About the Collection

Duke University was designed by the firm of Horace Trumbauer, Architect, of Philadelphia, and built between 1925 and 1932. At the time it was the largest construction project ever undertaken in the South. The cost came to just over 21 million dollars. This digital collection contains a small sampling of the records produced during the design and construction of the university's east and west campuses. The materials include memoranda, correspondence, speeches, photographs, invoices, contracts, payroll sheets, brochures, news stories, a scrapbook and an extract from a memoir. The photographs include over 600 professionally-taken "Progress Pictures" that document the construction project. Major subjects include campus architecture and design, construction practices in the 1920s, and the project's impact on Durham. Durham business firms and organizations represented include the Nello Teer Company, the Durham Lumber Company, and the Durham Rotary Club. Individuals represented include Horace Trumbauer, Julian F. Abele, Frank Clyde Brown, B.M. Hall, William Preston Few, Alice M. Baldwin, Robert Lee Flowers, and Doris Duke. Notable events documented are a tour of college and university campuses made by W.P. Few and F.C. Brown, and the setting of the University's cornerstone. The trowels pictured in the collection logo belonged to Pete Ferettino (ca. 1911-1983), a stonemason who worked on the Duke Chapel, and were a gift of the family. The materials in this collection are made available for use in research, teaching and private study. Texts and images from this collection may not be used for any commercial purpose without prior permission from Duke University. Although these texts and images are made publicly accessible for the limited uses described above, they are not all in the public domain. Where copyright persists in this material, that right is owned either by Duke University or by the creators of the object or their descendants. When use is made of these texts and images, it is the responsibility of the user to secure any necessary permissions and to observe the stated access policy, the laws of copyright and the educational fair use guidelines.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Construction of Duke University, 1924-1932, University Archives, Duke University.

Processing Information

  • Processed by Tom Harkins, April 2006.
  • Encoded by Julie Doring.
  • Digitization of collection accomplished by Duke University Libraries Digital Production Center.
  • Completed May 2006.
  • Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and our local Style Guide.

Subject Headings

These are searchable subject entries for this collection. Performing a search on these subjects in the Duke University Libraries online catalog will bring up other related research materials.
  • Abele, Julian, 1881-1950
  • Architecture -- North Carolina -- Durham
  • Architecture -- Designs and plans -- Working drawings.
  • Baldwin, Alice M. (Alice Mary), 1879-1960
  • Brown, Frank C. (Frank Clyde)
  • Campus planning -- North Carolina -- Durham.
  • Chapels -- Designs and plans.
  • Church architecture -- North Carolina -- Durham
  • College buildings -- Designs and plans.
  • Cornerstone laying -- North Carolina -- Durham
  • Duke Construction Company
  • Duke University. University Archives.
  • Duke University -- Chapel
  • Duke University -- History
  • Duke University -- West Campus
  • Duke University -- Woman's College -- History
  • Duke, Doris, 1912-1993
  • Durham Lumber Company
  • Durham (N. C.)
  • Durham Rotary Club
  • Erwin Cotton Mills
  • Few, William Preston, 1867-1940
  • Flowers, Robert Lee, 1870-1951
  • Gothic revival (Architecture) -- North Carolina -- Durham.
  • Hall, B. M.
  • Nello L. Teer Co.
  • Trumbauer, Horace, 1869-1938
  • Universities and colleges -- Architecture
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