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Collection

Aaron Siskind photographs of Harlem, circa 1932-1941 1.0 Linear Foot — 1 box — 28 photographic prints — 11x14 inches — Inscriptions: print versos are marked with legacy identifiers, titles, and dates assigned by former owners, and other notes. All are signed in ink by Siskind.

Aaron Siskind (1903-1991) was an American photographer and faculty member of the Chicago Institute of Design and Rhode Island School of Design. Collection consists of 28 black-and-white signed 11x14 inch prints, documenting life in New York City's Harlem neighborhoods from about 1932 to 1940. The images originate from two projects by Siskind: "Harlem Document" and "The Most Crowded Block in the World." Subjects include African American men, women, and children at home and in the streets; scenes from the Apollo and New Lafayette theaters, a nightclub, and a church; and the interiors and exteriors of tenement buildings. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection consists of 28 black-and-white photographs by photographer Aaron Siskind, documenting life and conditions in New York City's Harlem neighborhoods from about 1932 to 1941. The images form part of two of Siskind's early documentary projects: "Harlem Document," and "The Most Crowded Block in the World." Subjects include African American men, women, and children in their kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms, and outside on the streets of Harlem; there are also scenes from the Apollo and New Lafayette theaters, and scenes from a nightclub and a church; many images feature the interiors and exteriors of tenement buildings.

The gelatin silver prints in this collection are all signed by Siskind. They measure 11x14 inches, with the image dimensions ranging from 9 1/8 x 8 3/4 to 11 3/4 x 9 7/5 inches. These particular prints were created by Siskind from original negatives sometime before his death in 1991, possibly in the early 1980s. Some images have multiple copies in the collection.

Collection

Anna Jean and Lillian Snowden papers, 1890s-1938 7.5 Linear Feet — 3 boxes and 2 oversize folders

Anna Jean and Lillian Snowden were two Black women born in Lexington, K.Y. Anna Jean became a teacher, and Lillian became an accountant and important figure in the Indepedent Order of St. Luke. Collection includes event programs, photographs, clippings, and other material that document the education and social lives of both women, especially their involvement in the Black community. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Collection includes commencement and event programs, especially for musical events and society meetings, as well as diplomas for Anna Jean and Lillian Snowden. Also included are postcards, photographs of family and friends, clippings, publications, and other material related to the academic and social lives of Anna Jean and Lillian. Of particular note is a large, panoramic photograph showing the 1916 graduating class of Howard University. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Collection
The Behind the Veil: Documenting African-American Life in the Jim Crow South project was undertaken by Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies from 1990-2005. Its goal was to record and preserve African American experiences in the American South from the 1890s to the 1950s. Materials in the Behind the Veil project collection date from about 1864 to 2011, with the bulk dating from the 1990s; earlier dates represent original image content rather than the reproduction date. The collection comprises over 1200 oral history interviews with associated transcripts and administrative files, several thousand historic and contemporary photographs, and project records, which include paper and electronic administrative files and audiovisual recordings. Oral histories were conducted in 19 locations, chiefly in the South; topics represented in these recordings include childhood, religion, education, politics, celebrations and other events, family histories, work histories and military service, and details about segregation and the effects of racism in the South. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African American History and Culture at Duke University.

Materials in the Behind the Veil project collection date from about 1864 to 2011, with the bulk dating from the 1990s; earlier dates represent original image content rather than the reproduction date. The core component of the collection comprises over 1200 oral histories conducted by Behind the Veil interviewers with African Americans in cities, towns, and rural locations in Georgia; Arkansas; Michigan; Alabama; North Carolina; Los Angeles, California; Mississippi; Tennessee; Kentucky; Louisiana; Virginia; South Carolina, and Florida. The majority of the interviews were conducted during summers between 1993 to 1995, with additional interviews added from 1995 to 2004. These interviews, originally recorded by Behind the Veil staff and volunteers on audiocassettes, have been digitized; in addition, all other project records and images are currently being digitized and will be made available as they are ingested into the Duke Digital Repository.

