Guide to the Wallace Kaufman Papers, 1959-1994


Author, teacher, naturalist, environmental activist, and World Bank consultant Wallace Vickers Kaufman was a 1961 graduate of Duke University's Trinity College majoring in English. Collection contains correspondene, reports, journals, and miscellaneous material relating primarily to Kaufman's environmental activism and as a real estate and entrepeneurial consultat. The collection also contains material documenting his friendship with Reynolds Price, a former instructor of Kaufman's at Duke, specifically correspondence, manuscripts, and several typescripts of Price's work.

Collection Details

Collection Number
Wallace Kaufman papers
Kaufman, Wallace
1.5 Linear Feet, 700 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in English

Collection Overview

The collection contains correspondence, writings and addresses, journals, reports, clippings and assorted print matter. Materials present primarily reflect Kaufman's environmental activism while residing in rural Chatham County, North Carolina and his consulting work with the World Bank and the International City/County Management Association in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc. Correspondence mostly documents Kaufman's role with the Conservation Council of North Carolina and the organization's collaboration with other local, regional, and national environmental organizations.

The journals and reports document Kaufman's work in former Soviet nations. They describe Kaufman's day to day activities in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Kazakhstan, and Poland that include descriptions of local customs and geographic regions, the difficulties and challenges inherent in transition from collectivism to privatization, and surveys of local businesses and manufactories. Also present in the collection is material documenting Kaufman's relationship with author Reynolds Price. This material includes mostly correspondence as well as several manuscripts and typescripts. The correspondence touches upon personal matters as well as professional including the activities of mutual friends and acquaintances, travels, and current works in progress.

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], Wallace Kaufman Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Correspondence, 1964-1983 (8 folders)
Box 1
Campaign Material, N.C. House, 1980
Box 1
Clippings, 1971-1980 and undated
Box 1
Conservation Council of North Carolina (CCNC)
Constitution and By-laws, undated
Box 1
Board Meeting minutes, circa 1970s
Box 1
Miscellaneous, circa 1970s
Box 1
Press releases, 1972-1976 and undated
Box 1
Questionaires, 1972
Box 1
Resolutions, 1971-1972
Box 1
Posters, circa 1970s
Box 1
Other environmental organizations, 1970-1980 and undated
Box 1
Montejo, Victor Dionicio, 1984 and undated
Box 2
Box 2
Print Material
Box 2
Skidway Institute of Oceanography, Eroding Shorelines, 1981 and 1985
Box 2
Water Resources and Land Use Task Force, 1972
Box 2
Writings and Addresses
Box 2
International City/County Management Association and World Bank
Hungarian Journal, September 1991
Box 2
Czechoslovakia Journal, World Bank survey
Box 2
Eastern European Entrepeneurs
Box 2
Alma Alta, Kazakhstan journal, August-July 1993
Box 2
Kazakhstan journal, July 1993-July 1994 (4 folders)
Box 2
Kazakhstan Real Estate Report, 1993
Box 3
Poland journal, April-May 1991
Box 3
Correspondence, 1959-1989 and undated (8 folders)
Box 3
Miscellaneous, undated
Box 3
Miscellaneous manuscripts (Price and Kaufman), 1960 and undated
Box 3
Typescripts by Price
Troubled Sleep and Michale Egerton, undated
Box 3
A Chain of Love, undated
Box 3
Sleepwalking and The Anniversary 1963 and undated
Box 3
Uncle Grant, undated
Box 3
Morning Places, undated
Box 3
The Names and Faces of Heroes, undated
Box 3
Love and Work, undated
Box 3
Box 3

Historical Note

Wallace Vickers Kaufman was born April 10th, 1939 in Queens, New York . Kaufman came to Duke University to study English in 1957, taking his A.B. in 1961. He also studied at Merton College at Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar from 1961-1963.

Along with fellow classmates and writers Fred Chappel and Anne Tyler, Kaufman's writing was fosterd under the direction of William Blackburn. Also while at Duke Kaufman developed a close student-mentor relationship with author Reynolds Price. Kaufman and Price continued to correspond well into Kaufman's own professional career. After graduating, Kaufman taught high school sciences courses, middle school English, and writing courses at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While a resident of Chatham County, Kaufman developed an interest in land development projects that included caveats for environmental protection. An extension of this interest led to involvment with, among otehr regional and national environmental organizations, the Conservation Council of North Carolina (CCNC), an organization that Kaufman eventually chaired. Kaufman also served on several local and state boards of realtors, the North Carolina Land Stewardship Council, and Conservation Fund, North Carolina. At this time, Kaufman also travelled extensively in Latin America. During his travels Kaufman promoted indigenous writers, particularly Guatemalan writer Victor Dinoicio Montejo.

In the mid-1990s Kaufman began consulting work for the World Bank and the International City/County Management Association in nations of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc, including Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Kazakhstan, the final Soviet Republic to declare independence. This work encompassed a broad scope of work including advising local residents on land and housing reform, teaching property valuation, investigating the effectiveness of aid projects, economic surveys, and some work training local journalists. In 2001 Kaufman relocated to western Oregon where he began a career in arbitration and mediation.

Related Material

  • Reynolds Price Papers, 1927-2010 and undated, bulk 1956-2006 (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


The Wallace Kaufman Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as gift in 1993-94 and as a purchase in 2008.

Processing Information

Processed by Josh Larkin Rowley, October 2011

Encoded by Josh Larkin Rowley, October 2011

Accessions 1994-008, 1994-089, and 2008-0047 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid: