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Guide to the William Preston Few Records and Papers, 1814 - 1971 and undated (bulk 1911-1940)

Abstract

William Preston Few (1867-1940) served as President of Trinity College from 1910-1924, and President of Duke University from 1924-1940. Few came to Trinity College in 1896 as Professor of English, was named Dean of the College in 1902, and President in 1910, succeeding John C. Kilgo. Few worked with James Buchanan Duke to establish the Duke Endowment. In 1924, Few directed Trinity College's transition to Duke University and remained as President of Duke University until his death in 1940. Few was an active layman in the Methodist Church and in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The William Preston Few Records and Papers contain correspondence from Few's office files as President of Trinity College and Duke University, reports, clippings, copies of speeches and manuscripts, memorandum books, bound volumes, index cards that catalog Few's office files, and other types of printed material. Major subjects include education; philanthropy; the development of Trinity College from its beginning in Randolph County, N.C., to Duke University; the development of the Duke Endowment; Trinity and Duke departmental operations; the school's relationship with the Methodist Church; and business of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. English.

Descriptive Summary

Record Group
UA.03.55.0001
Title
William Preston Few records and papers
Date
1814-1971 and undated (bulk 1911-1940)
Creator
Few, W. P. (William Preston), 1867-1940
Extent
70 Linear Feet, 69,000 items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
English.

Collection Overview

The William Preston Few Records and Papers contain correspondence from Few's office files as President of Trinity College and Duke University, reports, clippings, copies of speeches and manuscripts, memorandum books, bound volumes, index cards that catalog Few's office files, and other types of printed material. The files are arranged in six series. They include: Correspondence, Subject Files, Bound Volumes, Oversize Materials, Index Cards to Few Papers, and Additions.

Major subjects include education; philanthropy; the development of Trinity College, from its beginning in Randolph County, N.C., to Duke University; the development of the Duke Endowment; Trinity and Duke departmental operations; the school's relationship with the Methodist Church; and business of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

The Correspondence makes up a large part of the collection. The bulk of this correspondence is from Few's office files as President of Trinity College and Duke University. The correspondence includes incoming letters to Few's office, copies of outgoing letters, reports, minutes, telegrams, newsletters, and other materials generated or received by the President's office. Among the correspondents are: William Hayes Ackland, Alice Mary Baldwin, John Spencer Bassett, Julian S. Carr, Robert D.W. Conner, Angier Buchanan Duke, Benjamin Newton Duke, James Buchanan Duke, John Carlisle Kilgo, and Edward R. Murrow. There is also some personal correspondence dating from 1885.

The Subject Files include a wide variety of materials collected by Few's office. They include correspondence, reports, clippings and other types of printed material. Major subjects include education; philanthropy; the development of Trinity College from its beginning in Randolph County, N.C., to Duke University; the development of the Duke Endowment; Trinity and Duke departmental operations; the school's relationship with the Methodist Church; and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Included are Few's speeches made at university functions, to community groups, and at funerals. There are a number of speeches that give Few's opinions about education and the development of Duke University while he was President.

The Bound Volumes include a manuscript arithmetic primer, dated 1814, written by Alston W. Kendrick, Few's grandfather; a trigonometry textbook used by Few; a Bible; class records, 1913-1929 and undated; an incomplete set of Few's memoranda books for the years 1922-1933; and several alumni reviews.

The Index Cards to Few's Papers were apparently created by Few's office and catalog the holdings in the office files. However, not all of the materials or names referenced on the index cards can be found in the William Preston Few Records and Papers.

The Oversize Materials include folders removed from the subject files, diplomas, and a bound volume. The Additions include some correspondence, and obituaries for Mrs. William Preston Few (Mary Reamey Thomas Few), that were incorporated into the collection after it was transferred to University Archives.

Restrictions on Access & Use

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.

No restrictions except the Clipping File, Folders 1410-1412, is not immediately accessible because it requires further processing before 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

1. Correspondence, 1885-1941 and undated

The bulk of the correspondence is from Few's office files as President of Trinity College and Duke University. The correspondence includes incoming letters to Few's office, copies of outgoing letters, reports, minutes, telegrams, newsletters, and other materials generated or received by the President's office. Among the correspondents are: Alice Mary Baldwin, John Carlisle Kilgo, John Spencer Bassett, Angier Buchanan Duke, Benjamin Newton Duke, William Hayes Ackland, Julian S. Carr, Edward R. Murrow, and Robert D.W. Conner. There is also some personal correspondence dating from 1885.

Duke University Archives staff has created an index to a number of significant correspondents who have letters in the Few Records and Papers. The following people are noted to have significant autograph entries, as well as significant subject entries in this collection, on topics that concern Trinity's and Duke's administration, faculty, and trustees. There is an extensive listing of correspondents for other subject areas including the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; Education; and Philanthropy. Please contact University Archives staff for further information about correspondence related to these topics.

