DERBY, DORIS ADELAIDE.
Doris Adelaide Derby papers, circa 1958-2015

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8z6wd

Collection Stored Off-Site

All or portions of this collection are housed off-site. Materials can still be requested but researchers should expect a delay of up to two business days for retrieval.


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Derby, Doris Adelaide.
Title: Doris Adelaide Derby papers, circa 1958-2015
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 935
Extent: 236 linear feet (207 boxes), 20 oversized papers folders (OP), and AV Masters: 1 linear foot (1 box)
Abstract:Papers of Doris Adelaide Derby, African American photographer, activist, and educator, including photographs, organizational files, subject files, teaching files, and personal papers.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Collection stored off-site. Researchers must contact the Rose Library in advance to access this collection

Special restrictions apply: Use copies have not been made for audiovisual material in this collection. Researchers must contact the Rose Library at least two weeks in advance for access to these items. Collection restrictions, copyright limitations, or technical complications may hinder the Rose Library's ability to provide access to audiovisual material.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Emory University does not control copyright for items in this collection. These items are made available for individual viewing and reference for educational purposes only, such as personal study, preparation for teaching, and research. Your reproduction, distribution, public display or other re-use of any content beyond a fair use as codified in section 107 of US Copyright Law or other applicable privilege is at your own risk. It is your sole responsibility to investigate the copyright status of an item and obtain permission when needed.

The copyright to all photographs by Doris Derby is controlled by Getty Images. Researchers must obtain permission to publish or reproduce this material from Getty Images at (646) 613-3677.

Source

Purchased from Doris Derby, 2002. Additions purchased from Derby in 2022 and from Robert Banks in 2023.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], Doris Adelaide Derby papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Appraisal Note

Acquired by Curator of African American Collections, Randall Burkett, as part of the Rose Library's holdings in African American history and culture.

Processing

Arranged and described at the series level by Rebecca Sherman and Laura Starratt, 2023.

This finding aid may include language that is offensive or harmful. Please refer to the Rose Library's harmful language statement for more information about why such language may appear and ongoing efforts to remediate racist, ableist, sexist, homophobic, euphemistic and other oppressive language. If you are concerned about language used in this finding aid, please contact us at rose.library@emory.edu.


Collection Description

Biographical Note

Doris Adelaide Derby (1939-2014) was an African American civil rights activist, photographer, and educator. Derby spent her early life in New York City and attended Hunter College. She became involved in the civil rights movement in the early 1960s and joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In 1963, Derby moved to Mississippi to teach in an adult literacy program run by SNCC at Tougaloo College in Jackson. At Tougaloo College she co-founded the Free Southern Theater, a community theater group that traveled throughout the state. Derby remained in Mississippi until 1972 and worked with many organizations devoted to improving the economic and social conditions of African Americans in the South, including the Poor People's Corporation and the Child Development Group of Mississippi. In 1967 Derby joined Southern Media, Incorporated, a documentary photography and filmmaking group in Jackson, Mississippi. Derby used photography to document Black life in Mississippi and the work of civil rights organizations.

Derby received a Master's Degree (1975) and Ph.D. (1980) from the University of Illinois in anthropology, with a concentration in African and African American Studies. She taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1990, Derby became a adjunct associate professor of anthropology at Georgia State University (Atlanta, Georgia) and founding director of the Office of African-American Student Services and Programs (OAASSP). Derby married actor Robert Banks in 1995.

Derby's photographs have been exhibited throughout the United States. She has also published two books, Poetagraphy: Artistic Reflections of a Mississippi Lifeline in Words and Images, 1963-1972 (2019) and A Civil Rights Journey (2021).

Doris Adelaide Derby (1939-2014) was an African American civil rights activist, photographer, and educator. Derby spent her early life in New York City and attended Hunter College. She became involved in the civil rights movement in the early 1960s and joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In 1963, Derby moved to Mississippi to teach in an adult literacy program run by SNCC at Tougaloo College in Jackson. At Tougaloo College she co-founded the Free Southern Theater, a community theater group that traveled throughout the state. Derby remained in Mississippi until 1972 and worked with many organizations devoted to improving the economic and social conditions of African Americans in the South, including the Poor People's Corporation and the Child Development Group of Mississippi. In 1967 Derby joined Southern Media, Incorporated, a documentary photography and filmmaking group in Jackson, Mississippi. Derby used photography to document Black life in Mississippi and the work of civil rights organizations.

Derby received a Master's Degree (1975) and Ph.D. (1980) from the University of Illinois in anthropology, with a concentration in African and African American Studies. She taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1990, Derby became a adjunct associate professor of anthropology at Georgia State University (Atlanta, Georgia) and founding director of the Office of African-American Student Services and Programs (OAASSP). Derby married actor Robert Banks in 1995.

Derby's photographs have been exhibited throughout the United States. She has also published two books, Poetagraphy: Artistic Reflections of a Mississippi Lifeline in Words and Images, 1963-1972 (2019) and A Civil Rights Journey (2021).

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of papers and photographs created and collected by Doris Adelaide Derby from circa 1958-2015. Papers include organizational, subject, teaching, and personal files. Organizational files include documents related to the Poor People's Corporation and its affiliates, Liberty House and Southern Media, as well as minutes, printed material, fliers, and brochures related to African Americans in the South, poverty, voter registration, and civil rights organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Cooperative League Fund, Mississippi Freedom Project, and others. Derby's personal papers include correspondence, notebooks and binders, family records, scrapbooks, and writings by Derby. Of considerable interest in the teaching materials are those related to the Child Development Group of Mississippi and the beginning of the Head Start program. There are a number of topics covered by Derby's subject files including the history of education and of Black history; African and African American art, dance, and theater; and binders of mixed topics including travel to various countries, Mississippi history, and Civil Rights.

The collection also includes photographs, negatives, slides, and audiovisual materials. The collection contains a significant number of photographs taken by Derby in Mississippi and the South from circa 1968-1972, which are organized in binders that include negatives, contact sheets, and background materials. The photographs document poverty and conditions in Mississippi as well as Derby's involvement with civil rights activism, including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Free Southern Theatre, Liberty House Cooperative and the Poor People's Corporation, health and educational initiatives, and Democratic politics. The collection contains additional photograph binder albums (boxes 61-108) that primarily document events, including awards ceremonies, Georgia State University events, some family events, and trips to France, China, and Egypt. Additional binders of photographs and negatives are from Derby's time as director of Georgia State University's Office of African American Student Services and Programs from 1991-2004. Also included are a large number of oversized photographs from exhibitions of Derby's photographs, including "Black Power, Black Arts"; "Women in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)"; "Fertile Ground: The Civil Rights Movement and its Legacy in the Mississippi Delta"; and "Sociocultural Integration and the Early Days of Salsa Dance in Atlanta." The collection also contains audiovisual materials of work Derby did with political groups and informational recordings on poverty in Mississippi.

Arrangement Note

Organized into 2 series: (1) Papers and (2) Photographs and other media.


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