Menu

Guide to the Rob Amberg Photographs and Papers, 1975-2009 and undated

Abstract

Documentary photographer and writer based in western North Carolina.

The photographs and papers of Rob Amberg span the years 1975-2009. Photographs are contained in the first three series in the collection and are arranged by project name: The New Road: I-26 and the Footprints of Progress; The Sodom Laurel Album; and The Vanishing Culture of Agriculture. Photographs are 8x10 and 11x14 inch gelatin silver prints and pigmented inkjet color prints. Amberg's papers account for the rest of the collection and are organized into 4 series: Correspondence, Printed Material, Subject Files, and Writings and Research. Amberg's focus is primarily the social customs of the rural South, especially in his home state of North Carolina. He has a special concern for documenting the way in which industrial and economic progress seems to be erasing many aspects of rural culture at the turn of the twenty-first century.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Amberg, Rob
Title
Rob Amberg Photographs and papers, 1975-2009
Language of Material
English
Extent
15 Linear Feet, 457 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The Rob Amberg Photographs and Papers span the years 1975-2009.

The photographs consist of 8x10 and 11x14 inch gelatin silver prints and pigmented inkjet color prints. Amberg's focus as a photographer is primarily the social customs of the rural South, especially in his home state of North Carolina. He has a special concern for documenting the way in which industrial and economic progress seems to be erasing many aspects of rural culture at the turn of the twenty-first century. The collection is arranged into three project series: The New Road: I-26 and the Footprints of Progress ; The Sodom Laurel Album; and The Vanishing Culture of Agriculture. Images range from landscape shots taken before and during construction of an interstate highway in the N.C. mountains, to portraits of individuals and families affected by the changes in rural culture. Images also depict agricultural activies such as tobacco cultivation and dairy cattle farming, as well as work in the poultry industry. Many of Amberg's images in this last series were funded by the Rural Advancement Fund to document the rural Carolinas, and by the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation. Captions and numbering are taken from original notes on the back of each print. Series are arranged in alphabetical order by title of project.

Amberg's papers are organized into 4 series. The Correspondence Series contains incoming messages regarding exhibits and the publication of Amberg's books as well as photographic work in other published materials.

The Printed Material Series consists of publications which include or feature his images. Publications in the series are both national and local, including The New York Times and Harper's.

Amberg worked and contributed to a number of non-profit organizations dealing with farm worker's rights and other social issues. Collections of materials relating to these non-profits are housed in the Subject Files Series. Printed materials in this series include annual reports and publications by each organization. Most of the materials include photography work by Amberg.

Included in Amberg's papers is the Writings and Research Series. Content includes multiple versions of the manuscripts to The New Road: I-26 and the Footprints of Progress and Sodom Laurel Album, a publisher's draft of Quartet: Four North Carolina Photographers, a number of interview transcripts, and other writings by Amberg and others.

The final grouping in the collection is the Audio Series which includes a piece entitled Interstate 26 produced by Leda Hartman and a copy of the musical recording which accompanies Sodom Laurel Album.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is restricted to educational, non-commercial use.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Consists of 127 photographs, the majority of which are 11x14 inch gelatin silver prints, although there is a small series of digital color prints. Through images of landscapes, individuals, and communities, the photographs provide an intimate, long-term look at the social, cultural, and environmental impact of the construction of an interstate highway through rural Madison County, North Carolina. The series is divided into three subseries: Color Prints, Exhibit Prints (from Duke University's Special Collections Gallery exhibit in 2009), and Loose Prints (not included in the 2009 exhibit). Original captions and numbering taken from back of prints. Subseries arranged alphabetically.

Consists of 15 unmatted 8.5x11 inch color prints detailing not only I-26, but also the development of Wolf Ridge Resort in Madison County, North Carolina. Color prints made on an Epson 2400 inkjet printer with Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper and Epson pigmented inks.

Driving with Kate through the Low Gap on the Old Mountain Road, Lower Paw Paw, Madison County, N.C., 2007
Box 1 Image IMG_0439
At the junction of Lower Paw Paw Road and Little Pine Road at Kalamazoo, Little Pine, Madison County, N.C., 2007
Image IMG_5686
New gated driveway, Laurel River Road, Upper Laurel, Madison County, N.C., 2006
Image IMG_4278
The Laurel River Bridge, Upper Laurel, Madison County, N.C., 2007
Image IMG_4312
Jasper Jenkins with his daughter Cleta Willis and her husband Bobby Willis, at the Family Cemetery Plot, Upper Laurel, Madison County, N.C., 2007
Image IMG_3579
Overlook sign at the new Visitors Center, Madison County, N.C., 2007
Image IMG_9455
Local signage at Exit 3 on I-26, Bear Branch, Madison County, N.C., 2007
Image IMG_3098
Artists rendering of the entrance to the Wolf Ridge Resort, Upper Laurel, Madison County, N.C., 2007
Image IMG_6037
New condominiums at the Wolf Ridge Resort, Upper Laurel, Madison County, N.C., 2007
Image IMG_9134
New swimming pool at Wolf Ridge Resort, Upper Laurel, Madison County, N.C., 2007
Image IMG_9108
Garland Galloway, Founder of Laurel Valley Watch, speaking to the Madison County Planning and Zoning Board about the effects of Wolf Ridge Resort on the community, Upper Laurel, Madison County, N.C., 2006
Image IMG_6741
Katie Caskey toasting her parents at their 25th anniversary party at the Arts Sanctuary in downtown Marshall, Madison County, N.C., 2006
Image IMG_5980
Opening reception at Marshall High Studios, Marshall, Madison County, N.C., 2007
Image IMG_4371
At the Madison Celebrates Art Festival, Marshall, Madison County, N.C., 2006
Image IMG_5736
Picnic on Blanahassett Island, Marshall, Madison County, N.C., 2007
Image IMG_9145

Consists of 45 11x14 inch silver gelatin prints, four of which are loose, and 41 which are in 16x20 inch mats. The four loose prints were scanned and hung in the exhibit as 3x4 foot images. The prints in this subseries were exhibited at Duke University's Special Collections Gallery from January 12 through March 29, 2009 and are available on the Duke University Libraries Digital Collections website under the title of the original exhibit, "The New Road: I-26 and the Footprints of Progress."

