Collections : [Duke University Archives]

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Duke University Archives
Duke University Archives

The Duke University Archives is the official repository for records of Duke University and has a charge to make them available for use in accordance with policies approved by Duke University's Board of Trustees, administration and faculty. In addition to the official records of the university, the Duke University Archives holds campus publications; audiovisual materials by and about Duke University; papers and selected publications of Duke University faculty members; records of Duke University student and employee organizations and dissertations, theses, final projects and senior honors papers produced by Duke University students.

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Trinity College Historical Society collection, [1492?] - 1981 20 Linear Feet — 3500 Items

In 1892, Dr. Stephen B. Weeks, a professor of history at Trinity College, organized the Trinity College Historical Society. The goals of the Society were to collect, arrange, and preserve written materials and artifacts illustrative of the history of North Carolina and the South, and to promote the study of Southern history through lectures and publications. The Society benefited from the strong leadership of two history professors, John Spencer Bassett and William Kenneth Boyd. They made wide appeals for donations of historical materials and maintained a museum to house these relics. The meetings of the Society, held several times each year, provided a forum at which students and faculty could read their research papers and discuss their ideas. The best of these papers were published, from 1897 to 1956, in the Historical Papers of the Trinity College Historical Society. The collection includes historical notes about Trinity College and the Society, correspondence, meeting announcements, administrative files, publications, speeches, and artifacts. Materials range in date from [1492?] to 1981. English.

The collection includes a wide variety of material concerning the Trinity College Historical Society and ranges in date from [1492?] to 1981. The material includes historical notes, about Trinity College and the Trinity College Historical Society and includes transcribed notes, rosters, lists of donations, records, reviews of activities, stationary, and clippings. The correspondence and meeting announcements, [1926]-1981, includes general correspondence about the business of the Trinity College Historical Society and announcements and publicity for upcoming meetings. The administrative files, 1892-1978, includes minutes of the meetings held by the Trinity College Historical Society, and files kept by the presidents, secretaries, and treasurers of the Society. Publications, 1897-1979, include copies of the Historical Papers of the Trinity College Historical Society and newsletters published from 1978-1979. Speeches, 1904-[1980], include notes, original manuscripts, and copies of speeches and papers presented at the meetings of the Trinity College Historical Society. The artifacts, [1492?]-1918, include items collected from all aspects of American life. These relics range from coins and medals, to wooden shoe soles, to a piece of what was thought to be Christopher Columbus's flag.

In January 2007, Box 20 and folders 170 and 173 were transferred to the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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William Thomas Laprade papers, 1660-1975 (bulk 1898-1975) 40 Linear Feet — 40,000 Items

William Thomas Laprade was Professor of History at Trinity College (now Duke University) from 1909 to 1953 and Chair of the Department of History from 1938 to 1952. Papers contain personal and professional correspondence, notes, reports, printed materials, manuscript materials, photographs, diplomas, memorabilia, clippings, student papers, and letters from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Major subjects include William Thomas Laprade, history of Trinity College, Trinity College Press, Duke University Press, Duke University Department of History, Duke University libraries, The South Atlantic Quarterly, the American Association of University Professors, study and teaching of European history, American Historical Association, the North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Kiwanis Club of Durham, and Phi Beta Kappa. Major subjects of correspondence include family life, the Great Depression, World War I, and World War II. Materials range in date from 1660-1975 (bulk 1898-1975).

Contains materials pertaining to the personal and professional activities of William Thomas Laprade, educator, historian, editor, and civic leader in the Duke University community. Papers include correspondence, notes, reports, printed materials, manuscript materials, photographs, diplomas, memorabilia, clippings, student papers, and letters. Materials include research and manuscript materials for books on 17th, 18th, and 19th century Europe, as well as a letter from Anthony Eyre to his brother-in-law, Sir John Newton, English mathematician and astronomer (1660). Correspondence concerns professional interests, Laprade's family, the Great Depression, World War I, and World War II. A complete alphabetical index to named persons in this collection, including correspondence, can be found in Box 16. The oversize box contains materials from the Laprade collection that were formerly housed in the map cabinets and the General Oversize collection. Materials range in date from 1660-1975 (bulk 1898-1975).