  1. Allen, George Garland
  2. Anderson, Albert
  3. Baldwin, Alice Mary
  4. Boyd, William Kenneth
  5. Branscomb, Bennett Harvie
  6. Brown, Frank Clyde
  7. Brown, Joseph Gill
  8. Bruton, John Fletcher
  9. Cannon, James, III
  10. Davison, WIlburt Cornell
  11. Edwards, Charles William
  12. Ellwood, Charles Abram
  13. Flowers, Robert Lee
  14. Glasson, William Henry
  15. Godbey, Allenn Howard
  16. McDougall, William
  17. Miller, Justin
  18. North, Harry M.
  19. Peacock, Dred
  20. Peele, William Walter
  21. Peppler, Charles William
  22. Reynolds, William Neal
  23. Rhine, Joseph Banks
  24. Separk, Joseph Henry
  25. Smith, Willis
  26. Soper, Edmund Davison
  27. Spence, Hersey Everett
  28. Toms, Clinton White
  29. White, Newman Ivey
1885-March 13, 1911
Box 1
Folder 1-9
March 14-June 30, 1911
Box 2
Folder 10-20
July-Dec., 1911
Box 3
Folder 21-33
Jan.-May, 1912
Box 4
Folder 34-46
June-Sept., 1912
Box 5
Folder 47-56
Oct., 1912-March, 1913
Box 6
Folder 57-72
April-Aug., 1913
Box 7
Folder 73-85
Sept. 1913-Feb., 1914
Box 8
Folder 86-101
March-July 17, 1914
Box 9
Folder 102-114
July 18-Dec., 1914
Box 10
Folder 115-127
Jan.-May, 1915
Box 11
Folder 128-141
June-Dec., 1915
Box 12
Folder 142-154
Jan.-May, 1916
Box 13
Folder 155-167
June-Oct., 1916
Box 14
Folder 168-180
Nov., 1916-Feb., 1917
Box 15
Folder 181-191
March-May, 1917
Box 16
Folder 192-202
June-Aug. 19, 1917
Box 17
Folder 203-215
Aug. 20-Nov., 1917
Box 18
Folder 216-227
Dec., 1917-April, 1918
Box 19
Folder 228-242
May-Sept., 1918
Box 20
Folder 243-255
Oct., 1918-Feb., 1919
Box 21
Folder 256-266
March-July, 1919
Box 22
Folder 267-278
Aug.-Nov., 1919
Box 23
Folder 279-289
Dec., 1919-March, 1920
Box 24
Folder 290-299
April-Sept., 1920
Box 25
Folder 300-310
Oct., 1920-Feb., 1921
Box 26
Folder 311-322
March-Aug., 1921
Box 27
Folder 323-334
Sept.-Dec., 1921
Box 28
Folder 335-346
Jan.-April, 1922
Box 29
Folder 347-357
May-Sept., 1922
Box 30
Folder 358-367
Oct., 1922-Jan., 1923
Box 31
Folder 368-379
Feb.-June, 1923
Box 32
Folder 380-392
July, 1923-Feb., 1924
Box 33
Folder 393-402
March-Sept., 1924
Box 34
Folder 403-416
Oct., 1924-Jan., 1925
Box 35
Folder 417-430
Feb.-May, 1925
Box 36
Folder 431-443
June-Sept., 1925
Box 37
Folder 444-455
Oct.-Dec., 1925
Box 38
Folder 456-465
Jan.-April, 1926
Box 39
Folder 466-477
May-Sept., 1926
Box 40
Folder 478-489
Oct., 1926-Jan., 1927
Box 41
Folder 490-500
Feb.-April, 1927
Box 42
Folder 501-511
May-Aug., 1927
Box 43
Folder 512-522
Sept.-Dec., 1927
Box 44
Folder 523-533
Jan.-April, 1928
Box 45
Folder 534-546
May-Aug., 1928
Box 46
