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Register and request materials

Register as a researcher and request materials online before visiting the Rubenstein Library Reading Room. Most of our materials are stored off-site and we will need two days to retreive them, so please plan ahead.  Here's what to know before you arrive.

Accessing Restricted Collections: A number of our collections are tagged with physical/technical restrictions due to the fragility of the original media, such as cassette tapes, 16mm film, and negatives among others. They are available to view either on the Digital Repository, or via use copies or digital copies in the Reading Room.

We recognize there are times when viewing the original media is warranted for research. In order to request access to the physical media or to inquire about any restrictions on collections in the Archive of Documentary Arts please email Caitlin Margaret Kelly, curator, at, or via phone at 919-681-7963, or you may reach out to J. Andrew Armacost, head of collection development for the Rubenstein Library.

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Media, subject, & artist guides

The Rubenstein Library is home to images, film/video, audio, and more from 1839 to present. The guides below highlight many of our holdings but are not comprehensive listings of the entire collection.  Use the catalog search on the Rubenstein Library homepage to search all of our collections.


Digitized Collections
A selection of ADA materials have been digitized and are available in Duke Digital Collections including:


Use of digitized collections

You may reproduce digitized materials for use in private research, study, and teaching without further permission from the ADA, provided that you cite the artist's name and Archive of Documentary Arts, Duke University Rubenstein Library in your work. Learn more about citations, permissions, and copyright for Rubenstein Library collection materials.

If you plan to publish or broadcast images or other materials from the Rubenstein Library that Duke University holds a copyright interest in, it is necessary to obtain a contract for permission for non-exclusive rights from the library. If your proposed use is commercial in nature, we may charge you a fee to use materials.