The year 2009 marks the nineteenth anniversary of the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor documentary prize, a $20,000 award given annually by the Center for Documentary Studies. First announced a year after the Center’s founding at Duke University, the prize was created to encourage collaboration between documentary writers and photographers in the tradition of the acclaimed photographer Dorothea Lange and writer and social scientist Paul Taylor. In 1941 Lange and Taylor published An American Exodus, a book that renders human experience eloquently in text and images and remains a seminal work in documentary studies. The Lange-Taylor Prize honors their important collaborative work.
The Lange-Taylor Prize is offered to a writer and a photographer in the early stages of a documentary project. By encouraging such collaborative efforts, the Center for Documentary Studies supports the documentary process in which writers and photographers work together to record the human story.