The Archive Literary Festival at Duke University has a rich and distinguished history. Established in 1959 by Professor William Blackburn, the Festival began as a series of student-run literary gatherings aimed at making literature more accessible to Duke students. The Festival was originally named after The Archive, Duke's literary magazine (the second-oldest such publication in the country), and, in its first year, hosted writers William Styron and Randall Jarrell. In honor of its founding professor, the festival changed its name 1969, remaining The Blackburn Literary Festival through 2005, when it readopted its original title. Today, the Archive Festival tradition continues, sharing and cultivating a passion for literature throughout the entire Duke community.

Information about previous festivals under the Blackburn name may be found on the old website.