(Unmatted print) Cleared hillside, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Box 2 Image #98084-d36
(Unmatted print) Supervisors inspecting site of recent blast, Buckner Gap, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Image #970026-3
(Unmatted print) Howard and Lucille Babbitt picking apples from their orchard for the last time, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1995
Image #950136-17
(Unmatted print) Vault being exhumed from Little Ivy Church Cemetery, Mars Hill, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Image #960122-16
(Matted print) J.D. Thomas walking away from his burning home place, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Box 3 Image #970057-g35
(Matted print) Interior of the Little Creek Cafe, founded by Edna Boone in 1951, US-23 and Laurel River Road, Madison County, N.C., 1995
Image #950077-4
(Matted print) Memorial wreath on US-23, Murray Mountain, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Image #970129-20
(Matted print) North Carolina Department of Transportation boundary marker, near the Appalachian Trail at Sam's Gap, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Image #960074-17
(Matted print) Looking at I-26 and the visitor center from Dale and Lurethra Fluty's front yard, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03017-3
(Matted print) Manufactured home on the I-26 corridor with Buckner Gap and the Fluty Farm in the background, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 2004
Image #04004-34
(Matted print) Real estate office, Mars Hill, Madison County, N.C., 2002
Image #02036-16
(Matted print) Herbalist Lisa Ganora, who sometimes goes by the name White Wolf, searching for plants to rescue on the proposed right-of-way for I-26, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Box 4 Image #970055-16
(Matted print) Aerial boundary marker in the woods indicating the I-26 right-of-way, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Image #98040-22
(Matted print) I-beams on the Laurel River Bridge, Upper Laurel, Madison County, N.C., 2001
Image #01009-33
(Matted print) Harold Wallin in the pasture above his house, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Image #970064-36
(Matted print) US-23 North, near Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03062-15
(Matted print) Water plants, Sams Gap, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Image #960073-29
(Matted print) Poplar tree, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Image #970130-24
(Matted print) North Carolina Department of Transportation Geologist Rick Lockamy identifying points on the map to take core rock samples, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1994
Box 5 Image #940153-36
(Matted print) At Mile Marker 6 on the evening before the I-26 dedication, I-26, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03092-f35
(Matted print) Headstones and footstones from the Little Ivy Church Cemetery, Mars Hill, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Image #960123-18
(Matted print) Spraying concrete with water to keep it from curing too fast, Sams Gap, Madison County, N.C., 2001
Image #01004-26
(Matted print) Appalachian Quilt Shop, US-23 North, near Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1995
Image #950076-32
(Matted print) Culvert pipe and barn, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1999
Image #99025-5
(Matted print) Sam Gray carrying a chestnut stump from the woods, Buckner Gap, Madison County, N.C., 1995
Image #95001-43
(Matted print) Stone glyph built by Iktome, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1999
Box 6 Image #99038-34
(Matted print) Iktome glyph and 190-ton dump trucks, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Image #98115-28
(Matted print) Workers washing the "Welcome to Madison County" sign, Sams Gap, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03099-34
(Matted print) Drill lines on the face of the 600 foot cut at Buckner Gap, Madison County, N.C., 2000
Image #00055-19
(Matted print) Paving near California Creek, Madison County, N.C., 2002
Image #02042-3
(Matted print) Bridge abutments and barn, Higgins Branch, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Image #98082-12
(Matted print) North Carolina Department of Transportation right-of-way flag indicating the centerline of the proposed I-26, Buckner Gap, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Image #970132-29
(Matted print) Benched hillside, California Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Box 7 Image #98112-1
(Matted print) Grapevine, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Image #970130-14
(Matted print) Checking asphalt density, Sams Gap, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03085-3
(Matted print) Aerial seeding for erosion control, Jarvis Branch, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03035-16
(Matted print) Praying over graves at New Little Ivy Church Cemetery, Mars Hill, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Image #960128-19
(Matted print) Power shovel clearing land in preparation for burning, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 2000
Image #00065-24
(Matted print) Unidentified infant graves at Woody Family Cemetery, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Image #960131-5
(Matted print) Homemade sign over the Little Ivy Church Cemetery during grave removal, Mars Hill, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Box 8 Image #960123-28
(Matted print) Reburial at the New Little Ivy Church Cemetery, Mars Hill, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Image #960121-6
(Matted print) Pan shaping mountain to grade level, Bear Branch, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Image #98079-21
(Matted print) Trees being removed and burned, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 2000
Image #00053-25
(Matted print) Stone glyph built by Iktome, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Image #98077-8
(Matted print) Unidentified grave at the New Higgins Branch Cemetery, Higgins Branch, Madison County, N.C., 2002
Image #02036-2

Consists of 67 unmatted 11x14 black and white prints which also document the I-26 construction through Madison County, North Carolina. These were not included in the Duke University 2009 exhibit.