Personal and Laprade family letters are concerned with family and local news, health, church meetings, grain production at the family mill in Rivermont, Va., the 1908 presidential election, and Laprade's father's voting machine invention. From about 1902 to 1904, Laprade participated in a large network of correspondence centered in the Weekly Courier-Journal newspaper of Louisville, Ky. Students wrote in, under pseudonyms, to discuss their ideals and problems. Other correspondence subjects include the effects of World War I and World War II on the Laprade family.

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Hersey Everett Spence papers, 1794; 1904-1973 2.88 Linear Feet — 1000 Items

Hersey Everett Spence was a minister, educator, and writer. After graduating from Trinity College in 1908 he spent ten years in the pastorate before returning to his alma mater in 1918 as Professor of Religious Education and Biblical Literature. The collection contains correspondence, writings (poems, plays, eulogies by Smith), clippings, a sound recording, and other printed material reflecting the opinions and career of H.E. Spence. The materials in the collection range in date from 1794; 1904-1973; with the bulk of the materials dating from 1938 to 1970.

The Hersey Everett Spence papers contain correspondence, writings (poems, plays, eulogies by Smith), clippings, a sound recording, and other printed material reflecting the opinions and career of H.E. Spence. Spence was noted for his outspokenness on the state of the University and on matters such as desegregation (he was not in favor) and athletics (he was in favor). Other subjects present include: biography and family genealogy; the Methodist Retirement Home; and the Duke Memorial Methodist Church (both in Durham, NC). The collection includes over 100 unpublished poems; a copy of Spence's "When Preacher's Meet", a volume concerning the NC Pastor's School; the typescript of "I Remember" (1954) [400 pages, titled "Fifty Years of Alma Mater"]; and a taped interview (12 June 1970; no transcript). The materials in the collection range in date from 1794; 1904-1973; with the bulk of the materials dating from 1938 to 1970.

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John Shelton Curtiss papers, 1796-1981 6.5 Linear Feet

John Shelton Curtiss was a professor emeritus of history at Duke University, specializing in Russian history and civilization. The collection includes professional and personal papers, as well as extensive documentation of Curtiss family history and genealogy.

The collection is divided into three series: professional papers, personal papers, and family history and genealogy.

Curtiss' professional papers are exclusively from after his retirement as a faculty member at Duke University. They include drafts of scholarly articles written by him after his retirement, book reviews and publication information for his book Russia's Crimean War, a C.V., and recommendations for former students.

His personal papers are much more extensive, covering the breadth of his activities during his retirement. Included is his work with a number of local organizations, such as the Durham County Public Library, the Kiwanis Club, the Ruritan society, and the Lebanon Volunteer Fire Department. Also included are personal correspondence, both with family and acquaintances, letters to congress, political activism, documents pertaining to land he partly owned in Texas, and an autobiography he wrote concerning his life in retirement.

The final series is materials pertaining to Curtiss family history and genealogy. These include family trees, baptismal and marriage certificates, correspondence dating back to the early 19th century between various distant relations, and a number of materials which appear to have belonged to his father, Harlow C. Curtiss. Photographs of many family members are present. Also included are photographs of a trip to Moscow John and Edna Curtiss took in 1955. The bulk of the material concerns the Curtiss' line, but some materials concerning the family history of Edna Sutter Curtiss are also included. Most material is manuscript, but at the end of the series are a number of bound volumes concerning family history in Connecticut and New England, as well as a copy of the complete works of Turgenev written in Russian.

