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The Behind the Veil Oral History Project was undertaken by Duke University's Lyndhurst Center for Documentary Studies in 1990. It seeks to record and preserve the living memory of African-American life during the age of legal segregation in the American South, from the 1890s to the 1950.

The Behind the Veil: Documenting African-American Life in the Jim Crow South Records span the years 1940-1997 (bulk 1993-1997) and are comprised chiefly of interviews recorded on cassette tapes. The 1260 interviews, 1993-1997, in this collection cover a number of topics related to African-American life in the 20th century with a focus on the age of southern segregation. The collection includes interviews with people from Albany, Ga.; Fargo, Ark.; Birmingham and Tuskegee, Ala.; Charlotte, Durham, Enfield, New Bern and Wilmington, N. C.; LeFlore County, Miss.; Memphis, Tenn.; Muhlenburg County, Ky.; New Iberia and New Orleans, La.; Norfolk, Va.; Columbia, Orangeburg, St. Helena, and Summerton, S. C.; and Tallahassee, Fla. In addition to interviews conducted specifically for the Behind the Veil project, the collection includes six interviews from the James City Historical Society, Craven County, N.C. as well as eight interviews conducted by Paul Ortiz in Tallahassee, Fla., in the summer of 1997 as part of his dissertation research.

The collection includes duplicate sets of approximately 1700 interview tapes. The Master Tapes Series is closed except for appropriate use by authorized staff from the Behind the Veil project and the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The Use Tapes Series contains copies of the tapes for use by researchers. The Printed Materials Series provides biographical information about informants, interview agreement forms, proper names sheets, and brief summaries (one-three pages) of each of the 1260 interviews. Also included are some personal papers, the earliest of which is dated 1940. The Transcripts Series currently includes unverified transcripts of 314 interviews in the collection. These transcripts are also available as electronic documents. A disk directory log exists. Contact Research Services staff for more information. More transcripts will be available each semester.

The Behind the Veil collection will eventually include approximately 5100 photographs and slides. This Visual Materials Series will contain items donated by informants and others in the communities where Behind the Veil field-workers conducted interviews. The vast majority of these pictures show family and community members at home or at special events. A smaller number portray buildings and other local places. Images of political events are notably rare in the collection. We also anticipate the eventual addition of the Behind the Veil project's papers, which will be held as the Administrative Files Series.

Behind the Veil interviewers were provided with a list of Interview Questions before they entered the field. Although most interviews in the collection do not follow the list question by question, the list provides a useful research guide to the type of inquiry many interviews follow. The list of questions is included as an appendix in this guide. Frequently discussed topics include family history, local neighborhoods, educational background, employment history, religious institutions, experiences of segregation, local political activities, civic organizations and activities, black-owned businesses and local culture. Behind the Veil informants represent a number of occupational groups, including domestic workers, educators, homemakers, health professionals, manufacturing workers, miners, ministers, political figures, professionals and servicemen.


A Behind the Veil Database, created by Alex X. Byrd, will soon accompany the collection. The fields included are in two categories: Informant and Circumstance of Interview. The Informant fields are Last Name, First Name, Middle or Maiden Name, Sex, Zip Code, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, and Principal Occupations. The Circumstance of Interview fields are Date of Interview, Location of Interview, Processing Subseries, and Interviewers. The other fields are: was the informant part of a group interview?; has the interview been transcribed?; if part of a group interview, under whose name is the material filed?; number of tapes for interview.

Consult reference staff concerning the availability of the database.

The addition (acc# 2001-0183)(100 items, 1.5 linear feet; dated 1996-1997) includes a course syllabus, interviews of African-American North Carolinians on cassette tapes, some student self-evaluations, contracts, indices, and transcript excerpts. The area most represented is Durham, N.C. Students were to aim for insight into how African-Americans built communities during an age of racial oppression. The interviews include much information about family history and social and community issues.

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The Living History Program produces interviews with prominent American and world leaders who have been major participants in significant international or domestic events, or movements of social change. This collection contains videotapes and transcripts of interviews by Duke University faculty members with prominent American leaders, primarily in the area of post-World War II diplomacy.

