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Guide to the W. Bryan Bolich papers, 1891-1972

Abstract

W. Bryan Bolich (1896-1977) served as a Professor of Law at Duke University from 1927 to 1966.

Papers contain family memorabilia, general correspondence, photographs, an oral history, diaries, course notes, writings, drafts of statutes revisions, and clippings. Major subjects include family work at Southern Railway in Forsyth County, N.C., Duke Law School curriculum development and reorganization, Law Day, the Rhodes Scholarship, Trinity College Class of 1917 alumni activities, Law School Alumni Association, North Carolina House of Representatives, and property and alien rights laws authored with the North Carolina General Statute Commission.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
University Archives, Duke University
Creator
Bolich, W. Bryan, 1896-1977.
Title
W. Bryan Bolich papers, 1891-1972
Language of Material
English
Extent
5.0 Linear Feet, 5,000 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, diaries, certificates, correspondence and drafts of laws, miscellaneous memorabilia from Bolich's career as a Professor at Duke University Law School, student notebooks from courses taken at Trinity College and University of Oxford, and a taped memoir and 19-page transcription. Family materials include materials from Southern Railway and much correspondence between Bolich's parents during their courtship (ca 1891-1893). Political correspondence between Bolich and Richard Nixon is filed in Series 3 (Correspondence. Political).

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Collection is open for research.

In off-site storage; 48 hours advance notice is required for use.

warning Use Restrictions

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.

Contents of the Collection

Contains general correspondence between W. Bryan Bolich and his family (bulk 1915-1919), friends, and colleagues (1920-1960). Earlier correspondence (bulk 1891-1893) was primarily between Sallie McMahon and John Alonzo Bolich (parents of W. Bryan Bolich). Family items include miscellaneous memorabilia and items from father John Alonzo Bolich's work as a train master at Southern Railway (ca 1907-1940). Also contains Trinity College class notebooks (ca 1917), Trinity College Class of 1917 Alumni Association materials (1942-1966), and University of Oxford notebooks (ca 1921-1927). The oral history (1969) contains a tape and transcript. Ordered by date.

1891-June 1892
Box 1
July 1892-December 1892
Box 1
January 1893-March 1893
Box 1
April 1893
Box 1
May 1893-December 1893
Box 1
1894-1897
Box 1
1912-1915
Box 1
1916-May 1917
Box 1
June 1917-December 1917
Box 1
January 1918-July 1918
Box 2
August 1918-December 1918
Box 2
1919
Box 2
1928-1930
Box 2
1931-1932
Box 2
1933
Box 2
1934-1945
Box 2
1946-1966
Box 2
Memorabilia
Box 3
Photographs
Box 3
Southern Railroad
Box 3
The Floods of July, 1916
Box 3
Class of 1917 (1942-1966) (Folder 1 of 3)
Box 3
Class of 1917 (1942-1966) (Folder 2 of 3)
Box 3
Class of 1917 (1942-1966) (Folder 3 of 3)
Box 3
Class notes, 1917
Box 3
Diaries, 1921
Box 4
Diaries, circa 1921-1924
Box 4
Class notes, 1921-1924
Box 4
Class notes, 1922
Box 4
Miscellaneous
Box 4
Transcript, 1969
Box 4
Tape, 1969
Box 4

Contains general correspondence with colleagues at Duke regarding Duke Law School curriculum development and reorganization, establishment of Law Day, activities of the Law School Alumni Association, and the 1963 building dedication. Also contains sabbatical and other leave requested by Bolich, course reading lists, drafts of "Duke Law School, 1868-1968: A Sketch" and sketches submitted by Bolich to The Bar Rag, official newspaper of the Duke Bar Association. Ordered by topic.

Alumni Association. Miscellaneous, 1940-1958
Box 5
Alumni Association. Mordecai Portrait Fund, circa 1930-1932
Box 5
The Bar Rag, 1950-1965
Box 5
Building Dedication, 1962-1963
Box 5
Correspondence, 1941-1958
Box 5
Curriculum, 1940-1941
Box 5
Curriculum, 1965
Box 5
Duke Law School, 1868-1968: A Sketch
Box 5
Justice Jackson's Honorary Degree
Box 5
Law Day, 1961-1964
Box 5
Reorganization, 1933-1959
Box 5
Retirement, 1966
Box 5
Sabbatical and other leave
Box 5
Teaching
Box 5

Contains miscellaneous correspondence between Bolich and colleagues regarding research, conferences, general curriculum, laws, and politics. Also contains items from the Rhodes Scholarship Committee at Duke University (1953-1965). The political correspondence is primarily between Bolich and persons in the White House (including Nixon). Ordered by date.

Correspondence. General. 1928-1973
Box 6
Correspondence. Political. 1933-1966
Box 6
Resumes and honors, 1928-1965
Box 6
Rhodes Scholarship Committee, 1953-1965
Box 6

Includes Cases and Materials manuscript materials, "Constructing Wills", articles on landlord and tenant laws, correspondence and drafts of laws regarding property rights, short miscellaneous and creative writings, and text of speeches. Ordered by topic.

Cases and Materials, pages 1-175
Box 6
Cases and Materials, pages 176-336
Box 6
Constructing Wills, 1965-1967
Box 6
Constructing Wills, 1967-1972
Box 6
History of the North Carolina General Court, 1948-1963
Box 6
Landlord and Tenant articles. Correspondence, 1969-1970
Box 7
Landlord and Tenant articles. Drafts, 1969-1970
Box 7
North Carolina Bar Association. Mineral rights, 1959
Box 7
North Carolina Constitution. Acts Barring Property Rights (Chapter 31A), 1960-1965
Box 7
North Carolina Constitution. Devolution of Devises (GS31-42), 1965
Box 7
North Carolina Constitution. Estates of Missing Persons (Chapter 28A-8), 1961-1965
Box 7
North Carolina Constitution. Fiduciary Powers, 1965
Box 7
North Carolina Constitution. General Statutes Commission. Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1957-1965
Box 7
North Carolina Constitution. Interstate Succession Act (Article X, Section XI), circa 1960
Box 7
North Carolina Constitution. Interstate Succession Act (Article X, Section XI). Correspondence, 1959-1964
Box 7
North Carolina Constitution. Justice of the Peace, 1936-1943
Box 8
Rule in Shelley's Case, 1941
Box 8
Rule in Shelley's Case, 1954
Box 8
Short works
Box 8
Speeches, circa 1933-1954
Box 8

Contains clippings about coaching sports at Trinity Park School, winning the Rhodes Scholarship, running for a seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives, becoming a professor of law, fraternity inductions, and general commentary on developing laws. Ordered by date.

Clippings, 1917-1966
Box 8

Historical Note

W. Bryan Bolich was born in 1896 in Salisbury, North Carolina. He began his education at Wofford College (Spartanburg, S.C.), then transferred during his junior year to Trinity College (A.B. 1917) where he studied English and Economics. After graduation from Trinity College, he taught classes and coached baseball and basketball teams for the Trinity Park School in Durham, N.C. In 1918, Bolich enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He quickly rose from Seaman to Chief Petty officer and was later commissioned as an Ensign. He served for two years in World War I (1918-1920) and then returned to Trinity College to begin his law education (1921-1922). In 1922 Bolich was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and attended Oxford University where he earned his law degree (B.A. 1923, B.C.L. 1924, M.A. 1927).

As a student he was a member and officer of many fraternities, including the "9019" honorary scholastic fraternity of Trinity College, Phi Beta Kappa (a scholastic fraternity), President of Order of the Coif (an honorary legal scholarship fraternity), Omicron Delta Kappa (an honorary leadership fraternity), the Tombs (an honorary athletic fraternity), Chief Alumnus of Kappa Alpha (a social fraternity), and Phi Delta Phi (a professional legal fraternity). He was also the 1917 Class President of Trinity College and was active in raising funds and organizing class reunions.

Upon his return from Oxford in 1927, Bolich was admitted to the North Carolina Bar Association and moved back to his hometown of Winston-Salem, N.C., where he practiced Civil and Criminal Law in state and federal court. In 1927, he was elected to the North Carolina General Assembly and served one term as the democratic representative of Forsyth County, N.C.. There Bolich drafted and introduced one of the first Alien Rights Registration Acts adopted in the United States. Later in his career, as a member of the North Carolina General Statutes Commission, Bolich was instrumental in preparing the amendment to the North Carolina Constitution which equalized property rights of married couples. He also helped write amendments and propose new laws on inheritance, estate rights, and landlord and tenant relations.

In fall 1927 Bolich returned to Duke University to teach legal history, real property, procedure, and landlord and tenant relations at the Law School. As a Professor, he was a member of the Duke University National Council, Duke Law Alumni Association Council, the American Association of University Professors, and served as a Rhodes Scholarships Institutional Representative for Duke University. He was instrumental in revising the Law School's curriculum and successfully argued for a required third year of study. He also established the Duke Law Alumni Association and edited the school's first alumni directory in 1935. He assembled a "Law Day" program that brought in panels of influential speakers including Duke Law alumni. Bolich was a professor to Duke Law alumnus Richard Nixon. During 1957, Bolich was a Visiting Professor at the University of Texas, Houston.

Bolich was the author of Activities of the North Carolina Bar Association, 1925-1935 (1936), Cases and Materials on Introduction to Procedure (undated), and Duke Law School: the First Hundred Years (1968). After his 1966 retirement from Duke University Law School, Bolich moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, where he lived until his death in 1977.

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • Faculty Collection (School of Law Library, Duke University)
  • Law Archives (School of Law Library, Duke University)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], W. Bryan Bolich Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The W. Bryan Bolich papers were received by the University Archives as a transfer in 1969-1975.

Processing Information

Processed by Emily Glenn, November 2002

Encoded by Kimberly Sims, September 2006

Accessions A69-54, A72-33, A75-50, A71-387 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and our local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.