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Doris Duke Papers, 1798-2003 and undated (bulk 1930-1999) 245 Linear Feet — 81,656 Items

Born on November 22, 1912, Doris Duke was the only child of James Buchanan (J.B.) Duke, a founder of the American Tobacco Company and Duke Energy Company and a benefactor of Duke University, and Nanaline Holt Duke. Inheriting a bulk of her father's estate in 1925, which included Duke Farms in New Jersey, Rough Point in Newport, R.I., and a mansion in New York City, Doris was soon dubbed by the press as "the richest girl in the world." Although Doris did her best to live a private life, she contributed to a number of public causes and was an active supporter of the arts, historic preservation, and the environment. Doris Duke died in October 1993 at the age of 80. In her will she left the majority of her estate to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The Doris Duke Papers were created by combining materials maintained by staff at the Duke Business Office and/or household staff of the Main Residence, on Doris Duke's behalf. It mostly contains the personal papers generated by or about Doris Duke throughout her lifetime. The collection covers the period 1798 to 2003, although the majority of the collection is concentrated in the 1930s to 1993. The collection is organized into 9 series limited to Doris Duke's personal relationships, dealings, and interests: Administrative Records, Personal Correspondence, Financial Records, Legal Records, Reports and Summaries, Subject Files, and Duke Business Office Safe.

The Doris Duke papers (formerly MSS.001) is part of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Historical Archives which were donated to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The collection is artificial in nature, created by combining materials maintained by staff at the Duke Business Office and/or household staff of the Main Residence, on Doris Duke's behalf. It mostly contains the personal papers generated by or about Doris Duke throughout her lifetime. Since Doris Duke's staff maintained her professional and personal records, often in the same filing structures, materials regarding her personal life were intermingled throughtout the larger collection. In order to improve access to important documents, all materials of a personal nature were selected out and incorporated into this collection. The only major exception is Series VII: Duke Business Office Safe, where the personal and professional contents of the office are maintained together to preserve the integrity of the materials and serve as a testament to business operations.

The Doris Duke Papers covers the period 1798 to 2003, although the majority of the collection is concentrated in the 1930s to 1993. The collection is divided into 7 series limited to Doris Duke's personal relationships, dealings, and interests: Administrative Records, Personal Correspondence (RESTRICTED), Financial Records, Legal Records, Reports and Summaries, Subject Files, and Duke Business Office Safe.

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John Spencer Bassett collection, 1802 - 1998 (bulk 1893-1911) 1 Linear Foot — 250 Items

John Spencer Bassett, a professor in the History Department of Trinity College from 1893-1906, was a renowned educator and advocate of freedom of expression. A native of North Carolina, Bassett received his A.B. from Trinity College in 1888 and his doctorate at Johns Hopkins University in 1894. He returned to Trinity College to teach and was active in teaching, writing and collecting southern Americana. Bassett began publication of an annual series of Historical Papers of the Trinity College Historical Society; founded the honorary society 9019, a precursor to Phi Beta Kappa; founded and edited the scholarly journal, the South Atlantic Quarterly; and encouraged his students to publish and fostered their interests in Southern history. In 1903, Bassett published an article, Stirring Up the Fires of Race Antipathy in the South Atlantic Quarterly, that praised the accomplishments of African Americans and offered views on how to improve race relations. Bassett's views brought on a controversy that became known as the Bassett Affair that helped to establish the concept of academic freedom in higher education in the United States. The collection contains personal and professional papers related to the life and work of John Spencer Bassett. Materials range in date from 1802 to 1998 (bulk 1893-1911) and include biographical information, correspondence, printed material, newspaper clippings, manuscripts, and souvenirs. English.

The collection contains personal and professional papers related to the life and work of John Spencer Bassett. Materials range in date from 1802 to 1998 (bulk 1893-1911) and include biographical information, correspondence, printed material, newspaper clippings, manuscripts, and souvenirs. The correspondence (1893-1917) includes a copy of a 1911 letter to Charles Frances Adams in which Bassett gives his account of the Bassett Affair. Other correspondents include Oswald G. Villard, William Kenneth Boyd, Edwin Mims, and William E. Dodd. Much of the original correspondence concerns affairs of the Roanoke Colony Memorial Association. Clippings ([1802]-1896) include articles about North Carolina politics, Civil War history, the Bassett Affair, Trinity College matters, race relations, the media, and education. The manuscripts include the autobiography of Jessie Lewellin Bassett, wife of John Spencer Bassett, in which she describes her life from 1866 until her marriage to Bassett in 1892; a copy of the paper, "How to Collect and Preserve Historical Material," that Bassett presented to the State Historical Association on Oct. 23, 1900; and John L. Woodward's Ph.B. thesis, "Causes and Progress of the Revolutionary Movement in North Carolina," (1894).

