Skip to main content

Previous Winners


  • Crystal Z. Campbell, A Meditation on Nature in the Absence of an Eclipse
  • Stacy Kranitz, Fulcrum of Malice
  • Emilio Nasser, La Cornuda de Tlacotalpan
  • Lawrence Sumulong, "No Longer Can I Stay; Its True." The Marshallese in Springdale, Arkansas


  • Tonika Lewis Johnson, The Folded Map Project
  • Naima Lowe, Birthmarks
  • Shawn M. Pridgen, collective works on the Black Lives Matter movement
  • Haruka Sakaguchi, I Will Not Stand Silent


  • Akea Brown, Black Picket Fences
  • Leah Dyjak, New Beach
  • Priya Kambli, Color Falls Down
  • Veronica Melendez, Le pido a Dios que no me olviden
  • Zora J. Murff, Corrections
  • John Tully, Shifting Sands


  • Jasmine Clark, After Eisenhower
  • Jess T. Dugan, To Survive on this Shore
  • McNair Evans, In Search of Great Men
  • Lauren Henkin, What's Lost is Found
  • Joshua Rashaad McFadden, Come to Selfhood


  • Debi Cornwall, collective works on Guantánamo Bay
  • Jeanine Michna-Bales, From Darkness to Light: Seeking Freedom on the Underground Railroad
  • Paccarik Orue, El Muqui
  • Adam Reynolds, Architecture of Existential Threat
  • Jay Turner Frey Seawell, National Trusts & The Mall


  • Ben Alper, Index of Walking
  • Sarah Christianson, When the Landscape is Quiet Again: North Dakota's Oil Boom
  • Eliot Dudik, Road Ends in Water
  • Rebecca Sittler, All the Presidents' Men
  • Wendel White, Manifest


The Deadline has now passed. Submissions will open again in September.

The Archive of Documentary Arts is committed to diversifying its collection in order to better reflect the multitude of viewpoints and communities from which work is being made in the documentary arts today. We encourage submissions from documentarians delving deeply into their subjects, and now accept a wide range of media.

Theme for this cycle: Coming soon

Why should I apply?

The Archive of Documentary Arts is interested in work that curiously engages with the world and that is, “derived from an in-depth understanding of place, history, and the current situation, in concert with a personal relationship to the proposed work. Ultimately, the commitment is to use documentary expression to motivate the thinking and reflection of others.”

Each award comes with an honorarium of $3,500. Selected work will be preserved in the collections at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University, and available for use by students, faculty, and independent researchers. The Archive of Documentary Arts also promotes collection material through exhibitions and a variety of public programs. It is our intention to create collections that can be used for research from a variety of entry points. To that end, we seek to move beyond finished materials and develop a collection in collaboration with creators that includes supporting research and other project documentation.

We encourage submissions from individuals or groups, whose work is not already in the collections of the Rubenstein Library. This year we also welcome international submissions from across the globe. Please limit to one entry per person or group. We are not accepting submissions from employees of Duke University, or those currently enrolled in a degree-granting program, such as undergraduate, Ph.D, or MFA programs, regardless of ABD or other status.

What types of media can I submit?

We are accepting documentary submissions in a variety media, including:

  • Photography - portfolio of prints from a completed project. Minimum of 10-15 prints.
  • Film/Video - including analog media such as 16mm, 35mm, as well as digital video, or animation

What do I need to apply?

This form does not save your work in progress. We suggest you compose your responses in another program and copy and paste your answers in the fields below. You will need:

  • Your complete contact information
    • Name, Email, Phone
  • Statement of interest
    • Tell us how you're connected to the story, and the importance of long-term preservation and access through the archive.
  • Synopsis
    • We accept non-English works but ask that you include a brief synopsis in English.
  • Brief bio
    • This is a short narrative that tells us a little bit about you, your experience, and your work.
  • Link to view your work.

Copyright and Access

The awardee is required to sign a purchase agreement, but is not required to transfer copyright. We work to ensure collections are available and accessible to a diverse group of individuals. We strive to expand and strengthen avenues of access that are equitable and open. We balance this with the appropriate privacy restrictions. While we try to honor these limits requested by creators or donors of collections, we also seek to foster accountability and will conduct a through review of restrictions prior to accepting materials. We support teaching and access by campus users as well as welcome those that come from beyond our campus community.

View a sample purchase agreement.

Read our statement on How We Work.


  • September 2022: Submissions open


For questions or a consultation prior to submitting your materials you may contact Caitlin Margaret Kelly, curator, Archive of Documentary Arts at or 919-681-7963.