Alex Harris photographs and papers, 1970-2015 55.6 Linear Feet — 86 boxes; 2 oversize folders — 667 photographic prints; approximately 16,062 other items
The over 600 black-and-white and color photographs in the collection date from Harris's earliest photographic work as a graduate student at Yale University, to his more recent work documenting the American South. The subjects range widely, and include the landscapes and peoples of Alaska, the American South and New Mexico, and Cuba; they also include portraits of older reading volunteers and students in Philadelphia, students on strike at Yale University, counter-culture people at a Rainbow Gathering in Arizona, a boy going about his day, tethered to electronic technology, elderly people living on their own in central North Carolina, and views of the art-filled interiors of author Reynolds Price's home. The gelatin silver and inkjet prints range in size from 8x10 inch reference prints to 24x36 inch exhibit prints; for large prints there are smaller viewing copies to facilitate research access.
The remaining series house Harris's papers, which document collaborations with other photographers and writers, including Gertrude Duby Blom and E.O. Wilson, and South Africa photographers; they also document his career at Duke University as a teacher, author, and co-founder of the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) and its serial publication, DoubleTake. The Publicity and Audiovisual Materials Series contains recordings of lectures as well as publicity for exhibits and publications. The Correspondence Series includes not only Harris's exchanges with other photographers, friends, and professionals, but also grant applications, research notes, drafts and proofs, print materials, and some photographs. The DoubleTake files consist mainly of materials generated during the planning stages and early years of the magazine's existence. Materials on Harris's extensive collaborations on other publications, documentary projects, and related exhibitions make up the large Project Files Series, which includes many oral histories and interviews related to his projects, mostly on cassette tapes (use copies must be made for access). The Teaching Materials Series comprises syllabi, student writings and slides, and other materials from classes taught by Harris mainly through the CDS at Duke University. Finally, the Proof Prints Series contains a small number of proof prints related to various projects.