Creating grooves on the highway's shoulders, California Creek, Madison County, N.C., 2002
Box 9 Image #02055-15
Paving supervisors checking blueprints, near California Creek, Madison County, N.C., 2002
Image #02043-3
Near Buckner Gap, Madison County, N.C., 2002
Image #02042-15
Erosion control matting, near Buckner Gap, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Image #98078-13
False wall built around abutment at Laurel River Bridge, Laurel River Road, Upper Laurel, Madison County, N.C., 1999
Image #99041-25
The New Laurel River Bridge, Upper Laurel, Madison County, N.C., 2000
Image #00154-18
Erosion control matting and rip rap, US-23, near Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1999
Image #99026-34
Spraying to remove loose rock from the exposed face of the mountain, Buckner Gap, Madison County, N.C., 2000
Image #00056-27
Man spreading mulch at the Visitors Center, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03025-34
I-26 at Exit 11, Mars Hill, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03022-11
Dignitaries podium at the I-26 Dedication, I-26 Visitors Center, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03105-5
VIP seating at the I-26 Dedication, Visitors Center, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03100-14
Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard at the I-26 Dedication, Visitors Center, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03100-13
Veterans of Foreign Wars Trumpeter at the I-26 Dedication, Visitors Center, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03102-4
Governor Mike Easley greeting at the I-26 Dedication, Visitors Center, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03106-34
The new Waffle House, Highway 213, Mars Hill, Madison County, N.C., 2004
Image #04001-17
Looking north at I-26 from the Highway 213 Bridge, Mars Hill, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Image #98045-17
Looking southeast from the westbound overlook, I-26, near California Creek, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Box 10 Image #03022-3
Simon Peter Norton, Jr. at the new I-26 Visitors Center, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03060-25
Dellie Norton's work shed, Sodom Laurel, Madison County, N.C., 1978
Image #78083-8
Mile Marker and spring-fed fountain, US-23 at Sams Gap, Madison County, N.C., 2004
Image #04011-30
Tobacco barn, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Image #97088-3
Sign on NC-212, Shelton Laurel, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Image #98083-9
Appalachian Trail hikers preparing to cross US-23, Sams Gap, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03034-5
Iktome glyphs and symbols, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1999
Image #99022-2
Iktome glyph, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Image #98077-33
Herbalist Lisa Ganora digging a white trillium for transplanting to her home garden, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Image #970069-28
Jenkins Nursery, US-23 North, Sams Gap, Madison County, N.C., 1995
Image #950075-34
Steve and Audrey Snyder and their daughters and pet goat, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Image #970065-7
Iktome walking on I-26 right-of-way near his home, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Image #98120-29
Ribbon-cutting at the dedication of the Tennessee portion of I-26, near Sams Gap, Unicoi County, Tenn., 1995
Image #950057-26
Miss Unicoi County at the dedication of the Tennessee portion of I-26, near Sams Gap, Unicoi County, Tenn., 1995
Image #950056-11
Billie Lundford in her store, US-23 North, Bear Branch, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Image #960133-28a
Chris Carter moving his home from the I-26 right-of-way, Higgins Branch, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Image #960132-25
Mr. and Mrs. May at their home on the I-26 right-of-way, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Box 11 Image #960255-25
At the Wolf Laurel Road and US-23, Upper Laurel, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03067-31
At the junction of Wolf Laurel Road and US-23 North, Upper Laurel, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03062-6
Clifford Woody's barn and tobacco patch, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1999
Image #99027-D36
Clate Grindstatt's house which was destroyed by an out of control truck, US-23, Murray Mountain, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Image #970129-3
Charles Carter and Kenneth Buckner preparing to bury Carter's mule, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Image #97025-14
Community Announcements Board, Wolf Laurel Road and US-23, Upper Laurel, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03067-24
Springbox still holding water, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Image #98046-27
Device measuring sedimentation levels, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Image #98060-5
Identifying graves at the New Little Ivy Church Cemetery, Mars Hill, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Image #960121-32
North Carolina Department of Transportation inspector removing a king snake from the former site of the Little Ivy Church Cemetery, Mars Hill, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Image #960185-18
Little Ivy Church Cemetery, Mars Hill, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Image #960011-13
Mrs. Delzia Rasmussen standing between the graves of her husband and her mother at Little Ivy Church Cemetery, Mars Hill, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Image #960010-24
Grave digger probing ground for unmarked grave at Woody Family Cemetery, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Image #960118-32
Roadside stand, US-23 North, near Mars Hill, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Image #98074-17
Drill rig, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Image #970075-2
Culvert pipe and drain pool, Bear Branch, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Image #98047-20
Scraped fill area, California Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Box 12 Image #98075-25
Water filtration pond, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 2000
Image #00053-33
Logging road, Buckner Gap, Madison County, N.C., 1995
Image #950010-43
Ethel Rice checking the mail for her neighbor, Miss Zelda English, Laurel River Road, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Image #960191-10
Penland and Sons Store, Marshall, Madison County, N.C., 1988
Image #88067-20
Advertising sign for the new Wingate Inn, Bear Branch, Madison County, N.C., 2003
Image #03034-13
Warning sign on US-23 at the Tennessee/North Carolina state line, Sams Gap, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Image #98035-2
North Carolina Department of Transportation Geologist Rick Lockamy and his crew searching for center-line flags, Sprinkle Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1994
Image #940065-31
Horseshoe outline on barn, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Image #970073-25
Bench used to grade tobacco, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Image #970074-33
Remains of an abandoned car, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1998
Image #98060-10
North Carolina Department of Transportation writing on barn floor, Little Creek, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Image #970074-32
Remains of the Liquor House, Buckner Gap, Madison County, N.C., 1995
Image #950010-33
Flagged graves at the Higgins Branch Cemetery, Higgins Branch, Madison County, N.C., 1995
Image #950140-7
Grave of Calvin Wiley George in the Little Ivy Church Cemetery, Mars Hill, Madison County, N.C., 1996
Image #960126-19
Family yard sale, Poplar Cove, Madison County, N.C., 1997
Image #970074-1

Consists of 131 8x10 black and white prints. Subjects include tobacco farming and rural life in Madison County, North Carolina from the mid-1970s through the early 1990s. The majority of the prints follow the lives of Dellie and Junior Norton who farmed tobacco in the county. Dellie Norton was also an accomplished folk singer. Original captions and numbering taken from back of prints.

