Duke History Revisited: An Immersive Research Experience

Duke History Revisited: An Immersive Research Experience
2016 to 2017
Undergraduate Research

Recent events at Duke and on campuses around the United States have highlighted students’ concern about understanding our own institutional history.  Campus conversations about the culture and values of Duke University often reference the Allen Building Takeover, the Duke family, and the past work of numerous student groups. Many of the sources for this information come from the University Archives, the official repository of campus history, but there are troubling gaps in our collections. The voices of many members of the campus community are not well known, difficult to find, or unrecorded.

This six week intensive research experience for undergraduates during Summer Session I of 2016 will help fill those gaps. Participating students will research Duke University history focusing on people and stories traditionally underrepresented in our archives, groups that may include people of color, international students, women, nonacademic staff, religious minorities, LGBTQ populations, veterans, and people with disabilities.

Students in the program will come together for two weekly meetings. In one of them, invited guests (archivists, scholars, and community members) will discuss their work and ideas in relation to the research and writing of history. At the other, students will share their research progress. Outside of class, students are expected to spend at least 20 hours a week researching and writing on a topic of their choice. The final projects, which may take the form of a paper, article, recording, website, or other format, will help provide important context and historical background for today’s Duke students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The projects and associated historical documentation will then be deposited in the University Archives.


Valerie Gillispie
University Archivist
Amy McDonald
Assistant University Archivist
Jocelyn Olcott
Associate Professor of History and Women's Studies
Joshua Sosin
Associate Professor of Classical Studies and History


Students Refresh the Archive for Duke History Revisited
Students Refresh the Archive for Duke History Revisited
-- Sep 23 2016

Eight Duke undergraduates spent six weeks at the beginning of last summer doing intensive research in the Duke University Archives as part of Duke History Revisited. The program, directed by... Read More