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Guide to the Mattie Underwood Russell Papers, 1949 - 1988

Abstract

Mattie Underwood Russell (1915-1988) was Curator of the Duke University Manuscripts Department from 1952 to 1985. During these years, Russell became a nationally-recognized archivist, and increased the number of collections, implemented a cataloging system, and encouraged researchers to use the materials in the Manuscripts Department. The Mattie Underwood Russell Papers include correspondence, reports, writings, subject files, memoranda, and other materials related to Russell's career at Duke University. Major subjects include archival administration, archival education, American history, southern history, the Duke University administration, and the Nixon presidential library controversy at Duke University.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Mattie Underwood Russell papers 1949 - 1988
Creator
Russell, Mattie U.
Extent
5 Linear Feet, , 2000 Items
Repository
University Archives, Duke University
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult University Archives, Duke University.
Language
English.

Collection Overview

The Mattie Underwood Russell Papers include correspondence, reports, writings, subject files, memoranda, and other materials related to Russell's career at Duke University. The collection is divided into five series. The first series, Correspondence, includes both personal and professional materials. In arranging the correspondence, Russell included genealogy, printed material, and other material she felt were pertinent to the correspondence. The series is arranged chronologically. The second series, Subjects, is arranged alphabetically, and includes information about Russell's professional interests as well as biographical and other personal information. Course Materials, the next series, includes information collected during Russell's teaching career in the School of Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The materials are arranged alphabetically by subject. The fourth series, Writings, includes addresses, articles, and other pieces written by Russell. The series is divided into "Addresses and Lectures" and "Writings," and materials are arranged alphabetically into these categories. The last series is the Nixon Presidential Library series, which includes a proposal, correspondence, reports, and committee materials.

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.

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.

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.

Records, such as search committee files or others pertaining to employment where individuals are identified, are closed for 70 years.

Portions of these materials are restricted by donor request.

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

On the first folder of this series, Mattie Russell noted, "In 1969 I decided to go through the small amount of personal correspondence I had saved and decide what I should like to have become part of a collection in the Manuscript Department of Perkins Library under the title, Mattie Underwood Russell Papers. To this correspondence, I added genealogy, miscellany, clippings, and printed material. My plan is to add to this file consistently during the remainder of my life."

