Guide to the Committee Against the Nixon-Duke Library (CANDL) Records, 1981


Records of the Committee Against the Nixon-Duke Library (CANDL), an organization formed primarily by Duke Alumnus Ruffin Slater and Duke Professor of Psychology Norman Guttman to generate and coordinate opposition to the proposal to locate the Richard Nixon Presidential Library on or near the university's campus.

Descriptive Summary

University Archives, Duke University
Duke University. Committee Against the Nixon-Duke Library.
Committee Against the Nixon-Duke Library (CANDL) records 1981.
0.2 Linear feet, 200 Items
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult Duke University Archives.

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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

Correspondence - Ruffin Slater, Sept. 30 - Dec. 18, 1981
Box 1
Correspondence - Norman Guttman, Oct. 9 - Nov. 17 1981
Box 1
Correspondence - J. David Barber, Sept. 10 - Nov. 12 1981
Box 1
Correspondence - Terry Sanford, Aug 12 - Aug 15 1981.
Box 1
Correspondence - Letters of Support, Oct. 15- Nov. 20 1981
Box 1
Correspondence - Letters of Opposition, Oct. 5 - Nov. 1 1981
Box 1
Correspondence - Miscellaneous, Aug. 27 - Oct.6 1981
Box 1
Membership Information - Faculty
Box 1
Membership Information - Students and Alumni
Box 1
Drafts - Correspondence to Board of Trustees
Box 1
Mass mailings and solicitation letters
Box 1
Misc. Notes and Drafts
Box 1
Financial Records
Box 1
Advertisements and Flyers
Box 1
Nixon Cartoons
Box 1
Presidential Libraries publications
Box 1

Historical Note

In late July 1981, Terry Sanford initiated negotiations with former president Richard Nixon (Duke Law 1937) to locate the Nixon presidential library on the campus of his alma mater. When this information was revealed to faculty members during the week of August 10, 1981, many opposed the proposition as well as Sanford's failure to consult the faculty prior to initiating negotiations.

Many who opposed the library had moral objections to memorializing a president whose behavior in office was reproachable, and they feared a negative effect on the university's reputation. Other concerns included the effects of greatly increased tourist traffic on campus and the aesthetic nature of the large proposed structure. However, supporters of erecting the Nixon Library on campus argued that the scholarly and academic benefits of locating the vast Nixon Presidential Materials collection on campus should and would outweigh any moral concerns. These supporters tended to denounce the actions of vocal dissenters as divisive and/or arrogant.

Meetings of the Academic Council and Board of Trustees during September and October 1981 were dominated by this debate, and a group of faculty formed the Committee Against the Nixon-Duke Library (CANDL) to organize the efforts of faculty, students, alumni, and others opposed to the proposed library. Although the Academic Council voted not to recommend further negotiations with Nixon in a 35-34 decision September 3, 1981, the Board of Trustees later voted 9-2 to proceed. By April 1982 negotiations had stalled, and a year later Nixon's representatives announced that a site at Chapman College in San Clemente, California, had been chosen for the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library.

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • Nixon Library Controversy collection. (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • Richard M. Nixon reference collection. (University Archives, Duke University. )

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Committee Against the Nixon-Duke Library (CANDL) Records, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.


Accession No. 83-11 received 18 January 1983: Clippings, correspondence, presidential libraries publications.

Accession No. 84-5 received 27 January 1984: Financial records, publicity materials and membership information.

Processing Information

Originally 2 boxes, 1.4 linear feet. All clippings were discarded, as the Nixon Library Controversy Collection contained processed clippings. Also, Presidential Libraries publications, correspondence, reports, and other items duplicated in the Nixon Library Controversy Collection were discarded. Additionally, response cards were discarded, as much information is duplicated in typed mailing lists.

Processed by Cat Saleeby, August 2001

Encoded by Joshua McKim, December 2002

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.