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Collection
Online
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.

Database:

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.

Collection

Dawson family papers, 1830-1910 0.4 Linear Feet — 2 folders

Collection consists primarily of personal and business correspondence (bulk 1870s-1910s) and speeches of John Henry Dawson, his family and friends in and around Lenoir County, North Carolina. Also included are wills of John Dawson, Sr. (1830s-1840s) outlining the disposition of his property including several slaves and a plantation along the Neuse River.
Collection
Writer from Weldon, North Carolina. Correspondence, drafts and proofs, typescripts, notebooks, clippings, speeches, and photographs concerning the life and works of North Carolina novelist Ovid Williams Pierce. Papers chiefly relate to the development and publication of the following novels: "Judge Buell's Legacy," "On A Lonesome Porch," "The Devil's Half," "The Plantation," and "The Wedding Guest." The correspondence is restricted, and chiefly consists of letters between Pierce and his friends and literary colleagues. The clippings mainly refer to the publication of Pierce's works. Also included is a volume entitled "Cultural Change in Eastern North Carolina as Reflected in Some of the Novels of Inglis Fletcher and Ovid Pierce."

Correspondence, drafts and proofs, typescripts, notebooks, clippings, speeches, and photographs concerning the life and works of North Carolina novelist Ovid Williams Pierce. Papers chiefly relate to the development and publication of the following novels: "Judge Buell's Legacy," "On A Lonesome Porch," "The Devil's Half," "The Plantation," and "The Wedding Guest." The correspondence is restricted, and chiefly consists of letters between Pierce and his friends and literary colleagues. The clippings mainly refer to the publication of Pierce's works. Also included is a volume entitled "Cultural Change in Eastern North Carolina as Reflected in Some of the Novels of Inglis Fletcher and Ovid Pierce."

Collection

Rick Lang photographs of Florida and other Southern states, 1985-2016 12 Linear Feet — 13 boxes — 229 photographic prints; 258 contact sheets; approximately 3100 negatives; approximately 40 printed items — 6.0 Gigabytes — 1 thumbdrive — 105 files (104 .psd, 1 .pdf)

Rick Lang was a photographer and faculty member at the Creadlé School of Art, Winter Park, Florida. Collection comprises 229 black-and-white photographs documenting the American South, particularly Florida and Louisiana, with an emphasis on roadside advertising and signs, small businesses, and weathered buildings. There are also a few images from New Mexico and Arizona. Print sizes range from 11x14 to 20x24 inches. Accompanying the prints are 104 digital image files and one pdf, over 3000 negatives, and 258 contact sheets. In addition there are print materials chiefly associated with Lang's solo and group exhibits, including three photobooks, and condolences sent upon his passing in 2013. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection comprises 229 large-format black-and-white photographs by Rick Lang, taken from 1990 to 2013, documenting the communities and landscapes in Florida and other states of the American South, particularly Lousiana, with an emphasis on roadside advertising and signs, weathered buildings, and small businesses. There are also a few images from New Mexico and Arizona. Also includes 104 digital image files selected by the photographer, and one .pdf inventory.

Prints were created by Lang using gelatin silver or pigmented inkjet processes. Print sizes include 11x14, 13x19, 16x20, and 20x24 inches.

Accompanying the prints is a set of over 3000 negatives and 258 contact sheets, offering many additional images that are not present in the large-format prints series. Film negatives are closed to use; for more information on access, contact the Rubenstein Library.

The collection is completed by a small amount of printed materials chiefly associated with Lang's solo and group exhibits. Includes three photobooks and condolences sent upon his passing in 2013.