Waldo Beach papers, 1949-1986

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Beach, Waldo
Waldo Beach was a professor of Christian Ethics in the Duke University Divinity School between the years 1946-1986. The collection includes correspondence, memoranda, typescripts and printed material concerning civil rights, politics and other ethical issues and ranges in date from 1949-1986.
0.7 Linear Feet
300 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:

Collection includes correspondence, memoranda, typescripts and printed material primarily concerning ethics. Major subjects include civil rights and research in politics and ethics. Individual files include a proposal to the Danforth Foundation to improve teaching, correspondence concerning residential development in Duke Forest, conferences on Human Values and Public Policy, and cooperative research in the areas of politics and ethics. Items of note include a copy of an undated typescript, "A President Named Jimmy", by James D. Barber, a pamphlet produced by the Durham Community Planning Council titled "Durham's Assets in the Arts", and first-hand accounts of the January 3, 1964 sit-in in Chapel Hill. The collection ranges in date from 1949-1986.

Biographical / historical:

William Waldo Beach was born in 1916 in Middletown, Connecticut. He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1937 and his B.D. and Ph.D. from Yale in 1940 and 1944, respectively. He was ordained as a minister of the United Methodist Church. Beach taught at Antioch College before joining the faculty Duke's Divinity School in 1946, where he served as Director of Graduate Studies from 1959-1969 and specialized in Christian ethics, racial politics, ecology and technology. He supervised the dissertation of the first black Ph.D. graduate of the Duke Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and fought for racial integration in the Duke Chapel. He also served appointments at the Union Theological Seminary, the Pacific School of Religion, Colorado College, Northwestern University and Texas Christian University. In 1969, his book Christian Community and American Society was published by Westminster Press. The longest-tenured professor in the history of the Divinity School, Beach retired from Duke in 1986. He was also an active composer and sang with the Durham Civic Choral Society for over 40 years. He died in 2001.

Acquisition information:
The Waldo Beach Papers were received by the University Archives as a transfer in 1991.
Processing information:

Processed by Jessica Wood, January 2007

Encoded by Kimberly Sims, January 2007

Accession A91-120 is 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


Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.

Ethics -- Study and teaching
Civil rights demonstrations -- North Carolina -- Chapel Hill
Duke University. Divinity School
Danforth Foundation (Saint Louis, Mo.)
Duke University -- History -- 20th century
Beach, Waldo
Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
Barber, James David


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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], Waldo Beach Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.