Preliminary Guide to the School of Engineering Records, 1931-1998


Contains the records of the School of Engineering at Duke University from 1931 to 1998. Includes records of the Department of Electrical Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Engineering Student Government, and the Engineering Alumni Association. Type of materials include biographical files, general subject files, correspondence, photographs, clippings, rosters, minutes, reports, proposals, course descriptions, memoirs, honors, and vitae. Major subjects include Duke University, students, School of Engineering, the study and teaching of science and engineering, and scientific research. English.

Collection Details

Record Group
School of Engineering records
1931 - 1998
Duke University. School of Engineering
50 Linear Feet, 50,000 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Collection Overview

Contains the records of the School of Engineering pertaining to courses of instruction, employees, research, students, and general management. Materials in subject files are roughly organized by topics. Engineering Alumni files are largely unordered. Faculty and staff biographical files are ordered alphabetically by last name. Some boxes are restricted.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

For a period of twenty-five years from the origin of the material, permission in writing from the office of origin and the University Archivist is required for use. After twenty-five years, records that have been processed may be consulted with the permission of the University Archivist.

In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended, Duke University permits students to inspect their education records and limits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records.

Electronic records in this collection have been migrated to a library server and digital use copies can only be accessed onsite in the Rubenstein Library Reading Room. To request access, please contact a reference archivist before coming to use these records.

In off-site storage; 48 hours advance notice is required for use.

warning 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.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], School of Engineering Records, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Academic planning - Alumni (engineering), nominating committee
Box 1
Alumni (engineering), off-campus meetings - Curriculum committee and instruction committee
Box 2
Curriculum, undergraduate - Engineering Student Government, newsletters
Box 3
Faculty files, advising, - Phi Eta Sigma

Including lectures, personnel.

Box 4
Matthews, Ralph T. - Science fairs
Box 5
Slide Rules, Scientific, and Educational Equipment - Committee on undergraduate colleges

Includes correspondence.

Box 6
Academic Standards Committee meetings - American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE)
Box 7
AIEE recognition awards - Clippings and College of Engineering, general
Box 8
Counseling, Bureau of Testing and Guidance Material and general Engineering program, Development Program
Box 9
Development Program
Box 10
Development Program - Graduate Program
Box 11
Graduate Administration, Research program - National Science Foundation
Box 12
Patent Policy committee - Research Triangle Institute
Box 13
Research Triangle Institute - Special Programs, Western Electric
Box 14
Special Programs, Western Electric - Visiting Engineers, includes Staff, general
Box 15
Academic Council - Course evaluation

Includes Driver Education Research and Training, Admissions Office, ASDU, Board of Visitors, Engineering Alumni Association.

Box 16
Engineering building, faculty - Institute of Policy Sciences

Includes engineering faculty (1971-1975), engineering student government, graduate studies, high school symposium.

Box 17
Interdisciplinary programs - proposal on Interdisciplinary Program

Includes minority applicants, patent policy, orientation, promotion and tenure

Box 18
News clippings books - University Science Development proposals

Includes A Plan of Action, faculty research, 1971-1976.

Box 19
Provost Council - Women in Engineering

Includes sponsored research, symposium, traffic commission, trustees.

Box 20
ECPD Accreditation Visit, BME, CE, EE, ME, 1973
Box 21
Faculty meeting minutes, 1972-1980

MacElduff retirement memory book, includes some publications and ECPD accreditation

Box 22
Policy on University travel - Policies, School of Engineering

Includes summaries of sponsored research, research history, long range planning, development of Engineering at Duke University, Board of Visitors.

Box 23
ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) - Undergraduate planning information

Includes ECPD, PENC, accreditation for civil engineering, Engineers Joint Council, Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Tau Sigma.

Box 24
ASEE - RANN, National Science Foundation information

Includes Self-study (1965), ECPD (1971-1979), and NC Board of Science and Technology.

Box 25
Faculty census forms, 1970-1981
Box 26
Research activity, 1977-1979
Box 26
Engineering Faculty Council, 1953-1978

Includes bound volumes of Executive Committee and Administrative Council meeting minutes

Box 27
Includes Dean's reports, NROTC, student lounge, Development Program, aeronautics, Engineer's Show (presented by students), 1939-1964
Box 28
Biographical files of Engineering faculty and employees

Includes vitae, clippings, photographs, proposals, and some correspondence.

Box 29
Engineering Student Government records, 1931-1979.

Includes minutes, correspondence, Engineer's Show notes, West Campus Community Council

Box 30
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering records, 1936-1999 .

Includes minutes, correspondence, reports, student papers, subject files, notes of research activity, and faculty meeting minutes.

Box 30
Department of Electrical Engineering, 1946-1972

Includes minutes, correspondence, reports, student papers, memos, grant reports, reports of research activities, and Babbling Brooks newsletter for Engineering Alumni.

Box 31
School of Engineering, Engineering Alumni Association, 1954-1994

Includes Alumni Council meeting minutes, honorary degrees.

Box 32
School of Engineering, Engineering Alumni Association, 1954-1994

Includes 50th reunion directory, awards, newsletters, Alumni Council meeting minutes, some correspondence to alumni

Box 33
School of Engineering, Engineering Alumni Association, 1954-1994

Includes "Southgate Memories" illustrations and photocopies of Durham Herald-Sun front page from December 7, 1941.

