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North Carolina Collection Launches New Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project Exhibition Website

Durham, NC – Durham County Library’s North Carolina Collection (NCC) is excited to announce our newly redesigned exhibition website for the Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project (DCRHP). The revamped website is more accessible to users of various abilities across multiple devices, more engaging, and presents new content illustrating recent events in Durham’s ongoing civil rights history. This project was completed in collaboration with Savas Labs, who approached the NCC to partner in redesigning the site earlier this year. Savas Labs donated their time and talent for this initiative as part of their Labs™ space initiative.

The DCRHP officially began in May 2003 with the launch of a community collection of photographs and oral histories depicting the civil rights movement in Durham. Sixteen oral histories were recorded, and over 130 photographs were collected from both private individuals and professional photographers during this time. The DCRHP used the materials gathered to create a public art project of eleven 6′ tall banners hung in artfully handcrafted frames. The banners incorporated photographs, quotes from interviews with local people, and text to depict some of the history of the civil rights movement in Durham. The banners traveled to schools, malls, libraries, storefronts, and other locations for over ten years and now reside in Stanford L. Warren Branch Library.

Initially built in 2008, the new DCRHP site includes archival photographs, oral histories, descriptions of key events in Durham, and an interactive timeline detailing Durham’s history alongside major events in U.S. history. The NCC hopes the revamped site will engage audiences curious about Durham’s history and involvement with the civil rights movement. NCC Manager Lauren Menges says, “The civil rights movement in America did not end in the 1960s. It is a continuing process and is part of our national identity. Viewing this exhibit through the lens of 2020 illustrates how much has changed, but also how much remains the same in our country. We hope this website can be an educational tool that can help continue the conversation on racial justice in our community.” Learn more about the DCRHP, its history, and sponsors here.

The mission of the Durham County Library North Carolina Collection is to preserve the historical record of the city and county of Durham and to make it available to the citizens of Durham County and beyond. For more information, reach out to the NCC Manager, Lauren Menges, at 919-560-0171 or lmenges@dconc.gov.

Durham County Library encourages discovery, connects the community, and leads in literacy. As a department of Durham County Government, the library furthers Goal 1 of the county’s Strategic Plan by enhancing cultural, educational, and creative opportunities. For more information about the library, visit DurhamCountyLibrary.org.

Contact: Stephanie Bonestell
919-560-0151 or sbonestell@dconc.gov

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