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John C. Kilgo served as President of Trinity College (Durham, N.C.) from 1894 to 1910. The John C. Kilgo Records and Papers contain correspondence, sermons, lectures, articles, newspaper clippings, memorabilia, printed matter, and scrapbooks pertaining to Kilgo's career as an educator, as President of Trinity College, and as a Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Subjects include Kilgo's educational philosophy, family affairs, Duke family philanthropy and the financial state of Trinity College, union of Methodist churches, Kilgo's election as bishop, and controversies in which he and the College were involved, including the Gattis vs. Kilgo controversy and the John Spencer Bassett Affair concerning academic freedom. English.

The John C. Kilgo Records and Papers contain correspondence, sermons, lectures, and articles, both manuscript and printed, along with newspaper clippings, memorabilia, and scrapbooks pertaining to Kilgo's career as an educator, as President of Trinity College, Durham, N.C., and as a Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Subjects include Kilgo's educational philosophy, family affairs, Duke family philanthropy and the financial state of Trinity College, union of Methodist churches, Kilgo's election as bishop, and controversies in which he and the College were involved, including the Gattis vs. Kilgo controversy and the John Spencer Bassett Affair concerning academic freedom.

The records and papers are organized into ten series. The first series, Correspondence, contains Kilgo's correspondence regarding Trinity College, Wofford College, the Methodist Church, the Bassett Affair, and the Duke family. The Sermons and notes series features handwritten and typed sermon manuscripts and other notes, mostly undated. The third series, Lectures, addresses, and writings, includes manuscripts and published material relating to Trinity College, eulogies, citizenship, the South, education, the Methodist Church, and religion. The Methodist Episcopal Church, South series contains Board of Missions Financial Statements, resolutions, addresses, and related materials. Personal and biographical materials include clippings, biographies, genealogical information, printed matter, and financial documents. This series also features modern materials, such as family correspondence of Kilgo's descendants, that were added to the collection.

The Trinity College records series features building specifications, Kilgo's inaugural address, printed matter, and materials relating to the Clark vs. Kilgo case (1898). The next series, Gattis vs. Kilgo, Duke, and Odell contains documents relating to the 1905 slander suit brought by Thomas J. Gattis against Kilgo, Benjamin N. Duke, and W. R. Odell. The seven Scrapbooks contain clippings of Kilgo's articles and sermons, pages cut from the Bible and hymnals, book reviews, and other items. The Additional materials include a catalog of Kilgo's library, a card inventory of his records and papers, and reference notes detailing press attacks on Kilgo, Trinity College, and the Duke family from 1891 to 1906. The Oversize materials series contains documents from the preceding series in the collection stored in oversize containers.