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Guide to the Trinity College Library records, 1892-1924

Abstract

In 1887 the Trinity College Library was created when two rival literary societies combined their book collections and added them to the few books already owned by the school.

Records kept by the librarians and staff of the Trinity College Library documenting its operations. Included are records of accessions, book orders, circulation, periodicals, and reference books. The records also contain a short history of the Library by Joseph Penn Breedlove as well as the brochure for the opening of the new library building in 1903.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
University Archives, Duke University
Creator
Trinity College (Durham, N.C.). Library.
Title
Trinity College Library records, 1892-1924
Language of Material
English
Extent
5.2 Linear Feet, 2,250 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Records kept by the librarians and staff of the Trinity College Library documenting its operations. Included are records of accessions, book orders, circulation, periodicals, and reference books. The records also contain a short history of the Library by Joseph Penn Breedlove as well as the brochure for the opening of the new library building in 1903.

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.

Collection is open for research.

In off-site storage; 48 hours advance notice is required for 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

Correspondence, receipts, and miscellaneous administrative records, 1893-1923 (5 folders)
Box 1
Correspondence, receipts, and miscellaneous administrative records, 1923-1924 (4 folders)
Box 2
Correspondence, receipts, and miscellaneous administrative records, 1924 and undated (4 folders)
Box 3
History of the Trinity College Library from late 1890s when it was located in the Washington Duke Building
Box 3
Library history clippings and related materials
Box 3
Trinity College Library Association brochure, 1899
Box 3
Trinity College Library opening, 1903
Box 3
Book requests, 1907-1924 (5 folders)
Box 4
Periodical records, 1901-1903
Box 4
Periodical and book records, 1913-1922
Box 4
Library order books, 1901-1906 (2 volumes)
Box 5
Acquisitions, 1902-1903 (2 volumes)
Box 5
Acquisitions, 1919-1924
Box 5
Books, periodicals bought by departments, 1923-1924 (2 folders)
Box 5
Circulation records, 1892, 1895-1902 (10 volumes)
Box 6
Circulation record, Ethel Carr Peacock reading room, 1897-1899
Box 6
Law, circulation record, 1912-1919
Box 7
Fines, 1900
Box 7
Biology Reference Shelf, 1910-1923
Box 7
Economics Reference Shelf, 1910-1924
Box 7
English Literature Reference Shelf, 1909-1924
Box 7
Trinity College Library, Records of Books, 1909-1923
Box 8 (Oversize)
Trinity College Library, Record of Expenditures, 1911-1912
Box 8 (Oversize)
Trinity College Library, Record of Philosophy Shelf, 1910-1924
Box 8 (Oversize)
Trinity College Library, Record of Books put on New Book Shelf, 1909-1919
Box 8 (Oversize)
Trinity College Library, Record of Mordecai's law lectures and McIntosh's select cases on contracts, 1908-1911
Box 8 (Oversize)
Trinity Park School, Record of Reference Shelf, 1909-1922
Box 8 (Oversize)

Historical Note

In 1887 the Trinity College Library was created when two rival literary societies combined their book collections and added them to the few books already owned by the school. The Columbian Society, founded in 1846, and the Hesperian Society, founded in 1851, maintained libraries for their members and competed in acquiring books. According to the Trinity College Catalogue, by 1860 each society held 2,200 volumes, while the school itself held only 650. In 1887, new president John Franklin Crowell persuaded the literary societies to merge their collections with that of the college, creating a combined library of 10,000 volumes. The new library was housed on the second floor of the old Trinity College chapel, and Crowell claimed to have catalogued each of the books himself.

After Trinity moved to Durham in 1892, the library occupied a large single room in the Washington Duke Building, the main building of the campus. One student from each of the two literary societies served as librarians. The Washington Duke Building burned in 1911, but by that time, the library had moved to a new location.

In 1900, James B. Duke donated money to create a separate free standing library building. Ground was broken in 1901, and the Trinity College Library building was completed in December, 1902, with a formal opening taking place the following February. During construction, Duke donated an additional $10,000 for the purchase of books.

After the creation of the Duke Endowment in December 1924, a new building was constructed, seventy-five yards northwest from the old library, to serve as the library for the university during the construction of West Campus and the transformation of Trinity College into Duke University. After the new library was completed 1927, 100,000 books were moved from the old to the new library, a feat that was accomplished by arranging a competition among fraternities to see which could move the most books.

The expansion plans for East Campus called for the demolition of the old library. It was dismantled, moved to Kittrell College in Kittrell, North Carolina, and rebuilt as the B. N. Duke Library. It remained there, looking almost exactly the same as it had at Trinity, until 1972 when it was destroyed by fire.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Trinity College Library records, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Trinity College Library records were received by the University Archives as transfers over a period of time.

Processing Information

Processed by Tim Pyatt, July 2006

Encoded by Kimberly Sims, October 2006

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 our local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.