This collection contains videotapes and transcripts of interviews by Duke University faculty members with prominent American leaders, primarily in the area of post-World War II diplomacy. Individuals represented include Oscar Arias Sanchez, Les Aspin, Ellsworth Bunker, Dr. Samuel DuBois Cook, Angier Biddle Duke, J. William Fulbright, Averell Harriman, Jesse Jackson, Samuel W. Lewis, William H. Luers, Jack F. Matlock, George Crews McGhee, Robert McNamara, King Mihai of Romania, Yasuhiro Nakasone, Paula H. Nitze, Charles Percy, Dean Rusk, Abdus Salam, Terry Sanford, James Schlesinger, Earl E.T. Smith, Soedjatmoko, Hanna Suchaka, Richard Goldstone, Erhard Busek, Judy Woodruff, David Gergen, Vernon A. Walters, and Yegor Gaidar. Also includes a composite tape from the interviews with Bunker, Fulbright, and Rusk relating to perspectives on the war in Vietnam. The collection also includes videotapes of speeches given on the Duke campus by other prominent individuals.

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Jomo Joka Omowale papers, 1969-2008 25 Linear Feet — Approximately 18,750 items

Jomo Joka Omowale, born as Cleveland McKinley Davis and also known as Eric Thompson, is a parolee in North Carolina who spent much of his life imprisoned in New York and Virginia. He was a leader of the Attica prison riot in 1971. Collection includes court transcripts, legal papers and correspondence, court documents, photographs, press coverage and clippings, and internal prison policies and procedures from Omowale's many years in various prisons. Cases include armed robbery in Virginia, the Attica riots and subsequent trials, three trials regarding a police shooting in Brooklyn, and a murder of a drug dealer in Virginia. Omowale was convicted in the final case, and his pursuit of parole in Virginia following the elimination of parole in the 1990s is another significant component of the collection. Other materials include prisoner poetry and writings, personal correspondence between Jomo and his family, prisoner poetry, Attica Brothers Legal Defense materials, and court documents regarding a White Panther Party trial in 1970. Also includes hundreds of mugshots from New York. Acquired as part of the Human Rights Archive (Duke University).

Collection includes legal documentation and court transcripts from Omowale's various trials, including Attica-related trials and the subsequent lawsuits brought by the Attica Brothers. Also represented are court cases from his armed robbery conviction in Virginia Beach; his repeated murder trials in New York regarding police shootings (and his lawsuits against New York following his acquittal from those shootings); and his murder conviction in Virginia in 1985. Also included are many materials from his wife and attorney, Elizabeth Gaynes, particularly regarding his legal defense in those trials as well as her attempts to gain his parole in Virginia in the 1990s and 2000s.

Other materials in the collection include personal correspondence between Omowale and Elizabeth Gaynes, as well as correspondence between him and other family members, in particular his daughter, Emani. Other correspondence exists between him and other Attica Brothers, regarding the Attica trials and the lawsuits that followed. Photographs, particularly of mugshots, are another significant component of the collection. The remainder of the materials are prison writings; publicity and press coverage of Jomo Joka Omowale's many court cases; news clippings about him, parole, and other related topics; and miscellaneous documents collected by Omowale during his time in prison.

Acquired as part of Duke University's Human Rights Archive.

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The Samuel W. Meek Papers span the years from 1917-1980, although the bulk of the material dates from 1945-1962 and a few items are undated. Samuel Meek served as Vice President in Charge of International Operations of the J. Walter Thompson Company from 1930 to 1964. Working out of the New York office as the head of the International Department, Meek established offices around the world, provided continuing support and advice to the heads of these international offices, made policy decisions related to international operations, and served as a consultant to a number of U.S. government and private agencies concerned with international relations and commerce. The Series arrangement created by the J. Walter Thompson archivist reflects Meek's activities and has been retained. Several categories of material are included: correspondence, market surveys and research reports, letters, official documents (such as the records of Meek's military service), and the transcripts of talks.

The International Offices Series, 1942-1964 and n.d. is comprised primarily of correspondence between Samuel Meek and the heads of J. Walter Thompson's international offices. The majority of the items relate to the offices in Vienna, Toronto, Paris, London, Rome and Tokyo. The work of the offices in Denmark, Argentia, the Caribbean, Greece, Holland, Mexico and Pakistan are less extensively documented. Market surveys and research reports are also included. In addition to Samuel Meek, correspondents include Robert M. Campbell, Wilfrid Sanders, Justin de Blank, Kevin Farrell, Virgil D. Reed, Denys M. Scott, James H. Page, and Harry A. Lee. Major clients represented include UniLever, Kodak, Nestles, Shell Oil, Cheesbrough-Pond's, Rowntree, Olivetti, Oneida, Nabisco, Schick, Campbell Soup, American Chicle Co., General Foods, Honeywell Co., and Sanyo-Scott.

