University Archives Record Groups

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01. General Information and University History 122 collections

This record group showcases University Archives' collection of general history materials that span Duke's more than 170-year history. It includes materials from Trinity College in Randolph County to the move to Durham and the renaming to Duke University in 1924. Subgroups are arranged topically. Additionally, the reference collections are located in this group, and they provide a good overview on many popular topics related to Duke's history.

02. Board of Trustees 2 collections

The Board of Trustees is the governing body of Duke University. It is responsible for creating the educational and fiscal policies that direct the University. The Duke University Board of Trustees has been operating since 1924, and developed from the Trinity College Board of Trustees that existed from 1859 to 1924.

03. Presidents 34 collections

Listed below are the Office of the President's Records and the individual papers of some of the Presidents. Note: Some presidential records do not have online collection guides, but can be found in the DUL catalog.

Duke Presidents: Brantley York, 1838-1842; Braxton Craven, 1842-1863, 1866-1882; Marquis Lafayette Wood, 1883-1884; Trustee Committee of Management; John Franklin Crowell, 1887-1894; John Carlisle Kilgo, 1894-1910; William Preston Few, 1910-1940; Robert Lee Flowers, 1941-1948; Arthur Hollis Edens, 1949-1960; Julian Deryl Hart, 1960-1963; Douglas Maitland Knight, 1963-1969; Terry Sanford, 1969-1985; H. Keith H. Brodie, 1985-1993; Nannerl Overholser Keohane, 1993-2004; Richard H. Brodhead, 2004-2017; Vincent Price, 2017-

04. University Secretary 2 collections

The University Secretary is an officer of the University whose major role is to coordinate affairs of the Board of Trustees. The University Secretary reports to the President. The Office of the University Secretary at Duke University was established by by-law in 1903.

05. Office of the Provost 9 collections

The Provost is the chief academic officer who is tasked with overseeing the academic and research missions of the University. The Provost reports to the President. Each school's individual dean and senior academic staff report to the Provost.

06. Office of the Chancellor (inactive) 5 collections

This office was formally established in March 1969 when President D. M. Knight wanted an officer to assist with an increasing executive workload. The Chancellor was given responsibility for the internal operation of the University. Under the University By-laws of May 10, 1988, the Chancellor was an executive officer with powers and duties assigned by the President. The occupants of the office have been the following: Robert L. Flowers (1949-1951 honorary title), Barnes Woodhall (1969-1970, pro tem), A. Kenneth Pye (1970-1971), John O. Blackburn (1971-1976), A. Kenneth Pye (1976-1982), and H. Keith H. Brodie (1982-1985). The position is not currently in active use.

07. Academic Affairs 17 collections

Academic Affairs is headed by the Executive Vice Provost, who reports directly to the Provost. The position was previously referred to as the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs. The office has a wide range of responsibilities including faculty development, global programs, and undergraduate education. Many of these functions are now managed by individual vice provosts.

08. Libraries 13 collections

The Duke University Libraries consist of the William R. Perkins Library, the Bostock Library, the Rubenstein Library, Lilly Library, Music Library, the Marine Laboratory Library, and the Library Service Center.

09. Student Affairs 28 collections

The Division of Student Affairs is responsible for a wide array of programs and activities to engage students outside of the classroom. It is tasked with supporting student groups, student health, career center, and many other integral components to student life. The Division is headed by the Vice Provost/Vice President of Student Affairs. Note: Records of individual student groups are located in the Record Group titled "Student/Campus Life."

Departments include: Resource Administration; Dining; Housing and Residence Life; Campus Life (includes Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, formerly known as Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Life); the Center for Multicultural Affairs (formerly known as Intercultural Initiatives); Jewish Life at Duke; Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture; Muslim Life at Duke; University Center Activities and Events; Women's Center; Career Center; and Dean of Students (includes Case Management, also known as DukeReach); Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS); Emergency Response; Parent and Family Programs; Student Conduct; Student Health; Student Health Insurance; Student Wellness Center, also known as DuWell.

