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Guide to the R. Wensell Grabarek Papers, 1963-2013

Abstract

Collection consists of 11 DVDs, 9 mini-dv videocassettes, one hard drive, and 12 video files primarily associated with interviews of former Durham, North Carolina mayor R. Wensell Grabarek, from 2004 to 2013, in which Grabarek details his career and participation in desegregating Durham in the early 1960s.

Descriptive Summary

Title
R. Wensell Grabarek Papers
Creator
Grabarek, Robert Wensell, 1919-
Extent
0.5 linear feet, 1 box containing mini-dv tapes, DVDs, and a hard drive.
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
Materials in English

Collection Overview

The collection consists of DVDs and video files primarily associated with interviews of former Durham, North Carolina mayor R. Wensell Grabarek (1963-1971). In 2004, Grabarek was interviewed by Steven Channing for his film, Durham: A Self-Portrait (2007); in 2011, historian and author Tim Tyson interviewed Grabarek, in a conversation initiated by Phail Wynn, Duke University's Vice President of Durham and Regional Affairs; in February 2013, Angela Hampton, the host of Heart of Carolina Perspectives on local ABC affiliate WTVD, sat down with Grabarek to discuss the events of May 1963 and their impact on the desegregation of Durham; and in July 2013, Craig Breaden and Kirston Johnson of the Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library interviewed Mr. Grabarek for an oral history to accompany the donation of his papers to the Rubenstein Library. In addition to these interviews, there is a copy of the May 24, 1963 episode of the CBS News program Eyewitness to History, profiling civil rights efforts in North Carolina and featuring a segment on Durham and Wense Grabarek.

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

Original audiovisual materials are closed to use. Use of these materials may require production of listening or viewing copies. Please contact a reference archivist before coming to use this collection.

The collection may contain materials to which the Acknowledgment of Legal Responsibilities and Privacy Rights form applies. Patrons must sign this form before using the collection.

Also, all or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. Consequently, there may be a 24-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 all 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

Audiovisual

33.0 Items

The Audiovisual series consists four subseries of materials primarily associated with interviews conducted by Steven Channing, Tim Tyson, and Angela Hampton, and with the May 24, 1963 episode of the CBS News program Eyewitness to History.

Wensell Grabarek interview for Durham - A Self Portrait, 2004 January 21

In 2004, Wensell Grabarek was interviewed by Steven Channing for the film that would become Durham: A Self-Portrait, which was first screened in November 2007. This series contains edited and full versions of the interview.

Use copies are available for viewing in the Rubenstein Library Reading Room.

Edited master, DVD, 2004 January 21
(20.0 minutes)
Box 1
Video-disc RL10014-DVD-0009
Unedited footage, Quicktime file, 2004 January 21
(97.0 minutes)
Video-file RL10014-MOV-0010

Wensell Grabarek interviewed by Timothy B. Tyson, 2011 September 12-13

In this nine-hour oral history from September 2011, Dr. Timothy B. Tyson and Grabarek discuss, among other topics, Grabarek's time as Durham City Council member (1957-1961) and as Mayor of Durham (1963-1971), his role in Durham's desegregation, urban renewal, and the development of Durham's East-West Expressway (NC 147). The conversation was initiated by Phail Wynn, Duke University's Vice President of Durham and Regional Affairs.

Use copies are available for viewing in the Rubenstein Library Reading Room.

Recorder original, Mini-DV, 2011 September 12-13
(60.0 minutes)

Note on tape: Mayor of Durham, Dr. Tyson 9/12/11

Box 1
Video-cassette RL10014-MDV-0001
Unedited footage, Quicktime file, 2011 September 12-13
(60.0 minutes)
Video-file RL10014-MOV-0001
Recorder original, Mini-DV, 2011 September 12-13
(63.0 minutes)

Note on tape: Tyson/Graberek

Box 1
Video-cassette RL10014-MDV-0002
Unedited footage, Quicktime file, 2011 September 12-13
(63.0 minutes)
Video-file RL10014-MOV-0002
Recorder original, Mini-DV, 2011 September 12-13
(62.0 minutes)

Note on tape: 8 min - election & prayer; 32 min - newspaper; 50 - no historians contact

Box 1
Video-cassette RL10014-MDV-0003
Unedited footage, Quicktime file, 2011 September 12-13
(62.0 minutes)
Video-file RL10014-MOV-0003
Recorder original, Mini-DV, 2011 September 12-13
(63.0 minutes)

Note on tape: Tim's intro post lunch; 16 - reading letters on integration; 24 - emotional letter from wife's friend; 26- summation of his view of; 37 - talks of his faith's value; 39 - A matter of composition; 44 - Wa Duke; 55 - How free are we

Box 1
Video-cassette RL10014-MDV-0004
Unedited footage, Quicktime file, 2011 September 12-13
(63.0 minutes)
Video-file RL10014-MOV-0004
Recorder original, Mini-DV, 2011 September 12-13
(61.0 minutes)

Note on tape: 1 - yankee elected; 7 - Bennett Place; 12.5 - RTP vertical; 20 - Humphrey and Galafianakis; 38 - 3 jobs; 42 - slave labor; 43 - who I am; 53 - Christian leadership; 58 - Faith is at the heart

Box 1
Video-cassette RL10014-MDV-0005
Unedited footage, Quicktime file, 2011 September 12-13
(61.0 minutes)
Video-file RL10014-MOV-0005
Recorder original, Mini-DV, 2011 September 12-13
(63.0 minutes)

Note on tape: Tyson and Grabarek; 9 - Yale and high school; 16 - happy human being; 23 - it must come out; 38 - celebration time; 52 - 1965 op. break; 58 - Duke's the best we got

