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Guide to the Peter Wood Papers on the Nixon Library Controversy, 1981, 1985

Abstract

Peter H. Wood is Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of History at Duke University.

The collection consists of documentation related to the Nixon Library Controversy at Duke during 1981.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
University Archives, Duke University
Creator
Wood, Peter H., 1943-
Title
Peter Wood papers on the Nixon Library Controversy 1981, 1985
Language of Material
English
Extent
0.5 Linear Feet, approx. 450 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

This collection contains correspondence, flyers, clippings, and other documents regarding the Nixon Library Controversy at Duke during 1981. The documentation was created and/or collected by Dept. of History Professor, Peter H. Wood, and demonstrates the divisiveness of this controversy as well as the opinions of Duke faculty members regarding the Nixon library.

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

Nixon Library: General, 1981
Box 1
Letters from Outside Duke, 1981
Box 1
Hoover Library, etc., 1981
Box 1
Teach-In, 1981
Box 1
Craufurd Goodwin Letter (from the History Dept.), 1981
Box 1
Quotes from Historians, circa 1981
Box 1
Sydney Nathans on Presidential Libraries, circa 1981
Box 1
Briefing File, 1981
Box 1
Cady Letter, 1981
Box 1
Wood's Statement to the Academic Council, 1981
Box 1
Resolution on Location: Presented to the Academic Council by Wood, 1981
Box 1
Wood's Article for the OAH Newsletter, circa 1981
Box 1
Dirk Philipsen: "Power, Politics, and a Private Elite University: The Nixon Library Controversy at Duke," circa 1985
Box 1
ITT, undated
Box 1
Maps, undated
Box 1
Clippings, 1981
Box 1

Historical Note

In July 1981, Terry Sanford initiated negotiations with former U. S. President Richard Nixon (Duke Law '37) to locate the Nixon presidential library on the campus of Duke University, Nixon's alma mater. When this information was revealed to faculty members during the week of August 10, 1981, many opposed the proposition, citing Sanford's failure to consult the faculty prior to initiating negotiations.

Many who opposed the library had moral objections to memorializing a President whose behavior in office was reproachable, and they feared a negative effect on the university's reputation. Other concerns included the effects of increased tourist traffic on campus and the uncertain aesthetic nature of the proposed structure. However, supporters of the Nixon Library argued that the scholarly and academic benefits of locating the Nixon Presidential Materials collection on campus should and would outweigh other concerns. These supporters tended to denounce the actions of vocal dissenters as divisive and arrogant.

Meetings of the Academic Council and Board of Trustees during September and October 1981 were dominated by the Nixon Library debate, and a group of faculty formed the Committee Against the Nixon-Duke Library (CANDL) to organize the efforts of faculty, students, alumni, and others opposed to the proposed library. Although the Academic Council voted not to pursue further negotiations with former president Nixon in a 35-34 decision at a September 3, 1981 meeting, the Board of Trustees later voted 9-2 to proceed. By April 1982, negotiations had stalled. One year later, Nixon's representatives announced that a site at Chapman College in San Clemente, California, had been chosen for the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library.

These files were created by Peter H. Wood, while serving as Professor in the Dept. of History. He is now Professor Emeritus.

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • Sydney Nathans Collection, 1975-1981 (Duke University Archives)
  • Committee Against the Nixon-Duke Library (CANDL) Records, 1981 (Duke University Archives)
  • Nixon Library Controversy Reference Collection, 1981-2001 (Duke University Archives)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Peter Wood Papers on the Nixon Library Controversy, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Peter Wood Papers on the Nixon Library Controversy were received by the University Archives as a transfer in 2012.

Processing Information

Processed by Kimberly Sims, July 2012

Encoded by Kimberly Sims, July 2012

Accession UA2012-0020 is 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.