Juanita Morris Kreps was born January 11, 1921, in Lynch (Harlan Co.), Kentucky. She was Professor of Economics at Duke University (1958-1977), where she held the James B. Duke professorship (1972-1977), also serving as Dean of the Woman's College (1969-1972) and University Vice President (1973-1977). She then was appointed U.S. Secretary of Commerce in 1977 for the Carter Administration and served for two years. Kreps's papers span the years 1921-2001, and contain incoming and outgoing correspondence (1968-1979), many speech drafts (1967-1997), twenty photograph albums, fifteen scrapbooks, 692 color and 595 black-and-white loose photographs, and over 100 negatives. There are also briefing books, reports, notes, minutes, appointee recommendations, speech drafts, and other documents relating to Kreps's cabinet-level work. The audience for her speeches included university students as well as alumni and women's organizations; speech topics focus on education for women, the value of women's work, age and gender in economics and economic markets, and leisure and economic growth. Other correspondence documents Kreps's career positions, some more fully than others, including Secretary of Commerce; Duke University Dean of the Woman's College, especially relating to the merger of the Woman's College and Trinity College; Public Director of the New York Stock Exchange Board; and Women's Research and Education Institute Board of Directors. Photograph albums and scrapbooks detail visits to the USSR, China, and Japan and contain clippings regarding her cabinet position.
The Juanita Kreps Papers span the years 1921-2001, mainly documenting Kreps's career as an economist, academic administrator, and U.S. Secretary of Commerce for the Carter administration. The two series holding the majority of the materials, the Secretary of Commerce and Speeches Series, concern her service in the political and public spheres respectively. The Secretary of Commerce Series is arranged in the following seven subseries: Appointment Books and Calendars, Appointment and Confirmation Process, Correspondence, Notes, Subject Files, Scrapbooks, and Photographs. Photograph albums and scrapbooks detail visits to the USSR, China, and Japan and contain clippings regarding her cabinet position. There are also separate series for correspondence and appointment books that fall outside the scope of the Secretary of Commerce period. The second largest series in the collection, the Speeches Series contain drafts, frequently annotated and accompanied by other material, of Kreps's lectures, speeches, and remarks on occasions such as academic conferences, university commencements, various other university events, and corporate executive board meetings. The subjects are broadly based and reflect her interests in economics, especially in aging and older workers, women's social conditions and education, the value of women's labor, women in the corporate world, and work and leisure issues. Speeches given after her tenure as Secretary of Commerce also cover broader issues about globalization and domestic and international economic policy.
Albeit small, the Correspondence Series spans several decades and documents Kreps's exchanges with academics and scholars, the local and federal governments, and lobbyist groups. Other correspondence documents Kreps's career positions, some more fully than others, including Secretary of Commerce; Duke University Dean of the Woman's College, especially relating to the merger of the Woman's College and Trinity College; Public Director of the New York Stock Exchange Board; Women's Research and Education Institute Board of Directors; and Carter Presidential Center fundraiser. The Appointment Books and Calendars Series records Kreps's busy schedule of events and engagements, and the Publications Series holds her contributions to academic journals, government publications, and books. The Visual Material Series houses images that date from her childhood through her long career; photos taken during her cabinet position are found in the Secretary of Commerce series. Other Files Series contains materials that fall out of the above series, such as teaching materials and publicity clippings.