Box 1
Video-cassette RL10014-MDV-0006
Unedited footage, Quicktime file, 2011 September 12-13
(63.0 minutes)
Video-file RL10014-MOV-0006
Recorder original, Mini-DV, 2011 September 12-13
(65.0 minutes)

Note on tape: 1 - Howard Fuller, Ann Atwater; 7 - this is 1971; 13 - Florence Blakely; 31 - Tyson's story; 42 - secret game

Box 1
Video-cassette RL10014-MDV-0007
Unedited footage, Quicktime file, 2011 September 12-13
(65.0 minutes)
Video-file RL10014-MOV-0007
Recorder original, Mini-DV, 2011 September 12-13
(63.0 minutes)

Note on tape: 9 - land of the indirect; 30 - anti-American; 41 - C.P. Ellis; 58 - full blown integration

Box 1
Video-cassette RL10014-MDV-0008
Unedited footage, Quicktime file, 2011 September 12-13
(63.0 minutes)
Video-reel RL10014-MOV-0008
Recorder original, Mini-DV, 2011 September 12-13
(65.0 minutes)

Note on tape: urban renewal and expressway; 17 - waiting for coffee; 33 - Nat White; 54 - Allen Bldg. takeover

Box 1
Video-cassette RL10014-MDV-0009
Unedited footage, Quicktime file, 2011 September 12-13
(65.0 minutes)
Video-file RL10014-MOV-0009

DVD working copies, 2011 September 12-13

Note that the DVDs correspond only roughly to the tapes and Quicktime files.

Disc one; part 1; part 2; part 3, 2011 September 12-13
(58.0 minutes)
Box 1
Video-disc RL10014-DVD-0001
Disc two; part 4; part 5; part 6, 2011 September 12-13
(63.0 minutes)
Box 1
Video-disc RL10014-DVD-0002
Disc three; part 7; part 8, 2011 September 12-13
(62.0 minutes)
Box 1
Video-disc RL10014-DVD-0003
Disc four; part 9; part 10, 2011 September 12-13
(63.0 minutes)
Box 1
Video-disc RL10014-DVD-0004
Disc five; part 11; part 12; part 13; part 14, 2011 September 12-13
(64.0 minutes)
Box 1
Video-disc RL10014-DVD-0005
Disc six; part 15; part 16, 2011 September 12-13
(63.0 minutes)
Box 1
Video-disc RL10014-DVD-0006
Disc seven; part 17; part 18; part 19, 2011 September 12-13
(63.0 minutes)
Box 1
Video-disc RL10014-DVD-0007
Disc eight; part 20; part 21; part 22, 2011 September 12-13
(65.0 minutes)
Box 1
Video-disc RL10014-DVD-0008

Perspectives, WTVD ABC 11, 2013 February 23

In February 2013, Angela Hampton interviewed Wensell Grabarek about desegregation in Durham in 1963, with additional commentary by historian Andre D. Vann.

Use copies are available for viewing in the Rubenstein Library Reading Room.

DVD, 2013 February 23
(26.0 minutes)
Box 1
Video-disc RL10014-DVD-0011

Wensell Grabarek interviewed for the Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University, 2013 July 24

Craig Breaden and Kirston Johnson of the Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library interviewed Wensell Grabarek for an oral history to accompany the donation of his papers to the Rubenstein Library. In this interview, Grabarek discusses his years growing up in Pennsylvania, the impact of the Depression on his family, his experiences as an officer in World War II, coming to Durham in the postwar years, and his service as a Durham city councilman and as mayor. Use copies can be made available upon request.

Part one of interview, WAV, unedited recorder original, 2013 July 24
(125.0 minutes)
Audio-file RL10014-WAV-0001.wav
Part two of interview, WAV, unedited recorder original, 2013 July 24
(19.0 minutes)
Audio-file RL10014-WAV-0002.wav

CBS News Archives, Eyewitness to History, May 24, 1963, 1963 May 24

The May 24, 1963 episode of the CBS News production Eyewitness to History focused on desegregation efforts in North Carolina. Wensell Grabarek was featured in the program.

Use copies are available for viewing in the Rubenstein Library Reading Room.

DVD, 1963 May 24
(36.0 minutes)
Box 1
Video-disc RL10014-DVD-0010
Quicktime file, 1963 May 24
(36.0 minutes)
Video-file RL10014-MOV-0011

Historical Note

Born to Albert and Elizabeth Grabarek on May 21, 1919, Robert Wensell Grabarek was trained as an accountant, receiving his bachelor's and master's degree from Benjamin Franklin University in Washington, D.C. Entering the U.S. Army as a private in June, 1941, he earned three Battle Stars and a Bronze Star during World War II, and left the service at the end of the war with the rank of captain.

In the 1950s Grabarek and his family moved to Durham, where Grabarek became active in civic, education, and business organizations. From 1957 to 1961 he served on the Durham City Council. Elected to mayor of Durham in May 1963, during the height of the city's civil rights demonstrations, Grabarek is credited with bringing together Durham's white and black leadership, resolving the demonstrations through peaceful desegregation of many of the city's businesses. Grabarek served as mayor of Durham until 1971, and was involved in Urban Renewal programs, the development of the Research Triangle Park, recruitment of businesses to the area, enlarging the city's boundaries, and the construction of Durham Freeway.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], R. Wensell Grabarek papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The R. Wensell Grabarek Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift from Mr. Grabarek in 2012 and 2013.

Processing Information

Processed by: Craig Breaden, May 2013.

Accessions described in this finding aid: UA2012-0029.