Box 37
Publications from engineering firms, ca. 1970-1979
Box 34
Engineering building annex parking lot, 1976-1979
Box 34
Renovations, 1976-1978
Box 34
Building plans and proposals
Box 34
Duke University Construction Program reports
Box 34
Committee and subject files A-L
Box 34
Committee and subject files L-Z
Box 35
Laboratories mechanics and space needs
Box 35
Building Committee meetings, notes, and subcommittee materials
Box 35
Associates, contractors, files, ca. 1965-1970
Box 35
Correspondence, October 1981-June 1982
Box 36
Biofeedback Laboratory
Box 36
Women and Minorities in the School of Engineering, files and reports, ca. 1974-1977
Box 36
Governance and management of the School of Engineering, files and reports, ca. 1976-1979
Box 36

8. Accession number: UA2015.0004

This accession includes a video commemorating the School of Engineering's 75 anniversary as well as original interview footage with four Deans of the School used in the final video. Interview footage consists of unedited interview footage with Deans George W. Pearsall, Earl Dowell, Kristina Johnson, and Tom Katsouleas, discussing the history, characteristics, and future of the School of Engineering at Duke. The final video includes edited footage from these interviews as well as interviews with other persons closely associated with the School and historic photographs, tracing the history and accomplishments of the School of Engineering.

Electronic records in this collection have been migrated to a library server and digital use copies can only be accessed onsite in the Rubenstein Library Reading Room. To request access, please contact a reference archivist before coming to use these records.

Box 36
Item UA21010001-USB-01
Duke Engineering: 75 Years Rising, 2014
(151 Megabytes)

Video is 10 minutes, 56 seconds long.

Video-file UA210101-MP4-001
Interview with Dean Earl Dowell, unedited, 2014
(1270 Megabytes)

Video is 35 minutes, 27 seconds long.

Video-file UA210101-M4V-001
Interview with Dean Kristina Johnson, unedited, 2014
(767 Megabytes)

Video is 20 minutes, 54 seconds long.

Video-file UA210101-M4V-002
Interview with Dean Tom Katsouleas, unedited, 2014
(1420 Megabytes)

Video is 39 minutes, 37 seconds long.

Video-file UA210101-M4V-003
Interview with Dean George W. Pearsall, unedited, 2014
(2030 Megabytes)

Video is 56 minutes, 41 seconds long.

Video-file UA210101-M4V-004

Historical Note


The School of Engineering traces its history back to 1851 when the catalogue for Normal College, the forerunner of Trinity College and Duke University, advertised a Classical course which included surveying in the sophomore year as well as architecture and engineering for seniors. Similar offerings characterized instruction in the subject of engineering throughout the 73 year period of the institution's operation as Trinity College. When Trinity College because Duke University in 1924, Engineering instruction underwent a period of vigorous development.

The School of Engineering at Duke is currently primarily housed in its own two buildings: Hudson Hall (fondly known as Old Red) and the modern Teer Building. It also shares space with other science facilities in the Levine Science Research Center which is separate from the Engineering Buildings. The School of Engineering is composed of the four departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. There are also shared research facilities and joint research activities with numerous other departments including Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics and Medicine.

The School of Engineering houses the prestigious National Science Foundation Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology, which is an international leader in the application of Engineering to Medicine, and the Vesic Engineering Library in the Teer Building.

Related Material

  • DukEngineer [serial]. (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • Report to the National Science Foundation covering development grant GE 2558 to the School of Engineering, Duke University, June 29, 1963-December 31, 1967. Submitted by J. L. Meriam, 1968. (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • School of Engineering, reference collection (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • Small Collections, School of Engineering, Engineering Club (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • Biró, Péter. Means Without End: the Birth of the Duke School of Engineering 1887-1966, 1991. (University Archives, Duke University)
  • Duke University. Task Force on Science and Engineering. Report of the Task Force on Science and Engineering at Duke University : submitted to the Provost, May 5, 1994, 1994. (University Archives, Duke University)

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


Received 1976. School of Engineering, Subject files of Associate Dean Edward K. Kraybill. Accession number: 76-32 (Boxes 1-6)

Received 1976. School of Engineering, Subject files of Dean Charles R. Vail. Accession number: 76-32 (Boxes 7-15)

Received 1978 and 1983. School of Engineering, Office of the Dean, alphabetical subject files. Accession numbers: A83-62, A78-143 (Boxes 16-28)

Received 1989. School of Engineering, Office of the Dean, faculty and staff biographical files. Accession numbers: A89-006 (Box 29)

Received 1993 and 1996. School of Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Accession numbers: A93-24, A93-98, 96-107. Also received 1982. Engineering Student Government. Accession numbers: A82-41 (Box 30)

Received 1984, 1985, 1988, 1991, 1999. School of Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering. Accession numbers: A84-14, A85-93, A88-038, A91-62, A99-36 (Box 31)

Received 1977, 1979, 1994. School of Engineering, Engineering Alumni Association. Accession numbers: A77-27, A79-21, A94-115, A94-132 (Boxes 32-33)

Received 1983. School of Engineering, Office of the Dean, alphabetical subject files. Accession numbers: A83-62 (Boxes 34-36)

Received 2015. Pratt School of Engineering, 75th anniversary video files. Accession number UA2015.0004

Processing Information

Processed by Emily Glenn

Completed January 15, 2003

Encoded by Valerie Gillispie, May 27, 2003

Accession UA2015.0004 processed and finding aid updated by Tracy M. Jackson and Matthew Farrell, February 2015.