Guide to the Wilbur Wade Card papers, 1876-1943
Wilbur Wade Card entered Trinity College in 1895 and became one of the school's best athletes. He set and broke numerous baseball records as an outfielder and hitter and served as captain of the Trinity baseball team in 1899 (for which he received his nickname, "Cap"). Card was invited by President John C. Kilgo to return to Trinity as Director of a new program in physical education. He remained at Trinity College/Duke University for the next 46 years. The collection includes volumes of physical education and examination records of male students from Trinity College and Trinity Park School, correspondence, photographs, a scrapbook, articles, clippings and miscellaneous printed matter. The collection ranges in date from 1876-1943.
- Record Group
- Wilbur Wade Card papers
- Card, Wilbur Wade
- 5.7 Linear Feet, 1250 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English
The collection includes volumes of physical education and examination records of male students from Trinity College and Trinity Park School, correspondence, photographs, a scrapbook, articles, clippings and miscellaneous printed matter.
The physical education records include students' names and grades from Card's physical education classes. The physical examination volumes include information about each student, including his name, birthplace, father's occupation, which parent the student resembled, and general comments made by Card. Corresponding with this information is the date of the examination, the student's age, weight, height, the girth, depth and breadth of several body parts (such as knees, thighs, shoulders, etc.), the color of hair and eyes, temperament, and other facts.
The correspondence includes letters written to Card by former baseball and football players, including Arthur Bradsher, as well as copies of letters Card wrote. The athletics-related items include batting scores, etc. compiled by Card as well as writings he did, such as "Ben F. Few Makes the Greatest Outfield Catch" and "Three Greatest Plays Made by Trinity Men." He also wrote about Robert M. Gantt, a.k.a. "Big Bob."
The miscellany folders include a 1907-1908 map of Cambridge, MA (in the vicinity of Harvard College), event cards for the Trinity College Athletic Association's first field and track meet, a list of the strongest students in college in 1900 as well as other items related to the physical examination of Trinity students and athletic events, including a program for the first annual North Carolina Olympic Games in 1922. Also included are items related to Card's time at Harvard (including his own physical examination), the Raleigh Male Academy, the Franklinton Classical and Military Institute, Trinity College and Duke University, as well as clippings and some correspondence.
The State was a weekly survey of North Carolina, presented in magazine form. The issues in Card's collection include articles he wrote about athletics, including "Football Stars of By-gone Days," "No Hits and No Runs," and "Trinity vs. Carolina in 1898."
The scrapbook largely contains clippings and programs that relate to athletics at both Trinity College and Harvard and also includes the 1900 Trinity College commencement program as well as a program from the [President] McKinley Memorial Services (Mobile Theatre), September 1901. The pages are very fragile and the scrapbook should be handled with care.
The photographs include one oversized card-mounted photograph that is in need of repair as it is split into two pieces. The image is of the cast (of which Card's wife was a member) of an 1892 cantata called "Dream of Fairy Land." The program for the cantata can be found in the miscellany folder. The other photographs are largely card-mounted and include images of Card, his relatives, and athletic teams. Most are identified and some are dated.
The collection ranges in date from 1876-1943.
Access to the Collection
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
Collection is open for research.
Use & Permissions
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.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Wilbur Wade Card Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Wilbur Wade Card was born on October 29, 1873 in Franklinton, North Carolina to Sabert Henry Card and Cecilia Bennett Fuller. He entered Trinity College in 1895 and became one of the school's best athletes. He set and broke numerous baseball records as an outfielder and hitter and served as captain of the Trinity baseball team in 1899 (for which he received his nickname, "Cap").
After graduating in 1900, he attended the Harvard School of Physical Education and graduated after a year long program. He returned to Harvard every summer through 1913 to train and work at the famed Sargent Normal School of Physical Education. While at his first job as director of the Mobile, Alabama YMCA, Card was invited by President John C. Kilgo to return to Trinity as Director of a new program in physical education. He remained at Trinity College/Duke University for the next 46 years.
From 1902-1912, Card worked as both Director and coach of various sports such as baseball. After the 1912 season, he stepped aside as coach to devote all of his time to being Director. One of the many highlights of Card's career is his introduction of the game of basketball to the State of North Carolina. He coached Trinity College for the first game, played with Wake Forest College in 1906. For this, he is considered the "Father of Intercollegiate Basketball in North Carolina."
Wilbur Wade Card died September 3, 1948 of a heart attack. He was interred at Maplewood Cemetery in Durham. In March 1958, the Duke Gymnasium was renamed the Wilbur Wade Card Gymnasium in his honor.
- News Service Biographical Files, 1960-2004, (University Archives, Duke University.)
- Biographical Reference Collection, 1972-2004. (University Archives, Duke University.)
- Building Reference Collection, 1972-2004, (University Archives, Duke University.)
- University Archives Photograph Collection, 1861-2006, (University Archives, Duke University.)
- Robert Lee Durham Papers, 1888-1946, (University Archives, Duke University.)
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Card, Wilbur Wade
- Card, Wilbur Wade
- Duke University -- Faculty
- Duke University -- Sports
- Duke University -- History -- 20th century
- Duke University. Athletic Dept
- Harvard College (1780-)
- Trinity College (Durham, N.C.) -- History
- Trinity College (Durham, N.C.) -- Faculty
- Trinity Park School (Durham, N.C.)
- Trinity College (Durham, N.C.) -- Sports
The Wilbur Wade Card papers were received by the University Archives as a transfer in 1964-1983.
Processed by Kimberly Sims, December 2006
Encoded by Sherrie Bowser, December 2006
Accessions A64-54, A67-68, A78-25, A83-8 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.