A second core component consists of over 2100 historical and contemporary photographic images in the form of black-and-white and color slides, photographic prints, and negatives. These form several large groups: donated historical materials imaged at interview locations by BTV staff; contemporary photographs taken by staff as they gave interviews and explored local communities; and photographs of BTV staff at work, BTV offices, and project events and training. Historic images in slide format include many photographs of African American individuals and families dating from the 1880s to the mid-20th century; they also include images of documents such as news clippings, military papers, political ephemera, school diplomas, and brief publications. The images are described in more detail in their listings in this collection guide.

The remainder of the collection consists of project administrative records. These files - in paper and electronic format - include National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant information; correspondence; staffing records; meeting notes and minutes; outreach; files on publication and exhibit projects; and information on classes, seminars, and training given for students and project staff.

The Behind the Veil collection not only focuses on the experiences of individuals, but also reflects the importance of black institutions as the backbone of black communities. The interviews, documents and photographs reflect the crucial role that black churches, fraternal societies, women's clubs, and political organizations played in African American community life. The testimony of educators and students from historically black colleges, agricultural schools and institutes enrich conventional beliefs about black agency in segregated schools.

Although the focus of the interviews was on the Jim Crow era, the life history format of most interviews led informants to comment on events after segregation. Information about civil rights struggles in the 1960s, African American participation in desegregation within local communities, and post-1965 activism and community work are also included in many Behind the Veil interviews. The interviews in this collection also raise crucial questions about the shape of memory and the creation of narratives that can inform not only research in oral history but also literature and anthropology. Research into black religion can be enriched by the voices of Behind the Veil. Studies that examine oppression and resistance could be informed by the rich documentary record of labor and social culture that the collection presents. The Behind the Veil collection illuminates innumerable topics, time periods, and research interests.

Collection

Frank Espada photographs and papers, 1946-2010, bulk 1964-2000 56.2 Linear Feet — 76 boxes; 3 oversize folders — approximately 14,500 items

Online
Frank Espada was a political activist and documentary photographer of Puerto Rican extraction based in New York and California. His photographic archives comprise thousands of black-and-white photographs and negatives and related materials concerning Espada's lifelong work documenting the Puerto Rican diaspora, civil and economic rights movements, indigenous Chamorro communities in Micronesia, and HIV/AIDS outreach in San Francisco. The Puerto Rican Diaspora project also includes over 150 oral history recordings. The Civil Rights series documents voter registration and school desegregation rallies in New York City, 1964-1970, as well as housing and anti-poverty movements, primarily in California. Photographic subjects encompass Puerto Ricans, African Americans, and indigenous peoples, as well as whites and racially mixed people. The professional papers include files related to activism, research and writings, exhibits, teaching, and publicity. The earliest dated item is a 1946 essay by Espada, "What democracy means to me." Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Frank Espada's photographic archives comprise thousands of photographic prints, contact sheets, and negatives, as well as professional papers, spanning the length of Frank Espada's career as a photographer and community activist from the mid-1950s through 2010. The materials document the Puerto Rican diaspora; indigenous Chamorro communities in Micronesia, primarily in Guam, Tinian, and Saipan; drug abuse prevention programs and HIV/AIDS outreach in San Francisco; and civil rights, education, and anti-poverty and housing rights movements, primarily in New York City and San Francisco. Photographic subjects include Puerto Ricans, African Americans, and indigenous peoples, as well as whites and racially mixed people.

A large series of professional papers provides supporting documentation of his life and work as a photographer, activist, community organizer, and teacher. The earliest dated item, an essay Espada wrote in 1946, "What democracy means to me," is found in this series, which contains files on Espada's activism; research topics; photography and exhibits; a few videocassettes; syllabi and notes from his photography courses at U.C. Berkeley; awards and memorabilia; and publicity.

