The Duke Endowment was established by James Buchanan Duke as a perpetual charitable trust in 1924, with the following types of beneficiaries, mainly residing in North Carolina and South Carolina: non-profit hospitals and child care institutions; educational institutions; and rural churches of the Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (now the United Methodist Church). The Duke Endowment Archives span the years 1902 to 2006, with the bulk of the material dating from 1925 through 2006. The collection documents the administration of the corpus of the trust and the charitable contributions made to the categories of recipients named in the Indenture and Deed of Trust establishing The Endowment. The majority of the records are arranged into series that reflect the organization of the institution, including the Board of Trustees, Treasurer's Office, Controller's Office, Investment Office, Education Division and Committee on Communications, Health Care and Child Care Divisions, and Rural Church Division. Smaller series, documenting such other activities as record-keeping, publications, and history of The Endowment, include: Central Files, Oral History Project, Trust Under Will, Publications, Miscellaneous, Photographic Materials, and Audiovisual Materials. The collection consists of the following types of materials: correspondence; minutes of meetings; financial records; applications for assistance from hospitals, child care institutions, and churches; statistics; publications; oral history tapes and transcripts; architectural drawings and blueprints; photographs; audio cassettes; and miscellaneous records and papers. The geographic focus is primarily North Carolina and South Carolina.
The Duke Endowment Archives span the years 1902 to 2018, although the bulk of the material dates from 1925 through 2006. The collection consists of correspondence; minutes of meetings; financial records; applications for assistance from hospitals, child care institutions, and churches; statistics; publications; oral history tapes and transcripts; architectural drawings and blueprints; photographs; audio cassettes; and miscellaneous records and papers. The collection documents the administration of the corpus of the trust and the charitable contributions made to the categories of recipients named in the Indenture and Deed of Trust establishing The Duke Endowment. Records are arranged to reflect the responsibilities and operations of the Endowment's trustees, officers, and divisions, with major series including: the Board of Trustees, Treasurer's Office, Controller's Office, Investment Office, Education Division and Committee on Communications, Health Care and Child Care Divisions, and Rural Church Division. Smaller series, documenting such other activities as record-keeping, publications, and the Endowment's history, include: Central Files, Oral History Project, Trust Under Will, Publications, Miscellaneous, Photographic Materials, and Audiovisual Materials. Subject areas represented in the collection include: the history of foundations, hospital and child care demographics and other statistics, rural church buildings and activities, the construction of Duke University, and the life of James Buchanan Duke. The geographic focus is primarily North Carolina and South Carolina.
When James Buchanan Duke established The Duke Endowment as a perpetual charitable trust in 1924, he formalized a tradition of philanthropy that he and other members of the Duke family had practiced for many years, especially with regard to Duke University (formerly Trinity College). The life of James B. Duke, including his philanthropic interests, is documented in the Oral History Project Series (RESTRICTED) and Miscellaneous Series (RESTRICTED), and, to a lesser extent, the Health Care and Child Care Divisions Series' (RESTRICTED) Feasibility Study and Rural Church Division Series (RESTRICTED), Correspondence Subseries. The 100th Anniversary of James B. Duke's birth and interest in Mr. Duke's home in Charlotte, N.C., are documented in the Miscellaneous Series.
The Indenture and Deed of Trust establishing The Duke Endowment delineates the type of beneficiaries eligible for its support. These include non-profit hospitals and child care institutions; educational institutions; and rural churches of the Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (now the United Methodist Church), including retired ministers and widows and orphans of deceased ministers. Beneficiaries usually reside within North Carolina and South Carolina, i.e., generally the areas served by the water power facilities established by Mr. Duke, although under certain conditions other states may be served. The textile mills served by hydroelectric power were of special interest to Mr. Duke. A statistical study of cotton mills that he requested is in the Miscellaneous Series. The Indenture and Deed of Trust specifies that hospitals and child care institutions for Whites and African Americans should be supported. The Duke Endowment provides technical assistance as well as funding. Specific educational institutions were named in the Indenture: Davidson College, Davidson, N.C.; Duke University, Durham, N.C.; Furman University, Greenville, S.C.; and Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, N.C.
