Preliminary Guide to the Records and Papers of Terry Sanford, 1945-1998
University administrative records, personal papers, manuscripts, photographs, printed matter, memorabilia, and other material created or received by Terry Sanford during his various careers as a lawyer, politician, and President and President Emeritus of Duke University. The bulk of material consists of records from his tenure as President, 1969-1985. A folder list for these records (Series 1); Series 2-4 are closed pending full processing although some content information is available in the series descriptions.
Related Sanford collections are available in Duke University's David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Southern Historical Collection, UNC-CH, and the Division of Archives and History, Raleigh.
- Records and Papers of Terry Sanford, 1945-1998
- Sanford, Terry, 1917-1998.
- 265.5 Linear Feet, 220,650 Items
- University Archives, Duke University
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
For a period of twenty-five years from the origin of the material, permission in writing from the office of origin and the University Archivist is required for use. After twenty-five years, records that have been processed may be consulted with the permission of the University Archivist.
Records, such as search committee files or others pertaining to employment where individuals are identified, are closed for 70 years.
Records of the University's Board of Trustees which have been in existence for at least fifty years are available for scholarly research with the permission of the University Archivist. Access to records which have been in existence for less than fifty years shall be granted only by special permission, in writing, from the Board of Trustees.
In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended, Duke University permits students to inspect their education records and limits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records.
Portions of these materials are restricted by donor request.
Unprocessed materials are closed pending processing.
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.
Records of the President of the University, with bulk dates 1969 to 1985. Records from earlier administrations, in particular those of Douglas M. Knight (1963-1969), are present as well. The files consist of correspondence, memoranda, minutes, proposals, reports, clippings, reference material, speeches, and other records.
The Subject files document Sanford's role as President of Duke, and also his continued interest in many fields including education, politics, and the arts.
The records of the Sanford administration record the policies and actions of the University in academic planning, athletics, campus planning and the physical growth of the university, development and alumni affairs, student life, and the University's interaction with Durham and North Carolina during the 1970s and 1980s. Among the more notable academic planning matters documented are the early years of both the Fuqua School of Business and the Institute of Policy Sciences and Public Affairs, now the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy. Also included is correspondence from alumni, faculty, and students against the administration's proposal in 1975 to phase out the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Correspondents in the area of academic planning include Joel Fleishman, Director of the Institute of Policy Sciences and Public Affairs; Thomas Keller, Dean of the Fuqua School of Business; and John C. McKinney, Dean of the Graduate School, and other officers.
Folders pertaining to the "Retrenchment" measures taken in 1980-1981 that eliminated the undergraduate Department of Education and the baccalaureate program in Nursing are also part of this series. These steps were recommended to the Board of Trustees in September 1980 by then-Chancellor A. Kenneth Pye in his memorandum, "Directions for Progress." The bulk of the material consists of letters and memoranda from Sanford to faculty and alumni of the departments announcing the actions and correspondence from alumni, educators, and school administrators expressing their support of or opposition to the plan.
Continuing the fundraising efforts that began with the Fifth Decade Campaign, 1964-1970, "Institutional Advancement" files focus primarily on the Epoch Campaign, a three-year campaign that attempted to raise $162 million from 1973-1976. The material concerns the progress of the Epoch Campaign and other fundraising efforts, such as the Loyalty Fund, 1979-1980.
Sanford's commitment to the arts can be seen in the files on the "American Musical Theater Center, 1977-1980" and the "American Dance Festival, 1977-1985." The recruitment and arrival of the Festival at Duke in 1977 began a long relationship that has continued for over 20 year.
The records also document student life, but to a lesser extent than other topics. Issues related to student activism of the early 1970s are found within "Student Unrest" files. These records include clippings and a scrapbook documenting the student takeover the Allen Building in February 1969, before Sanford's presidency. Material from May 1970 largely concerns student actions on campus in response to the Kent State shootings. Letters of approval or disapproval from alumni and student parents on these and other topics are included as well. The records also document another aspect of student life that Sanford faced: the use of illegal drugs. In 1971 Sanford rejected a proposal from the Associated Students of Duke University calling for a relaxed stance by the administration on the use of drugs, particularly marijuana.
