Guide to the Law Dames records, 1951-1973


The Duke Law Dames was a social and service organization composed of law student wives, women law students, and wives of the law school faculty and alumni. Collection consists of reports, meeting minutes, constitutions and by-laws, newsletters, flyers, calendars of events, various printed material and scrapbooks.

Collection Details

Record Group
Law Dames records
Duke University. School of Law. Law Dames
2.5 Linear Feet, about 1,500 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in English

Collection Overview

Contains material pertaining to the operations and activities of the Duke Law Dames with the inclusive dates 1951-1973. Materials present include reports, minutes of general meetings and the executive council, correspondence and memoranda, newsletters, flyers, manuals, and assorted printed material including cookbooks composed by the Dames and a welcome guide for wives of Duke Law students. Also present are material accumulated by several organization presidents including officer's reports, minutes of the executive council, newsletter drafts, officer election material, and various printed material. There are also three scrapbooks that contain clippings documenting various social events sponsored by the Dames and also letters, officer lists and member rosters, flyers, event calendars, newsletters, photographs, and other assorted ephemera.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Using These Materials

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warning Access to the Collection

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

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the University Archives to use this collection.

Collection is open for research.

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], Duke Law Dames Records, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. General Files, 1951-1973 and undated

1 box

Series contains general material accumulated by various Law Dame members and includes announcements and memos concerning events, special groups, and the election of officers. Newsletters, constitution and by-laws, reports, material pertaining to similar national and regional organizations such as the National Law Wives, and printed material are also present. Printed material includes a cookbook composed by the Dames, "Culinary Casebook," and a welcome manual for wives of Duke Law students.

Annual reports, president, 1955-1964
Box 1
Correspondence, 1951, 1969-1971
Box 1
Constitutions, 1955-1956, 1967-1970
Box 1
"Culinary Casebook," 1972
Box 1
"Culinary Casebook," undated
Box 1
Elections, 1971, undated
Box 1
Favorite Recipes, 1966, undated
Box 1
Groups and events, 1966-1967, 1971, undated
Box 1
"Introducing Duke Law School," 1970
Box 1
Meetings, 1954, 1969-1971, undated
Box 1
Miscellaneous, 1966, 1970-1971
Box 1
Member manuals, 1969-1970
Box 1
Members and officers, 1955-1959, 1970-1973
Box 1
National Lawyer's Wives, 1970-1971
Box 1
Newsletter, 1969-1972
Box 1
Officer's reports, 1961-1962, 1971-1972
Box 1
Printed material, 1961-1962, 1965-1966
Box 1
Procedure sheets, flyers, council meetings, 1969 April-1970 April
Box 1

2. President's Files, 1964-1973

1 box

Series contains material accumulated by various Law Dames presidents with inclusive dates 1964-1973. Material includes officer reports, executive council minutes, officer election material, newsletter drafts, member rosters, and assorted printed material. Series is arranged chronologically.

General, 1964-1969
(4 folders)
Box 2
Memoranda, 1969-1970
Box 2
Officer's reports, 1969-1970
Box 2
President's report, 1969-1970
Box 2
Meetings, programs, newsletters, 1971-1972
Box 2
Officer's reports, 1971-1972
Box 2
Executive Council meetings, 1972-1973
Box 2
Fliers, 1972-1973
Box 2
Miscellaneous, 1972-1973
Box 2
Newsletter, 1972-1973
Box 2
Officer's reports, 1972-1973
Box 2

3. Scrapbooks, 1959-1973

1 box

Series consists of three scrapbooks that contain clippings documenting the Dames in the news: lectures, meetings of special groups, various social and community events, and events involving Duke University and Law School faculty. There are also flyers, letters, event calendars, newsletters, photographs, and other assorted ephemera. Series arranged chronologically with inclusive dates 1959-1973.

Scrapbook 1, 1959-1969
Box 3
Scrapbook 2, 1969-1972
Box 3
Scrapbook 3, 1972-1973
Box 3

Historical Note

The Duke Law Dames was a social and service organization whose objective was to promote fellowship and to assist members in obtaining all benefits from the Duke-Durham area. Membership was open to law student wives, women law students, and wives of the law school faculty and alumni, although, the composition consisted mainly of law student wives. The organization presented an opportunity for wives to talk over their "common interests, enjoy interesting and educational programming, and most importantly to have fun." The group sponsored lectures, cooking demonstrations, fashion shows, holiday parties, and other assorted social and educational events. Structurally the Law Dames consisted of a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. In addition, there were chairs of programming, social events, publicity, and special projects. Officers were elected on an annual basis.

Related Material

  • School of Law Reference Collection, 1934-1999 (University Archives/David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


The Duke Law Dames records were received by the University Archives as a transfer in 1974.

Processing Information

Processed by Josh Larkin Rowley, April 2009

Encoded by Josh Larkin Rowley, April 2009

Accession UA74-106 is described in this finding aid.