Skip to Main Content
Harry Ransom Center homepage

News Release — February 16, 2005

Ransom Center introduces extensive Web publication on photojournalist David Douglas Duncan

The University of Texas at Austin's Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center unveils an extensive look at renowned photojournalist David Douglas Duncan's work and life in a new online publication.

"We hope this will prove to be the definitive introduction to David Douglas Duncan, his life and his career," said Roy Flukinger, research curator of photography. "It is our hope that this gateway will bring the world of one of the greatest photojournalists of the 20th century to new generations of scholars, students and the public at large."

This Web publication, drawn from elements of the Ransom Center's David Douglas Duncan archive, functions not only as an artist's gallery, but also as a research tool, providing valuable biographical and bibliographical information.

Curatorial, archival and technological representatives of the Ransom Center worked together to produce a site that contains more than 600 images from the Duncan archive and 3,000 Web pages.

"We've designed this interactive site in a way that helps visitors explore Duncan's photographs within several different contexts—chronologically, by subject matter and by publication," said Daniel Zmud, webmaster of the site. "Multiple visits are rewarded with a greater understanding of Duncan's life story and a visual feast covering the last 70 years of history viewed through the eyes of an unflinching artist."

Duncan donated his archive, valued at more than $15 million, to the Ransom Center in 1996. The archive contains more than 50,000 images, as well as the cameras and other photographic equipment that Duncan used to make some of his greatest photographs.

The collection also includes the correspondence, contracts, text, dummies, layouts and proofs for each of Duncan's books, and extensive correspondence between Duncan and his family and friends, editors at LIFE magazine and numerous notables of the 20th century.

"Older generations knew the work of David Douglas Duncan from the covers and pages of LIFE magazine, the premier illustrated journal of its day," said Mary Alice Harper, photographic archivist. "Using today's technology, we have created this dynamic Web publication to bring Duncan's photographs, words and story to a new worldwide audience, and to inspire future generations of photojournalists."

The research, design and construction of the Web site were made possible through the generous support of The Inman Foundation, Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation, Mr. Stanley Marcus and Mr. and Mrs. Kerry Merritt.