Clinton Norton and his Robin doll, 1977
Box 13 Image #77043-16
Charles Chandler, 1978
Image #80011-38
Junior walking Pet to water, 1979
Image #79014-2
The first picture I made of Junior, 1975
Image #75002-10
Clinton and Junior on Dellie's porch, 1977
Image #77089-8
Tillman Chandler's barn and tobacco crop, 1975
Image #75-
At Ramsey's Store, 1977
Image #77090-11
Dellie doing laundry on the side porch, 1975
Image #75005-14
Dellie and Junior, 1978
Image #78068-11
Ku Klux Klan rally, 1976
Image #76-KKK
Joyce Chandler, Joe Ross Chandler's wife, 1976
Image #76066-22
Dellie's grandson, Joe Ross Chandler, 1976
Image #76053-26
Jim Wallin holding a royalty check for a song he wrote, 1977
Image #77077-11
Dellie's great-granddaughter, Denice Chandler, in her front yard, 1977
Image #77088-10
Martha and Joe's trailer, 1977
Image #77091-9
Donald Norton and his sons, Donavan (left) and Donnie (right), 1977
Image #77087-4
Clinton Norton waiting for the school bus, 1977
Image #77101-
Delline Norton in her living room, 1977
Image #77037-13
Inez Chandler holding her Christening dress, 1977
Image #77058-6
Junior in the living room, 1976
Image #76033-17
Dellie topping and suckering tobacco, 1976
Image #7601-R45-17
Junior hoeing tobacco, 1976
Image #76023-34
Dellie's grandson, Carry Norton, taking a break from plowing tobacco, 1975
Image #75005-5
McKinley Massey and neighbors planting tobacco, 1982
Image #82011-23
Doyle Roberts pulling tobacco plants, 1989
Image #89099-25
Charlie Massey spraying tobacco ground with pesticides and herbicides, 1982
Image #82009-21A
Junior plowing in the Teat Holler, 1975
Image #7500-
Dellie milking her cow, 1977
Image #77105-4
Dellie's calf, 1977
Image #77081-23
Dellie's pig, 1977
Image #77081-22
Junior and the Jumping Cat, 1975
Image #75013-1
Dellie taking a break from hauling tobacco, 1976
Image #76061-18
The fuel oil barrel, 1978
Image #78083-23
The woodshed, 1978
Image #78083-20
The wall in Junior's bedroom, 1977-1978
Image #77086-26
The wall in Junior's bedroom, 1977-1978
Image #77086-28
Dellie fixing food for her pets, 1977
Image #77085-25
Junior repairing the spring, 1976
Image #76023-17
The shed and pear tree in Dellie's yard, 1977
Image #77005-3
Ben Amberg, Rob's son, with Dellie and Junior, 1982
Image #82013-26
Dellie at the kitchen door, 1975
Image #75006-3
Dellie's family at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, 1979
Image #79023-1
Driving to Sodom over Walnut Mountain and through Walnut Gap, 2001
Image #01069-9
Isaac Gunter's tobacco field and cemetery, 1982
Image #82025-22
Pavement Ends sign on Eastern Gap Road, 1977
Image #77114-9
Wotch For Cattle sign on Eastern Gap Road, 1979
Image #79040-9
Junior walking to the house from the barn, 1976
Image #7601-R05-7A
Dellie at the kitchen door, 1976
Image #76044-9A
The guest bedroom wall in Dellie's house, 1977-1978
Image #78059-18
The wall in Dellie's bedroom, 1977-1978
Image #78062-23
Spreading out wet tobacco leaves to dry at the warehouse, 1988
Box 14 Image #88018-16
At the main entrance to Planter Warehouse, 1994
Image #940166-23
Warehouse worker unloading tobacco, 1981
Image #81031-17
Handed burley tobacco, 1983
Image #83062
Dellie tying tobacco leaves into hands, 1976
Image #76060-9
Junior in the barn, 1977
Image #77133-16
Contact sheet of Junior in barn with tobacco, 1977
Image #77133
Junior photographing Dellie, David Holt, and Zeb Holt, 1978
Image #78063-21
Junior holding "Hippie from Mississippi" photograph, 1984
Image #84003-13
Junior hauling corn fodder, 1976
Image #76057-16
Junior holding ginseng, 1977
Image #78083-26
Junior getting a shave and haircut, 1986
Image #86004-27
Junior holding hoe, 1977
Image #77127-15
Junior, 1975
Image #75001-11
Junior and shadow, 1981
Image #81002-1
Junior, 1979
Image No Image Number
Junior, 1979
Image #79004-
Junior at the upper house after Dellie moved, 1979
Image #79004-6
Junior as the "Hippie from Mississippi," 1976
Image No Image Number
Junior at the High Rock, 1976
Image #76052-17
Junior in my Marshall studio, 1983
Image #83022-84
On Dellie's porch, 1978
Image #78063-30
Filming "Amazing Grace: America in Song" on Dellie's porch, 1975
Image No Image Number
Playing setback on Dellie's porch, 1977
Image #77085-7
Dellie combing her hair, 1978
Image #78064-12
Dellie's daughter, Mary Norton, 1977
Image #77081-
Dellie stringing beans while Nancy Morris plays guitar, 1975
Image #75016-7
Dellie dancing on Dellie's porch, 1978
Image #78064-3
Dellie's porch, 1978
Image #78083-7
Junior on the porch, 1977
Image #77080-1
Dellie and pet and tobacco, 1977
Image #77105-6
Augie Shelton and family picking up tobacco leaves, 1983
Image #83053-1
Hoy Shelton and family hanging tobacco, 1983
Image #83053-
Juanita Shelton hauling tobacco to the barn, 1983
Image #83053-5A
Augie and Juanita Shelton unloading tobacco, 1983
Image #83053-9A
16 year old Augie Shelton unloading tobacco, 1983
Image #83053
Juanita Shelton guiding truck load of tobacco to the barn, 1983
Image #83057-37
Migrant farmworker hauling tobacco to the truck, 1993
Image #93135-30
Cut burley tobacco, 1993
Image #93136-42
Migrant farmworker cutting and spudding tobacco, 1993
Image #93135-26
Junior riding sled to the field to haul in tobacco, 1976
Image #76056-5
Clinton Norton and Dellie on her front porch, 1977
Image #77089-11
Joe Ross Chandler and Bobby Cantrell, 1977
Image #77124-21
Joe Chandler, Dellie's son-in-law, and his son, Robert, 1976
Image #76061-12
Mac Davis and neighbor butchering hog, 1975
Image #75023-6
Jon Bullman and his cows, 1976
Image #76004-26
Tildie making strawberry jam, 1994
Image #94055-1A
Tildie Payar talking to her daughter, 1977
Image #77037-21
Junior at Dellie's gravesite, 1993
Box 15 Image #93128-4
Junior at Dellie's funeral, 1993
Image #93131-6
Dellie walking out to her porch, 1993
Image #93059-15
Dellie cooking fierce, 1986
Image #86006-21
Debbie Norton, Dellie's granddaughter, combing her hair, 1991
Image #91076-28
Dellie at her 90th birthday party, 1988
Image #88098-4
Junior tilling the garden at the lower house, 1986
Image #86014-12
Junior in the living room of the upper house, 1990
Image #90016-1
Dellie's wringer washer and the "Hippie from Mississippi" photo, 1990
Image #90016-4
Dellie holding photograph of her father, Mart Chandler, 1993
Image #93027-25
Dellie placing flowers on grave at Lump Mountain Cemetery, 1978
Image #78066-28
Newly dug grave at Rice Cove Cemetery, 1977
Image #77097-18
Preaching at Rice Cove Cemetery grave decoration, 1976
Image #76043-19
Singing at Rice Cove Cemetery grave decoration, 1977
Image #77097-25
At Chandler family reunion, 1976
Image #76040-33
At Chandler family reunion, 1977
Image #77093-7
Miky and Patty Chandler's wedding, 1978
Image #78028-24
At Bonnie Chandler's wedding, 1978
Image #78001-27
Willard Norton (left) and Patterson Wilde at Chandler family reunion, 1976
Image #76023-16
Cas and Virgie Wallin, 1977
Image #77097-12
Doug Wallin fiddling at home, 1977
Image #77105-25
Bergilla dancing to Ernie Franklin's fiddling at his home, 1976
Image #76049-
Dellie and Evelyn Ramsey singing at Eno River Festival, 1976
Image #76072-21
Bergilla Wallin buckdancing at Eno River Festival, 1976
Image #76070
Dellie and Bergilla singing at Marshall Elementary School, 1978
Image #78087-7
Junior playing with my daughter Kate, 1992
Image #92009-10
Zipporah Rice, Dellie's aunt, at home, 1976
Image #76034-20
Liz Franklin in her home, 1975
Image #75027-8
Bergilla Wallin in her living room holding photo of their family band, 1977
Image #77037-15
Junior and Joe Chandler on Dellie's porch, 1977
Image No Image Number
Janice Rice waiting for her tobacco check, 1994
Image #940176-32
Warehouse worker loading purchased tobacco, 1981
Image #81009-26
K. Stark bidding on tobacco crop, 1994
Image #940178-21

