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Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans attended Duke University and graduated in the class of 1939. She later became a philanthropist and Duke trustee. This collection contains printed matter, photographs, clippings, speeches and other memorabilia relating to Semans' time as trustee, her affiliation with the British American Festival of 1984, and other Duke related activities and events.

This collection contains printed matter, photographs, clippings, speeches and other memorabilia relating to Semans' time as a Duke University trustee, her affiliation with the British American Festival of 1984, and other Duke-related activities and events.

Duke files include reports, programs, addresses and printed ephemera pertaining to matters and events at Duke University. These materials reflect Semans' activities as a university trustee as well as her support for the arts at Duke. These papers also include the transcript of a discussion on race relations at Duke and the takeover of the Allen Building from 1969, as well as minutes from the University Center Committee, the report of the Special Committee on the Functions and Organization of the Board of Trustees, and a summary report of the B.N. Duke Leadership Program.

These materials also include reports on fund raising at Duke and several reports that address salary levels and other issues faced by Duke faculty women and Semans' speech (with slides) given at the 100th Celebration of Duke Memorial United Methodist Church in 1986.

The British American Festival scrapbook contains clippings, correspondence and color snapshots relating to the 1984 North Carolina British-American Festival. There is also a a cassette tape of a recorded interview with Ian Hamilton, who composed "Raleigh's Dream" for the festival.

Oversize folders contain a newsletter from the Duke Class of 1939, Robert Ward's musical score for Music for a Great Occasion for Terry Sanford's inauguration, as well as chapel architectural drawings.

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Collection consists of correspondence, financial papers, legal papers, writings and speeches, scrapbooks, photographs, films, audio tapes, and other materials reflecting the philanthropic, financial, cultural and social activities of the Semans family and other wealthy families in North Carolina and New York. A major focus is the interrelationship of the Semans family with the Biddle, Duke, and Trent families. Additionally, the papers document the roles of Mary Duke Biddle, James H. Semans and Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans have taken in the development and support of arts and educational programs throughout North Carolina. To a lesser degree, the papers reflect women in politics and childcare issues during the early 20th century.

The papers of the Semans family span the years 1878 to 2008. The collection consists of four large sub-collections: the Mary Duke Biddle Family Papers, the James H. Semans Family Papers, the James H. and Mary D.B.T. Semans Family Papers, and the Elizabeth Lucina Gotham Family Papers. There are also series for films, oversize materials, and later additions.

Through files of correspondence, financial papers, legal papers, writings and speeches, scrapbooks, photographs, films, audio tapes, and other materialsThe collection reflects the philanthropic, financial, cultural, and social activities of the Semans family. Major areas of focus are the personal and social relationships of the Semans family with the Biddle, Duke, and Trent, and other wealthy families from North Carolina, New York, and elsewhere. Additionally, the papers document the roles Mary Duke Biddle, James H. Semans, and Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans have taken in the development and support of arts and educational programs throughout North Carolina. To a lesser degree, the papers reflect on women in politics and childcare during the early twentieth century.

Individuals represented include Mary Duke Biddle (daughter of Benjamin Duke), Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle, Nicholas Benjamin Duke Biddle, Angier Biddle Duke, Angier Buchanan Duke, Benjamin Newton Duke, Sarah Pearson Angier Duke, Elizabeth Lucina Gotham, and Josiah Charles Trent as well as other members of the Duke, Biddle, Trent, and Semans families. Political, arts, and educational leaders are also represented.

Subject areas represented include: families in the late 19th and 20th centuries; the arts in North Carolina and other cities; charities, particularly in North Carolina; childcare and women in nursing; The Duke Endowment; Duke University and other universities and colleges; the North Carolina School of the Arts; education; genealogy of the four families; personal finances; philanthropy; the history of Durham, NC, and its politics and social life; vocational rehabilitation; and the Methodist church, particularly in NC.

The 25 16mm film reels in the collection are chiefly children's cartoons from the 1930s-1940s, but there are also wartime newsreels and a few films for adults, some as early as 1916-1917, and some travel film. Audio tapes consist chiefly of personal family recordings, a set of memoirs dictated onto cassettes in 1977 by Mary D.B.T. Semans, and music performances.

Some portions of the collection are restricted or closed to use; please consult this collection guide for details before coming to use these materials.

For additional collections of Duke family papers, see the Washington Duke Papers, the Benjamin Newton Duke Papers, and the James B. Duke Papers. For further information on the contributions of the Duke family to Duke University, contact the Duke University Archives.