Folder 547-557
Sept.-Nov., 1928
Box 47
Folder 558-567
Dec., 1928-March, 1929
Box 48
Folder 568-577
April-July, 1929
Box 49
Folder 578-589
Aug.-Oct., 1929
Box 50
Folder 590-599
Nov., 1929-Jan., 1930
Box 51
Folder 600-608
Feb.-April, 1930
Box 52
Folder 609-617
May-Aug., 1930
Box 53
Folder 618-626
Sept.-Oct., 1930
Box 54
Folder 627-634
Nov., 1930-Jan. 19, 1931
Box 55
Folder 635-642
Jan. 20-March 18, 1931
Box 56
Folder 643-650
March 19-May 17, 1931
Box 57
Folder 651-661
May 18-Aug., 1931
Box 58
Folder 662-671
Sept.-Nov. 21, 1931
Box 59
Folder 672-680
Nov. 23, 1931-Jan., 1932
Box 60
Folder 681-691
Feb.-March, 1932
Box 61
Folder 692-702
April-May, 1932
Box 62
Folder 703-713
June-Sept. 9, 1932
Box 63
Folder 714-722
Sept. 10-Nov., 1932
Box 64
Folder 723-733
Dec., 1932-Jan., 1933
Box 65
Folder 734-742
Feb.-April 20, 1933
Box 66
Folder 743-750
April 21-June, 1933
Box 67
Folder 751-757
July-Sept., 1933
Box 68
Folder 758-766
Oct.-Dec. 12, 1933
Box 69
Folder 767-776
Dec. 13, 1933-Feb. 15, 1934
Box 70
Folder 777-785
Feb. 16-April 16, 1934
Box 71
Folder 786-795
April 17-June, 1934
Box 72
Folder 796-806
July-Sept. 20, 1934
Box 73
Folder 807-817
Sept. 21-Nov., 1934
Box 74
Folder 818-828
Dec., 1934-Feb. 16, 1935
Box 75
Folder 829-838
Feb. 18-April 12, 1935
Box 76
Folder 839-847
April 13-June 12, 1935
Box 77
Folder 848-857
June 13-Aug., 1935
Box 78
Folder 858-868
Sept.-Nov. 9, 1935
Box 79
Folder 869-878
Nov. 10, 1935-Jan. 10, 1936
Box 80
Folder 879-886
Jan. 11-March 16, 1936
Box 81
Folder 887-895
March 17-May 18, 1936
Box 82
Folder 896-905
May 19-July, 1936
Box 83
Folder 906-914
Aug.-Oct. 18, 1936
Box 84
Folder 915-924
Oct. 19-Dec. 15, 1936
Box 85
Folder 925-932
Dec. 16, 1936-Feb., 1937
Box 86
Folder 933-943
March-May 21, 1937
Box 87
Folder 944-952
May 22-Aug., 1937
Box 88
Folder 953-962
Sept.-Oct., 1937
Box 89
Folder 963-970
Nov., 1937-Jan. 24, 1938
Box 90
Folder 971-980
Jan. 25-March, 1938
Box 91
Folder 981-990
April-May, 1938
Box 92
Folder 991-998
June-Sept. 18, 1938
Box 93
Folder 999-1007
Sept. 19-Nov. 10, 1938
Box 94
Folder 1008-1016
Nov. 11-Jan. 11, 1939
Box 95
Folder 1017-1025
Jan. 12-March 15, 1939
Box 96
Folder 1026-1035
March 16-May 17, 1939
Box 97
Folder 1036-1045
May 18-Aug. 14, 1939
Box 98
Folder 1046-1053
Aug. 15-Oct. 25, 1939
Box 99
Folder 1054-1062
Oct. 26-Dec., 1939
Box 100
Folder 1063-1070
Jan.-Feb., 1940
Box 101
Folder 1071-1078
March-May 13, 1940
Box 102
Folder 1079-1087
May 14-Aug. 25, 1940
Box 103
Folder 1088-1097
Aug. 26-Nov., 1940
Box 104
Folder 1098-1107
Dec. 3, 1940-Nov. 30, 1941, and undated
Box 105
Folder 1108-1109