Consists of 87 11x14 black and white prints documenting agricultural life in North Carolina, Minnesota, Alabama, Kentucky, and South Carolina. Many of the images are from North Carolina and were part of an on-going assignment funded by the Rural Advancement Fund to document the rural Carolinas; others formed part of an annual report assigned and supported by the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation. Several images document organic farmers and their activities, and one of the last African-American dairy farmers in N.C. Original captions and numbering taken from back of prints. Arranged numerically by negative number.

Hazardous waste worker, Mitchell County, N.C., 1984 Fall
Box 16 Image #84048-22
George Henry Lee and his hogs, Duplin County, N.C., 1986 Summer
Image #860012-6
Farmer herding his dairy cows, Orange County, N.C., 1986 Summer
Image #860015-20
Drought stricken corn, Iredell County, N.C., 1986 Summer
Image #860026-0
Farm organizer Charley Thompson talking with farmers, Harmony, Iredell County, N.C., 1986 Spring
Image #860039-15
Young farmers with their show sheep at the North Carolina State Fair, Raleigh, N.C., 1986 Fall
Image #860043-9
Farmer grooming his show cattle at the North Carolina State Fair, Raleigh, N.C., 1986 Fall
Image #860046-27
Show cows at the North Carolina State Fair, Raleigh, N.C., 1986 Fall
Image #860046-30
Poultry farmer George Ammons, Duplin County, N.C., 1986 Summer
Image #860060-14
Cotton gin worker, Bishopville, S.C., 1986 Fall
Image #860063-34
Cotton gin worker, Bishopville, S.C., 1986 Fall
Image #860063-4
Benny, Chall, and Catfish at Sam and Catherine Gray's farm near Marion, McDowell County, N.C., 1986 Summer
Image #86019-5
Farm estate auction, Bishopville, S.C., 1987 Winter
Image #870006-10
Abandoned country store, Lee County, S.C., 1987 Winter
Image #870010-16
Discarded herbicide and pesticide containers, Bishopville, S.C., 1987 Winter
Image #870019-32
George Henry Lee's turkeys, Magnolia, Duplin County, N.C., 1987 Winter
Image #870022-25
George Henry Lee inspecting his birds, Magnolia, Duplin County, N.C., 1987 Winter
Image #870023-18
Edna Harris herding cows to the milking parlor, Iredell County, N.C., 1987 Winter
Image #870043-7
Farmer Wilson Gerald talking with Rep. Pat Roberts at a meeting of Tobacco and Peanuts Subcommittee, Fayetteville, N.C., 1987 Spring
Image #870056-4
Farmers taking a break at George Henry Lee's store, Duplin County, N.C., 1987 Spring
Image #870062-8
Farm and cemetery, Iredell County, N.C., 1987 Spring
Image #870064-9
Cut hay field, Iredell County, N.C., 1987 Summer
Image #870087-16
Edna Harris repairing her hay bailer, Harmony, Iredell County, N.C., 1987 Summer
Box 17 Image #870102-6a
Jim Smyre with his son and grand-daughter taking a break from setting tobacco, Harmony, Iredell County, N.C., 1987 Spring
Image #870103-7
Edna Harris, Iredell County, N.C., 1987 Summer
Image #870104-27
Edna Harris driving the hay bailer, Iredell County, N.C., 1987 Summer
Image #870104-37
Jim Smyre and family planting tobacco, Iredell County, N.C., 1987 Spring
Image #870105-11
Jim Smyre and his son planting tobacco, Iredell County, N.C., 1987 Spring
Image #870105-25
Retirees to the farm, Johnston County, N.C., 1987 Summer
Image #870129-14
Lonnie Harris moving cows to the milking parlor, Iredell County, N.C., 1987 Summer
Image #870137-24
Fence and gate on Edna Harris's farm, Iredell County, N.C., 1987 Summer
Image #870138-10
At the Harris family reunion, Iredell County, N.C., 1987 Summer
Image #870145-29
Donald Stokes teaching ESL to Haitian farm workers, Newton Grove, N.C., 1987 Summer
Image #870147-16
Haitian migrant farm workers learning English, Newton Grove, N.C., 1987 Summer
Image #870147-20
Carter Cosby selling his brother's watermelons, Clinton, N.C., 1987 Summer
Image #870147-28
Bunky feeding his chickens, Brunswick County, N.C., 1987 Summer
Image #870160-16
Chicken catcher putting chickens in pens for transport to slaughterhouse, Chatham County, N.C., 1987 Fall
Image #870185-24
Chicken catcher, Chatham County, N.C., 1987 Fall
Image #870185-34
Chickens leaving the farm for the slaughterhouse, Chatham County, N.C., 1987 Fall