1949-1953
Box 1
1954-1956
Box 1
1957-1958
Box 1
1959-1962
Box 1
1963-1964
Box 1
1965
Box 1
1966-1968
Box 1
1969
Box 1
January 1970-June 1970
Box 1
July 1970-December 1970
Box 1
January 1971-June 1971
Box 1
July 1971-December 1971
Box 1
January 1972-June 1972
Box 1
July 1972-December 1972
Box 1
January 1973-June 1973
Box 1
July 1973-December 1973
Box 1
January 1974-June 1974
Box 1
July 1974-December 1974
Box 1
January 1975-June 1975
Box 1
July 1975-December 1975
Box 1
January 1976-June 1976
Box 1
July 1976-December 1976
Box 1
January 1977-June 1977
Box 1
July 1977-December 1977
Box 1
January 1978-June 1978
Box 1
July 1978-December 1978
Box 1
January 1979-December 1979
Box 1
April 1979-August 1979 (Received after my surgery on April 10, 1979)
Box 1
January 1980-December 1980
Box 2
1981
Box 2
January 1982-December 1982
Box 2
1983
Box 2
1984
Box 2
1985
Box 2
1986
Box 2
1987
Box 2
1988
Box 2
Art
Box 2
Automobile, Volare Premier, 1978 model, purchased January 2, 1980
Box 2
Book Reviewing
Box 2
Capital Campaign, Faculty/Staff Committee, 1985
Box 2
Certificates
Box 2
Canada papers, 1966-1970
Box 2
Duke University Land Use Policy, March 1987
Box 2
Duke University Retiree Association
Box 2
Endowment, Mattie Underwood Russell Endowment Fund, 1985, May 14-
Box 2
Endowments, Duke University Library
Box 2
Bibliography of Robert H. Woody and Biographical Data
Box 2
Biographical Sketch of Robert Hilliard Woody for the Festschrift compiled in his honor and published in the South Atlantic Quarterly, Winter 1974 issue
Box 2
Dissertations written under the direction of Dr. Robert H. Woody
Box 2
Replies to letter of June 25, 1970, in honor of Dr. Robert Hilliard Woody
Box 2
Friends of the Library, Duke University
(2 folders)
Box 2
Fringe Benefits, Faculty and Staff
Box 2
Historical Society of N.C. Constitution, etc. (the other records I accumulated as president I sent to Carolyn Wallace on 4-27-77 to be used by her and then placed in the archives of the Society)
Box 2
LC
Box 2
Manuscript Department Communications
Box 2
Memberships and Subscriptions
Box 2
Membership cards and certificates
Box 2
National Archives Advisory Council, 1977, May 12-14 Meeting--Membership Lists and Code of NARS
Box 2
Recommendations
Box 2
Recommendations, Manuscript Dept
Box 2
Retirement
Box 2
Bibliography and Biographical Data
Box 2
Biographical Material
Box 2
Certificates (see also MC 8)
Box 2
Clippings
(3 folders)
Box 2
Diplomas (MC 8)
Box 2
Genealogy
Box 2
Library Endowment Fund
Box 2
Memorial Services (including audio cassette tape)
Box 2
Memory Book
Box 2
Miscellany
Box 2
Printed Material
Box 2
Retirement Records, 1985 (retired 5-31-85)
Box 2
Salary Notices
Box 2
Southern Historical Association Program Committee for 1973
Box 2
Tobacco History Corporation, Inc.
Box 2
UNC Report of Dean of School of L.S., 1968-1969
Box 2
Woody, Robert Hilliard - History of his Family
Box 2
The American Archivist
Box 3
American Association for State and Local History
Box 3
American Records Management Association
Box 3
American Revolution Bicentennial
Box 3
Andrews, Evelyn G.
Box 3
Architecture
Box 3
Archives and Private Papers: Outlines of the Archival Management Lectures given by Schellenberg in Atlanta, April 8-10, 1959
Box 3
Ancient
Box 3
Arts and Architecture
Box 3
Careers in
Box 3
Church
Box 3
Church - Sandra McAninch, Preliminary Study for the Development of a Guide to Manuscript Collections Related to Southern Religion as Held by Southeastern Repositories
Box 3
College and University
Box 3
Confederate States of America
Box 3
Federal
Box 3
Film
Box 3
Foundation
Box 3
General
Box 3
Germany
Box 3
Indian
Box 3
International
Box 3
Islamic
Box 3
Jewish
Box 3
Latin America and the Caribbean
Box 3
Labor (also Historical MSS.)
Box 3
Local (County and Municipal)
Box 3
Music
Box 3
Performing Arts
Box 3
Political Parties
Box 3
Popular Culture ("Pop Cult")
Box 3
Professions
Box 3
Publishing Houses
Box 3
Regional
Box 3
Science and Technology
Box 3
Indian
Box 3
Alabama
Box 3
Florida
Box 3
Georgia
Box 3
Maine
Box 3
North Carolina
(2 folders)
Box 3
Ohio
Box 3
South Carolina
Box 3
Virginia
Box 3
Women
Box 3
Archivist's Code
Box 3
Audio-Visual Materials
Box 3
Autographs
Box 3
Automation
Box 3
Bibliography for LS 344
Box 3
Bibliographies - Mine
Box 3
Biographies
Box 3
Blacks, materials about
Box 3
Book reviewing
Box 3
British Manuscripts
Box 3
British Records Association
Box 3
Cataloging Manuscripts
Box 3
Classified Documents
Box 3
Collecting Manuscripts
Box 3
Course Term Project, 1970-
Box 3
Data Processing and Retrieval
Box 3
Diplomatic
Box 3
Editing, Historical
Box 3
Grade Books
Box 3
Addresses
Box 3
Preservation of Our Library Heritage, address delivered by M.U.R. at the Annual dinner of the Friends of the Library at Campbell College, April 7, 1978
Box 3
The Relationship Between the Records Administrator and the Historian
Box 3
Starting a Local Archives or Historical Society, address given on November 20, 1975, at the Archives and Records Workshop of the Society of Georgia Archivists
Box 3
What Has Happened to History in the Archival Profession?
Box 3
Lecture, Georgia Archives Institute, August 10, 1971
Box 3
Benjamin Edward Powell
Box 3
The Influence of Historians on the Archival Profession of the United States
Box 3
Land Speculation in Tippah County, 1836-1861 (M.A. Thesis)
Box 3
Sketches for the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography (13)
Box 3
Student Writings
Box 3
Woody, Robert Hilliard
Box 3
Writings (Miscellaneous)
Box 3
Writings (Published Copies)
Box 3