2. Subject Files

The subject files include a wide variety of materials collected by the Few's office. They include correspondence, reports, clippings and other types of printed material. Major subjects include education; philanthropy; the development of Trinity College, from its beginning in Randolph County, NC, to Duke University; the development of the Duke Endowment; Trinity and Duke departmental operations; the school's relationship with the Methodist Church; and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

The subseries on Few's speeches and writings is significant. The major subjects covered in this section include the development of Duke University, the role of religion in education, student development, and the contributions of the Duke family to education. Included are speeches Few made at university functions, to community groups, and at funerals. Some of the materials are organized by date, or by topic. There are a number of undated speeches, on a wide variety of topics, that mostly give Few's opinions about education and the development of Duke University while he was president.

The subject files include a wealth of material on Trinity College, the establishment of the Duke Endowment in 1924, and the transformation of Trinity into an undergraduate college of Duke University. Of note is a printer's proof from the Durham Herald of the first headline to use the term, Duke University.Also included in the Subject Files are President's Reports; records of committees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; correspondence concerning the institution's relationship to the Methodist Church; and histories of Union Institute and Normal College. Certain materials received by the President's office in the course of business may have been considered important enough to warrant the attention of the Board of Trustees; thus, some records of the President's Office will be found in the Board's records.

Ackland, William Hayes
Box 106
Folder 1110-1111
Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth
Box 106
Folder 1112
American Association of Junior Colleges
Box 106
Folder 1113
American Council On Education
Box 106
Folder 1114
Association Of American Colleges

[Folder 1116 removed to Oversize Materials, Box 130.]

Box 106
Folder 1115-1116
Association Of American Medical Colleges
Box 106
Folder 1117
Athens, American University of, 1937
Box 106
Folder 1118
Cole (E.M.) Foundation
Box 106
Folder 1119
Duke, Angier Buchanan
Box 106
Folder 1120
Duke, Benjamin Newton
Box 106
Folder 1121
Last Will And Testament
Box 106
Folder 1122
Dec., 1916-Dec., 1917
Box 106
Folder 1123
Dec., 1918-Dec., 1919
Box 106
Folder 1124
Dec., 1920-Dec., 1921
Box 107
Folder 1125
Dec., 19, 1922-Dec., 1923
Box 107
Folder 1126
Dec., 1934-Dec., 1935
Box 107
Folder 1127
Dec., 1936-Dec., 1937
Box 107
Folder 1128
Dec., 1938-Dec., 1939
Box 107
Folder 1129
General Information
Box 107
Folder 1130
Hospital and Orphan Section
Box 107
Folder 1131
Rural Church Fund
Box 107
Folder 1132-1133
Duke Memorial
Box 107
Folder 1134
Duke Memorial Methodist Church
Box 107
Folder 1135

Duke University

Few was President of Duke University from 1924-1940. Many important changes in the structure and implementation of the university's educational goals occurred during this time. Major subjects include university development; departmental business; the development of the Forestry School, the Law School; the Medical Center; various aspects of student life; and building on campus.

Architecture
Box 108
Folder 1136
Attendance Regulations
Box 108
Folder 1137
Board of Trustees
Box 108
Folder 1138-1139
Bulletin
Box 108
Folder 1140
Centennial Celebration
Box 108
Folder 1141-1142
Chanticleer
Box 108
Folder 1143
Chapel Committee, 1936-1938
Box 108
Folder 1144
Chapel Sermons
Box 108
Folder 1145
Chemistry Dept.
Box 108
Folder 1146
Commencement Exercises
Box 108
Folder 1147
Curriculum, 1936
Box 108
Folder 1148
Committee on the Promotion of Student Scholarship, 1936-1937
Box 108
Folder 1149
Degree Requirements
Box 108
Folder 1150
Engineering Division
Box 109
Folder 1151-1152
English Dept.
Box 109
Folder 1153
Faculty Committees
Box 109
Folder 1154-1155
Forestry School
Box 109
Folder 1156
Flowers Collection
Box 109
Folder 1157
Fraternities and Sororities
Box 109
Folder 1158
Freshman Advisory Council
Box 109
Folder 1159
Graduate School
Box 109
Folder 1160
Historical Material

Includes a printer's proof from the Durham Herald of the first headline to use the term, Duke University.

Box 110
Folder 1161
Honors Courses
Box 110
Folder 1162
Jewish Students
Box 110
Folder 1163
The Vision of King Paucus, [1933?]

A one-act play in three scenes.

Box 110
Folder 1164
Law School
Box 110
Folder 1165-1166
Medical Center
Box 110
Folder 1167-1168
Men's Student Government Association

[Folder 1169 removed to Oversize Materials, Box 130.]

Box 110
Folder 1169
Miscellaneous Duke University Material
Box 110
Folder 1170
Names of Buildings
Box 110
Folder 1171
Philosophy Dept.
Box 110
Folder 1172
Physical Education for Men
Box 110
Folder 1173
Physical Education for Women
Box 110
Folder 1174
Physics Dept.
Box 110
Folder 1175
President's Report
Box 110
Folder 1176
Printed Material
Box 111
Folder 1177
Program of Cooperation with the University of N.C.
Box 111
Folder 1178
Report on the Administration of the Curriculum
Box 111
Folder 1179
1931
Box 111
Folder 1180
1932
Box 111
Folder 1181
Rural Church Institute
Box 111
Folder 1182
Sabbatical Leave
Box 111
Folder 1183
School of Religion
Box 111
Folder 1184
Social Sciences
Box 111
Folder 1185
Social Science Research Institute
Box 111
Folder 1186
Sociology Dept.
Box 111
Folder 1187
Statistics
Box 111
Folder 1188
Student Health Dept.
Box 111
Folder 1189
Student Life Division
Box 111
Folder 1190
Student Publications Council
Box 111
Folder 1191
Student Religious Activities
Box 111
Folder 1192
Student Revolt of 1934
Box 112
Folder 1193
Summer School
Box 112
Folder 1194
Tuition Fees
Box 112
Folder 1195
Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
Box 112
Folder 1196
Duke University Day
Box 112
Folder 1197
Woman's College
Box 112
Folder 1198
Zoology Dept.
Box 112
Folder 1199
Duke University Press
Box 112
Folder 1200
Duke, Washington. Monument
Box 112
Folder 1201
Durham Shakespeare Tercentenary Celebration
Box 112
Folder 1202
Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced German Scholars
Box 112
Folder 1203
Emory University
Box 112
Folder 1204
Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America
Box 112
Folder 1205
Few, Ellie
Box 112
Folder 1206
Few, Mary Reamey Thomas
Box 112
Folder 1207
Baccalaureate Addresses, 1931-1940
Box 112
Folder 1208
Biographical and Genealogical Material
Box 112
Folder 1209
Death of William Preston Few