Image #870186-10
Chicken catcher herding chickens, Chatham County, N.C., 1987 Fall
Image #870186-16
Farm worker collecting eggs, Chatham County, N.C., 1987 Winter
Image #870191-33
Tanese Wilson milking, Waco, N.C., 1987 Late Fall
Image #870197-29
Turkeys being loaded for the slaughterhouse, Duplin County, N.C., 1988 Winter
Image #880013-22
Turkeys being herded for transport to slaughterhouse, Duplin County, N.C., 1988 Winter
Image #880013-26
Jean and Ralph Wynont in their milking barn, Lawndale, N.C., 1988 Winter
Box 18 Image #880018-27
Disabled dairyman, Lonnie Harris, Iredell County, N.C., 1988 Winter
Image #880034-14
Abandoned farm turned into a hunting club, Iredell County, N.C., 1989 Winter
Image #890006-26
Fourteen year old Salvadorian refugee collecting eggs in poultry breeder house, Iredell County, N.C., 1989 Spring
Image #890030-33
Salvadorian refugee cleaning eggs in breeder house, Iredell County, N.C., 1989 Spring
Image #890032-23
Sylvester Walker's grand-daughter playing basketball in his front yard, Spiveys Corner, N.C., 1989 Spring
Image #890059-22
Crossroads, Duplin County, N.C., 1989 Spring
Image #890064-24
Crossroads, Duplin County, N.C., 1989 Spring
Image #890064-27
Donald Stokes disking land, Duplin County, N.C., 1989 Summer
Image #890064-7
Construction work on I-40, Duplin County, N.C., 1989 Summer
Image #890082-36
On the road to Robert and Jane Peeble's house, Madison County, N.C., 1990 Summer
Image #900062-18
Farmer carrying peas to his truck, Eastern N.C., 1991 Summer
Image #91037-15
Farmer showing me her field peas, 1991 Summer
Image #91037-27
Dairyman Doug Wilson. At the time this photograph was made, Doug Wilson was one of three remaining black dairymen in North Carolina. He lost his arm to a silage cutting machine a few years earlier, but continued to farm, Waco, N.C., 1991
Image #91058-15
Juanita Wilson and her mother, Waco, N.C., 1991
Image #91058-1a
Doug Wilson's son feeding calves, Waco, N.C., 1991
Image #91059-28
Rally for the victims of the Hamlet Poultry Plant fire, Hamlet, N.C., 1992 Spring
Image #92033-40a
Farmer feeding his free range hogs, Chatham County, N.C., 1993
Image #93044-5
Girl selecting vegetables from Ken Dawson's stand at the Carrboro Farmers Market, Carrboro, N.C., 1993 Late spring
Image #93076-28
Farmer attending to sick hog, Chatham County, N.C., 1993
Image #93085-5
Ken Dawson harvesting lettuce, Hillsborough, N.C., 1993 Fall
Image #93164-16a
Ken Dawson feeling his organic soil, Hillsborough, N.C., 1993
Image #93181-12a
Farm worker family after egg collection, Samson, Ala., 1994 Winter
Box 19 Image #940015-5
Chicken catcher loading birds for the slaughterhouse, Samson, Ala., 1994 Spring
Image #940019-27
Diane Tinsley and her baby chickens, Samson, Ala., 1994 Spring
Image #940024-42
Poultry barns, Samson, Ala., 1994 Spring
Image #940026-14
Ken Dawson inspecting his lettuce seedlings, Hillsborough, N.C., 1994 Summer
Image #940117-15
Ken Dawson building plant beds, Hillsborough, N.C., 1994 Spring
Image #94118-11
Heritage Day celebration, Manchester, Ky., 1995 Fall
Image #950188-20
Southern Minnesota Sugar Beet Cooperative, Granite Falls, Minn., 1995 Fall
Image #950199-16
Southern Minnesota Sugar Beet Cooperative, Granite Falls, Minn., 1995 Fall
Image #950202-1
Combine harvesting soybeans at night, Granite Falls, Minn., 1995 Fall
Image #950206-11
Combine harvesting soybeans at night, Granite Falls, Minn., 1995 Fall
Image #950206-3
Sacked sugar at worker-owned sugar beet cooperative, Granite Falls, Minn., 1995 Fall
Image #950207-14
Farm girl milking, Granite Falls, Minn., 1995 Fall
Image #950207-2b
Farmer cleaning his auger, Granite Falls, Minn., 1995 Fall
Image #950212-7
Abandoned farmhouse and soybean crop, Tarboro, N.C., 1996 Summer
Image #960147-30
Farmer working on his land, Boone County, Ky., 1996 Fall
Image #960310-8
Mrs. Douglas and her collards, Columbia, S.C., 1996 Fall
Image #960324-10
Crossroads, Estill, S.C., 1998
Image #98022-32a
Untitled, Estill, S.C., 1998 Winter
Image #98023-7
House and factory, Estill, S.C., 1998
Image #98025-24
Latino farmworker cleaning out poultry barn in wake of Hurricane Floyd, Tarboro, N.C., 1999 Fall
Image #99083-19

