Jesse Andrews Photographs

131 photos from several of Andrews’ projects, including portraits from North Carolina, Virginia, and New York City; and photographs of Halifax and Pittsylvania counties.More »

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Charles Moore and Terry Moore preparing land for planting, early spring 2000 japph010010010
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Betty Starlin, Terry, and Eduardo Pineda taking... japph020070010
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Mrs. Maynard Amos japph040030010
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Terry with Dan and Danny Robertson, Owners of... japph020160010
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Parlor dance japph040190010

About the Digital Collection

Jesse Pyrant Andrews (b. 1949) has photographed the changing rural landscape of Southern Virginia since 1975. His work includes photographs of small southeastern towns, farm auctions, landscapes from train windows and, farming, including the effects of the industrialization of tobacco farming on communities that once depended on tobacco as their economic base. Andrews’ photographs of Latino H2A workers were chosen for inclusion in an exhibit at the International Center for Photography titled Only Skin Deep, Changing Visions of the American Self. He has also documented, with photographs and oral histories, the lives of disabled veterans. Andrews shoots 35mm black and white film which he prints in his traditional wet darkroom.

The Jesse Andrews Photographs digital collection consists of digitized black-and-white prints from several of Andrews' projects, including "13 Month Crop," an exhibit hosted by Duke University's Perkins Library; Bill Davis and the Davis family; portraits from North Carolina, Virginia, and New York City; photographs of Halifax and Pittsylvania counties; and a series of photographs from Andrews' Train Project, featuring images taken from train windows.

Archival boxSource Collection

This digital collection comprises selected materials from the following archival collection at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library:

Jesse Pyrant Andrews photographs and oral histories 1973-2018

Collection #RL.00043 | 9.5 Linear Feet; 14 boxes; 32 Gigabytes; 225 prints; 64 CD-Rs; 64 digital audio files (32 GB)

Collection comprises 225 gelatin silver photographs and 33 oral histories by Jesse Pyrant Andrews, dating from 1973 to 2018, documenting rural and small-town life in the Piedmont plateau of southern Virginia and northern North Carolina. Images comprise portraits of farmers and their families, immigrant workers, former textile industry workers, war veterans, musicians, and other local people, with scenes from homesteads, small town streets, farms, grave sites, and farm fields. Themes include farming, tobacco cultivation, and tobacco auctions; the lives of war veterans and laid-off workers; and traditional activities such as dancing and music-making, hunting, making handmade firearms, and working with leather. Together, the images and oral histories speak to changes in regional economies, businesses, war veterans' lives, and social life in rural and small-town Virginia and North Carolina in the late 20th century. Also included is a Vietnam War manuscript memoir. Additional photography projects include views from an Amtrak train during a trip from New York City to Lynchburg, Virginia, and street scenes and portraits taken in New York City, California, and Massachusetts. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection Guide »

From Our Blog


by Zeke Graves about 1 year ago

In anticipation of next Tuesday’s midterm elections, here is a photo gallery of voting-related images from Duke Digital Collections. Click on a photo to view more images from our collections dealing with political movements, voting rights, propaganda, activism, and more! If you haven’t already taken advantage of early voting, we at Bitstreams encourage you to … Continue reading Vote!

The preservation of the Duke University Libraries Digital Collections and the Duke Digital Repository programs are supported in part by the Lowell and Eileen Aptman Digital Preservation Fund