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From 1924 through 1958 the architectural firm of Horace Trumbauer of Philadelphia, Pa. was hired to design much of Duke University's East and West campuses. Horace Trumbauer, William O. Frank, and Julian Abele were the firm's main designers. Frank Clyde Brown, S.W. Myatt and A.C. Lee were administrators of construction at Duke University during this time. Some of the buildings designed by the firm are the Duke University Chapel, the Allen Administration Building, Cameron Indoor Stadium, Baldwin Auditorium, the East Campus Union Building, the East Campus Central Heating Plant Complex, the Carr Building (formerly known as the Class Room Building), the Medical School and Hospital, the Nurses' Home, the Law School, the School of Religion, the Chemistry Building, and the Botany and Biology Building. The firm also designed the Giles, Alspaugh, Pegram, Bassett, and Brown residence halls (formerly known as Dormitories 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively). Included in the collection are blueprints and printed material relating to the planning and construction of buildings at Duke University from 1924 to 1958.

This collection is comprised of architectural drawings and reproduced architectural drawings of buildings on the Duke University campus and nearby. The dates of this collection range from 1924 to 1952, with the bulk of material from 1926-1938.

A number of Related Collections also contain building specifications, daily work logs, financial ledgers, contracts, and general correspondence for most buildings. Correspondence (often including specifications) exchanged primarily between Horace Trumbauer, William O. Frank, Julian Abele, and Frank Clyde Brown (Duke University Comptroller), S.W. Myatt (Assistant to the President) and A.C. Lee (Chief Engineer for Duke University Building) about general construction at Duke University. Additionally, published building specifications can be found in the library catalog. Other blueprints, sketches, and drawings are folded and interfiled among established collections and within the Operations and Maintenance Department Records. General building specifications, plans for proposed buildings, daily work logs, financial ledgers, contracts, and general correspondence are located in the Operations and Maintenance Department Records, as well as the Frank C. Brown Papers. Bound volumes of published building specifications are stored in the University Archives book collection. Photographs of buildings and architectural sketches and drawings are located in the Photograph Collection. Biographical information about Horace Trumbauer and Julian Abele can be found in the Biographical Reference Collection. The Building Reference Collection contains related information about campus buildings.