Guide to the John Hope Franklin Papers, 1930-2009
John Hope Franklin was a historian specializing in Southern and African American history. He wrote From Slavery to Freedom, the seminal work on African American history, which was first published in 1947. In the course of his career, Franklin had professorships at St. Augustine College, North Carolina College, Howard University, Brooklyn College, University of Chicago, and Duke University. He served as president of numerous historical and community organizations throughout his career. President Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995. Franklin also served on President Clinton's Advisory Board for the President's Initiative on Race from 1997 to 1998. The John Hope Franklin Papers span the years 1889-2009, and document Franklin's professional career as a historian, as well as his personal life and political interests. Items in the collection include correspondence, research material assembled by Franklin, writings by and about Franklin, manuscripts, materials relating to family history, printed material, notebooks, information and multimedia packets, clippings, photographs, video and sound recordings, as well as a few artifacts. The earliest materials in the collection relate to Franklin's family history, his writings, and his research, particularly regarding the 19th-century army officer, minister, and historian George Washington Williams. The collection is organized into the following series: Academia; Audiovisual Materials; the Advisory Board for the President's Initiative on Race (ABPIR); Correspondence; Engagements; Honors and Awards; Personal and Family Materials; Research, Biographical, and Subject Files; Service; Writings; and Writings by Others. Collection acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Center for African and African American History and Culture.
- John Hope Franklin papers
- Franklin, John Hope, 1915-2009
- 300.0 Linear feet
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
- Materials in English.
The John Hope Franklin papers span the years 1889 to 2009 and document Franklin's professional career as a historian, as well as his personal life and political interests. Items in the collection include correspondence, research material assembled by Franklin, writings by and about Franklin, manuscripts, materials relating to family history, printed material, notebooks, information and multimedia packets, clippings, photographs, video and sound recordings, as well as a few artifacts. The collection is organized into the following series: Academia; Audiovisual Materials; the Advisory Board for the President's Initiative on Race (ABPIR); Correspondence; Engagements; Honors and Awards; Personal and Family Materials; Research, Biographical, and Subject Files; Service; Writings; and Writings by Others. The collection was acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Center for African and African American History and Culture.
The Academia series chronicles Franklin's work as a professor of history. It includes materials documenting his role as a mentor and advisor to numerous undergraduate and graduate students, his lecture notes and other classroom materials, and his administrative and committee work at various institutions, including Brooklyn College, University of Chicago, and Duke University. Portions of this series are restricted.
The series on the Advisory Board for the President's Initiative on Race contains items Franklin gathered during his work on President Clinton's race initiative, "One America in the 21st Century." The bulk of the series dates from the year-long work of the Advisory Board, from 1997 to 1998. The series is primarily composed of items sent to the Board for consideration in its work, and also includes meeting materials, publicity, and scholarly materials.
The videos and sound recordings in the Audiovisual series were created or assembled by John Hope Franklin. The series has been arranged into three subseries: ABPIR Materials, Recordings of Franklin, and Recordings of Others. Originals in the Audiovisual Materials Series are closed to use. Use copies are available for some items. Please contact Research Services staff in advance before coming to use this series.
The Correspondence series includes personal and professional correspondence received and sent by Franklin throughout his adult life.
The Engagements series includes materials such as invitations, correspondence, programs, and itineraries related to Franklin's participation in scholarly, civic, and social events. These materials have been arranged chronologically. Franklin's Honors and Awards series includes certificates and diplomas, as well as logistical and administrative documentation for many of the awards ceremonies. The series is divided into Honorary Degrees and General Awards, which are both sorted in chronological order.
The Personal and Family Materials series contains the oldest items in the collection, with some materials from Franklin's parents and grandparents. It includes files documenting Franklin's life and interests outside of his scholarship and public service. Materials are arranged by family member, with Franklin's wife, Aurelia, and his father, Buck Colbert Franklin, heavily represented.
The Research, Biographical, and Subject Files series contains newspaper clippings, subject files, photocopies of his FBI file, and travel guides. This series contains publicity and newspaper coverage of Franklin's many interviews and public appearances throughout the twentieth century.
