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Preliminary Guide to the Literacy Through Photography Records, 1990-2009

Collection Overview

The Duke University Center for Documentary Studies Literacy Through Photography Records comprise negatives, contact sheets, and written work (generally handwritten or printed observations, comments, stories, poems, drawings) documenting school children’s views of their community, Durham, NC. The materials would be useful to those interested in visual culture, the psychogeography of children, and Durham history, society and living environment, as well as those interested in pedagogy and developing an arts-based curriculum in public schools. The units collected and organized in the Records are LTP class projects, sorted first by format, then chronologically.

Along with the physical negatives, contact sheets, and writings transferred to the Rubenstein Library in 2002, LTP coordinators provided detailed supplementary information about the compilation, organization, and selection process of the collection, as well as a finding aid in the form of an Excel database. The Excel file is a master database of individual student projects organized by year, and sortable by other variables; the database is accessible electronically at the Rubenstein Library. A print copy of the database and other supporting documentation is also available in the RMBSCL inventory file, and should be consulted by patrons using this collection.

The collection also includes 56 exhibit-quality color prints of LTP in Tanzania include images of children learning to use digital cameras, demonstrating their literacy skills, and exhibiting their projects. Also includes images of some volunteers, LTP staff, and Tanzanian teachers.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Literacy Through Photography records, 1990-2009
Creator
Duke University. Center for Documentary Studies. Community Programs.
Extent
4.8 Linear Feet, 2800 Items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Language
English.

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. Images in projects without signed release forms may only be viewed in the library and copied for purposes of study and research. They may not be reproduced for commercial use or for exhibition without permission from LTP. All requests for commercial use of images shall be referred to LTP.

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. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.

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

[Attention: Boxes 1-5 contain pictorial materials.]

1991-1999 Fall
Box 1
1999 Fall-2000 Fall
Box 2
1991-1994
Box 2
1995 Spring-1999 Fall
Box 3
1999 Fall-2000 Fall
Box 4
2000 Fall
Box 5
1990-1999 Fall
Box 5
1999 Fall-2000 Fall
Box 6
1994-2000 Spring
Box Oversize 21

The LTP project in Arusha, Tanzania, began in 2004 when Sister Cities of Durham brought two Tanzanian teachers to the Center for Documentary Studies to attend an LTP workshop. Building on these connections, LTP staff traveled to Arusha in 2008 and 2009 to offer workshops to hundreds of primary-school teachers, from all over the district, and to co-teach lessons that involved more than 2,450 students. These experiences culminated with a public exhibition of children's work.

The 56 prints in this series document the collaborative LTP process in Tanzania, including children's assignments; group work; instruction in photography, history, geography, life skills, math, and science; and exhibitions of the final projects created by the children in the program. Most prints are approximately 13x19 or 12x16 digital color prints; there are also three 16x20 prints. Captions and identification numbers are included when known.

Unlabeled images (2 prints)
Box 7
Process Photograph #3

Third-grade students at Arusha Primary School discuss their photography assignment with DukeEngage student Minette Yao before setting off to take pictures. 16" x 12" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Process Photograph #13

DukeEngage student Kaitlin Rogers ask seventh-grade students at Uhuru Primary School to write about their photographs as she hands out paper. 16" x 12" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Process Photograph #8
Box 7
Self-Expression Photograph #13

Students at Swifts Primary School took cameras home to make portraits of their family life. 19" x 13" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Math/Statistics Photograph #7

In this statistics project, high school students at St. Joseph's Secondary School created a frequency graph representing the number of siblings per student. In their aerial photo, students represent the data points, and later, students labeled the axes and calculated the mean, median, mode, and range. 19" x 13" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Life Skills Photograph #6

During advanced LTP workshops, Tanzanian teachers design their own LTP curriculum specifying content (how the activity fits into the standard curricula) and logistics (how to accomplish the project considering class size and available photographic supplies). This photograph, representing "pain," was made by teachers to illustrate concepts related to gender in high school "life skills" courses, which also cover topics like HIV and home economics. 19" x 13" digital pigment print (1 of 2).

Box 7
Life Skills Photograph #5
Box 7
Science Photograph #4

At St. Joseph's Secondary School, an all-girls' high school, students represent "hibernation" in a study of homeostasis. 17" x 13" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Science Photograph #1

Third-grade students at Arusha School photograph the ways they use one of their five senses: touch. 17" x 13" digital pigment print (1 of 3).

Box 7
Science Photograph #2

Arusha teachers have used LTP as a method of reviewing science topics such as the circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, and skeletal systems. Students at Shalom Primary School represent "joints" and "inhale." 16" x 12" digital pigment prints (2 prints).