The International Department Series, 1930-1962 and undated is comprised of documents related to J. Walter Thompson's role as an international advertising agency. Included are a 1957 personnel directory, letters outlining interational operations policy, and the transcript of a 1961 interview with Stanley Resor related to the international aspects of the company.

The International Marketing Series, 1954-1962 and undated, includes correspondence with and reports from a number of councils and agencies such as the Business Council for International Understanding, the U.S. Information Agency, and the U.S. State Department. Correspondence related to the planning of a Series of trade fairs, 1954-1961, is also included. This material documents the role that the J. Walter Thompson Company and other multinational businesses played in foreign relations in the era of the Marshall Plan.

The International Correspondents Series, 1945-1962, includes correspondence and informal reports on advertising conditions in various European and Middle Eastern countries. Several of the items in this small collection seem to be preliminary evaluations designed to help Samuel Meek decide whether conditions were appropriate to the opening of a branch office in a particular locale. The correspondents seem to be acquaintances of Meek or simply knowledgeable individuals rather than J. Walter Thompson employees.

The Personal Series, 1917-1979 and undated is primarily concerned with Samuel Meek's personal life: records of his military service, financial details of his retirement, his coat of arms, and other issues. A few items of correspondence with James Webb Young and information about Stanley B. Resor's death and the establishment of the Stanley and Helen Resor Fund for Economic Research at Yale University are included.

The Miscellaneous Series includes several essays about advertising and a few other items.

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Paul Hamilton Hayne papers, 1815-1944 and undated 13.8 Linear Feet — about 4930 items

Correspondence, diaries, notes, scrapbooks, clippings, and literary manuscripts of Hayne and his family. The papers illustrate Hayne's career and refer to Russell's Magazine (which Hayne edited), literary criticism, Southern writers, American literature, politics, including Reconstruction in South Carolina, and other subjects.

Includes Hayne's diaries (1864-1884), largely composed of comments on correspondence and notations of ideas and events, and manuscript copies of poems, many autographed, by Hayne's son, William Hamilton Hayne.

Major correspondents include Edward Bok, Jefferson Davis, Charles A. E. Gayarré, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sidney Lanier, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Thomas Nelson Page, James Platt, Margaret Junkin Preston, Francis S. Saltus, William Gilmore Sims, Edmund C. Stedman, Alexander H. Stephens, Algernon C. Swinburne, Henry Timrod, Moses Colt Tyler, and John Greenleaf Whittier.

The addition (accession #2000-0273) (250 items; 2.2 linear feet, dated 1831-1886, contains transcriptions of selected letters, typed and annotated by Rayburn Moore as he edited A Man of Letters in the Nineteenth-century South (1982). Many of the original letters may be found in Duke University's David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

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The Roland Alston family was an African American family residing in Durham, North Carolina. William Roland Alston, known as "Roland," became the head gardener for Mary Duke Biddle at Pinecrest and later for the Semans family at Les Terraces, both properties located in Durham. The collection comprises nine folders containing transcripts, some edited and some final, of eight oral history interviews Judy Hogan completed with Roland Alston. Also includes 5 black-and-white and 5 color (one hand colored) uncaptioned photographs, including individual and group portraits, presumably of members of the Roland Alston family.

The Roland Alston family papers comprise nine folders containing transcripts, some edited and some final, of eight oral history interviews Judy Hogan completed with Roland Alston. The original audio tapes or cassettes for the interviews are not included with the collection. Topics include his work for Mary Duke Biddle and the Semans family; growing up on a farm in Chatham County; Durham and regional businesses, especially those for gardeners; his family life; and his views on relationships between people, including employers and employees, men and women, and parent and child. Also includes 5 black-and-white and 5 color (one hand colored) uncaptioned photographs, including individual and group portraits, presumably of members of the Roland Alston family. The photographs range in size from 4 x 5 inches to 8 x 10 inches.

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Tim Wells papers, 1982-1986 11 Linear Feet — 636 Items

Background materials relating to Well's book about the Iran hostage crisis (1979-1981), 444 Days: the Hostages Remember, and a typed manuscript of the work. Includes 546 audiocassette tapes, 83 tape transcripts, and signed release waivers and consent forms of hostages. Wells interviewed 36 of the 53 hostages and included 27 in the book. (1-12-87)