The bulk of John Spencer Bassett's personal papers can be found in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.

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Lewis Nathaniel Chase papers, 1807-1941 2 Linear Feet

Lewis Chase taught in the English Department at Duke University beginning in 1929. It is unclear when/if he left the University. He died in 1937. The collection largely includes material pertaining to Chase's research on writer Edgar Allan Poe. It ranges in date from 1807-1941.

The collection includes correspondence pertaining to Chase's publications and research on Edgar Allan Poe's works, Chase's research notes, typescripts of Poe-related correspondence found in libraries, clippings, postcards and other memorabilia relating to Edgar Allan Poe. It also includes photographs, mostly commercial prints, of people and places related to Poe's life, including London scenes, the Poe cottage and Seagate Castle. Correspondence files are extremely brittle. Among the correspondents are Edmund Gosse, John Erskine and J. E. Spingarn. There is also an unidentified handwritten travel diary dated September 1858, which was found in the Woman's College Library, and believed to have been left by Chase. It details travels in New England and China. Paperclips damaging the files were replaced, as were disintegrating folders. The collection ranges in date from 1807-1941.

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Lionel Stevenson papers, 1808-1989, bulk 1911-1974 25.25 Linear Feet — 30,300 items

Lionel Stevenson was James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University from 1955-1971. This collection contains artwork, canadiana, clippings, correspondence, course material, diaries, financial records, manuscripts, photographs, and scrapbooks regarding the life and work of Lionel Stevenson. The material ranges in date from 1808-1989, bulk from 1911-1974.

The papers of Lionel Stevenson span the years 1808 to 1989, although the bulk of the material dates from the 1920s to 1973. They consist of canadiana; clippings; correspondence; course material; general files; manuscripts and notes; notes, papers, and research; non-textual material; organizations; oversized materials; and writings. The collection documents Lionel Stevenson's work as both an author and a professor, as well as an avid collector of news clippings and expert on the Cary family. Subject areas include genealogy of the Cary family, Canadian authors and poets, and photographs, and nineteenth century English literary criticism.

The General Files series is mainly comprised of personal files, like financial records and general miscellany. The Non-Textual Material series contains over 230 cartes de visite photographs, chiefly of the Cary family, as well as other various photographs and pictures. The bulk of the Writings series contains mainly articles and drafts. Notable in this series is Stevenson's Masters thesis. The series Course Material contains folders of syllabi, lecture notes, and miscellaneous papers relating to courses he taught. The Notes, Papers, and Research series contains research notes relating to the writings of Lionel Stevenson. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Notable in this series are letters from literary figures Joyce Cary, Bliss Carman, and Evelyn Waugh. The Organizations contains papers regarding the various groups Stevenson belonged to, notably the Canadian Authors Association, Dickens Fellowship, Modern Language Association, and the PEN Congress. The Manuscript and Notes series contains miscellaneous papers and a manuscript of Revolt Among the Artists. The bulk of the Clippings series are clippings removed from Correspondence and arranged alphabetically. The Diaries series is two boxes filled with Stevenon's personal diaries kept from 1919 to 1974. The Oversized Material series contains clippings and papers removed from their respective series, as well as three scrapbooks of clippings, a novel, audio cassette, and a poster for an essay contest. Canadiana contains miscellaneous Canadian memorabilia that Stevenson collected. The last series Oversized Artwork contains paintings and pictures that were formerly housed in the general oversized collection.

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Duke University Press records, 1812-2019 487 Linear Feet — 2.98 Gigabytes

Duke University Press publishes both scholarly books and journals, primarily in the humanities and social sciences. In its early years, preference was given to works published by faculty, graduate students and alumni and to works focused on southern states. The records of Duke University Press span from 1812-2019 and consist of correspondence, annual catalogs, advertisements, annual reports, Board minutes, contracts and agreements, book and journal reviews, financial records, marketing files, the records of former director Steve Cohn, and facsimiles of the Carlyle letters.