The Service series includes files acquired through Franklin's government, professional, and community service with various organizations and projects. Materials range in date from the 1950s through the 2000s and are arranged alphabetically by organization or project name.
Franklin's prolific writings are documented in the Writings series, which includes materials on his many books, articles, speeches, book reviews, essays, interviews, and other works, many unpublished. A portion of this series is restricted; contact Research Services for more information.
The Writings by Others series documents the ongoing relationship Franklin had with other authors and historians. It includes correspondence, drafts, and printed materials. Files are arranged alphabetically by author.
This collection is open for research, although some portions are restricted. Please see the series descriptions and detailed inventory for more specific information about restrictions.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48-hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
This series chronicles Franklin's work as a professor of history. It includes materials documenting his role as a mentor and advisor to numerous undergraduate and graduate students, his lecture notes and other classroom materials, and his administrative and committee work at various institutions. Student Files make up a significant portion of the series. Franklin kept files on particular students, arranged by name, from Brooklyn College or the University of Chicago. Teaching Materials consists largely of general lecture notes from various courses Franklin taught through his career. The Colleges and Universities subseries has been arranged by school, with the majority of files stemming from Franklin's work at Brooklyn College, University of Cambridge, University of Chicago, and Duke University. This subseries includes materials relating to Franklin's appointments and employment as well as department and university-level correspondence, events, and committees.
The Academia series contains three subseries: Student Files, Lecture Notes, and Colleges and Universities. Student Files have been arranged alphabetically by student name. Lecture Notes are arranged alphabetically by title. Colleges and Universities have been sorted by college, reflecting Franklin's long career as an educator at institutions around the United States.
Name files maintained by Franklin for select students (usually PhD students) at Brooklyn College and the University of Chicago. Typical files include dissertation abstracts, Franklin's evaluations of their work (not including grades), correspondence and letters of recommendation, and published articles or other clippings. These files often extend far beyond the dates of the students' enrollment in Franklin's departments, reflecting his continuing role as a mentor and colleague to many of his former PhD students. The Student Files subseries includes notable figures such as Genna Rae McNeil, Alfred Moss, and Loren Schweninger, each of whom went on to collaborate with Franklin on some of his later publications.
This subseries contains Franklin's lecture notes and some booklists for courses he taught on Southern history, Reconstruction, and African American history. Only a few are dated; it appears he used the majority of these notes repeatedly. Files are arranged alphabetically by title.
Includes administrative files, committee meetings, correspondence, and other materials relating to Franklin's work as a professor in history departments throughout the United States. The majority of the subseries dates from Franklin's years at Brooklyn College, University of Cambridge, University of Chicago, and Duke University. Some material overlaps with the Student Files subseries. Also held in this subseries are materials from Franklin's earlier posts as a professor at St. Augustine College, North Carolina College, and Howard University, as well as files from several of Franklin's short-term visiting professorships. Materials from Duke University fall under Duke University Archives restrictions. Gradebooks from Franklin's early days of teaching and his card files of students at the University of Chicago are held in Box AC10. Grades are closed to researchers for the lifespan of the student.
Franklin and his family spent the 1962-1963 academic year at St. John's College at the University of Cambridge, where Franklin served as the Pitt Professor of American History.
Materials in Boxes AC7-AC9 are restricted under Duke University Archives regulations. Contact Research Services in advance if you are interested in using this sub-series.
Internal correspondence, agendas, minutes, and meeting binders.
Planning Committee, press, and remarks.
Memos, meeting minutes and agendas, publicity, press, concept papers, and other materials relating to the opening and operation of Duke's Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies. Includes photographs of JHF and Bill Cosby at the Center opening.
Advisory committee meetings, correspondence, and other materials relating to the foundation and mission of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture, operated within the Duke University Special Collections Library.
Regarding the recruitment and hiring of black nurses at the Medical Center.
Franklin's gradebooks and a card file he kept for his students at the University of Chicago. This box is closed for the lifespan of the student.
