Research Guide

For more information on the images contained in the collection, see The Urban Landscape: Essays page.

Rubenstein Library and DIAP

The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library contributed 1000 photographs from various collections for the RLG Digital Image Access Project.  Focusing on the "Urban Landscape" theme, items were selected from fourteen separate collections in seven general subject groups.  These groups included:

  • Images focused on older photographs of cities and town in the South.  Drawn from several collections, including the Library's general "Picture File" and the papers of the Francis Warrenton Dawson family, it included a large group of contemporary photographs of the 1886 earthquake in Charleston, S.C.; late 19th and early 20th century scenes of life and architecture in Savannah, Ga.; and scenes of early 20th century small town life in and around Cheraw, S.C.
  • Images of street scenes, life, architecture, etc., in Durham, N.C., from the turn of the century to ca. 1950.  The photographs were drawn from the papers of Wyatt Dixon (many of which were taken for the Durham Herald-Sun newspaper), the Durham Chamber of Commerce, and Alvin Parnell.
  • Photographs from the papers of Frank Cousins (b. 1851) of street scenes and exterior and interior architecture in Salem, Mass.
  • Aerial photographs of towns in Florida, Georgia, Alabama,and South Carolina made in 1918 by the Aviation Section of the U.S. Army Signal Corps
  • Photographs (ca. 1899-1902) of cities and towns in the Philippines and Far East drawn from several albums in the custody of RBMSCL.
  • Modern documentary photographs drawn from the Library's collection of the papers of William Gedney (1932-1989), including photographs from Gedney's "New York," "San Francisco," "Benares, India," and "Night" series.  Also included here are photographs and descriptive text from Duke University undergraduate studentprojects done for class work under the auspices of the Center for Documentary Studies.  Many of these student projects are focused on life in and around Durham, N.C.
  • Picture postcards depicting cities and towns throughout the American South at various times from the turn of the century to the 1960s.

These images, along with associated descriptions, access points, and administrative information have been encoded into an EAD-based image database.

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