The smallest series within the papers, correspondence includes letters from publishers, event coordination, and donor responses.

Correspondence, 1995-2009 and undated
Box 20

Printed materials are arranged alphabetically. Larger collections from the same genre or publication are grouped separately. Series described at the folder level.

A-B
Box 20
Amberg's promotional packet
Box 20
C
Box 20
Christian publications
Box 20
D-F
Box 20
Exhibit-related printed materials
Box 20
Exhibit-related press coverage
Box 20
Farmers' Legal Action reports, 1988
Box 20
G-H
Box 21
I-M
Box 21
Luck by Eric Martin (cover only)
Box 21
Music festival brouchures, 1978-2003
Box 21
N
(2 folders)
Box 21
NC Crossroads, 1997-2001
Box 21
O-P
Box 21
Promotional materials
Box 22
R-Y
Box 22
Rural Advance, 1985-1990
Box 22
Rural Roots, 2000-2001
Box 22
RAFI Action, 1994-1995
Box 22
RAFI-USA annual reports, 1996-2008
Box 22
Reviews of Sodom Laurel Album
Box 22
Southern Changes, 1987-2001
(2 folders)
Box 22
Southern Exposure, 1984-2003 and undated
Box 23
The Sun, 1993-2004
Box 23
Theater playbills, 1986 and undated
Box 23
Who is my Neighbor?: Parables of Survival from the Floyd Flood of 1999, 2002
Box 23
The Arts Journal, 1976-1987
Box 32
Pultry Worker Justice Legal Advocacy Conference, 2001 Nov.
Box 32
Amberg presentation at Georgia College and State University, 2006 Nov. 13
Box 32
The New Road Opening Reception and Book Launch, 2009 Nov. 7
(2 copies)
Box 32
Blue Wing Valentine Dance, Feb. 16
Box 32
Madison Celebrates Art Festival, May 17
Box 32
Mermaids in Marshall, Jun. 11
Box 32
Studio Sale, Nov. 24-25
Box 32
North Carolina Independent, 1983-2008
Box 33
Olé!, 1973 Apr. 21
Box 33
The Plow, 1976 Sept.
Box 33
SHOTS, 1991 May-Jun.
Box 33
Oversize Folder 1
Untitled poster with 16 Amberg photographs
Box 33
Poster for Intro Their Labors: Images from Southern-Appalachians exhibit at Landwirtschaftsmuseum in Brunnenburg, 1994 Jun.-Aug.
(in English and German)
Box 33
Poster for Traces exhibit at Semi Public in Asheville, N.C., 1999 May 8-30
Box 33
Arts & Letters: Journal of Contemporary Culture, no. 17 (Spring 2007).
Box 28
Arts & Letters: Journal of Contemporary Culture, no. 18 (Fall 2007).
Box 28
Arts & Letters: Journal of Contemporary Culture, no. 19 (Spring 2008).
Box 28
Brunk, Robert S., ed., May We All Remember Well: A Journal of the History & Cultures of Western North Carolina 1. Asheville, NC: Robert S. Brunk Auction Services Inc., 1997.
Box 28
Chalker, Donald M., ed., Leadership for Rural Schools: Lessons for All Educators. Lancaster, PA: Technomic Publishing Co., 1999.
Box 28
The Georgia Review: Contemporary Southern Writing L, no. 1 (Spring 1996).
Box 28
Hulme, Francis Pledger, Mountain Measure: A Southern Appalachian Verse Notebook. Boone, NC: Appalachian Consortium Press, 1975.
Box 28
Road Scholars Speakers Bureau 2007/2008 Catalog: A Program of the North Carolina Humanities Council.
Box 28
Southern Cultuers: Soil, Sand, and States of Mind 7, no.3 (Fall 2001).
Box 29
The Southern Quarterly 35, no. 3 (Spring 1997).
Box 29

