Bass Connections: Digital Durham – Past, Present, Future

In Fall 2017 we will explore a rich and diverse set of primary source materials to identify major project areas to develop.

In Spring 2018 we will have a formal Digital Durham class where we will explore Durham history through the lens of the archival record, and will create digital exhibition projects based on our findings.

In Summer 2018 we will assemble the materials for a 3 week American History unit for high school students.

In Fall 2018  and Spring 2019 we will work to migrate the existing Digital Durham website to a new platform and to incorporate existing and new exhibit components. We will also partner with the new Building Duke Bass Connections project on research and exhibitions.

James Whitted correspondence

Some of the most interesting materials will come from a folder of correspondence from the 1880s between James Whitted, the founder of Durham’s Colored Graded School and his confidante, black newspaper editor Charles N. Hunter.


See especially the Correspondence here:


Maps in the Rencher Nicholas Harris collection:

Many of these have been digitized, but they cannot be retrieved (by date, title or subject matter) because they lack item-level metadata. Some docs digitized, but not the maps (YET!)

To be scanned and georectified

A. M. Rigsbee ledgers

dThese business ledgers from 1880 include general store transactions and document the store’s role as the community bank in a credit economy. – PAPER but see examples on Digital Durham website

1875 Tax List for Durham:

The list contains 60 pages detailing the wealth of Durham’s property owners, and whether they had paid poll taxes. – DIGITIZED

Durham neighborhood Polaroids:

Unpublished photographs of neighborhood homes and street scenes were created by the Durham Public Works department in the 1960s. – BOX (scanned?)

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