The largest body of materials, which numbers over 12,000 items and includes photographs as well as manuscripts and over 100 recorded oral interviews (digitized use copies available), derives from Espada's grant-funded work documenting Puerto Rican communities across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico, 1979-1981.

Another significant group of materials derives from Espada's activism on behalf of voter registration and school desegregation in New York City from 1962-1970, and later in California in support of anti-poverty, HIV/AIDS, drug abuse prevention and outreach, and housing rights.

Each of the photographic project series includes finished prints ranging in size from 8x10 to 24x30 inches; contact sheets and work prints; and negatives, which are housed in a separate series and are closed to use.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection

Irvin Family papers, circa 1890s-2016 10.25 Linear Feet — 23 boxes; 2 oversize folders — approximately 5150 Items

Collection consists largely of correspondence between historian Nell Irvin Painter and her parents (1969-2003), documenting various stages of their lives, travels, and Painter's scholarly career. Also includes writings by or about Nell Painter, including reviews of her work; materials, including photographs and tintypes (circa 1890s-1910s) of African Americans in Victoria, Texas, kept by Frank and Dona Irvin, relating to their early life near Houston, and documenting aspects of African American history in that area; copies and reviews of Dona Irvin's writings; documents related to Frank and Dona's education and careers; family photographs; videos; Frank irvin's diary (2000-2003); legal papers; and other items. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Collection consists largely of correspondence between historian Nell Irvin Painter and her parents (1969-2003), documenting various stages of their lives, travels, and Painter's scholarly career. Also includes writings by or about Nell Painter, including reviews of her work; copies and reviews of Dona Irvin's writings; documents related to Frank and Dona's education and careers; Frank irvin's diary (2000-2003); legal papers; and other items.

Photographs also form an important part of the collection. Along with papers and records, Frank and Dona Irvin kept early photos and tintypes (circa 1890s-1910s) of African Americans in Victoria, Texas; together, these materials speak to their early life near Houston, and document aspects of African American history in that area. There are also family photographs from later decades (1930s-1980s).

For preservation purposes, original audiovisual media are closed to use; copies may be available on request.

Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Collection

James H. Karales photographs, 1953-2006 and undated 18 Linear Feet — Approximately 15,000 items

Online
James Karales was an American photojournalist on staff at Look magazine. Collection houses the archive of photojournalist James Karales, active from the 1950s to the 1980s. The majority of the images in the collection originated from his work for Look magazine during the 1960s. Major projects document Rendville, Ohio, a coal mining town and one of the first racially integrated towns in Appalachia; the Vietnam War; New York's Lower East Side; Oregon logging; and the 1960s Civil Rights movement, including photographs of Martin Luther King, Jr. There may be racially mixed persons appearing in the Rendville series. Smaller projects document California, New Mexico, the Andrea Doria disaster, and other subjects. Formats in the collection include contact sheets, which serve as a thumbnail guide to almost all of the prints and negatives in the collection; black-and-white proof prints and finished prints in a range of sizes; original negatives (closed to research use); and over 1100 color slides. There are also print and biographical materials, some correspondence, and audiovisual materials. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

The majority of the images in the collection originated from his work for Look magazine during the 1960s. His major projects include images from Rendville, Ohio, a coal mining town and one of the first racially integrated towns in Appalachia; the Vietnam War; New York's Lower East Side; Oregon logging and the timber industry; and important individuals and events of the 1960s Civil Rights movement, including photographs of Martin Luther King, Jr. and activities of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. There may be racially mixed persons appearing in the Rendville and Lower East Side series. Other smaller projects include images of California, New Mexico, the Andrea Doria, and other subjects.

There are also supporting materials that include Karales' curriculum vitae; essays on photography and teaching; publicity for exhibits and other events; correspondence with publishers; digitized images from the Vietnam War on a CD; and clippings, magazine layouts, and other materials related to Karales' published work. An audiocassette contains remarks on Karales' life and works by Sam Stephenson at the opening of an exhibit of Karales' work at Duke University.