Student conduct at athletic events is also documented. On January 17, 1984 "Uncle Terry" Sanford sent "An Avuncular Letter" to students chiding them for their inappropriate behavior during a home basketball game with the University of Maryland. The file contains the original letter, many newspaper articles detailing the behavior, letters to Sanford from concerned parents and alumni, and Sanford's response to each.
The major change in residential life during Sanford's tenure was the 1972 merger of the Woman's College with Trinity College for Men to create the present Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. While the school had long been co-educational, the merger completed the switch to co-residency. Included are correspondence from alumni, administrators, and other institutions regarding the pros and cons of the merger. There is also some correspondence regarding the future of the Woman's College administrators.
Sanford's interest in all levels of education is found throughout the files as well. During the 1960s and 1970s he served on the Board of Directors of the "Learning Institute of North Carolina" (LINC), a non-profit agency dedicated to improving education through experimentation and research. The LINC records, dating from 1965-1979, consist of correspondence, minutes, reports, and reference material.
The records also illustrate how national and international issues played out on campus. Among these are investment policies in South Africa, in which students, faculty, and the administration began questioning Duke's support of U.S. businesses with investments in South Africa. Regarding the Panama Canal Treaty (1977-1978), Sanford attempted to put together a panel debate with Jesse Helms, Henry Kissinger, and others participating. Correspondence is included with these two, President Jimmy Carter, and others.
Among the other major issues of the Sanford administration were the "Nixon Library Controversy, 1981-1982," (3.5 boxes). These files concern the debate over whether Duke should house Richard Nixon's presidential library. Sanford argued in favor of the library as a valuable archival repository. Letters of support and disapproval from faculty, alumni, and other sources in and out of the University community are included. Correspondence dates from as early as 1971.
In 1981 Duke co-sponsored and Sanford a this public series of speeches and debates by a bipartisan group of political leaders concerned with reforming the process of nominating presidential candidates ("Duke University Forum on Presidential Nominations"). Co-sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center, the first event was held on 11 May 1981 in Washington, D.C. Speakers and panelists included Robert Dole, Gerald Ford, Vernon E. Jordan, and Robert Strauss.
"Soviet-American Track Meet" files consist of correspondence, minutes of meetings, committee lists, schedules, and planning for the twelfth annual event held the first week in July 1974. Sanford's continued interests in politics are documented in files on the "Democratic Party, 1970-1982." Correspondents include Senators John Glenn and Ted Kennedy. Sanford assisted in founding the "Education Commission of the States" in 1965/66. Headquartered in Denver, Col., the Commission provides research and advice to assist states and school systems in long-range planning and decision-making.
As Governor, Sanford was instrumental in the founding and early years of the "North Carolina School of the Arts" in Winston-Salem, N.C. Included is correspondence related to the "Sanford Scholarships," a program begun in 1975 awarding four full-tuition scholarships named in his honor. Sanford also served on the Advisory Board of the State Zoo Authority in the early 1970s during the planning of the "North Carolina Zoological Park" (Asheboro). The files include correspondence regarding proposed site locations.
Among Sanford's correspondents were Walter Cronkite, Doris Duke, James E. Holshouser, Hubert H. Humphrey, James B. Hunt, James G. Martin III, George McGovern, Richard Nixon, and Robert W. Scott
Speeches and statements of Terry Sanford during his tenure as Duke President. The records include commencement addresses at Duke and other institutions, and speeches at faculty meetings, ceremonies, and other functions. One box of chronological letters from 1970-1975 includes copies of "The President's Letter," a periodic message from Sanford to the Duke community concerning events of concern to the university. Included among these is a May 20, 1975 letter informing the university of his upcoming announcement to run for the Democratic Party's nomination for President of the United States. Other "President's Letters" include correspondence to faculty and incoming freshmen.
Series consists of items collected during the inauguration of President Terry Sanford 18 October 1970 including a planning manual, programs, speeches, flyers, news clippings, greetings from other colleges and universities, a guest book, and color photographs.
This series consists of administrative records, along with some personal papers. The bulk of material runs from 1992-1997 and consists of computer disks, correspondence, faxes, journals, mailing lists, memoranda, photographs, speeches, transcripts, website printouts, writings, clippings and other printed matter. The files are organized into subject files, correspondence (1990-1998), and writings.
