Frank Traver De Vyver papers, 1899-1980

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De Vyver, Frank Traver, 1904-1980
Frank De Vyver (1904-1980) was a University Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus and vice provost at Duke University. This collection primarily documents his professional life through his correspondence, writings, research, and faculty and professional activities. It forms part of the Economists' Papers Archive.
27 Linear Feet (20 boxes and one oversize folder.)
Material in English.
Collection ID:
University Archives Record Group:
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates > 02 -- Individuals


Scope and content:

This collection is comprised of correspondence, writings, research, administrative and managerial records, and other professional papers that De Vyver produced in a half-century career as an economist and scholar specializing in the history of labor economics, movements, and unions, as a professor of economics and a university administrator at Duke University, and as an industrial manager and arbitrator.

The Correspondence and Personal series primarily consists of his personal and professional correspondence, but also contains biographical material, including a photograph album of his travel abroad and a scrapbook of clippings, photographs, and printed materials about his professional career.

The Writings and Research series contains drafts and reprints of De Vyver's articles and his notes and research materials on such topics as the history of labor unions and industrial arbitration in Australia and the US.

De Vyver's writings are followed by the Department of Economics series, which includes some teaching material but is mainly composed of departmental correspondence and administrative records.

In addition to his teaching and departmental duties, De Vyver was also very active in the administrative life of Duke University, and this part of his career is extensively documented in the University Committees series. His work on more than twenty committees, councils, and task forces is represented here, with the largest groups of material deriving from the University Planning Committee and one of its standing committees, Educational Facilities, which De Vyver chaired from 1962-1974.

The Subject Files make up the largest series, comprising almost half the collection. These files cover the full breadth of De Vyver's professional life, not only complementing topics covered in other series but also documenting many colleagues, organizations, and subjects not represented elsewhere in the collection. The following are among the most prominent groups of materials in the Subject Files: De Vyver's work as a professional arbitrator, generally as a representative of the American Arbitration Association; his managerial career as a Vice President of Erwin Cotton Mills, a textile mile formerly in Durham, NC; his service on various government committees and boards, including the War Production Board; his scholarly work on and professional involvement with a wide variety of subjects and organizations in the fields of labor economics and industrial relations, including collective bargaining agreements, grievance procedures, wages, and textile workers; materials about the Textile Workers Union of America; and the history of labor movements and labor unions in the US, Australia, and South Africa.

The final series of the collection consists of Printed Material, including reprints of De Vyver's articles and a wide variety of loose research materials in such categories as clippings, pamphlets, posters, and serials.

Biographical / historical:
Date Event
1904, May 14
Born in Mount Vernon, NY
AB, Oberlin College
MA, Oberlin College
MA, Princeton University
(with Abraham Berglund and G. T. Starnes) Labor in the Industrial South
PhD, Princeton University
Instructor, Assistant Professor, and Professor of Economics, Duke University
Director of Undergraduate Students, Department of Economics, Duke University
Vice President, Erwin Mills
(with George Modlin) Development of Economic Society
Fulbright Lecturer, University of Sydney
Chair, Department of Economics, Duke University
Vice Provost, Duke University
Fulbright Lecturer, University of Western Australia
1978, July 1
University Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, Duke University
1980, May 11
Died in London, England
Acquisition information:
The Frank Traver De Vyver papers were received by the University Archives as transfers and gifts between 1966-2010.
Processing information:

Processed by Michael Shumate and Julia Eads, June 2013.

Accession described in this collection guide: 2010-0058.


The Frank Traver De Vyver papers are arranged into six series: Correspondence and Personal, Writings and Research, Department of Economics, University Committees, Subject Files, and Printed Material.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Access restricted. Collection includes materials from the Duke University Board of Trustees. Records of the University's Board of Trustees which have been in existence for at least fifty years are available for scholarly research with the permission of the University Archivist. Access to records which have been in existence for less than fifty years shall be granted only by special permission, in writing, from the Board of Trustees. Contact Research Services for more information.

Access restricted. Some materials in this collection are personnel records. Records pertaining to employment where individuals are identified are closed for 70 years.

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], Frank Traver De Vyver papers, University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University.