[Folder 1211 removed to Oversize Materials, Box 130.]

Box 112
Folder 1210-1211
Inauguration as President of Trinity College, 1910
Box 113
Folder 1212-1213
Twentieth Anniversary as President

Includes newspaper clippings.

Box 113
Folder 1214

Speeches, Writings, and Lecture Notes, 1910-1940 and undated

The major subjects covered in this section include the development of Duke University, the role of religion in education, student development, and the contributions of the Duke family to education. Included are speeches Few made at university functions, to community groups, and at funerals. Some of the materials are organized by date or by topic. There are a number of undated speeches on a wide variety of topics that mostly give Few's opinions about education and the development of Duke University while he was President.

Speeches, Writings, and Lecture Notes, 1910-1927
Box 113
Folder 1215-1216
How Education and Religion Can Work Together, 1929
Box 113
Folder 1217
Speeches, Writings, and Lecture Notes, 1928-1931
Box 113
Folder 1218-1219
Speeches, Writings, and Lecture Notes, 1932-1933
Box 113
Folder 1220-1221
Writings on Trinity, Duke, and Education, 1933-1939 and undated
Box 114
Folder 1222
Speeches, Writings, and Lecture Notes, 1934-1935
Box 114
Folder 1223
Speeches, Writings, and Lecture Notes, 1936-1938
Box 114
Folder 1224
Speeches, Writings, and Lecture Notes, 1939-1940
Box 114
Folder 1225-1226
Education, Funeral Eulogies, Duke Family, and other topics
Box 114
Folder 1227
Speeches, Writings, and Lecture Notes, undated
Box 115
Folder 1228-1235
Dangers and Disadvantages of our System of Common School Education, n.d

Includes printed material.

Box 115
Folder 1236
Speeches, Writings, and Lecture Notes, undated
Box 116
Folder 1237-1244
Speeches, Writings, and Lecture Notes, 1920-1939 and undated
Box 116
Folder 1245
In the Beginning

Includes chapters on The Founding, The Law School, The Co-ordinate College for Women, The Medical School, Forestry, The Duke Undergraduates and their Colleges, Education and Religion, The Building, The Inaugural Address, Washington Duke, and The Launching of Duke University.

Box 116
Folder 1246-1247
The Beginnings of an American University, 1932 and undated

Includes chapters on The Launching of Duke University, Contributions of the Duke Family to Education, Personal Statement, Undertakings of Duke University and the Spirit that Prompted Them, and An Old College and a New University.

Box 117
Folder 1248
An Old College and a New University
Box 117
Folder 1249
In the Beginning
Box 117
Folder 1250
Founding of the University
Box 117
Folder 1251
Duke Divinity School
Box 117
Folder 1252
The Graduate School
Box 117
Folder 1253
The Law School
Box 117
Folder 1254
The Medical School
Box 117
Folder 1255
A North Carolina Medical School

The controversy of 1922 and 1923 as reported by the newspapers.

Box 117
Folder 1256
Colleges-- Coordinate and Engineering
Box 117
Folder 1257
Forestry
Box 117
Folder 1258
Trinity College
Box 117
Folder 1259
Government and Administration
Box 117
Folder 1260
Education and Religion
Box 117
Folder 1261
Building
Box 117
Folder 1262
Inaugural
Box 117
Folder 1263
Washington Duke
Box 117
Folder 1264
Appendix
Box 117
Folder 1265
Shakespeare

Includes manuscript on the writings of Shakespeare and their relation to modern life.

Box 117
Folder 1266-1268
Writings for the Duke Chronicle
Box 117
Folder 1269
Florida Southern College
Box 117
Folder 1270
Freak Letters

Includes unusual letters received by Few while he was president.