The records also include files on organizations to which Sanford belonged or boards on which he served. Included among these: Methodist College, Fayetteville, N.C. (Trustee); North Carolina Museum of Art (chaired Board of Trustees); Ovation, Inc. - a Fine Arts Network (Board of Directors); and the Sarah W. Stedman Center for Nutritional Studies (Board of Advisors). Some files continue and supplement material found in other series: American Dance Festival; Education Commission of the States; and Outward Bound.
Files are included on courses Sanford taught within the Public Policy Studies Department at Duke from 1993-1997, most notably a course titled "Creativity in State Government". Syllabi, handouts, lists of students, and some correspondence are included. These files contain student identifiable data, and are subject to federal privacy legislation.
The records show Sanford's continued interest in and opinions on various issues, including political ones. Examples include the Nicaraguan Canal project, poverty, and racism. Within the Racism file is a 1997 memo from Sanford to John Hope Franklin, Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University and chair of President Clinton's National Advisory Panel on Race, outlining his plans to begin an association to help promote improved race relations. Sanford mentioned "National Good Neighbor Council" as a possible title.
Sanford's day-to-day activities during the 1990s are documented throughout these files. Folders labeled "Journal" contain loose-leaf paper with daily appointments and schedules detailing meetings, dinners, travel plans, and leisure activities. Often, Sanford would write notes on the particular meeting/event (wrote before and/or after). In 1993 Sanford kept a bound journal for a week in February. Other files documenting Sanford's daily activities include folders of telephone messages and two rolodexes of addresses and business cards.
Other significant records include Sanford's Cyber Bookstore project. This was intended to create a means of purchasing publications over the World Wide Web similar to the Amazon.com. There are also reports, drafts, and proposals from the Ethics Review Commission of the United States Senate, 1993-1994, and files on his support for the Airborne and Special Operations Museum project in Fayetteville, N.C.
Correspondents include President Bill Clinton, to whom Sanford voiced his opinion or expressed his support; and Howard Covington, Sanford's biographer. Sanford sent Covington thoughts or remembrances that he felt should be included in the biography, or he would write in response to Covington's questions. Among the recollections include a detailed account of Sanford's decision to endorse John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign.
Two of the three boxes of writings consist of hand-written and typed drafts, research notes, a synopsis, and bibliographical material for Sanford's unfinished historical novel, Top of the World. Sanford worked on the novel from 1994-1998 and drafts of the first six chapters at the time of his death are included. According to an article in the Raleigh News and Observer (Jan. 10, 1994, p.3-A), Sanford did not think it would be completed until the 21st century. The third box contains drafts, notes, and additional material on three Sanford manuscripts. They include the unfinished works "The Lasting Lyndon" (1991) on the Lyndon B. Johnson administration, and "Out of the Valley," (1975), surveying public policies; Sanford referred to the latter work as "an autobiographical political platform". The file also includes the manuscript of Outlive Your Enemies: (Commack, N.Y.: Nova Sciences Publishers, 1996), Sanford's study on aging and growing old gracefully.
A final box labeled "Miscellaneous" contains primarily Democratic Party-related material from the 1980s and a note to incorporate them into the records.
The personal and political papers of Terry Sanford consist of correspondence, memoranda, manuscripts, newspaper clippings, reference material, printed matter, audiotapes, audiocassettes, videocassettes, and a scrapbook that document his personal and public life. Also present are correspondence, memoranda, clippings, speeches, statements, drafts, press releases, and printed matter documenting Terry Sanford's campaigns for the Democratic nomination for President in 1972 and 1976. Records documenting Sanford's study of the future role of state governments in society and in the federal system are present as is material concerning the Legislative Library Project. Sanford's work with the Democratic Charter Commission is also included.
The personal and political papers of Terry Sanford consist of correspondence, memoranda, manuscripts, newspaper clippings, reference material, printed matter, audiotapes, audiocassettes, videocassettes, and a scrapbook. The bulk were acquired from Sanford's house in Durham, N.C., and he apparently kept them close by for reference purposes for much of his career. Some folders appear to have been removed from his records as Duke President.
