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The Neighborhoods Project was created as part of the Community Programs department within Duke's Center for Documentary Studies. According to the CDS website, it offered North Carolina elementary school teachers an innovative and effective way to meet social studies goals outlined in the state's standard course of study. The project provided a way to engage students in their own communities, focusing on their individual lives and stories through photographs, narrative writing, and storytelling. It provided a series of experiential learning activities that encouraged the use of photography, oral history, and narrative writing in an exploration of community and citizenship. Collection includes black-and-white photographs, negatives, and slides from projects created by students at Durham's E.K. Powe and W.G. Pearson elementary schools between 1997 and 2004. The images document the social life and the built environment in Durham, N.C., in city neighborhoods where the students live; they feature children, pets, houses and places of business, groups of adults, and other neighborhood scenes where whites, African Americans, and Spanish-seeking citizens live. Some materials are in Spanish. Also includes some student booklets and publications highlighting their projects as part of the program. Acquired as part of the Archive for Documentary Arts.

Collection includes black-and-white photographs (a few are hand-colored), negatives, and slides from projects created by students at Durham's E.K. Powe and W.G. Pearson elementary schools between 1997 and 2004. The images document the social life and the built environment in Durham, N.C., in city neighborhoods where the students live; they feature children, pets, houses and places of business, groups of adults, and other neighborhood scenes. Also includes some student booklets and publications highlighting their projects as part of the program. Materials are sorted by school, with miscellaneous or unidentified materials in the last series. Also contains electronic and audiovisual recordings that require reformatting before use.

Acquired by the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

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The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company Archives document the founding and development of N.C. Mutual in Durham, N.C., and contribute to the historic record on African American businesses and entrepreneurship in the South and in the United States. Dating from 1850 to 2008, with the majority of the items created from 1920 to 2008, the material covers nearly every aspect of N.C. Mutual's operations, management, and milestones. There are corporate office files, including the offices of five company presidents; annual statements; reports; surveys; memos; legal and financial papers; original life insurance policies; training material; programming and outreach files; many ephemera and artifacts; and thousands of historical photographs of staff and their families, offices, buildings, and Durham scenes. Significant businessmen represented in the papers include founders John Merrick and Aaron Moore; and presidents Bert Collins, Joseph Goodloe, William Kennedy Jr., William Kennedy, III, Charles C. Spaulding, Asa T. Spaulding, and current president James H. Speed. The collection is especially rich in print material, including many issues of three company publications: The Mutual (1903-1929), The Whetstone (1924-1998), and The Weekly Review (1925-1998). It is also notable for its assemblage of material on United States African American history, including much information on other companies, and public relations material dating from the earliest years to present times, including advertising ephemera, advertising campaigns, and other related items. Other materials document NCM's outreach to the African American community throughout its history to counter racism, unemployment, and diseases by means of public health programs, church affiliations, mentoring, and scholarship programs. Over one hundred selected digitized photographs and a few documents are also available online. Acquired and curated jointly by the North Carolina Central University's University Archives, Records and History Center and the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture at Duke University.

The records in the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company Archives document the history of the oldest currently active African American insurance company in the United States. The materials date from 1850 to 2008, with the majority of the items dating from 1898 to 2008, and cover nearly all aspects concerning the operation, management, and milestones of NC Mutual (NCM). The archive comprises corporate office files, including the offices of five company presidents; annual statements, reports, surveys, and memos; legal and financial files; original life insurance policies and other documents; advertising, internal and external publications, pamphlets, posters, and other print material; training material; many historic photographs; public relations and outreach material; memorabilia; and audiovisual recordings. The bulk of the collection concerns the company's home office in Durham, N.C. but there is a significant amount of material that relates to NCM district offices located throughout the United States, particularly in the South, as well as records that refer to other related organizations such as insurance companies and financial institutions.

The collection contributes significantly to documentation on the history of African American businesses in the United States, particularly in the South, and on the socioeconomic status of African Americans in the South in the 20th century. There is also valuable information on public health issues affecting 20th-century African Americans and public health programming created by NC Mutual as well as other agencies. In addition, through company records and many ephemeral publications such as obituaries, the collection offers detailed documentation of the work status and personal lives of the company's many employees and their life insurance customers, predominantly African American women and men.

The collection is rich in print materials, and includes nearly complete runs of three company publications: The Mutual (1903-1929), The Whetstone (1924-1998), and The Weekly Review (1925-1998). It is also notable for public relations materials dating from the earliest years to the mid-2000s, including advertising ephemera, materials related to advertising campaigns, and other items. Additionally, there are records of NCM's extensive community outreach such as public health, mentoring, and scholarship programs, and documents relating to the company's ties with Durham's churches such as White Rock Baptist, and with other organizations such as Mechanics and Farmers Bank.