Box 118
Folder 1271
Hart, Julian Deryl
Box 118
Folder 1272
Hazen Foundation
Box 118
Folder 1273
Institute on Southern Regional Development and the Social Sciences
Box 118
Folder 1274
International Council of Religious Education
Box 118
Folder 1275
Junaluska School of Religion
Box 118
Folder 1276
Kilgo, John Carlisle
Box 118
Folder 1277

Lake Junaluska Methodist Assembly, 1936-1940

Includes copies of correspondence received by the Lake Junaluska Methodist Assembly staff, certificates of incorporation, correspondence with Few, printed matter, and other materials pertaining to the Assembly.

Lake Junaluska Methodist Assembly, 1936-1939
Box 118
Folder 1278-1285
Lake Junaluska Methodist Assembly, 1938-1940
Box 119
Folder 1286-1287
Lincoln Memorial University
Box 119
Folder 1288
Masaryk, Thomas G.
Box 119
Folder 1289
McDougall, William
Box 119
Folder 1290
Medical College for North Carolina, 1922-1923
Box 119
Folder 1291
Methodist Board of Publication, 1923-1939

[Folder 1292 removed to Oversize Materials, Box 130.]

Box 119
Folder 1292

Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1921-1938 and undated

Includes material on the development of Christian education; correspondence about the organization and daily business of the district of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; printed matter collected by Few about religious education; and Few's activities related to his membership on the Board of Education and the Board of Lay Activities. Much of the correspondence is addressed to Prof. F.S. Aldridge, District Lay Leader, and to Few, Conference Lay Leader. Printed material includes Stewardship Manual for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; Handbook of the Wesley Brotherhood, 1924; and small pamphlets published by the Church.

Board of Education
Box 119
Folder 1293
Christian Education Movement
Box 119
Folder 1294
General Board of Christian Education
Box 119
Folder 1295-1296
1921-1925
Box 120
Folder 1297
1925-1927
Box 120
Folder 1298
1927-1930
Box 120
Folder 1299
Printed Material
Box 120
Folder 1300
General Board of Lay Activities
Box 121
Folder 1301-1306
Laymen's Missionary Movement
Box 121
Folder 1307
Miscellaneous Methodist Church Material

Includes printed material about theological schools, the educational council of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the aldersgate commemoration; a manuscript on the History of New Hope Church; and correspondence.

Box 121
Folder 1308
North Carolina Conference
Box 121
Folder 1309
Union with Northern Church

In 1937, the members of the annual conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, voted on the Plan of Union for the unification of the Methodist Protestant Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Methodist Epicopal Church, South. The final vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the union, but there ensued a movement to block the union of these three Methodist groups. Included are correspondence, questionnaires, printed matter, and reports about this unification.

Box 122
Folder 1310-1317
Western North Carolina Conference
Box 122
Folder 1318
Morehead-Mebane Foundation
Box 122
Folder 1319
Newbold, Nathan Carter
Box 122
Folder 1320
New England Society, Charleston, S.C.
Box 122
Folder 1321
North Carolina College Conference
Box 122
Folder 1322-1323
North Carolina College Conference
Box 123
Folder 1324
North Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation
Box 123
Folder 1326
North Carolina Council of Churches
Box 123
Folder 1327
Pastors' School
Box 123
Folder 1328
Peabody (George) College for Teachers, Nashville, Tenn.
Box 123
Folder 1329
Presidential Election, 1928
Box 123
Folder 1330
Printed Material
Box 123
Folder 1331
Rosenwald Fund
Box 123
Folder 1332
Seashore Summer School
Box 123
Folder 1333
Southern Asso. of Colleges and Secondary Schools
Box 123
Folder 1334-1336
Southern Conference
Box 123
Folder 1337
Southern Council on International Relations
Box 123
Folder 1338
Southern Education Foundation
Box 123
Folder 1339-1340
Southern University Conference
Box 123
Folder 1341
Teaching, Freedom of
Box 123
Folder 1342
Thomas, James Augustus
Box 123
Folder 1343
Toms, Clinton White
Box 123
Folder 1344

Trinity College

Includes specifications for materials and building plans for several buildings and structures on campus, including the East Campus wall; copies of Trinity College Admission Requirements, 1916-1917; correspondence; departmental records; Presidents' Reports; materials from different societies and clubs on campus; survey cards sent to alumni to determine their support for the football program; and other printed materials.

