This guide is designed to help begin research on the history of Disability at Duke using the collections of the Duke University Archives. For the parameters of this research guide, the focus is on physical impairments and forms of neurodivergence like learning disabilities and mental health conditions. It is not intended to be a comprehensive bibliography, though University Archives staff periodically review and update it as our collections expand.
The information in this guide is separated into five sections. Please use the tabs at the left to navigate to each section.
The Duke University Archives, part of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, is the official repository for the historical records of Duke University. Visit our website to learn more about us!
The materials described in this guide may be used in the Rubenstein Library's reading room.
Please note that university administrative records are restricted for 25 years, except with written permission from the office that created the records. Board of Trustees records are restricted for 50 years, except with written permission from the Board of Trustees. Find more information about University Archives access policies.
Whether you're looking for students, faculty, or staff, the Chronicle is always a great first place to search! Be aware that faculty and staff members' position titles may change over time, so browse through your search results list for an article from roughly the same time period you're researching--that way, you'll know exactly what role the faculty or staff member served in at that time.
If you're looking for a faculty or staff member, there are some other things you might try:
For faculty, staff, or students/alums, you can also use Ancestry to locate census records, immigration documentation, and more.