Corporate office files form the bulk of the collection, covering nearly every aspect of the company's operations and activities from its founding in 1898. There are extensive correspondence files as well as meeting notes and minutes, many legal and financial reports, and surveys of the insurance industry. Materials relating to a published history of NCM written by one of its presidents, William Kennedy Jr., are located in the Office of the Presidents Series. Company presidents represented most substantially in the files include: William Kennedy Jr. (1952-1958), Asa T. Spaulding (1959-1967), Joseph Goodloe (1968-1972), William Kennedy III (1972-1990), and Bert Collins (1990-2003). Earlier and later presidents and leaders, including founders Merrick and Moore, and presidents C.C. Spaulding and James Speed are also represented in smaller amounts of material. Personnel records are also present and are closed to use until 2074, 75 years after the date of most recent record.

Among the several thousand photographs in the collection, hundreds date from the first decades following the company's founding, and offer important and vivid historical evidence concerning NCM's history, its employees and their families, and the history of Durham, N.C. Many are oversize, and feature twenty panoramic photographs of conventions and other events from the early to mid-20th century. The collection also contains photographs of founders Merrick and Moore and their families, NC Mutual office buildings throughout its history, and many large photographic portraits of senior administration from the earliest years to the mid-2000s. Other photos capture employees at banquets and conventions throughout the company's history; some large sets of images from the early to mid-20th century document employee's homes as well. From the historic photographs and other images not represented in the collection, NCM created a permanent exhibit in its home office's "Heritage Hall" commemorating the company's history; these exhibit images, panels, and labels are also preserved in this collection.

Acquired and jointly curated by the North Carolina Central University's University Archives, Records, and History Center, and the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture at Duke University.

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Youth Document Durham and Durham Works were programs sponsored by Duke University and the Center for Documentary Studies that brought together young people ages 12–16 from diverse Durham communities to document their lives, local history, and contemporary social issues through photography, oral history, and narrative writing. The Youth Document Durham and Durham Works project records span the years 1995-2008 and document the process of training young people in Durham, North Carolina schools to use photography and other arts, oral histories, and writing to record the history and members of their communities and the local issues affecting the students' lives. Many of the students are African American or Hispanic and their topics often highlight social conditions and race relations in African American and Hispanic communities in Durham neighborhoods and in a few other locations, including South Carolina. Topics explored by participants, both interviewers and interviewees, include crime, food cultures, jobs and education, music, racism, technology, teen violence, work cultures, and tobacco cultivation and its social context. The bulk of the collection is made up of hundreds of oral interviews conducted by junior high and high school students with community members, documented through audiocassette recordings, photographs, writings, and some transcripts, but there are also many program publications, project curricula, and administrative records for the program from its beginnings through 2008. There is also a database created by Center for Documentary Studies staff that records the complete information for each interview, including descriptive notes on certain interviews. This data also contains restricted information. For access to this database, please consult with a reference archivist. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

The Youth Document Durham and Durham Works program records span the years 1995-2008 and document the process of training young people in Durham, North Carolina schools to use photography and other arts, oral histories, and writing to record the histories and members of their communities and the local issues affecting the students' lives. Although the vast majority of the projects focus on Durham, there is also one project based in South Carolina. Topics explored by participants, both interviewers and interviewees, include crime, food cultures, jobs and education, music, racism, technology, teen violence, work cultures, and tobacco cultivation and its social context. The collection is divided into four series: Interviews, Photographic Material, Project Files, and Additions.

The bulk of the collection is made up of hundreds of interviews conducted by junior high and high school students with community members, but there are also many program publications, project curricula, and administrative records for those years. The contents of each series is described in full below. There is also a Community Stories database that houses the complete information for each interview, including descriptive notes on certain interviews, and restricted information. For access to this database, please consult with a reference archivist.

The Interviews Series forms the bulk of the collection, and houses the materials generated by the student projects. Each session was organized around a topic which usually would be repeated in subsequent years, such as "Durham Works" or "Old Five Points." Folders usually house one set of interviews conducted by one or more students, and contents typically consist of one or more cassette tapes of the oral interviews, consent forms and other documentation about the interviewees, and writings by the students that came out of their experiences as interviewers. Some interviews have been transcribed. Original audiovisual materials are closed to use; viewing or listening copies need to be made before contents can be accessed. Folders are arranged in number order as assigned by Center for Documentary Studies Staff; they are not in chronological order. An alternate listing at the end of this collection inventory groups boxes by project title rather than folder number order.

In addition to oral histories and writings, the students also produced many images of their subjects and their communities. Photographic prints and negatives of their work are housed in the Photographic Materials Series. Students also produced poems and drawings, and these are chiefly found in the Project Files Series.

Supporting program materials - curriculum guides, notes on staff meetings, staff guidelines, assessments of outcomes - are found in the Project Files Series. Also housed here are additional photographic images, mostly of the project students and staff, CDs with final projects, and the many publications that came out of the Center for Documentary Studies program. These booklets contain mostly interview transcriptions but also include photographs, drawings, annotations, and poetry. Also included is a retrospective collection of Youth Document Durham participant photos and essays, edited by Hong-An Truong and published in 2005.

Later accessions to the collections are found in the Additions Series. These items consist of audiovisual materials, photographs, and some printed materials. In addition to the Youth Document Durham project, related projects included in the Additions series are the Youth Treatment Court, which seems to have been a division of Youth Document Durham, and the Connect Program, which included projects from Old Five Points as well as special group projects for youth.

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