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Richard Arthur Preston (b. 1910), a leading British Commonwealth scholar, was appointed the William K. Boyd Professor of History at Duke University in 1965. Major subjects of the collection include Canadian history, especially military history; the Department of History; and the Canadian Studies program at Duke. Materials include correspondence, reports, course syllabi, printed matter, manuscripts, clippings, photographs, and other papers. English.

Collection includes correspondence, reports, course syllabi, printed matter, drafts, research notes, manuscripts, lectures, photographs, clippings, maps, and other papers.

The arrangement of the collection is by accession dates. These additions follow the order given in the collection file and are not presented in chronological order.

The 1981 Additions (A81-60) include extensive correspondence, numerous drafts and published articles and reviews, photocopies of primary sources, some research notes, and administrative papers dealing with the Duke University History Dept. The chief subjects include Canadian military affairs, general military history, military education, and Canadian Studies as a historical subdiscipline. There is a folder list for this addition that is part of the collection file.

The 1980 Additions includes printed material, correspondence, studies, reports, articles, drafts, proofs, outlines, lectures, syllabi, clippings, photos, maps, and other papers. Major subjects include Canadian history, especially military history and current military and defense concerns. The first major portion of this Addition is made up of correspondence about Preston's own research and writings of other scholars. Other materials include Preston's research notes; photocopies and typed copies of historical documents; and guides to historical collections. There are also administrative files about the History Dept. at Duke, and the Canadian Studies Program. There is a small amount of material about the alumni of the Royal Military College in Canada, where Preston taught for a number of years. The second major portion of this Addition focuses on various aspects of modern Canadian defense and external security, Canada and NATO, relations with the British Commonwealth, and Canadian domestic affairs.