Contains items Franklin gathered during his work on President Clinton's race initiative, "One America in the 21st Century." The material dates from 1972 to 2008, although the bulk of the series dates from the year-long work of the Advisory Board, from 1997 to 1998. It is arranged into five subseries: Meeting Notebooks, Writings for Board Consideration, Writings About the Advisory Board, Artifacts, and Audiovisual Materials (removed to the Audiovisual Series for preservation purposes). The series is primarily comprised of items sent to the Board for consideration in its work (including books, reports, articles, serials, working papers, information packets, booklets, multimedia packets, artifacts, audio-and videocassettes). There are also Advisory Board meeting notebooks, preparatory materials, and correspondence, as well as writings about Board activities from their website and newspapers across the United States. The series is strong on materials regarding scholarly input into the deliberations of the Board. The final report by the Advisory Board, "One America in the 21st Century," is included in the Writings About the Advisory Board subseries, and is also available in Duke Libraries' general holdings.
Materials include meeting minutes, transcripts, agendas, background reading material, information about panelists and guest speakers, correspondence, and reports to President Clinton.
Includes information about Initiative subcommittee meetings: Public Education, Communication, and National Conversation Subcommittee; and Policy Recommendations and Dissemination of Best Practices Subcommittee
National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium. Includes background information on topics such as affirmative action, anti-Asian violence, immigration, education, and healthcare.
Meeting convened by Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Eva Plaza. Includes agendas, background information on housing law, and overview of recommendations to President Clinton.
Includes text of keynote address by Franklin, "A New Vision for America."
Includes correspondence, Fisk Alumni magazine, clippings, agendas, and action items. Franklin was keynote speaker in July 8 session.
Includes correspondence from 1994-2000 (most from 1997-1998) with President Clinton, among board members and administrative staff, and with community groups and members of the public.
Arranged alphabetically by author.
Undated photocopied excerpt.
Laminated book cover.
Photocopied foreword and preface.
Advance uncorrected proof.
Advance reading copy.
Mostly from the 1990s. Written by government agencies, nonprofit agencies, school administrators, community groups, and individual scholars. Topics include anti-Arab racism, Hispanic Americans and the Business Community, Affirmative Action, education, children, the media, reparations for African Americans, law enforcement, gender, multiculturalism, and healthcare.
Arranged alphabetically by author.
Written by individual scholars, community groups, nonprofit agencies, and members of the public. Topics include income inequality, hate crimes, the media, fair housing, race relations in North Carolina, affirmative action, and labor.
Arranged alphabetically by author.
Arranged alphabetically by title. Oversize material removed to oversize box.
Each packet contains materials on a specific topic or written by one author which were gathered by an individual or organization and sent to the Advisory Board for its consideration. Typical items include informational brochures, "FAQs," project proposals, executive summaries for publications, citation lists, and flyers. There are also teaching guides and conference programs, among other materials.
Arranged alphabetically by packet subject.
Cassette tape removed to audiovisual materials box in series.
Arranged chronologically. Topics include race unity, minorities and U.S. foreign policy, racism, human rights, and the work of community organizations.
Includes short information sheets, poetry, and descriptions of community organizations. Mostly from the 1990s and undated.
Includes press clippings, magazine, and journal articles about the activities of the Advisory Board, memoranda on board member activities, proposals, information from the board's website and promotional materials, the executive order and charter for the board, and the ABPIR's final report, "One America in the 21st Century: Forging a New Future." Select oversize materials are in Box AB14.
Includes some articles focused on the work of the Advisory Board. Oversize clippings removed to oversize box in series.
Meeting with Franklin and Nissan Race Relations Task Team.
Information about and guidelines for hosting conversations throughout the country designed to gather input on the President's Initiative on Race. Documents include "How to Hold a One America Conversation in 10 Steps," and "How to Conduct a Constructive Dialogue: A Guide for One America Conversation Hosts."
Includes statements about the board made by Clinton Administration Press Secretary Mike McCurry and pamphlets for the President's Initiative on Race.
Reports on activities of ABPIR members and staff, August-November, 1997, including conferences, town hall meetings, board subcommittee meetings, and updates on personnel.
Information about a President's Initiative on Race program.
Includes Franklin letter of response to Cole cartoon from the Durham Herald Sun.
