Guide to the W. Bryan Bolich papers, 1891-1972
W. Bryan Bolich (1896-1977) served as a Professor of Law at Duke University from 1927 to 1966. Papers contain family memorabilia, general correspondence, photographs, an oral history, diaries, course notes, writings, drafts of statutes revisions, and clippings. Major subjects include family work at Southern Railway in Forsyth County, N.C., Duke Law School curriculum development and reorganization, Law Day, the Rhodes Scholarship, Trinity College Class of 1917 alumni activities, Law School Alumni Association, North Carolina House of Representatives, and property and alien rights laws authored with the North Carolina General Statute Commission.
- Record Group
- W. Bryan Bolich papers
- Bolich, W. Bryan, 1896-1977
- 5 Linear Feet, 5,000 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English
Correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, diaries, certificates, correspondence and drafts of laws, miscellaneous memorabilia from Bolich's career as a Professor at Duke University Law School, student notebooks from courses taken at Trinity College and University of Oxford, and a taped memoir and 19-page transcription. Family materials include materials from Southern Railway and much correspondence between Bolich's parents during their courtship (ca 1891-1893). Political correspondence between Bolich and Richard Nixon is filed in Series 3 (Correspondence. Political).
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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], W. Bryan Bolich Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Contains general correspondence between W. Bryan Bolich and his family (bulk 1915-1919), friends, and colleagues (1920-1960). Earlier correspondence (bulk 1891-1893) was primarily between Sallie McMahon and John Alonzo Bolich (parents of W. Bryan Bolich). Family items include miscellaneous memorabilia and items from father John Alonzo Bolich's work as a train master at Southern Railway (ca 1907-1940). Also contains Trinity College class notebooks (ca 1917), Trinity College Class of 1917 Alumni Association materials (1942-1966), and University of Oxford notebooks (ca 1921-1927). The oral history (1969) contains a tape and transcript. Ordered by date.
Contains general correspondence with colleagues at Duke regarding Duke Law School curriculum development and reorganization, establishment of Law Day, activities of the Law School Alumni Association, and the 1963 building dedication. Also contains sabbatical and other leave requested by Bolich, course reading lists, drafts of "Duke Law School, 1868-1968: A Sketch" and sketches submitted by Bolich to The Bar Rag, official newspaper of the Duke Bar Association. Ordered by topic.
Contains miscellaneous correspondence between Bolich and colleagues regarding research, conferences, general curriculum, laws, and politics. Also contains items from the Rhodes Scholarship Committee at Duke University (1953-1965). The political correspondence is primarily between Bolich and persons in the White House (including Nixon). Ordered by date.
Includes Cases and Materials manuscript materials, "Constructing Wills", articles on landlord and tenant laws, correspondence and drafts of laws regarding property rights, short miscellaneous and creative writings, and text of speeches. Ordered by topic.
Contains clippings about coaching sports at Trinity Park School, winning the Rhodes Scholarship, running for a seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives, becoming a professor of law, fraternity inductions, and general commentary on developing laws. Ordered by date.
W. Bryan Bolich was born in 1896 in Salisbury, North Carolina. He began his education at Wofford College (Spartanburg, S.C.), then transferred during his junior year to Trinity College (A.B. 1917) where he studied English and Economics. After graduation from Trinity College, he taught classes and coached baseball and basketball teams for the Trinity Park School in Durham, N.C. In 1918, Bolich enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He quickly rose from Seaman to Chief Petty officer and was later commissioned as an Ensign. He served for two years in World War I (1918-1920) and then returned to Trinity College to begin his law education (1921-1922). In 1922 Bolich was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and attended Oxford University where he earned his law degree (B.A. 1923, B.C.L. 1924, M.A. 1927).
As a student he was a member and officer of many fraternities, including the "9019" honorary scholastic fraternity of Trinity College, Phi Beta Kappa (a scholastic fraternity), President of Order of the Coif (an honorary legal scholarship fraternity), Omicron Delta Kappa (an honorary leadership fraternity), the Tombs (an honorary athletic fraternity), Chief Alumnus of Kappa Alpha (a social fraternity), and Phi Delta Phi (a professional legal fraternity). He was also the 1917 Class President of Trinity College and was active in raising funds and organizing class reunions.
Upon his return from Oxford in 1927, Bolich was admitted to the North Carolina Bar Association and moved back to his hometown of Winston-Salem, N.C., where he practiced Civil and Criminal Law in state and federal court. In 1927, he was elected to the North Carolina General Assembly and served one term as the democratic representative of Forsyth County, N.C.. There Bolich drafted and introduced one of the first Alien Rights Registration Acts adopted in the United States. Later in his career, as a member of the North Carolina General Statutes Commission, Bolich was instrumental in preparing the amendment to the North Carolina Constitution which equalized property rights of married couples. He also helped write amendments and propose new laws on inheritance, estate rights, and landlord and tenant relations.
In fall 1927 Bolich returned to Duke University to teach legal history, real property, procedure, and landlord and tenant relations at the Law School. As a Professor, he was a member of the Duke University National Council, Duke Law Alumni Association Council, the American Association of University Professors, and served as a Rhodes Scholarships Institutional Representative for Duke University. He was instrumental in revising the Law School's curriculum and successfully argued for a required third year of study. He also established the Duke Law Alumni Association and edited the school's first alumni directory in 1935. He assembled a "Law Day" program that brought in panels of influential speakers including Duke Law alumni. Bolich was a professor to Duke Law alumnus Richard Nixon. During 1957, Bolich was a Visiting Professor at the University of Texas, Houston.
Bolich was the author of Activities of the North Carolina Bar Association, 1925-1935 (1936), Cases and Materials on Introduction to Procedure (undated), and Duke Law School: the First Hundred Years (1968). After his 1966 retirement from Duke University Law School, Bolich moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, where he lived until his death in 1977.
- Faculty Collection (School of Law Library, Duke University)
- Law Archives (School of Law Library, Duke University)
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Bolich, W. Bryan, 1896-1977
- Bolich, W. Bryan, 1896-1977
- Duke University. School of Law -- Alumni and alumnae
- Duke University. School of Law
- Duke University. School of Law -- Study and teaching
- Duke University. School of Law -- Students
- Duke University. School of Law -- Faculty
- North Carolina. General Statutes Commission
- North Carolina. General Assembly. House of Representatives
- Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 -- Correspondence
- Southern Railway (U.S.)
- Trinity College (Durham, N.C.) -- Students
The W. Bryan Bolich papers were received by the University Archives as a transfer in 1969-1975.
Processed by Emily Glenn, November 2002
Encoded by Kimberly Sims, September 2006
Accessions A69-54, A72-33, A75-50, A71-387 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.