Guide to the Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations Reference Collection, 1939-1998


The Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations Reference Collection contains files of memoranda, clippings, publications, and reports relating to the Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations and its predecessors. This collection was compiled from a variety of sources by the University Archives for use in reference and research.

Descriptive Summary

University Archives, Duke University
Duke University. University Archives
Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations Reference collection 1939-1998
Language of Material
0.5 Linear Feet, 300 Items
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The collection includes newsletters, brochures, memoranda, clippings, statistics, reports, forms, printed matter, and other material concerning the University's public image and its management. The bulk dates are the 1960s to the 1990s. Among the items are blank reporting forms sent to faculty and staff to submit information for publicity; "Leads and Angles, Slants and Features: a handbook prepared for newspaper, magazine, and feature writers visiting Duke University," (April 1939); "Whom, Me?" a complication of national publicity following Professor A.C. Jordan's comments about Americans' poor grammar (1966); a series of publicity cards and statistics sheets, circa 1971, about the University and its various attractions including the Chapel, Gardens, Medical Center, and Art Museum; and "Duke Information Places Outside the Library Systems", a pamphlet apparently produced by the East Campus Library staff in 1980. Subjects include news staff assignments and facts and statistics about the University. In December of 1972, the News Service's director, Don Seaver, asked his staff to contribute items to a "Duke Facts" binder notebook. This binder included statistics, brief write-ups of the University and selected departments, class profiles, brochures, lists of several kinds, and other sorts of information. The binder was kept updated through the early 1980s. It is now stored in two file folders.

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.

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 University Archives to use this collection.

Collection is open for research.

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

Leads and Angles, Slants and Features, April 1939
Box 1
Memoranda, 1960-1968, 1994-1995
Box 1
Bureau of Public Information, 1962
Box 1
Reporting forms, 1963-1975
Box 1
Noteworthy facts about Duke University, November, 1964
Box 1
News release, 1965
Box 1
Duke personnel holding offices in national organizations, ca. 1966
Box 1
Office of Information Services: Duke in the News [newsletter], 1965-1969
Box 1
Whom, me? 1967 [A.C. Jordan grammar story]
Box 1
Publicity cards, 1969-1971
Box 1
Dateline Duke [newsletter], 1970
Box 1
Office of Information Services, memorandum, 1970
Box 1
Duke News Service Duke Facts binder (2 folders), 1972-
Box 1
Duke News Service memos and flyers, ca. 1977-1992
Box 1
Duke Information Places, 1980
Box 1
Duke News Service Duke at a Glance [brochure], 1981-2001 (inc.)
Box 1
Duke News Service Duke in the News [newsletter], 1988-1989
Box 1
Duke Government Report [newsletter], 1992
Box 1
Clippings, 1964-1998
Box 1
Duke and Durham Strategies for Initiating Community Development Projects: A Walltown Case Study / Lydia Faulkner, April 1994
Box 1
An Embattled Community: The West End of Durham / Katherine J. Richardson, 1994
Box 1
Durham and Duke: Duke University’s Estimated Total Annual Economic Impact on the City and County of Durham, 1997
Box 1
Advertisements, undated [after 1924]
Box 1

Historical Note

Around January of 1922, Henry Belk, Class of 1923, was named director of the Trinity College News Service. Apparently Belk was the College's first staff member hired for a public relations position. For 1927/28, the Bulletin of the University lists Albert Alexander Wilkinson, Class of 1927, as Director of Publicity. In 1935, the news service became part of the Department of Public Relations and Alumni Affairs which was directed by Henry R. Dwire. Wilkinson managed the News Service until 1945. The Bureau of Public Information succeeded the News Service in 1947/48. In 1948, Charles E. Jordan was named Vice President in the Division of Public Relations; he served in that capacity until 1966. In 1956, Clarence Whitfield became director of the Bureau of Public Information reporting to Jordan. The office was responsible for the University's news, radio, and television publicity. Personnel included a news director, a radio-TV director, and several writers. The Office of Information Services succeeded the Bureau in 1963/64. A 1963 report by the Barton Gillet Company titled "Analysis and appraisal of communications, Duke University" probably played a role in the reorganization of the University's strategies in this area. Now (2010), the Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations coordinates and manages communications strategies with the university's many audiences. It includes the offices responsible for federal, state and local government relations, local community affairs, campus news and communications and audiovisual services: Office of News and Communication; University Photography; Federal Relations; Office of Community Affairs; Government Relations. The Duke Medicine Office of News and Communications handles this function for the Duke University Medical Center.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations Reference Collection, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.


The Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations Reference Collection was compiled by University Archives staff from a variety of sources.

Processing Information

Processed by Tom Harkins, April 2010

Encoded by Molly Bragg, July 2011

Accessions were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.

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

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.