Formats in the collection include contact sheets; proof prints and finished prints ranging from 8 1/2 x 14 to 16 x 20 inches; original negatives (closed to research use); and over 1100 color slides. Unless otherwise noted, the photographic items are arranged in the following sequence in each series: contact sheets, prints (from smallest to largest), slides, negatives, and finally, duplicates. There are also digital jpeg files for selected images in certain series (Vietnam, Rendville).

Collection

Michael Francis Blake photographs, circa 1912-1934 1.0 Linear Foot — 3 boxes — 243 items

Online
Michael Francis Blake was one of Charleston, South Carolina's first African American studio photographers. Collection consists of 118 photographs, mostly studio portraits taken by Michael Francis Blake from about 1912 to 1934, with some outdoor settings. There is also a full set of copy prints. The great majority of the subjects appear to be African American; however, there are also individuals who are multi-racial, and possibly white and Asian. Formats comprise 91 photographic postcards and 28 black-and-white prints, many on card mounts but some in the form of more casual snapshots; there are also eight copy negatives. A few of the photographs may be taken by others. Thirty-six individuals in the photographs have been identified, including a portrait of the photographer. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture at Duke University.

Collection consists of 118 photographs of men, women, and children as single individuals, family groups, and other group shots. There is also a full set of copy prints (preferred for access) and eight copy negatives. The great majority of the subjects appear to be African American; however, there are individuals who are multi-racial, and possibly white and Asian. The photographs were taken by Michael Francis Blake, an African American photographer from Charleston, South Carolina, from about 1912 to 1934, mostly in his studio at 384 West Sumter Street. There are a few that may have been taken by another indiviual. Some of the photographs are stamped with Blake's name and studio addresses.

The majority of the photographs were originally housed in a photograph album entitled "Portraits of Members," also included in the collection, but have been rehoused for preservation purposes. Ninety-one of the photos are photographic postcards and the others are either mounted photographs or snapshots. The predominant style is the formal studio portrait, standing or seated. There are also some informal snapshots that may or may not have been taken by Blake. Some portraits were taken outdoors in front of a backdrop with props such as rugs, chairs and plants to recreate a studio setting. Others were taken on the street; the location of photograph #28 has been identified as just outside of Blake's studio. Some have what appear to be shopping lists and other notations written on the backs, and a few have names, ages, and street addresses, presumably of the sitter or their household.

Through existing captions and public input, thirty-six individuals in the photographs have been identified, including the photographer, Michael Francis Blake, who appears in one portrait.

Each original print has been assigned a unique institutional identifier. All but one have been digitized and are available online through the Duke Digital Collections website.

Collection
The Nation of Islam (NOI) is a religious and political Black nationalist organization that was founded in Detroit in July 1930 by Wallace D. Fard (Farad Muhammad). Collection inclues sermons, training materials, Muslim-American newspapers, and a photograph of Fruit of Islam members.

Collection comprises primarily typescript or photocopied materials prepared for in-house use in the period before Elijah Muhammad's death. Many were stored in three-ring binders. There are sermons written by Elijah Muhammad and Louis Farrakhan, a list of Elijah Muhammad's sayings, copies of a semi-regular monthly Temple newsletter, "The Great Message," and a single issue of the "Black Nation Information Bulletin" (April 1973). Also present is an orientation packet containing teachings and guidelines for new converts or members, especially intended for their first thirty days as Muslims. The packet holds answers to general questions, lists of dietary restrictions, guidelines for dress and appearance, as well as other directives for behavior, along with study guides, prayers, Arabic phrases to be learned, laws, instructions on authority and obedience, and suggestions for how to deal with non-believers as well as the dangers of addictions. Some items were prepared for use in prison systems.

The collection also holds a set of weekly ongoing training messages for the Fruit of Islam (F.O.I.), the organization's all-male paramilitary wing. Topics include military discipline, chain of command, and general security roles, obedience, submission, cigarettes, food and eating, even Christmas. There is a black-and-white group photograph of about 45 F.O.I. members, all dressed in a uniform of white, button-down shirt and bow tie. In addition, there are ten single issues of Muslim newspapers (mostly incomplete, dated 1975-2003), along with newspaper clippings. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History.

Collection

Peter Sekaer photographs, circa 1937-1940 1.0 Linear Foot — 2 boxes — 15 photographic prints — Print versos are marked with legacy identifiers, sometimes including original photographer's numbers. Other markings sometimes include titles, locations, and dates assigned by former owners or the agency; and credit information.

Peter Sekaer (1901-1950) was a Danish-born American photographer. Collection consists of fifteen black-and-white photographs taken by Sekaer from about 1937-1940, while working for the U.S. National Housing Authority to document living conditions and public housing projects in various places in the U.S. Known locations include Louisville, Kentucky; New Orleans, Louisiana; Williamsburg, N.Y.; Nashville, Tennessee; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Austin, Texas. Individuals in the photographs include African Americans and other people of color, and White Americans; there are quite a few photographs of children playing. The focus is typically on urban and rural dwellings and yards in areas of poverty; there are also a few images of public housing projects, small businesses, and warehouses. The gelatin silver print sizes range from 4 1/2 x 4 5/8 to 10 1/4 x 13 1/8 inches. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection consists of fifteen black-and-white photographs taken by Danish-American photographer Peter Sekaer from about 1937 to 1940, who was working at the time for the U.S. National Housing Authority to document living conditions and public housing projects in various places in the U.S. Known locations include Louisville, Kentucky; New Orleans, Louisiana; Williamsburg, N.Y.; Nashville, Tennessee; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Austin, Texas. Individuals in the photographs include African Americans and other people of color, and White Americans; there are quite a few photographs of children playing. The focus is typically on urban and rural dwellings and yards in areas of poverty; there are also a few images of public housing projects, small businesses, and warehouses.

The gelatin silver print sizes range from 4 1/2 x 4 5/8 inches to 10 1/4 x 13 1/8 inches; some are mounted on board, the largest of which is 16 x 20 inches, but for the most part they are unmounted and 8 x 10 inches or smaller. Titles in this collection, if present, originate from the prints; if there is no title, a brief description has been provided by library staff.

Collection

Sarah Hoskins photographs, 2000-2014 3.0 Linear Feet — 5 flat boxes — 10.3 Gigabytes — 10.3 GB transferred from external hard drive.

Collection contain images related to two photography projects by Sarah Hoskins. The Homeplace series contains 250 11x14 inch silver gelatin prints documenting Hoskins' visits and relationships with rural African American communities in Kentucky, originally established by freedmen in the 19th century. Her photographs include community events and activities such as hog butchering, church services, family reunions, and gatherings of charity groups. The Rosenwald Schools series contains approximately 300 color digital images of schools for African Americans built during the first half of the 20th century through the Rosenwald foundation, as well as some portraits of former students in Kentucky, North Carolina and Alabama. The series also includes images of a Rosenwald foundation-funded apartment building in Chicago, Illinois. Acquired by the Archive of Documentary Arts.

Collection contain images related to two photography projects by Sarah Hoskins: The Rosenwald Schools and The Homeplace.

The Homeplace series contains 250 11x14 inch silver gelatin black-and-white prints documenting Hoskins' visits and relationships with rural African American communities in Kentucky, originally established by freedmen in the 19th century. Her photographs include community events and activities such as hog butchering, church services, family reunions, and gatherings of charity groups.

The Rosenwald Schools series contains approximately 300 color digital images of schools for African Americans built during the first half of the 20th century through the Rosenwald foundation, as well as portraits of some former students in Kentucky, North Carolina and Alabama. The series also includes images of a Rosenwald foundation-funded apartment building in Chicago, Illinois.

Acquired by the Archive of Documentary Arts.