Box 7
Science Photograph #1

Third-grade students at Arusha School photograph the ways they use one of their five senses: hearing. 16" x 14" digital pigment print (2 of 3).

Box 7
History Photograph #10
Box 7
History Photograph #16
Box 7
Process Photograph #19

Each year the LTP-Arusha program culminates with a large exhibition on the outside walls of the Natural History Museum in Arusha. Hundreds of students and their teachers attend the exhibition opening to view the work they created during the eight-week program. 16" x 13" digital pigment prints (4 prints).

Box 7
Process Photograph #18

Arusha teachers look on as their students write about their LTP photographs. 19" x 13" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Process Photograph #17

Students at Shalom Primary School and Uhuru Primary School assemble their photographs and writing. 16" x 13" digital pigment print (1 of 2).

Box 7
Process Photograph #16

Teachers at Tetra Primary School and students at Shalom Primary School assemble their photographs and writing. 16" x 12" digital pigment print (1 of 2).

Box 7
Process Photograph #15

Students at St. Margaret's Academy and St. Joseph's Secondary School share their photographs and writing with classmates. 16" x 12" digital pigment print (1 of 2).

Box 7
Process Photograph #14

A seventh-grade student at Uhuru Primary School presents an image about her community. Following a recent national call for participatory education, Tanzanian students are encouraged to take a more active role in their classes. 16" x 12" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Process Photograph #13

DukeEngage student Kaitlin Rogers ask seventh-grade students at Uhuru Primary School to write about their photographs as she hands out paper. 16" x 12" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Process Photograph #12

Arusha School students work together to make a creative picture about the skeletal system. 16" x 13" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Process Photograph #9

DukeEngage students Ami Kabadi (left) and Alia Kamal (right) label a display of photographs taken during a teacher workshop. The poster will be hung in a classroom where few visual aids are usually available. 16" x 12" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Process Photograph #2

During LTP workshops DukeEngage students Alia Kamal and Baldeep Pabla train teachers how to use digital cameras and printers. 16" x 12" digital pigment print (2 prints).

Box 7
Process Photograph #1

Members of an LTP teacher advisory committee in Arusha consult Tanzania's national syllabus as they design LTP activities that build upon the required curricula. Here they've created a poster depicting a Swahili proverb for use in language or literature classes. 17" x 13" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Geography Photograph #11

In a study of southern Africa, sixth-grade students at Themi Primary School were assigned individual countries and then asked to research their geographic features. Students also mapped the countries' latitudinal and longitudinal lines. 17" x 13" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Science Photograph #1

Third-grade students at Arusha School photograph the ways they use one of their five senses: smell. 17" x 13" digital pigment print (3 of 3).

Box 7
Language Photograph #19

The English and Swahili alphabets are utilized as an organizational framework for photography projects on particular themes, such as the school community, everyday words, and science topics. The words depicted here are: "J: Jumping," "C: Chana nydwe (Comb)," and "G: Goat." 16" x 12" digital pigment prints (3 prints).

Box 7
History Photograph #8

This project at Themi Secondary School began with a history lesson about how East Africans were enslaved through the sale of prisoners and people with debt, ambush, and direct raid on vulnerable villages. Following this lecture, students moved freely around the schoolyard as they considered the best backgrounds and angles for pictures representing these enslavement tactics. Once they made their photographs, students wrote about the images from either the perspective of an enslaved person or that of a slave trader. 17" x 13" digital pigment prints (3 prints).

Box 7
History Photograph #9

In another history class at Themi Secondary School, students showed how the colonial health and education systems perpetuated inequalities and the exploitation of East Africans. In this set of photographs, the images depict "white education" and "black education" during colonial times. 17" x 13" digital pigment print (1 of 2).

Box 7
Self-Expression Photograph #15

In this "Best Part of Me" LTP activity, students at Shalom Primary School made self-portraits highlighting their favorite physical features. 19" x 13" digital pigment print (1 of 2).

Box 7
Self-Expression Photograph #14

Third-grade students at Tetra Primary School were asked to imagine taking a trip anywhere in the world. These students portrayed an imagined trip to the United States to meet President Obama. 17" x 13" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Language Photograph #17

Tanzanian teachers have integrated LTP into language classes by asking students to make photographs to help them learn English vocabulary and grammar, as well as to inspire creative writing. In large classrooms of up to a hundred students, LTP assignments yield sets of useful flash cards, including common English verbs such as "to read," verb conjugations and the use of different verb tenses. 19" x 13" digital pigment print (1 of 3).

Box 7
Self-Expression Photograph #15

In this "Best Part of Me" LTP activity, students at Shalom Primary School made self-portraits highlighting their favorite physical features. 19" x 13" digital pigment print (2 of 2).

