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Durham Voters Alliance records

Identifier: NCC-0069

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence among the members of the Durham Voter's Alliance (DVA), DVA newsletters, and assorted Durham election materials from 1972 through 2002. Most of the correspondence is with Julia Borbely-Brown, the secretary for the Durham Voters Alliance (DVA), and focuses on general DVA business. Correspondents include North Carolina politicians such as Jim Hunt and Jesse Helms and Durham politicians such as William Bell, Wib Gulley, Howard Clement, Becky Heron, Ellen Reckhow, and Eugene Brown. Other correspondence is with local activists such as Eno River Association founder Margaret Nygard. The organization often worked in conjunction with other Durham political groups such as Durham People's Alliance, Friends of Durham, and the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People. A particular focus of DVA was the merger of the city and county schools, which members actively supported from the organization's creation and were instrumental in convincing others in the community, including William "Bill" Bell, who was chairman of the Durham County Board of Commissioners, to support. A number of materials in the Issues series relate to the school merger effort. Newsletters and promotional material from the Durham People's Alliance, Friends of Durham, and the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People are found throughout the collection. Newspaper clippings from the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh's News and Observer are also found in the collection, specifically on issues in which the DVA was involved.


  • 1972 - 2003

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Administrative History

The Durham Voters Alliance (DVA) records are the organizational records of the Durham Voter’s Alliance, which describes itself as having "advocated and supported progressive positions on political issues. In local affairs a central concern of the DVA was promoting the interests of working people and the poor." The organization was founded in 1972, following the failed presidential run of George McGovern, when the political group "People for McGovern" reconstituted itself as the DVA. After being active for 30 years, the group dissolved in 2002. Durham Voter’s Alliance was an independent political organization, not affliated with any particular political party, but often worked with other political groups in Durham such as the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, the People's Alliance, the Sierra Club, and the Friends of Durham to support candidates and initiatives. Their focus was primarily on local politics, both city and county, with some interest in state level politics. The organization was particularly active in the conversation in Durham about schools, the environment, and the merging of city and county schools. The Durham Voters Alliance made city-county school merger one of its goals when it was founded in 1973. Many individuals who were part of the DVA had been working on merger for years before the organization formed. A constant voice for the merger, the organization sponsored public meetings and did research that supported the need for the schools to change how they operated. In 1987 and 1988, DVA began a concerted push that was the catalyst for the Merger Issue Task Force, which the county formed in 1988. DVA had two official members on the task force, and several other members were representatives from other groups. In order to achieve their end goal of merger, DVA built alliances across the aisle with the Durham Chamber of Commerce and the Friends of Durham and brought politicians such as William "Bill" Bell on board in support.


3 Linear Feet (6 document boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection is organized into two series: 1. Meeting minutes and general correspondence and 2. Issues. The first series is organized chronologically and the second series is organized alphabetically by topic name.

Physical Access Restrictions

Some of our materials are stored offsite. These items are not available for same day access and require advance notice to retrieve. Contact North Carolina Collection staff at to plan your visit.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Julia Borbely-Brown

Related Materials

Durham People's Alliance records (NCC.0064)

Finding Aid for the Durham Voters Alliance Records
Kristen Merryman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2023 February: Finding aid migrated to ArchivesSpace by Emma Parker.
  • Gift Agreement

Repository Details

Part of the North Carolina Collection Repository

300 N. Roxboro Street
Durham NC 27701 United States