Story+ Project

The Allen Building Takeover @ 50 Exhibit


February 13, 2019 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Allen Building Takeover, a protest by black students that forever changed Duke’s student body, its curriculum, and its future. The Allen Building Takeover @ 50 (or ABT@50) project will allow current students to examine and share the story of this watershed event through a physical exhibit in Perkins Library, as well as a digital exhibit. Students who participate in ABT@50 will work with archivists, researching a wide variety of records, papers, and publications from the University Archives. They will work closely with research librarians to identify secondary sources and learn the ins and outs of a major research project. They will work with exhibits librarians to learn how to translate a complex story into context with our world today, finding ways to connect with the thousands of visitors who will walk through the gallery. While the exhibit won’t actually be mounted until February 2019, students will also create a digital version of the exhibit, learning how to best tell the story in a digital environment.

Project Sponsor(s): 

Valerie Gillispie, University Archivist

Meg Brown, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation Exhibits Coordinator

Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Head, Humanities Section & Librarian for Literature & Theater Studies

Yoon Kim, Library Exhibits Technician

Amy McDonald, Assistant University Archivist

Hannah Rozear, Librarian for Instructional Services 

Graduate Mentor(s): 

Ellen Song, PhD Candidate in English


Alexandra Kadis, Alan Ko, Zara Porter


allen building exhibit sketch

The students worked closely with their team of mentors to map the layout, formats, and content for Duke Library's "2019 Black Students Matter: Taking Over Allen in '69" gallery exhibit. They also created an online exhibit, "Black Students Matter: Taking Over Allen in '69" to accompany their forthcoming physical exhibit.

Allen Building Takeover Supporters Being Tear-Gassed, February 13, 1969. Source: Duke University Archives.


  • Civil Rights
  • Archives
  • History
  • African American Studies

Skills required

  • Collaborative Work
  • Exhibit Design
  • Website Design
  • Working with Primary Sources & Archival Research
  • Writing & Editing