The papers primarily contain the files of organizations to which Sanford belonged or boards on which he served. These included the Foreign Study League (advisory council); Citizens Committee for Government Reorganization (co-chairman); the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (chaired N.C. Committee); the National Municipal League/Citizens' Forum on Self Government (multiple offices including President); the National Public Affairs Center for Television (Board of Directors); the National Recreation and Park Association; National Urban League; Outward Bound; Shaw University (Trustee); the Soul City project; Southern Regional Growth Board; Robert Taft Institute of Government (Trustee); Children's Television Workshop; and Urban America, Inc. (Trustee).
Also included are records from Sanford's political career and interests. Among these are records from his tenure as N.C. Governor, including files on race relations, reports, and correspondence; the 1960 Gubernatorial campaign; speeches and drafts; clippings and printed material; surveys of political climate and polls; the 1954 Senatorial Campaign (campaign manager for W. Kerr Scott); his support of Fritz Hollings' 1983-1984 Presidential Nomination; and correspondence with the N.C. Young Democrats, 1965-1968. Of particular note is a 1977 confidential memo that Sanford typed for his records recounting President Carter's request that Sanford accept the position of Ambassador to France. Other correspondents include Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy.
Boxes 179-185 are unprocessed and are closed pending processing.
Boxes 180-185 include correspondence, diaries, audiotapes, transcript, printed materials, and other personal papers acquired by the authors of Terry Sanford: Politics, Progress, and Outrageous Ambitions (Durham: DU Press, 1999) from Terry Sanford. Subjects include youth, military service and early political career, presidential nomination campaign papers, transcripts of interviews Sanford conducted with his mother, President's appointment book, transcripts of speeches at roasts, Covington-Ellis interviews with Sanford, as well, as his friends and acquaintances.
Correspondence, memoranda, clippings, film, speeches, statements, drafts, press releases, and printed matter documenting Terry Sanford's campaigns for the Democratic nomination for President in 1972 and 1976. The 1972 Campaign records include subjects and correspondents such as Blacks, Busing, the Democratic National Convention, Hubert Humphrey, Edmund Muskie, Richard Nixon, and George Wallace. Position files consist of speeches and statements illustrating Sanford's opinions on such issues as education, foreign policy, and tax reform. The 1976 Campaign records contain files documenting the campaign in individual states. Within these files are updates on the campaign, letters of support, suggestions by constituents, and newspaper clippings. Other records of note include his May 1975 announcement to begin the campaign and his withdrawal in January 1976.
Duke University sponsored a grant from the Carnegie Corporation and the Ford Foundation for a study of the future role of state governments in society and in the federal system (1965-1967). Terry Sanford directed this project. Out of his research came his book, Storm over the States (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967), which concerns the individual citizen's active involvement in government.
Correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports, printed matter and other material concerning the Legislative Library Project of Legis 50 / The Center for Legislative Improvement.
Formed in 1966 as the Citizens Conference on State Legislatures, the organization examined state legislatures and prepared strategies to enhance their effectiveness. Terry Sanford served on the Board of Trustees in the late 1960s and later as an honorary Board member. Initiated in 1976, the Library Project attempted to develop a series of publications addressing the history and operation of American State governments in order to raise public interest in legislative reform. Sanford chaired the project committee and was named editor-in-chief of the series. Originally, Duke University Press was to play a major role in the publication. The Library Project struggled to get off the ground due to a number of factors including decisions on authors and publication, and financial concerns. The project folded in 1980 as Legis 50 filed for bankruptcy.
Earlier material in these records, 1966-1975, consists of correspondence, memoranda, agendas, minutes, and annual reports while Sanford served on the Board of Trustees. Material from 1976-1980 concerns the Library Project and includes grant proposals and correspondence with Legis 50 staff and potential authors. Also included is a memo for the record concerning the content and importance of the files.
Correspondence, memoranda, minutes, drafts, proposals, printed matter, questionnaires, financial material, films, audiocassettes, and audiotapes concerning the Democratic Charter Commission, which Terry Sanford chaired. The Commission was established by the 1972 Democratic Convention to draft a charter for the Democratic Party, the first in the party's history. The Charter established national structures and guidelines for the party on issues such as leadership, membership, and education. It was approved during the midterm convention of December 1974 and went into effect in 1980.
