DEADLINE: March 31, 2017 (11:59 PM Eastern Time)

The Archive of Documentary Arts and the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History & Culture in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library are committed to acquiring and preserving materials that document the history of feminist activism.

To this end, the ADA & the Bingham Center are pleased to offer the Bettye Lane Award for Feminist Photography to acquire work by women who, through their photography, have documented feminist activism and/or efforts to improve conditions for women in society.

In 2017 a selected photographer will receive an honorarium of $6,000 to print a completed body of work between 40-50 images which will be acquired by the ADA & the Bingham Center and added to our collection. That body of work will be preserved at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University, and be available for use by students, faculty, and independent researchers. The ADA & Bingham Center also promote their collection material through exhibition and a variety of public programs.


Eligibility information and application best practices listed below.

Questions? Contact: Lisa McCarty, Curator of the Archive of Documentary Arts |

About Bettye Lane:

Bettye Lane (1930-2012) was a celebrated photojournalist recognized for her documentation of the feminist movement from the 1960s-1980s. In 1970 she photographed the first Women’s Strike for Equality, organized by the National Organization for Women, to demand equal treatment in the workplace. Lane went on to photograph many individuals and events associated with the women’s rights movement, including the Equal Rights Amendment demonstrations, International Women’s Year marches, and National Organization for Women protests, in major cities such as New York City, Washington DC, Mexico City, and Houston. She was one of the few photographers to document the Stonewall protests. Her photographs are held by many institutions including the Rubenstein Library, the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution, the New York Public Library in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library, Manuscripts and Archives Division, and the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.


-Applicants should submit 40-50 images from a completed body of work

-Applicants may not be enrolled in a degree-granting program at the time of submission

-Applicant may not be an employee of Duke University

-Applicants are not eligible if their work is already held in the collections of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University

-Applicants must identify as women

-Applicants may submit a maximum of two entries

The photographer selected for the Bettye Lane Award will be notified by in May 2017 and must be prepared to deliver finished archival prints and accompanying information about the body of work as specified by the ADA Curator by August 18, 2017.

Application best practices & FAQ's


-The online submission form will not save your work on the application in-progress

-Written responses should be crafted in a word processing application and then pasted into the online form

-The online portfolio should reflect the exact images you are proposing for acquisition

-The ADA is only able to view links to your portfolio online. If your work is not posted online you will need to create a basic web page or gallery for the exact images you are proposing for acquisition. This web page or web gallery can be hosted from your personal website or through providers such as Tumblr, WordPress, PhotoShelter, etc. Alternatively, you may share your portfolio via Dropbox however the link must stay active until June 15.

-Please note, the deadline for this award is March 31, 2017 at 11:59pm Eastern Time. The ADA operates between 9am-5pm Monday through Friday and will not be able to field questions about the application submitted after 5:00pm. Please submit your questions about the application far in advance of the deadline as it may take us a few days to respond to your query.


Question: Can you tell me what you're asking for and looking for with the "Statement of interest in the Archive of Documentary Arts" question in the application?

Answer: We mainly want to know why each photographer is interested in having their work in the Archive of Documentary Arts specifically. Of course the honorarium is a reason and it's great to have one's work collected, but why at Duke, and in a Library specifically, and in the context of a documentary and women's history archive? Some submissions address why their work is a good fit for our collection based on the scope of our holdings, some submissions address why a library archive is THE place where their work should live in perpetuity, or how it's meaningful to have their work in the same archive as Photographer XYZ etc. These are just examples however and you can answer in any way you like!

Question: Is the honorarium for each category the total sum for which you’d like to buy the 40 prints, or is there additional payment for the acquisition itself? 

Answer: The $6,000 is considered an honorarium for the artist and it is also the compensation for the 40 prints. There is not an additional sum awarded for the acquisition. We realize the amount is not equal to the market price that one might sell individual prints for in a commercial gallery setting, however the honorarium should cover the production of the portfolio of prints if the prints were not already available. We do however cover the cost of shipping the work to the Library. We also ask artists to consider the significant commitment we make to your work upon acquisition. The Library will house, catalog, maintain, and make your work available to the general public in perpetuity.

Still have questions? Contact:

Lisa McCarty, Curator of the Archive of Documentary Arts