The records are arranged in the following series: Director's files, Editorial Advisory Board, Editorial files, Author files, Subject files, Financial records, Catalogs, the Association of American University Presses, the Carlyle Letters, Marketing Files, and Steve Cohn Papers. The collection consists of correspondence, annual catalogs, advertisements, Board minutes, annual reports, contracts and agreements, book and journal reviews, financial records, correspondence, art and publicity related to the marketing of publications, and facsimiles of the Carlyle letters. The material ranges in date from 1812-2019.

Much of the contents list for the Editorial Files, Marketing Files, Steve Cohn papers, and Executive Support shared email were provided by Duke Press and have not been arranged or described by the Duke University Archives.

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William Preston Few records and papers, 1814-1971 and undated (bulk 1911-1940) 70 Linear Feet — 69,000 items

William Preston Few (1867-1940) served as President of Trinity College from 1910-1924, and President of Duke University from 1924-1940. Few came to Trinity College in 1896 as Professor of English, was named Dean of the College in 1902, and President in 1910, succeeding John C. Kilgo. Few worked with James Buchanan Duke to establish the Duke Endowment. In 1924, Few directed Trinity College's transition to Duke University and remained as President of Duke University until his death in 1940. Few was an active layman in the Methodist Church and in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The William Preston Few Records and Papers contain correspondence from Few's office files as President of Trinity College and Duke University, reports, clippings, copies of speeches and manuscripts, memorandum books, bound volumes, index cards that catalog Few's office files, and other types of printed material. Major subjects include education; philanthropy; the development of Trinity College from its beginning in Randolph County, N.C., to Duke University; the development of the Duke Endowment; Trinity and Duke departmental operations; the school's relationship with the Methodist Church; and business of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. English.

The William Preston Few Records and Papers contain correspondence from Few's office files as President of Trinity College and Duke University, reports, clippings, copies of speeches and manuscripts, memorandum books, bound volumes, index cards that catalog Few's office files, and other types of printed material. The files are arranged in six series. They include: Correspondence, Subject Files, Bound Volumes, Oversize Materials, Index Cards to Few Papers, and Additions.

Major subjects include education; philanthropy; the development of Trinity College, from its beginning in Randolph County, N.C., to Duke University; the development of the Duke Endowment; Trinity and Duke departmental operations; the school's relationship with the Methodist Church; and business of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

The Correspondence makes up a large part of the collection. The bulk of this correspondence is from Few's office files as President of Trinity College and Duke University. The correspondence includes incoming letters to Few's office, copies of outgoing letters, reports, minutes, telegrams, newsletters, and other materials generated or received by the President's office. Among the correspondents are: William Hayes Ackland, Alice Mary Baldwin, John Spencer Bassett, Julian S. Carr, Robert D.W. Conner, Angier Buchanan Duke, Benjamin Newton Duke, James Buchanan Duke, John Carlisle Kilgo, and Edward R. Murrow. There is also some personal correspondence dating from 1885.

The Subject Files include a wide variety of materials collected by Few's office. They include correspondence, reports, clippings and other types of printed material. Major subjects include education; philanthropy; the development of Trinity College from its beginning in Randolph County, N.C., to Duke University; the development of the Duke Endowment; Trinity and Duke departmental operations; the school's relationship with the Methodist Church; and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Included are Few's speeches made at university functions, to community groups, and at funerals. There are a number of speeches that give Few's opinions about education and the development of Duke University while he was President.

The Bound Volumes include a manuscript arithmetic primer, dated 1814, written by Alston W. Kendrick, Few's grandfather; a trigonometry textbook used by Few; a Bible; class records, 1913-1929 and undated; an incomplete set of Few's memoranda books for the years 1922-1933; and several alumni reviews.

The Index Cards to Few's Papers were apparently created by Few's office and catalog the holdings in the office files. However, not all of the materials or names referenced on the index cards can be found in the William Preston Few Records and Papers.

The Oversize Materials include folders removed from the subject files, diplomas, and a bound volume. The Additions include some correspondence, and obituaries for Mrs. William Preston Few (Mary Reamey Thomas Few), that were incorporated into the collection after it was transferred to University Archives.