Dorothy E. Roberts papers, 1903-1993

Navigate the Collection

Using These Materials Teaser

Using These Materials Links:

Using These Materials

Collection is open for research.
More about accessing and using these materials...


Roberts, Dorothy E.
Dorothy Roberts worked in the Dept. of English's administration office from 1948 until her retirement in the late 1980's-early 1990's. The collection includes correspondence, clippings, photographs, printed material and other items created and collected by Dorothy Roberts about the Dept. of English at Duke University. Files largely pertain to the history of the department, focusing heavily on departmental faculty. The collection ranges in date from 1903-1993.
2.5 Linear Feet
approx. 2000 Items
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:

The collection largely consists of material compiled by Roberts, who functioned as historian of the Dept. of English. Of note are the various lists of faculty, Ph.D. candidates and staff of the department over a number of years. Also included are files she maintained on faculty members, which include correspondence and clippings as well as a file Roberts kept on herself regarding her career at Duke. She also provides her impressions of key departmental staff, namely the chairmen she worked for. In 1982, Roberts donated 14 letters between her and Guy Davenport, a Duke alumnus, regarding Paris and other European cities as well of Davenport's appreciation of James Joyce and Roberts' own love of traveling abroad. Roberts' friendship with Reynolds Price is represented in the collection. There are several folders on him which include correspondence, Christmas cards, photographs, clippings, and an envelope which holds locks of Price's hair. Of particular note is a sketch Price drew of Emily Dickinson that he gave to Roberts. There is also a caricature of Ph.D. candidates, including Price, from 1962.

Biographical / historical:

Dorothy "Dot" Roberts was born in Crewe, Virginia and graduated from the University of Richmond with a major in history and a minor in English. She was hired by Duke University in 1948 to work as the office manager for the Dept. of English and was made administrative assistant in 1967. During her time with the department, Roberts worked for 12 different chairmen. She also established many long-lasting friendships with students and faculty during her time at Duke, including Reynolds Price for whom she typed many of his books, her favorite being "A Long and Happy Life." She retired from Duke in the late 1980's/early 1990's and passed away on Feb. 10, 2002.

Acquisition information:
The Dorothy E. Roberts Papers were received by the University Archives as a gift in 1982, 2011.
Processing information:

Processed by Kimberly Sims, September 2011

Encoded by Kimberly Sims, September 2011

Accession UA2011-0025 and Roberts' gift from 1982 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.

Physical location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


Using These Materials

Using These Materials Links:

Using These Materials


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.

Before you visit:
Please consult our up-to-date information for visitors page, as our services and guidelines periodically change.
Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Dorothy E. Roberts Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.