Committee Against the Nixon-Duke Library (CANDL) records, 1981.

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Duke University. Committee Against the Nixon-Duke Library
Records of the Committee Against the Nixon-Duke Library (CANDL), an organization formed primarily by Duke Alumnus Ruffin Slater and Duke Professor of Psychology Norman Guttman to generate and coordinate opposition to the proposal to locate the Richard Nixon Presidential Library on or near the university's campus. English.
0.2 Linear Feet
200 Items
Collection ID:
University Archives Record Group:
28 -- Faculty and Staff Organizations
28 -- Faculty and Staff Organizations > 02 -- Committees


Scope and content:

The bulk of dated materials from the Committee Against the Nixon-Duke Library spans the months of September through December 1981. The collection is composed primarily of correspondence, including the personal correspondence of Ruffin Slater and Prof. Norman Guttman, both on the CANDL Coordinating Committee, as well as active CANDL member Prof. J. David Barber. It also contains two folders of correspondence to the Committee, separated into letters of support for CANDL and letters of opposition to the Committee's goals. It contains one folder of confidential correspondence to Duke President Terry Sanford.

The CANDL Records also contain some letter and advertisement drafts, as well handwritten notes on a variety on subjects, all of an unidentified author, most probably Slater or Guttman.

The collection also contains letters mailed to faculty and alumni soliciting membership and donations, as well as periodic updates sent to CANDL members. Advertisements placed in local papers and flyers posted on campus are also included, as well as a humorous Watergate coloring book used to construct these ads.

Membership information is organized into two folders. Faculty membership lists are arranged chronologically and are frequently divided into departmental lists.

Financial Records are limited to incomplete handwritten expenditure and donation lists and a receipt from The Chronicle significant for its complete list of ads placed by CANDL in the campus newspaper.

This collection also contains one folder of brochures and publications from other presidential libraries and museums, all ca. 1981, not duplicated in the Nixon Library Controversy Collection.

For additional information, see also the Nixon Library Controversy Collection.

Biographical / historical:

In late July 1981, Terry Sanford initiated negotiations with former president Richard Nixon (Duke Law 1937) to locate the Nixon presidential library on the campus of his alma mater. When this information was revealed to faculty members during the week of August 10, 1981, many opposed the proposition as well as Sanford's failure to consult the faculty prior to initiating negotiations.

Many who opposed the library had moral objections to memorializing a president whose behavior in office was reproachable, and they feared a negative effect on the university's reputation. Other concerns included the effects of greatly increased tourist traffic on campus and the aesthetic nature of the large proposed structure. However, supporters of erecting the Nixon Library on campus argued that the scholarly and academic benefits of locating the vast Nixon Presidential Materials collection on campus should and would outweigh any moral concerns. These supporters tended to denounce the actions of vocal dissenters as divisive and/or arrogant.

Meetings of the Academic Council and Board of Trustees during September and October 1981 were dominated by this debate, and a group of faculty formed the Committee Against the Nixon-Duke Library (CANDL) to organize the efforts of faculty, students, alumni, and others opposed to the proposed library. Although the Academic Council voted not to recommend further negotiations with Nixon in a 35-34 decision September 3, 1981, the Board of Trustees later voted 9-2 to proceed. By April 1982 negotiations had stalled, and a year later Nixon's representatives announced that a site at Chapman College in San Clemente, California, had been chosen for the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library.

Acquisition information:

Accession No. 83-11 received 18 January 1983: Clippings, correspondence, presidential libraries publications.

Accession No. 84-5 received 27 January 1984: Financial records, publicity materials and membership information.

Processing information:

Originally 2 boxes, 1.4 linear feet. All clippings were discarded, as the Nixon Library Controversy Collection contained processed clippings. Also, Presidential Libraries publications, correspondence, reports, and other items duplicated in the Nixon Library Controversy Collection were discarded. Additionally, response cards were discarded, as much information is duplicated in typed mailing lists.

Processed by Cat Saleeby, August 2001

Encoded by Joshua McKim, December 2002

Physical location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult Duke University Archives.
Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Collection is open for research.

Terms of access:

Copyright for official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Committee Against the Nixon-Duke Library (CANDL) Records, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.