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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Rogers Royal sitting under a tobacco curing barn shelter at his farm, October 2000. japph040130010
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Crystal Graber, Ontario Cal., 1992 japph030140010
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Halifax County, Va., 2008. japph060050010
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Eduardo Pineda Arzata, who has worked at the... japph010100010
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Betty Starlin, Terry, and Eduardo Pineda taking... japph020070010

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.

Adopted by Lesley Looper

Source 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 1973-2019

Collection #RL.00043 | 10.2 Linear Feet; 16 boxes; 35 Gigabytes; 243 prints; 75 CD-Rs; 75 digital audio files (32 GB)

Collection comprises 243 black-and-white photographs and 37 oral interviews by Jesse Pyrant Andrews documenting rural and small-town life in the Piedmont plateau of central southern Virginia and northern North Carolina. Most of the images are portraits of farming families, immigrant workers, former textile workers, war veterans, musicians, and other local people, with scenes from homesteads, small towns, farms, and grave sites. Major themes include tobacco cultivation; the lives of war veterans and laid-off workers; new patterns in rural society and business; regional architecture and historic sites; and traditional activities such as music-making, making handmade firearms, and working with leather. Together, the images and interviews speak to enormous changes in this region into the 21st century. The materials also include a Vietnam War manuscript memoir. Additional projects include documentary narrative about the southern Virginia Carter-Wooding families; views from an Amtrak train; 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 over 2 years 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