For the original corpus of The Endowment, James B. Duke assigned shares of stock from Duke Power Company, British-American Tobacco Company, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, George W. Helme Company, Republic Cotton Mills, and Judson Mills. The Indenture stipulates how income and capital from the corpus should be managed and includes specific directives for handling the stock of Duke Power Company. Continuous records for the financial management of the assets of The Duke Endowment are in the Treasurer's Office (RESTRICTED), Controller's Office (RESTRICTED), and Investment Office Series (RESTRICTED). The volumes in the Controller's Office Series include records of payments made and management of the corpus as well as The Endowment's general operating expenses, such as salaries, rents, furniture, and supplies. The Investment Office Series contains records pertaining to companies in which The Duke Endowment invested. The Treasurer's Office Series includes an historical overview of The Endowment's expenditures and includes the minutes of the Finance Committee, which was established in 1975. The Treasurer's Office Series includes Beneficiary Information System reports, which provide geographic breakdowns of payments to institutions from the inception of The Duke Endowment to the present, and a summary that lists each institution or beneficiary group and how it used funds from The Endowment. The Treasurer's Office and Investment Office records do not reflect the overall financial management of The Duke Endowment.
The first members of the Board of Trustees of The Duke Endowment--Nanaline H. Duke, George G. Allen, William R. Perkins, William B. Bell, Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Walter C. Parker, Alexander H. Sands, Jr., William S. Lee, Charles I. Burkholder, Norman A. Cocke, Edward C. Marshall, and Bennette C. Geer--were named in the Indenture as parties of the second part. As stipulated by the Indenture, the trustees were required to meet at least ten times a year and the minutes of the meetings were to be recorded. The minutes are located in the Board of Trustees Series (RESTRICTED). Miscellaneous papers and pictures of some trustees, especially of Watson S. Rankin, a physician, who was also head of the Hospital and Child Care Divisions for many years, are in the Miscellaneous Series. Rankin was an early proponent of rural hospitals as a way to make health care available to greater numbers of citizens. The related correspondence of Graham L. Davis, assistant to Watson S. Rankin, is in the Health Care and Child Care Division Series (RESTRICTED), Health Care Subseries. The Publications Series includes material by or about several trustees.
The Indenture directed the trustees to expend funds for the establishment of Duke University. Designated by Mr. Duke "as one of the principal objects of this trust," a percentage of The Duke Endowment's corpus was to be applied annually for its support. Duke Construction Company was organized by the Board of Trustees to build the university (now known as the West Campus). The architect Horace Trumbauer designed the campus buildings and plant, and the landscape was designed by Olmstead Brothers. Financial records for the construction of Duke University, including the operation of Duke Construction Company, are in the Controller's Office Series (RESTRICTED) and architectural drawings for the buildings, campus plot, and landscaping are in the Miscellaneous Series. Documentation of The Endowment's support of the other educational institutions named in the Indenture, including disbursements and income generated, is in the volumes in the Controller's Office Series.
Non-profit hospitals receive support from The Duke Endowment for free days of care for individuals unable to pay the costs of hospitalization. If all the funds designated for free days of care are not spent in any given year, excess funds may be used for support of hospital construction, maintenance, and equipment. Medical education is also supported, and technical assistance for administrative functions is provided through published manuals. A similar arrangement was established for societies, agencies, or institutions that cared for orphans and half-orphans. The Health Care and Child Care Divisions, Central Files (RESTRICTED), and Publications Series provide detailed documentation for institutions and programs that receive assistance from The Duke Endowment.