Series consists of non-profit organizations with which Amberg worked and supported. Series described at the folder level.

Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, 1995-2002
Box 23
Carolina Community Project, 1987
Box 23
Community Farm Alliance, undated
Box 23
Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, 1994-1998
Box 23
Moses Cone-Wesley Long Community Health Foundation, 2000-2001
Box 23
Environmental Defense Fund, 1994
Box 23
Farm Aid
Box 23
The Ford Foundation, 1994
Box 23
International Forum on Globalization, 1998
Box 23
Madison County Arts Council, undated
Box 23
North Carolina Arts Council, 1994-1999
Box 23
North Carolina Humanities Council
Box 24
Pesticide Action Network, 1994
Box 24
Pew Partnership for Civic Change
(3 folders)
Box 24
Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, 1990
Box 24
Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA)
Box 24
Rural Center, 1987-1988
Box 24
Rural School and Community Trust, undated
Box 24
SAREACE Southern Region, 1994 and undated
Box 24
Southern Appalachian Center of Mars Hill College, undated
Box 24
United Farmers Organization
Box 24

Series includes multiple manuscripts to The New Road and Sodom Laurel Album in addition to Amberg's notes and other writings.

The New Road book contract and donor list
Box 25
From Kalamazoo to Jasper and Home Again
Box 25
I-26 Research
Box 25
Interviews and related notes
Box 25
Maps
Box 25
The New Road manuscript
(2 folders)
Box 25
The New Road introduction draft
Box 25
The New Road final chapter draft
Box 25
The New Road publisher's draft
(2 folders)
Box 25
Miscellaneous
Box 25
Sodom Laurel Album manuscript
(2 folders)
Box 26
Sodom Laurel Album annotated draft
Box 26
Sodom Laurel Album draft
Box 26
Sodom Laurel Album layout draft
Box 26
Sodom Laurel Album book permissions
Box 26
Sodom Laurel Album book cover
Box 26
Sodom Laurel Album publisher's draft
(4 of 7 folders)
Box 26
Sodom Laurel Album publisher's draft
(3 of 7 folders)
Box 27
The New Road full publisher's draft
(2 folders)
Box 27
Sodom Laurel Album publisher's drafts
(2 copies)
Box 30
The New Road publisher's drafts
(2 copies)
Box 31
Quartet: Four North Carolina Photographers publisher's draft
Box 32
Beyond Black and White, 2002
Box 32
Corridor of Change, undated
Box 32
Diary of a French Broad, 1978
Box 32
Tobacco: An Interview with Dellie Norton, 1997
Box 32
The New Road book cover
Oversize Folder 1
Oversize promotional posters
Box 32

Interstate 26 is a cassette recording while the Sodom Laurel Album accompanying recording is in a compact disc format.

Interstate 26 produced by Leda Hartman, 1997 Sept. 22
Box 29
Sodom Laurel Album accompanying recording
Box 29

Historical Note

Rob Amberg's photographs and writings have been exhibited and published nationally and internationally in journals, magazines, and galleries. He lectures frequently and performs regular documentary assignments for non-profit organizations, philanthropic foundations and editorial publications. He is the recipient of fellowships and awards from numerous organizations, including: the National Endowment for the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Center for Documentary Studies, Alternate Roots, the North Carolina Humanities Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

His book, Sodom Laurel Album, was published in 2002 by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina Press. The book received the 2003 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award from the Western North Carolina Historical Association. In 2005, his work was included in the book Quartet: Four North Carolina Photographers, which was published by Safe Harbor Books. His latest book, The New Road: I-26 and the Footprints of Progress, was published in 2009 by the Center for American Places and the University of Georgia Press.

Subject Headings

Related Material

Related Material

Selected images from the Rob Amberg Photographs are featured on the Duke University Libraries Digital Collections website. The original library exhibit, displayed in 2009, was entitled The New Road: I-26 and the Footprints of Progress.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Rob Amberg Photographs and Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Rob Amberg Photographs were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2004, 2007, and 2008. The Papers were received in 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Kenneth Dasher, July 2009

Encoded by Kenneth Dasher and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, August 2009

2011 Accession processed and encoded by Carrie Mills, June 2011.

Accessions 2004-0338, 2007-0130, 2008-0049, and 2011-0067 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.