Picture Yourself Here

April 1, 2008
Pec power: members of the 1970 Chronicle editorial staff pose sans shirts in the Allen Building trustee boardroom

Pec power: members of the 1970 Chronicle editorial staff pose sans shirts in the Allen Building trustee boardroom. Duke Univerrsity Archives

Interested in getting access to the archival photographs that run in Duke Magazine?

Duke University Archives has recently created a page on the popular photo website Flickr.com, where alumni can access archival photos from as far back as the 1920s, including many that have run in Duke Magazine's Retrospective column over the years.

Archives staff members plan to post more than 300 photos before Reunions this spring of subjects ranging from the 1940 commencement ceremony in the new Cameron Indoor Stadium to students hanging out at the Dope Shop in the 1970s and an anti-apartheid rally on the Chapel Quad in the 1980s. The photos, most of which are owned by Duke and free for any non-commercial use, can be sorted by decade and theme or viewed as a slideshow.

The site also includes several interactive features. Users can share their own Duke photos by linking their personal Flickr albums to the archives page, or comment on specific photos that have already been posted.

Tim Pyatt '81, university archivist, says he hopes that alumni will take advantage of the comment feature to share historical information with each other and help the archives staff complete the historical record—especially in the cases of photos with unidentified subjects. "A lot of times, we just have whatever information was written on the back of the photo, which can be fairly minimal," he says.

One photo depicts a couple dancing, with what appear to be cardboard record players on their heads. "We'd love to know the whole history behind that one," Pyatt says. "Who the people are, what the event was. It could be really interesting. It's a great image."

The photos posted on the site represent only a fraction of what's available in the archives, and archives staff members welcome suggestions regarding content. Send requests and comments to uarchives@notes.duke.edu.