The records, though largely unorganized, document Sanford and the Commission's efforts from 1972-1974. Includes folders on individual states, which often contain lists of delegates and material on individual state conferences or hearings (including agendas, discussions, and summaries of proceedings) held to discuss the proposed Charter. Sanford usually attended these state conferences and delivered the opening and/or closing remarks. Other material consists of Commission member lists, questionnaires on party structure and charter proposals, and Commission-related newspaper clippings. The correspondence is not foldered together, but spread throughout the records. Correspondents include President Jimmy Carter, then Governor of Georgia; Robert Strauss, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee; members of the Commission; and Democratic members of Congress.
Included among the approximately 20 original reel to reel films and audiotapes and 20 audiocassettes are session recordings from Commission conferences (in Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington D.C., and Wisconsin); and interviews with members of the Commission for a proposed public relations project in 1974 (not completed). Most films and cassettes are labeled and in fair condition.
The photographs and negatives span Sanford's career. Photographs are arranged and foldered by subject, though some subjects are vague ("people" and "political" for example). Others include: Duke University Activities, Functions; 1972 Presidential Campaign; FBI; Gubernatorial Years; and University of North Carolina Law School. Among the individuals: Jimmy Carter, Andy Griffith, J. Edgar Hoover, Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Soviet Premier Kosygin, Carl Sandburg, Strom Thurmond, Harry S. Truman, John Wayne, and Sanford's family and friends. For additional photographs see the general photograph collection in the Duke University Archives.
The printed matter includes newspaper articles written during his tenure as President of Duke University. A majority of the articles are from the Durham newspapers and the Duke student newspaper, The Chronicle. The articles are poorly organized, though hint at a chronological arrangement. The document box contains ready reference files, again focusing primarily on his tenure at Duke. This includes copies of speeches, clippings on his inauguration, and programs for a tribute ceremony to Sanford in 1985. Other files include the Democratic Charter Commission, U.S. Senate, and other political clippings.
Could only find one box of photographic materials in January 2007.
Closed pending processing.
This box was found during the barcoding process and was titled Interfiles. It contains folders that appear to correspond to exisiting series.
Closed pending processing.
Series contains various artifacts including framed photos, cartoons (Nixon Library cartoon by Dwane Powell, News and Observer, August 16, 1981 Box 229) scrapbooks, photographs, honorary degrees, greetings from other colleges and universities, citations, campaign posters, and President Sanford's doctoral robe and sports jacket.
The framed photos include:
Dinner honoring Prof. Joseph J. Spengler, Jan. 1972
The Eastward Duke University Marine Lab, 1979
Great Wall of China
Duke University-Gettysburg Nestorian Expedition in Southeast Turkey, June 1982
Closed pending processing.
James Terry Sanford was born August 20, 1917 in Laurinburg, N.C., the son of Cecil L. and Elizabeth Martin Sanford. He received the A.B. degree (1939) and the JD degree (1946) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After serving in the military and FBI and while practicing law in Fayetteville, N.C., Sanford embarked on a political career. He served as North Carolina State Senator from 1953 to 1954 and as United States Senator from 1986 to 1992. In 1961 he was elected Governor of North Carolina and held the office through 1965.
In December 1969 Sanford was elected President of Duke University. He assumed the office in April 1970 and held the position through June 1985. His involvement at Duke continued as President Emeritus, from 1985 to 1998, and as Professor of Public Policy, from 1992 to 1998. Terry Sanford died on April 18, 1998 and is buried in the Crypt in the Chapel at Duke University.
Sanford married Margaret Rose Knight in 1942; they had two children, Elizabeth Knight and Terry, Jr.
- Campus planning--North Carolina.
- Democratic Party (N.C.)--History.
- Duke University--History--20th century.
- Duke University. President.
- Education, Higher--North Carolina--History.
- Educational fund raising--North Carolina.
- Knight, Douglas M., 1921-
- North Carolina--Governors--History--20th century.
- North Carolina--Politics and government--1951- .
- Politicians--North Carolina--History--20th century.
- Sanford, Terry, 1917-1998.
- Universities and colleges--North Carolina--History--20th century.
[Identification of item], Records and Papers of Terry Sanford, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Materials were transferred to the Archives at various times from the Office of the President of Duke University, the President's House at Duke University, Mr. and Mrs. Sanford, and members of his staff, his biographers, and his estate.
Processed by University Archives Staff
Completed April 2002
Encoded by Joshua G. McKim, April 2002
Updated by Jill Katte, October 2005
Updated by Sherrie Bowser, January 2007
This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.