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Behind the Veil Digital Collection Launched and Open for Research

The John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History & Culture is pleased to announce the launch of the Behind the Veil digital collection, now accessible in the Duke Digital Repository –

Behind the Veil digital collection homepage

Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South was an oral history project conducted from 1992-1995 by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. The 3-year digitization project, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2021, expands access to this archive of oral histories, photographs, and video recordings of African Americans who remained in the US South through the period of Jim Crow (see grant announcement here –

Olivia Cook and family, New Orleans, 1940s
Three schoolboys, Wilmington, NC 1920s

The digital collection has over 4,200 items, highlighted by over 1,100 fully transcribed interviews and over 1,700 photographic slides. This archive represents the largest repository of stories authored by African Americans from the American South during the period of Jim Crow. In the coming weeks we will be sharing more of the interviews and supporting materials in Behind the Veil through a special blog series.

Behind the Veil Project Staff, 1990s


Use these links for more resources on Behind the Veil:

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