Of all the interesting historical documents and artifacts people want to see in the Duke University Archives, among the most requested items are issues of Duke’s 107-year-old independent student newspaper The Chronicle. Issues from the 1960s are always in particular demand. Many current Duke students are interested in the decade — which was one of great change in the student body, in the academic curriculum and in social life, as it was at colleges and universities across the nation. Alumni and other researchers like to track down details about particular events or remind themselves of their time here as students.
This year, as Duke commemorates 50 years since desegregation and 175 years of institutional history, The Chronicle is an especially helpful source of information about major landmarks in Duke history — like the Silent Vigil in 1968 and the Allen Building Takeover the following year.
Thanks to the work of our Conservation Services Department and Digital Production Center, we have digitized 11 complete years (Fall 1959 – Spring 1970) of The Chronicle, covering the entire tumultuous decade. There are 868 issues in all, and every news story, editorial, sports report, classified ad and social item is browsable by year and date and fully keyword searchable.
Go ahead and take a look. You’ll see how the campus mourned the passing of President John F. Kennedy. Relive storied moments in the Duke-UNC rivalry. Remind yourself what personal ads were like in the days before online dating. Even through small stories and announcements, you can learn a lot about a university’s history.
If you enjoy looking through the digitized Chronicle, let us know what you think and what other decades you would love to see included.
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