Dale B. J. Randall papers, 1940-2010s

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Randall, Dale B. J.
Dale B.J. Randall (1929-2016) taught in the Duke English Dept. from 1957-1999 and in the Drama Program from 1991-1999. The collection includes material related to both the English Dept. and the Drama Program as well as Randall's scholarly research. Types of material include correspondence, flyers, programs, clippings, and articles. The collection ranges in date from 1940 through the 2010s.
24 Linear Feet
Material in English
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

The largest part of the collection contains research material pertaining to Lord North, Joseph Conrad and Warrington Dawson, about whom Randall was writing books. His research files include xerox copies, slides, illustrations and microfilm. There are materials from Randall's time in the Dept. of English, particularly the controversy which occurred in the late 1980s-early 1990s. The controversy boiled down to a debate between traditionalists and revisionists. It made national headlines at the time, and Randall refers to it as "The Troubles." There are also syllabi, examination questions, and non-graded student papers. Additionally, the collection contains material from Randall's time as Chair of the Drama Program and includes correspondence, programs, flyers, and clippings.

Randall's papers also include a copy of the written sexual harassment complaint a student made against an English professor in 1981. This folder is restricted for 70 years.

Both University Archives and Special Collections received material from Professor Randall. The accessions have been merged into the finding aid presented here.

Biographical / historical:

Dale B.J. Randall earned his B.A. from Western Reserve University in 1951, his M.A. from Rutgers University in 1953, and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1958. In 1957, he began teaching at Duke University as an Instructor in English, a position he had until 1960 when he was promoted to Assistant Professor. In 1970, he was promoted to Professor of English. He was also appointed Professor of Dramatic Literature in1991 and Professor of the Practice of Drama in 1994.

During his career, he served in several posts for the Southeastern Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Folger Institute of Renaissance and 18th century Studies, as Associate Dean of the Graduate School, and as Chair of the Duke Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Additionally, Randall served as Interim Director of the Duke Drama Program (now the Dept. of Theatrical Studies) from 1991-1992, when the Program was close to collapsing. Under his leadership, the Program stabilized. Randall also published several works including The Golden Tapestry: A Critical Survey of Non-Chivalric Spanish Fiction in English Translation, 1543-1657, in 1963, Joseph Conrad and Warrington Dawson: The Record of Friendship, in 1968, Gentle Flame: The Life and Verse of Dudley, Fourth Lord North, and Winter Fruit: English Drama 1642-1660.

Randall retired from Duke University in 1999 and was duly appointed both Professor Emeritus of English and Professor Emeritus of the Practice of Drama. He continued researching various works until at least 2010. Dale Randall died in Durham, NC on July 24, 2016.

Acquisition information:
The Dale B. J. Randall Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library and University Archives between 1986-2017.
Processing information:

Processed by Kimberly Sims in December 2006, Jennifer Malone in March 2009

Encoded by Kimberly Sims, March 2009

Updated by Meghan Lyon, February 2010; Christian Cleveland, Oct. 2017; Laurin Penland, July 2018.

Accessions 2007-0015, UA2003-51, UA2003-55, UA2007-0030, UA2008-0051, UA2009-0014, 2009-0238, 2010-0032, 2017-0176, and one from 1986 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.


The collection is arranged by accession order.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Portions of the collection are restricted. Restricted items are noted in the container list.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

Terms of access:

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Dale B. J. Randall Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University