Special Alert

Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University

  • 1317 W Pettigrew St
  • Durham, NC 27705
  • Primary: (919) 660-3663
  • Fax: (919) 681-7600

Independent, nonprofit organization affiliated with Duke University committed to teaching, producing, and presenting the documentary arts: photography, film, audio, writing, and other creative media. CDS is a gathering place for students of all ages, visitors, and artists who understand how documentary stories can wake us up, change our perspectives, and inspire us to action.
CDS was founded in 1989 as the first institution in the US dedicated solely to the rich legacy and continuing practice of the documentary tradition. With an emphasis on the role of the individual in contributing to society, they teach a wide range of classes in the documentary arts to both undergraduate and continuing education students; exhibit documentary work in their galleries; and produce and support documentary work through their programs and projects, including an awards program, a publishing arm, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, audio fieldwork projects, a documentary writing program, and more.

  • ADA Compliant Facilities:
  • Business Hours: M-Th, 9am-7pm; F, 9am-7pm; Sa, 9am-5pm.
  • Internet-Free High Speed WIFI:
  • Internet-Public WIFI:
  • Internet-WIFI Available:
  • Free Admission All The Time:
  • Free Parking:
  • Motorcoach Parking:
  • Parking On-site:
Group Tour Info
  • Welcomes Groups Of 10+:
  • Welcomes Motorcoach Groups:
  • Welcomes School Groups:
Visual Arts
  • Art Galleries: Art Displays Only:
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  • Other Art Displays:
History & Heritage
  • Historic Collections:
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Activity Type
  • Historic:
  • Arts:
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Entertainment & Amusements
  • Cinemas/Movie Theaters:

Photography Exhibit - "The Jemima Code"

The idea of a "Jemima Code" came to Toni Tipton-Martin as she was researching the varied history of African-Americans working in America's kitchens. She discovered that they were virtually …

Photography Exhibit - "Transits and Migrations: A Summer in Berlin"

Duke's summer course, Capturing the City: Documentary Photography in Berlin, pushed students to immerse themselves fully in one of Europe's most dynamic capital cities. They interpreted scenes of …

Photography as a Second Language

This class is designed to teach basic photography skills to new or non-photographers, especially documentarians in other mediums who feel that photography can add depth to their projects. The course …

Class "Interactive Documentary" Begins

As a nonlinear form of storytelling, interactive documentary has the power to reshape the way we tell stories, by combining photography, text, audio, video, and graphics/animation in a cohesive …

The Five-Minute Documentary

Short-form documentaries present a host of challenges and a wealth of opportunities for movie makers of all experience levels. Shorts force their makers to sharpen their focus, distill essential …

Why Should I Care? Crafting Video Stories That Move People

Video is everywhere but effective storytelling is rare. How can people working for social change use video stories to connect to target audiences on an emotional level? How will your video story …

Photography Exhibit - "Post Mégantique"

Canadian documentary photographer Michel Huneault was awarded a solo show at CDS as part of the Lange-Taylor Prize, which he won in 2015 for Post Mégantic, his project on a small town in …

Shooting Video with Your iPhone

The iPhone has become a popular tool for photographers and videographers around the world. It is filled with advanced features, including 4K video recording and a mode that shoots …

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212 W Main St #101
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