10. Executive VP and Treasurer & Administration (Business and Finance) 24 collections

The Executive Vice President is the chief business and financial officer for Duke University, responsible for the management of all financial and administrative services of the University. This office's responsibilities include facilities, financial services, and information technology, among other departments. This position has evolved significantly over the past fifty years and other titles for the position are displayed below.

Current Position: Executive Vice President and Treasurer (Financial Services, Office of the Treasurer)

Previous Titles: Comptroller and Business Manager (1958); Business Manager (1961); Vice President for Business and Finance/Treasurer (1965); Two Offices (a split occurred briefly); Vice President and Treasurer and then the Vice President for Business and Finance (1967); Vice President for Business and Finance (1975); Executive Vice President and Vice President, Planning and Treasurer (two different positions) (1988); Executive VP of Administration (?) (1991); Executive VP and Treasurer

11. Office for Institutional Equity 2 collections

The Office for Institutional Equity leads “diversity, inclusion, affirmative action, employment equity, harassment prevention, and other work-related initiatives focused on the quality of life and effort at Duke.” Created in 1972 by Chancellor John S. Blackburn as the Equal Opportunity Office, the office's original role was to ensure University compliance with equal opportunity and affirmative action legislation. In 1982, the office was renamed the Opportunity Development Center. In 1985, the office was abolished by President H. Keith H. Brodie; however, the functions of the office were still carried out by former director Dolores S. Burke, who was named Special Assistant to the President (see RG 3.03), and later, Special Advisor to the Executive Vice President for Administration. From 1990 to 1995, Vice President and Vice Provost Leonard C. Beckum was appointed to handle a similar slate of responsibilities. In 1995, the responsibilities were transferred to the newly-created Office of the Vice President for Institutional Equity. The name of the office changed to Office for Institutional Equity in the 2004/2005 academic year.

12. Public Affairs and Government Relations 4 collections

The Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations oversees Duke's communications and government relations and includes offices responsible for federal, state and, local government affairs; local community relations; campus news and communications; digital media; marketing; and photographic services. The Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations also serves as Duke's chief spokesperson.

Note: Due to the extent of its records, University Communications has its own record group titled University Communications (RG 27).

13. Athletics 24 collections

This record group includes materials from the various offices that have overseen Duke University intercollegiate athletics, recreation, and physical education,including the Trinity College Athletic Association, which managed Trinity College's athletics programs and was founded in the early 1900s. Currently, Duke's Department of Athletics (sometimes referred to simply as "Duke Athletics"), reporting to the Director of Athletics, manages the operation, development, and promotion of Duke's athletics, recreation, and physical education programs. The Athletic Council, established in 1907 by the Board of Trustees, is an independent body of faculty, administrators, students, alumni, and trustees that oversees Duke Athletics' budget and compliance with athletic policies and standards.

14. Alumni Affairs and University Development 6 collections

The Office of University Development is responsible for fund-raising programs in the areas of annual gifts, capital gifts, and program support. The Office of Alumni Affairs at Duke University administers the Duke Alumni Association, a nonprofit organization serving the alumni and former students of Duke University.

15. Durham and Community Affairs 4 collections

The Office of Durham and Community Affairs fosters improved Duke-Durham relations by developing partnerships with Durham organizations supporting public education and economic and community development. Although an Office of Regional Programs briefly existed from 1967 to 1970, the current office was created in 2008 as the Office of Durham and Regional Affairs; its current name was adopted in 2019. The office oversees the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership and the Community Service Center.

16. Duke Management Company 1 collection

In 1989, Duke University's Board of Trustees approved the formation of Duke Management Company (DUMAC) as a separate, nonprofit support corporation of Duke University. DUMAC manages the University's endowment, the employees' retirement pool and Duke University Health System's investments, and invests much of the University's working capital. DUMAC also manages the assets of The Duke Endowment. DUMAC is governed by a Board of Directors, which reports to Duke University's Board of Trustees.

17. Duke Chapel 6 collections

Located on Duke University's West Campus, Duke Chapel is the centerpiece of campus. Construction of the Chapel was begun in October of 1930, completed five years later, and formally dedicated on June 2, 1935. Duke Chapel continues to operate as an interdenominational Christian church and also provides a gathering space for significant University events. It also provides a home and support for Religious Life at Duke and Duke's recognized student religious organizations.