Administration Building Specifications
Box 123
Folder 1345
Admission Requirements
Box 123
Folder 1346
Alumni Association
Box 123
Folder 1347-1348
Alumni Memorial Gymnasium Fund
Box 123
Folder 1349
Athletics
Box 125
Folder 1350
Arera Bible Lectures
Box 125
Folder 1351
Bassett Affair
Box 125
Folder 1352
Bell Tower Specifications
Box 125
Folder 1353
Benefactors' Day
Box 125
Folder 1354
Biblical Literature Dept.
Box 125
Folder 1355
Biology Dept.
Box 125
Folder 1356
Board of Trustees
Box 125
Folder 1357
Budget
Box 125
Folder 1358
Calendar, 1924
Box 125
Folder 1359
Catalog
Box 125
Folder 1360
Chemistry Dept.
Box 125
Folder 1361
Choir
Box 125
Folder 1362
Columbian Literary Society
Box 125
Folder 1363
Coordinate College for Women
Box 125
Folder 1364
Debate
Box 125
Folder 1365
East Dormitory Specifications
Box 125
Folder 1366
Engineering Dept.
Box 125
Folder 1367
English Dept.
Box 125
Folder 1368
Faculty Publications, 1915-1916
Box 125
Folder 1369
Faculty Salaries
Box 125
Folder 1370
Fire, 1911
Box 125
Folder 1371
Flowers Lecture
Box 125
Folder 1372
Football Club Survey Cards, 1914

Postcards sent to alumni to survey their opinions about whether there should be football at Trinity College.

[Folder 1373 removed to Oversize Materials, Box 130.]

Box 125
Folder 1373
Fraternities and Sororities
Box 125
Folder 1374
Glee Club
Box 125
Folder 1375
Greater Trinity Club
Box 125
Folder 1376
Greek Dept.
Box 125
Folder 1377
History Dept.
Box 125
Folder 1378
Law School
Box 125
Folder 1379
Libraries
Box 125
Folder 1380
Methodist Summer School
Box 125
Folder 1381
News Service
Box 125
Folder 1382
9019
Box 125
Folder 1383
Physics Dept.
Box 125
Folder 1384
Miscellaneous Trinity College Material
Box 125
Folder 1385
President's Reports, 1911-1924
Box 126
Folder 1386
President's Residence Specifications
Box 126
Folder 1387
Printed Material
Box 126
Folder 1388
Research Committee
Box 126
Folder 1389
Reserved Officers Training Corps
Box 126
Folder 1390
Sabbatical Leave
Box 126
Folder 1391
Statistics
Box 126
Folder 1392
Southgate Memorial Campaign
Box 126
Folder 1393
Students' Army Training Corps
Box 126
Folder 1394-1395
Students' Cooperative Dining Association
Box 126
Folder 1396
Summer School
Box 126
Folder 1397
Sunday School Extension Work
Box 126
Folder 1398
Trinity Alumni Register
Box 126
Folder 1399
Wall
Box 127
Folder 1400
West Dormitory Specifications
Box 127
Folder 1401
Women's Student Government Association
Box 127
Folder 1402
Trinity Park School
Box 127
Folder 1403
U.S. Federal Emergency Relief Administration
Box 127
Folder 1404
U.S. National Youth Administration
Box 127
Folder 1405
Vanderbilt University
Box 127
Folder 1406
Watts Hospital, Durham, N.C.
Box 127
Folder 1407
Wofford College, Spartanburg, S.C.
Box 127
Folder 1408
Writings of Others

Includes synopis of Practical Idealism by James Cannon, III; synopsis of American Democracy by B. W. Ruark; synopsis of America and Evangelism by E.C. Durham; synopsis of Southern Industialism by J.R. Davis; and poem by Mary Heath Lee about the restoration of the Constitution House, 1919.

Box 127
Folder 1409
Clipping File
Conditions Governing Access note

Brittle newsprint may need to be reformatted for use. Please contact University Archives staff before use.

Box 127
Folder 1410-1412

3. Bound Volumes

Includes an arithmetic primer written by Alston W. Kendrick, Few's grandfather, 1814; a trigonometry textbook used by Few; a Bible; class records, 1913-1929 and undated, an incomplete set of Few's memoranda books for the years 1922-1933; and several alumni reviews.

Arithmetic Book, 1814

Hand written arithmetic primer by Alston W. Kendrick, grandfather of William Preston Few.

[Folder 1413 removed to Oversize Materials, Box 131.]

Box 128
Folder 1413
Trigonometry Textbook

Textbook apparently used by Few during his sophomore year at Wofford College, 1886-1887.

Box 128
Folder 1414
Holy Bible

Copy apparently received by Few upon his graduation from Wofford College, June 11, 1889.

Box 128
Folder 1415

Class Books, 1913-1920 and undated

Includes names of students and some grades.