The history of hospital services and statistics for the types of admissions in North Carolina and South Carolina, especially rural areas, can be studied in the Health Care and Child Care Divisions Series, Health Care Division Subseries [NOTE: Formerly known as the Hospital and Child Care Divisions Series and the Hospital Division Subseries, respectively]. The applications from individual hospitals, as well as summaries and statistics that group institutions into comparable categories, provide important documentation about the various types of hospitals and their clients in North Carolina and South Carolina, including hospitals' economic statuses, physical plants, and in-patient and out-patient demographics. Most of the earlier statistics include breakdowns for the number of African American and White patients served and their medical profiles.
The history of institutional child care in North Carolina and South Carolina is documented in the Health Care and Child Care Divisions Series, Child Care Division Subseries. The Child Care Division applications for assistance describe the individual institutions that request support from The Duke Endowment. The applications include information about the physical plant, administration and financial status, population statistics, and the physical care and education of children. The summaries use the information in the applications for assistance and group it by type of institution, e.g., religious, community, county, state, more than 150 beds, under 151 beds with farms, White, African American, etc.
Minutes in the Health Care and Child Care Divisions Series, Health Care and Child Care Committee Subseries document some discussions of how funds would be allocated by The Duke Endowment. The published Annual Reports of the Hospital and Child Care Divisions include substantial statistical information and summary reports about specific institutions served during the year. These reports, located in the Publications Series, are a useful place to begin research about hospital and child care. Reports for these divisions are also in the Year Books.
Between 1915 and 1924, Mr. Duke made systematic contributions to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, for churches in the North Carolina and Western North Carolina conferences. His contributions were first administered through the Board of Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1920 Trinity College began to administer the funds. The Church Architect Program files in the Rural Church Division Series (RESTRICTED), Miscellaneous Subseries reflect another arrangement between Duke University and the Rural Church Division. The creation of The Duke Endowment established a formal trust to continue similar support for building and operating rural churches, income for superannuated ministers, and widows and orphans of deceased ministers. The records of the Rural Church Series, Building Grant Files and Church Maintenance Files Subseries document the assistance that individual churches received to build, maintain, and operate churches. Many of these records include oversize blueprints or architectural drawings. There are also records for special projects and other activities supported by The Duke Endowment. The Correspondence Subseries includes information about the concerns of specific churches as well as Methodism and religion in general. Area economic conditions were often described in the correspondence.
The Education Division and the Committee on Communications are currently responsible for publications produced by The Duke Endowment. The Publications Series is a useful starting place for information about The Endowment's activities for a given year or for a historical overview of the foundation. Publications, especially the Annual Reports and Year Books, provide information about the trustees and staff; changes in the organization of The Duke Endowment; and summary information about various divisions, including financial distributions and income, statistics, and specific programs and activities supported by The Endowment at various institutions. Additional publications are in the Miscellaneous Series. Daily operations of The Duke Endowment are documented in the General Correspondence in the Central Files Series. Some general history about The Endowment is located in the Miscellaneous Series, including a signed copy of the Indenture and anniversary celebrations of the 1930s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1990s.
The Oral History Project Series (RESTRICTED), a project initiated in 1963, records the reminiscences of people who were knowledgeable about Duke University, the Duke family, and North Carolina and the region in general. The interviews were conducted by Frank W. Rounds of the Oral History Project of Columbia University. The correspondence includes outlines of the names of interviewees and the subjects they were to discuss.
Two groups of non-print materials and of oversize materials complete the collection. The Photographic Materials Series (RESTRICTED) contains approximately 200 photographs relating mainly to the Rural Church Division Series, especially the Committees on Church Architecture, and to the Miscellaneous Series. Several audio cassette recordings in the Audiovisual Materials Series (RESTRICTED) document miscellaneous meetings and addresses pertaining to the Health Care and Child Care Divisions Series. Although series from throughout the collection are represented in the Oversize Materials (RESTRICTED), this group is particularly rich in blueprints and other architectural drawings that support related materials in the Miscellaneous Series and in the Rural Church Division Series, Building Grant Files Subseries.