The collection includes maps, aerial photographs of the Forest, notes and correspondence related to research projects, ledgers documenting lumber sales, details of forest plots, information on types of vegetations and tasks performed including thinning, data and statistics, and many other materials.
The Duke Forest is owned and managed by Duke University. It consists of over 7,000 acres of forested land and open fields in Durham, Orange, and Alamance counties. It has been managed for teaching and research purposes since 1931.
The mission of the Duke Forest is to facilitate research that addresses fundamental and applied questions across a variety of disciplines and to aid in the instruction of all students in their pursuit of knowledge, especially regarding the stewardship of our natural resources.
Management of the Forest is guided by a comprehensive plan that promotes the Forest's academic mission while ensuring the protection of its natural resources. The Duke Forest also provides education and outreach through tours and volunteer events and serves as an outdoor recreation destination for the local community.
Beginning in the mid-1920s, Duke University purchased many small farms and interspersed forestland to buffer and expand the new campus. These tracts, totaling 4,696 acres, became the Duke Forest in 1931 when they were placed under the stewardship of Dr. Clarence Korstian, the first director of the Duke Forest and founding dean of the School of Forestry.
Over the years, largely through the efforts of Dr. Korstian, some of the income derived from the sale of forest products was used to purchase additional land. Today the Duke Forest covers over 7,000 acres of land in 6 divisions and 1 dedicated natural area across 3 North Carolina counties.
Early management objectives of the Duke Forest were designed to complement the School of Forestry's mission to advance graduate forestry education in the southeastern United States. They were: to demonstrate practical and economical techniques for managing timber; to develop an experimental forest for research in the sciences associated with growing timber; and to provide an outdoor laboratory for students of forestry.
As academic uses of the Duke Forest broadened to encompass a variety of disciplines in the natural and environmental sciences, the School of Forestry transitioned into what is now the Nicholas School of the Environment. For both the school and the university, the Duke Forest remains an invaluable asset and premier facility for teaching and research.
Text taken from Duke Forest website homepage, https://dukeforest.duke.edu/, and History page, https://dukeforest.duke.edu/about/history/, both viewed 2018 October 22.
Collection guide prepared by Tracy M. Jackson, October 2018; updated in 2021 by Noah Huffman; updated in 2022 by Tracy M. Jackson.
For the most part, original file titles have been retained.
Accessions described in this collection guide: UA2018.0036, UA2018.0073, UA2018.0094, UA2019.0079, UA2021.0014
This collection guide was created or updated with information provided by donors or external parties, and box or file lists have not been verified by Rubenstein Library staff. Errors may be present and can be reported to AskRL@duke.edu.