Box 7
Language Photograph #17

Tanzanian teachers have integrated LTP into language classes by asking students to make photographs to help them learn English vocabulary and grammar, as well as to inspire creative writing. In large classrooms of up to a hundred students, LTP assignments yield sets of useful flash cards, including common English verbs such as "to love," and "to smile," verb conjugations and the use of different verb tenses. 19" x 13" digital pigment prints (2-3 of 3).

Box 7
History Photograph #9

In another history class at Themi Secondary School, students showed how the colonial health and education systems perpetuated inequalities and the exploitation of East Africans. In this set of photographs, the images depict "white education" and "black education" during colonial times. 19" x 13" digital pigment print (2 of 2).

Box 7
Process Photograph #17

Students at Shalom Primary School and Uhuru Primary School assemble their photographs and writing. 16" x 13" digital pigment print (2 of 2).

Box 7
Process Photograph #18

Arusha teachers look on as their students write about their LTP photographs. 16" x 12" digital pigment print (2 of 2).

Box 7
Process Photograph #16

Teachers at Tetra Primary School and students at Shalom Primary School assemble their photographs and writing. 16" x 12" digital pigment print (2 of 2).

Box 7
Process Photograph #15

Students at St. Margaret's Academy and St. Joseph's Secondary School share their photographs and writing with classmates. 19" x 13" digital pigment print (2 of 2).

Box 7
Process Photograph #11

Working with classmates on a geography class LTP project, a sixth-grade student at St. Margaret's Academy directs the scene he intends to photograph. 19" x 13" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Process Photograph #10

LTP Assignments often begin with a lively brainstorming discussion among students. In contrast to the traditional approach where teachers dictate lessons, these students at St. Margaret's Academy generated their own ideas related to an assigned theme. Their brainstorming list will then guide their photographic choices. 19" x 13" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Life Skills Photograph #6

During advanced LTP workshops, Tanzanian teachers design their own LTP curriculum specifying content (how the activity fits into the standard curricula) and logistics (how to accomplish the project considering class size and available photographic supplies). This photograph, representing "quiet," was made by teachers to illustrate concepts related to gender in high school "life skills" courses, which also cover topics like HIV and home economics. 19" x 13" digital pigment print (2 of 2).

Box 7
Process Photograph #5

DukeEngage student Baldeep Pabla shows students from Arusha Primary School how to review their pictures on a digital camera. 21.5" x 16" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Process Photograph #6

A student from Arusha Primary School enjoys showing DukeEngage student Hilary Robbins the digital image she has just taken. 21.5" x 16" digital pigment print.

Box 7
Process Photograph #10

Students at Arusha School respond as DukeEngage students present an LTP assignment. 21.5" x 16" digital pigment print.

Box 7

Historical Note

The Literacy through Photography (LTP) program in the Durham Public Schools was started in 1989 by photographer, teacher, and writer Wendy Ewald. The program encourages students to find their voice through photographs and written text; students photograph scenes from their lives and then learn to develop and print the film in the school darkroom. These images become the catalyst for subsequent written investigation of self, community, family, and dreams. LTP provides training to middle and elementary school teachers, and partners university students and community volunteers with LTP classrooms.

Since 1990, LTP has worked intensively in Durham with children of diverse ages and backgrounds. The emphasis on children's lives and environments as the source of their own creative expression, as well as the focus on the material procedures of photography, has gained international attention. LTP has been invited to give workshops and train teachers and arts organizations throughout the United States and internationally, setting a standard for innovative arts education programs.

In 1994, LTP joined the Duke Center for Documentary Studies. From 1994-1999 the majority of LTP materials produced in classrooms were either given back to the students or remained in the classroom with the teacher. In 1999, LTP made plans to create an archive, and began the process of collecting past work from LTP teachers. The task of collecting and organizing this work, from 1994-1999, was undertaken by Julia Beck Hoggson in the fall of 1999. The material was transferred to the Rubenstein Library in 2002.

The LTP project in Arusha, Tanzania, began in 2004 when Sister Cities of Durham brought two Tanzanian teachers to the Center for Documentary Studies to attend an LTP workshop. Building on these connections, LTP staff and Duke Engage students traveled to Arusha in 2008 and 2009 to offer workshops to hundreds of primary-school teachers, from all over the district, and to co-teach lessons that involved more than 2,450 students.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Duke University. Center for Documentary Studies. Literacy Through Photography Records., David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Duke University Center for Documentary Studies Literacy Through Photography Records were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a transfer in 2002 and 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Katie Hyde and Literacy Through Photography staff; Elizabeth Arnold

Completed February 11, 2003

Updated by Meghan Lyon, October 2011

Encoded by Ann G. Langford, Elizabeth Arnold, Meghan Lyon

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.

This collection is minimally processed: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.