Project Summary

This project began in the summer of 2020, led by Duke University Archivist Valerie Gillispie and Sanford School of Public Policy Professor Don Taylor as a part of the Duke Data+ program. The goal of the project was to take an intensive look at Duke’s transformation from a small North Carolina schoolhouse into a coeducational university with a diverse student body from all around the world. Over the summer, our undergraduate team worked to transform digital and historical data into a dynamic visual display in R Shiny which allows viewers to examine changes in the student body over time in terms of geographic origin, sex, and school.

Using both born-digital data and historical, paper-based data, we assembled a single corpus of student data ranging from 1970 to 2020. Once this corpus was assembled, our team began creating ways for curious Duke students to explore trends and changes over time. We also hope our audience will include more researchers and admissions staff interested in using our tools to learn more about where Duke students have come from, assess admissions trends over time, and identify statistically significant shifts and patterns warranting further study.

Who We Are

Our team is comprised of undergraduates Alex Burgin, Michaela Kotarba, and Kat Cottrell, under the direction of PhD candidate Anna Holleman as team manager, and University Archivist Valerie Gillespie and Professor Don Taylor as supervisors. For more about us, check out the application at the link above.