The donor has placed a restriction on these materials. Please contact the University Archives about using these records.

Confidential Presidential Library Proposal and Notes, 1981
Box 4
Correspondence and Documents, 1981-1982
Box 4
Dr. Mattie Russell Files, 1981, undated
Box 4
Reports, Correspondence and Other Information, 1981-1982
Box 4
Sub-Committee of the Selct Committee on the Nixon Presidential Library, 1981, undated
Box 4
Sub-Committee on Library Relations, Correspondence and Reports, September 1981-October 1981
Box 4

Historical Note

Mattie Underwood Russell was born on May 14, 1915, in Pontotoc County, Mississippi. She grew up on her parents' farm, the youngest of 12 children. She attended the University of Mississippi, earning a bachelor's degree in 1939 and a master's degree in 1940, both in history. Russell worked from 1937 to 1943 teaching high school in rural Mississippi, earning her academic degrees during the summer. In 1943, she moved to Durham to attend a summer session for teachers at Duke University, then moved to Mars Hill, North Carolina to teach as a faculty member at Mars Hill College. In 1946 she returned to Durham as a fulltime Ph.D. student and worked in the library at the circulation desk.

While she completed her Ph.D., Russell became Assistant Curator of the Manuscript Department in 1948, and in 1952 she became Curator. In 1956, she completed her Ph.D. degree in history, with a disseration on William Holland Thomas, a white chief of the Cherokee tribe, but it was archives and manuscripts to which she devoted her life's work. As Curator, a position she held until 1985, she improved the scope of the collections exponentially. During her tenure the Manuscript Department grew from approximately 1 million items to over 7 million items. Russell encouraged her staff to provide better access to the collections for researchers through the implementation of a cataloging system. She also mentored new members of the profession through her work at Duke and her teaching. From 1969 to 1978, Russell taught a course on archives and manuscripts at the School of Library Science at the University of North Carolina.

Russell was a member of many professional organizations, including the American Library Association, the Society of American Archivists, the Historical Society of North Carolina, the Southern Historical Association, and the South Atlantic Archives and Records Conference. She served as a representative of the Southern Historical Association on the National Archives Advisory Council from 1977 to 1983. She was named a fellow in the Society of American Archivists in 1979. In 1981, Russell was the only non-faculty member appointed to the Academic Council's committee to study the possibility of locating Richard Nixon's presidential library on the Duke campus. In addition to her professional and university committments, Russell also published many articles in history and library journals.

Upon her retirement in 1985, her colleagues donated money to create the Mattie Underwood Russell Endowment Fund, used to purchase manuscript collections pertaining to the history and culture of the Americas, particularly the United States. Following her death on May 4, 1988, a bequest from Russell's estate to the Endowment was one of the largest contributions Duke has ever received from an employee.

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • Committee Against the Nixon-Duke Library (CANDL) Records (Duke University Archives)
  • Library Administration Records (Duke University Archives)
  • Nixon Library Controversy Collection (Duke University Archives)
  • Photograph Collection (Duke University Archives)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Mattie Underwood Russell Papers, University Archives, Duke University.

Provenance

The Mattie Underwood Russell Papers were received by the University Archives as gifts in 1985, 1988, and 1989.

Processing Information

Processed by Mattie Underwood Russell in 1988 and 1989, prior to donating her papers to the University Archives. This order has been maintained. The collection was described by Valerie Gillispie in October 2004.

Encoded by Valerie Gillispie, October 26, 2004

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.