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Digital exhibits

North Carolina Central University Law Day Banner with slogan "Justice and equality depend upon law - and YOU!"

And Justice for All

This exhibit catalogs all the images in the mosaic of the 1916 courthouse installed in the lobby of the current Durham County courthouse.

Group photograph of a band with matching outfits

Bull City Soul

The story of R&B, funk, and soul music in Durham. But Bull City Soul isn’t just about music – it’s a history of Black cultural life and community in the urban South.

Future County Manager D.W. Newsom in his room at Trinity College

Celebrating D.W. Newsom

North Carolina was a pioneer in the county-manager form of government. In 1930 Durham became the second county in the United States to adopt this system, following Robeson County in 1929. Dallas W. Newsom was the first Durham County manager. 2010 marked the 80th anniversary of Durham’s adoption of the county-manager system and the 80th anniversary of Newsom’s hiring.

Section of a mural depicting bluesman John Dee Holeman and friends at a house party

Celebrating the Arts in Durham

This exhibit is the inaugural project of the Museum of Durham History, Inc. The panels you see in this online exhibit have real-life fabric equivalents – 2 ½ x 6’ fabric banners housed in decorative, hand-wrought metal frames.

Map of major downtown Durham land uses from 1960

Changes in the Landscape of Downtown Durham, 1950-2000

The images in this exhibit were shot by Durham businessman and pharmacist Ralph Rogers. The site features more than 300 slides, grouped geographically, that show many of the buildings that came down over the fifty-year period, what replaced them, and how the streetscape changed.

Photograph of employees, students, and faculty protesting in front of the Duke Administration Building

Civil Rights Heritage Project

A collection of photographs and stories about the Civil Rights Movement in Durham. The project has also gathered oral histories of Durham’s civil rights era.

Portrait of Bartlett Leonidas Durham

Crash Course in Durham History

A virtual program on the history of Durham and all things Bull City. Originally recorded in July 2022.

Black children seated at desks in a classroom with chalkboards lining the walls. Photo courtesy of Fisk University Franklin Library, Special Collections

Durham County’s Rosenwald Schools and the Women Who Ran Them

An overview of Durham County’s Jeanes teachers and the Rosenwald schools they supervised and helped to found.

Formal group portrait of young Black men and women in dressy clothes. ca. 1900.

Durham Historical Photograph Collection

Around 2000 images depicting the history of Durham since 1860. Many of these photographs were collected by PhotoCarolina, a nonprofit organization formed in the mid-1980s for the express purpose of preserving Durham’s history in photographs.

Tobacco leaves being processed in a factory

The End of Tobacco Road

This exhibit chronicles the end of tobacco production in Durham through photographs of Liggett & Myers’s final days of making cigarettes in Durham in 1999.

Cookbook cover

Favorite Recipes: Community Cookbooks in the North Carolina Collection

This exhibit was designed for LibraryFest 2022, the Food Edition, and explores the nature of community cookbooks and highlights examples from across North Carolina.

Library exterior

History of Main Library

A history of Main Library in downtown Durham from its beginnings in 1898 at the Old Five Points location downtown, to the recent “Transformation Main” renovation and re-opening in 2021.

Black-and-white library interior, with bookshelves, windows, and staff working

History of Public Library Service in Durham

A history of the first 100 years of Durham’s public library service from 1897 to 1997.

Color drawing of the historic facade of Stanford L. Warren Library

History of the Stanford L. Warren Library

The story of the Stanford L. Warren Library, from its beginnings at White Rock Baptist Church to its evolution into a vibrant center of cultural activity to its present incarnation as part of the Durham County Library system.

A queer couple kiss at their wedding

Love & Liberation: History of LGBTQ+ Durham

This exhibit begins in the 1950s and continues to the present, relating how the local LGBTQ+ community developed and became a vital part of the Durham community.

R. Kelly Bryant

R. Kelly Bryant Papers and Obituary Collection

The R. Kelly Bryant Papers and Obituary Collection includes approximately 2,500 funeral programs and obituaries – a treasure trove of biographical information. This web exhibit showcases some of the items in the collection and provides additional information about R. Kelly Bryant, whose contributions to Durham and efforts to preserve its history are a Durham legend. Includes photographs, correspondence, examples of items from the funeral programs collection, newspaper articles, and more.

Black-and-white photograph of Five Points in downtown Durham

A Short History of Durham (PDF)

A short history of Durham presented in slide format, covering the 1600s through the 1990s.