Records show that the number of subcommittees waxed and waned depending on the need for them. Subcommittees for which records exist include Civic Improvement, Education, Human Relations, and Police-Community Relations. The subcommittees undertook outreach and programs that were significant to Durham's community.

The organization's outreach activities are also documented in the Conferences, Workshops, and Projects series. Conferences and workshops sponsored by the organization reflect the group's efforts to improve itself, support other organizations, and reach out to provide service to the community. In the same series, WIAPVC projects indicate the wide range of interests and responsibilities which the organization sought to undertake. Among those represented in the files are the Center for School Support; the Clearinghouse, which offered information and referral services to Durham citizens for a variety of concerns; Cornwallis Housing Project, which helped provide recreational needs for youth residing in the project; the Cultural Experience Pilot Project, which allowed for 37 Durham junior high school students from low income families to spend three days in Washington; the Durham Emergency Energy Committee, which helped provide fuel to needy families in the Durham community; and various intern projects, in which students from the Duke Divinity School Field Education Program participated.

The bulk of the processed collection consists of the early records of the WIAPVC. Later years (1980s-1990s) are represented in Accession 1996-0164 and Accession 2008-0104, which include financial activities, projects, administrative files, reports, event planning information, newsletters, and awards ceremonies.