Guide to the John Nelson Cole scrapbook, 1905-1919


John Nelson Cole, Jr. was an undergraduate student at Trinity College from 1905-1909. The scrapbook includes diary-style entries, photographs, clippings, receipts, tickets, poems, short stories, correspondence and other memorabilia related to his final year at Trinity College and his subsequent career. The scrapbook ranges in date from 1905-1919.

Collection Details

Record Group
John Nelson Cole scrapbook
Cole, John Nelson, Jr., 1889-.
2.6 Linear Feet, 2 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in English

Collection Overview

Contains news clippings, correspondence, journal entries, wedding invitations, telegrams, photographs, event programs, tickets, as well as some of Cole's own poems, essays and short stories. The scrapbook ranges in date from 1905-1919.

More Biographical / Historical Info


Cole included these items in string-bound patent scrapbook of over 100 pages. The original scrapbook has been unbound and photocopied for preservation, due to the fragile and acidic paper. Scrapbook and photocopy were then re-boxed into two boxes. No further processing.

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Collection is open for research.

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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.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], John Nelson Cole scrapbook, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. Scrapbook, 1909-1919

This scrapbook contains clippings, correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia from Cole's last year at Trinity College, and from his subsequent career. Materials from his time at Trinity College include photographs and memorabilia from athletics, Glee Club, and Alpha Tau Omega events. Also included are wedding invitations and clippings, including some related to the wedding of Mary Duke Biddle. Cole wrote and included many journal-style entries about his daily life, particularly during the years 1909-1912. The scrapbook also contains ephemera from his travel to Paris and his career in New York, as well newspaper obituaries upon the death of his father. Loosely arranged in chronological order.


Historical Note

Biographical/Historical note

The son of famed Methodist minister Rev. John Nelson Cole, John Nelson Cole, Jr. was born in 1895 and grew up in Rockingham, NC. He entered Trinity College in 1905 and was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity as well as the Glee Club. He was also friends with Angier B. Duke.

After graduating in 1909 with a degree in journalism, Cole went on to teach English at the Woodberry School in Orange, VA for a short time. From 1910 to 1912, he attended Columbia University's journalism program. He subsequently worked for the Baltimore Hotel, the N.Y. Edison Company, and as a reporter for the New York Evening Post. Later, he worked as advertising writer and salesman for the U.S. Printing and Lithograph Company. Eventually, he became founder and president of the Planographic Equipment Company, which manufactured printing presses and produced pictorial sections for large newspapers.

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The John Nelson Cole scrapbook was received by the University Archives as a gift in 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by Jessica Wood, August 2006

Encoded by Kimberly Sims, December 2006

Accession A87-32 is described in this finding aid.