18. Nicholas School of the Environment 6 collections

The Nicholas School of the Environment is a merger of three older entities. The School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Duke University Marine Lab (both formed in 1938) joined in 1991 to become the School of Environment, which was named the Nicholas School in 1995 following a $20 million gift from Peter M. and Ginny Nicholas (both T '64). In 1997, the Department of Geology (formed in 1936) joined the school as the Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, bringing new resources and a new name for the school: the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, established in December 2000. In August 2008, the school's name was shortened to the Nicholas School of the Environment.

19. Divinity School 6 collections

The University's first graduate professional school, the Divinity School was founded in 1926 as the School of Religion; it was renamed the Divinity School in 1941. The school is one of 13 seminaries founded and supported by the United Methodist Church, although it is ecumenical in its teaching.

20. School of Law 5 collections

Although lectures on law were offered by Trinity College president Braxton Craven as early as 1850, a formal School of Law wasn't established at Trinity College until 1891-1892 and it was discontinued in 1894. In 1904, the School of Law was reestablished under Dean Samuel Fox Mordecai with funding provided by James Buchanan Duke and Benjamin Newton Duke. For more about the School of Law's history, including a timeline of the School's deans, visit this School of Law website.

Note: The records of several deans are located in the School of Law records.

21. Pratt School of Engineering 2 collections

In 1887, a formal course in engineering was introduced at Trinity College and it became a regular course offering in 1903. In 1927, engineering was organized into separate departments of civil and electrical engineering. The Department of Mechanical Engineering began in 1931. Duke established the Division of Engineering in 1937, and two years later, Duke's Board of Trustees authorized the formation of the College of Engineering. In 1999, the school was named for 1947 electrical engineering graduate Edmund T. Pratt Jr.

22. Sanford School of Public Policy 3 collections

Established in 1971 as the Institute of Policy Sciences and Public Affairs, the Sanford School of Public Policy has one of the nation's largest public policy undergraduate programs. The School also offers selective master's degrees programs in public policy (MPP) and international development policy, and a PhD program. The School is named for its founder, Terry Sanford, North Carolina governor (1961-65), United States senator (1987-1993) and Duke University president (1969-1985).

23. Fuqua School of Business 1 collection

The Graduate School of Business Administration was chartered in 1969 and its first class enrolled in 1970. In 1980, its name was changed to the Fuqua School of business in honor of J.B. Fuqua. Fuqua is home to many centers and institutes, including the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) and Corporate Sustainability Initiative (CSI).

24. Graduate School 5 collections

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Duke University was formally established in 1926, although some graduate instruction had been offered previously at Trinity College. In 1968 the name was shortened to the Graduate School. Today, the Graduate school administers master's and Ph.D. programs in over 60 departments and programs.

Note: Individual departments are centralized in RG 25.

25. Trinity College of Arts and Sciences 43 collections

After James B. Duke founded Duke University in 1924, the University's former name, Trinity College, became the undergraduate college for men. In 1930, the Woman's College for undergraduate women opened on East Campus; Trinity College moved to the new West Campus. In 1972, Trinity College and the Woman's College merged to become the coeducational Trinity College of Arts and Sciences.

Note: Although most of the individual departments are also part of the Graduate School or other professional schools on campus, their records are centralized in RG 25.

26. Interdisciplinary Institutes, Research Centers, and Departments 29 collections

This record group consists of independent programs are those programs that operate independently of the university, but still hold some affiliation; University-wide programs are those that are cross-departmental within the University structure.

27. University Communications 7 collections

University Communications informs the public and the university community about research, programs, and events at Duke. Previous names include News and Communications and the Duke News Service. This record group includes biographical files on faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and subject files that contain clippings, speeches, and other topical materials.

28. Faculty and Staff Organizations 18 collections

This record group is a compilation of the faculty and staff organizations that have existed throughout Trinity College and Duke's history.

29. Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates 199 collections

This record group includes the individual collections of selected faculty, staff, and associates.

30. Student and Alumni Papers and Materials 72 collections

This record group includes materials that are representative of a student or alumni's time on campus.