Class Book, 1913-1915
Box 128
Folder 1416
Class Book, 1915-1918
Box 128
Folder 1417
Class Book, 1919-1920
Box 128
Folder 1418
Class Book, undated
Box 128
Folder 1419
Alumni Reviews, 1923-1926

Includes three copies of the Harvard Alumni Bulletin, (Oct. 4, 1923, Dec. 31, 1925, and Jan. 7, 1926) and one copy of the Williams Alumni Review, (March, 1926).

Box 128
Folder 1420

Memorandum Books, 1912-1933

Leather appointment books. Many dates are blank.

Memorandum Book, 1912
Box 129
Folder 1421
Memorandum Book, 1922
Box 129
Folder 1422
Memorandum Book, 1923
Box 129
Folder 1423
Memorandum Book, 1925
Box 129
Folder 1424
Memorandum Book, 1926
Box 129
Folder 1425
Memorandum Book, 1927
Box 129
Folder 1426
Memorandum Book, 1928
Box 129
Folder 1427
Memorandum Book, 1933
Box 129
Folder 1428

Legal-sized Folders

Legal-sized folders separated from subject files.

Association of American Colleges

[Folder 1116, removed from Box 106.]

Box 130
Duke University. Men's Student Government Association

[Folder 1169, removed from Box 110.]

Box 130
Few, William Preston. Death of.

[Folder 1211, removed from Box 112.]

Box 130
Methodist Board of Publication, 1923-1939

[Folder 1292, removed from Box 119.]

Box 130
Trinity College. Football Survey Cards, 1914.

[Folder 1373, removed from Box 125.]

Box 130
Arithmetic Book

[Folder 1413, removed from Box 128.]

Box 131
Diplomas
Oversize-folder 1
A.B., Wofford College, Spartanburg S.C., 1889
Oversize-folder 1
Ph.D., Harvard University, 1896
Oversize-folder 1
Printer's Proof with first use of term "Duke University," Durham Herald, 1924 Dec. 9 (Accompanying letter from A. A. Wilkinson, 1960 Jan. 18)
Oversize-folder 2

5. Index Cards to Few Papers

Includes index cards apparently created by Few's office that catalog the holdings in the office files. Not all of the materials, or names, referenced on the index cards can be found in the William Preston Few Records and Papers.

A-E, - 1938
Box 132
F-McB, - 1938
Box 132
McC-Sti, - 1938
Box 132
Sto-Zz, - 1938
Box 132
A-K, 1939-1940
Box 133
L-Zz, 1939-1940
Box 133
Papers, [A67-76]

Includes letters, addressed to Few from William Garrott Brown, incorporated into the correspondence series.

Box 133
Obituaries for Mrs. William Preston Few (Mary Reamey Thomas Few), [A72-68]

Includes newspaper articles and editorials from the Durham Morning Herald and the Durham Sun, Jan. 8-9, 1971, incorporated into the Subject Files, Folder 1207.

Box 133

Historical Note

Born in Greenville, S.C. on December 29, 1867, the son of Benjamin Franklin and Rachel Kendrick Few, William Preston Few attended Wofford College, Spartanburg S.C. (A.B., 1889), and Harvard University (A.M., 1893; Ph.D., 1896). Few came to Durham in 1896 as Professor of English at Trinity College. He was named Dean of the College in 1902, and President in 1910, succeeding John C. Kilgo. Few was President of Trinity College from 1910-1924.

On August 17, 1911, Few married Mary Reamey Thomas of Martinsville, West Virginia. They had five sons: William, Lyne Starling, Kendrick Sheffield, Randolph Reamey, and Yancey Preston.

Few worked with James Buchanan Duke to establish the Duke Endowment. In 1924, Few directed Trinity College's transition to Duke University and remained as President of Duke University until his death on October 16, 1940. In his thirty years as President of Trinity and Duke, Few oversaw the transformation of Trinity College into Duke University and assisted in the fulfillment of the concept behind the Duke Endowment.

An active layman in the Methodist Church, Few was often a delegate to the Church's General Conferences. Other activities included membership on a committee of the Harvard Board of Overseers (1911), President of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association (1913), Trustee of the Negro Rural School Fund (1918), and President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (1932).

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • Duke University Board of Trustees Records. (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • Duke University Faculty Records. (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • [Forms part of:] Duke University President Records. (University Archives, Duke University. )
  • Robert L. Flowers Records. (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • Marion Timothy Plyler Papers. (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.)
  • Scrapbook of News Clippings on Dr. William P. Few. (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • William Hane Wannamaker Collection. (University Archives, Duke University.)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], William Preston Few Records and Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The William Preston Few Records and Papers were received by the University Archives as a transfer in 1964 (A64-60), with multiple earlier accessions, and later additions (A67-76) and (A72-68).

Processing Information

Processed by Linda Daniel

Completed December, 2003

Encoded by Linda Daniel, December 2003