Guide for conducting a discussion on race.
Memos, press, releases, and talking points pertaining to the presentation of the ABPIR's report and findings to President Clinton.
Final report on the Advisory Board's experiences and observations, including specific recommendations on how the President might proceed with regard to race relations in the U.S.
Report compiled by the Council on Economic Advisers for the President's Initiative on Race.
Reports on activities of ABPIR members and staff, including conferences, town hall meetings, board subcommittee meetings, and updates on personnel.
Reports on activities of ABPIR members and staff, including conferences, town hall meetings, board subcommittee meetings, and updates on personnel.
Report on community and government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and businesses that seek to promote racial reconciliation and community building.
Book manuscript about the President's Initiative on Race from Yale University Press.
Arranged alphabetically by title. Includes several items, including toys, a banner, and a bookmark donated to the ABPIR.
Includes clippings, photographs, and correspondence pertaining to flag designer Melvin Charles, 1985-1998.
These videos and sound recordings created by or assembled by John Hope Franklin are a rich source of information about Dr. Franklin's life and career and about race relations in the United States. Materials are arranged into three subseries: ABPIR, Recordings of Franklin, and Recordings of Others. The ABPIR subseries is made up primarily of recordings of advisory board meetings and short commercially produced videos relating to race such as public service announcements.
The Recordings of Franklin subseries documents a wide range of Franklin’s activities from interviews, to appearances in historic or racially themed documentaries and educational videos, to lectures and speeches on race, race relations in the U.S., and the historian's role in interpreting history. One set of tapes record a lengthy oral history interview of Franklin by A. Ballard, National Humanities Center, in which Franklin recounts events in his life from his earliest years in Oklahoma to his decision to go to the University of Chicago. Another audiocassette includes an interview of T.S. Currier with Franklin.
The Recordings of Others subseries consists of a variety of recordings concerning organizations Franklin was connected with, such as the Children’s Defense Fund and the USSAS in Durban. There are also a number of recordings concerning topics related to Franklin’s work including video commercial productions that examine racism, prejudice, social conditions in the United States, and other race-related issues. A smaller number of commercial and original sound recordings vary from musical performances, including a compilation of Civil War songs performed by Franklin's former student, to gatherings of notable writers and historians.
Original audiovisual materials are closed to use. This series includes some use copies; researchers should contact Research Services in advance if they are interested in using the Audiovisual Materials series.
The Correspondence Series includes personal and professional correspondence received and sent by Franklin throughout his adult life. The series has been divided into several subseries that reflect the original arrangement of the materials. The materials also include correspondence from Franklin's assistants, Margaret Fitzsimmons and Debi Hamlin, written on Franklin's behalf. The bulk of the materials lie in the General Professional and Personal Correspondence subseries. These have been loosely sorted by correspondent; the Professional Correspondence subseries has been further sorted by decade. Correspondence with significant or notable people and organizations have been given their own files in the Professional and Personal Name Files subseries. Additional subseries include Publisher's Correspondence, Recommendations, Declined Invitations, Advice to Authors, and Offers.
Additional correspondence is held throughout the collection, particularly in the ABPIR Series and the Service Series. The Student Files subseries in the Academia Series also includes many recommendation letters.
This subseries includes letters received by Franklin relating to his work as a professor, advisor, colleague, and historian. Letters occasionally include newspaper clippings, articles, and other attachments.
Materials have been grouped alphabetically and then by decade. The majority of letters date from the 1990s and 2000s.
One disk containing electronic media has been separated from this folder. Please contact Research Services for assistance accessing that item.
Franklin's General Personal Correspondence was largely with friends or colleagues regarding personal or private topics, such as family news, Christmas and birthday cards, and other general correspondence.
Materials have been grouped alphabetically. Unnamed correspondence (both personal and professional) is filed at the end of the subseries.
Notable or significant correspondence with Franklin's professional contacts has been separated from General Correspondence into the Professional Correspondence Name Files. These files document Franklin's ongoing relationships with particular scholars and organizations. Additional correspondence, along with other notable correspondents, can be found in the Service Series.
Files are arranged alphabetically by the organization or person's last name.