Find research materials
Donate or transfer
Prepare a visit
Exhibits & Special Projects
About the SCRC
The special collections library contains home catalogs from the early 20th century including:
Aladdin Company, "Homes built in a Day," (1919)
John Berry Papers, (1755-1967) Collection
Papers of North Carolina builder and architect, including genealogical records, deeds, and letters referring to the Civil War. Includes photographs (ca. 1967) taken for Duke University News Bureau of eleven buildings designed or built by Berry.
Cannon Mills Company Records
Treasurer's Office Series contains records of building construction including mills and mill houses in Kannapolis, North Carolina, (1925-1928). Includes correspondence, cashbooks, ledgers and other records for a YMCA Building designed by Martin E. Boyer, Jr; Central High School designed by Louis Asbury; and North Kannapolis Graded School designed by Frank B. Simpson.
Rowan County Farm Life School Series (1913-1922) includes correspondence, financial papers, construction and equipment specifications for a dormitory at China Grove designed by C. C. Hook of Charlotte. Also includes 1914 correspondence from Frank K. Thompson, architect, regarding Craven County farm life schools; 1915 correspondence from Walker & Chase, Architects and Engineers of Atlanta.
Duke Endowment Archives, Rural Church Division
Building Grant Files Subseries includes correspondence, applications and related materials for the grant program (1920s-1970s). The collection's inventory includes a complete list of over 100 churches represented.
Oversize Material, Building Grant Files includes blueprints and plants for seventeen churches (1930s-1970s). The collection's inventory includes a complete list of these churches.
Miscellaneous Subseries (1928-1990) contains files for the Church Architect Program and the program committee. The program offered grant opportunities and consultation services. Records include meeting minutes, committee photographs, and correspondence.
Benjamin Newton Duke Papers (1834-1941)
Personal, business, financial and legal papers of Benjamin Newton Duke. Collection includes information on the building of Trinity College, Durham. Photographic records include homes, "The Terrace," "Four Acre," his Florida home, Duke's Farm at University Station, NC, and his home at Irvington-on-Hudson, NY.
James Buchanan Duke Papers (1917-1928)
Chiefly legal papers, but includes photographic records of Duke Farms, Somerville, New Jersey.
Erwin Mills Company Records
Oversize Series contains extensive blueprints of plants, buildings and equipment at Durham, North Carolina, 1962-1976.
William A. Erwin Series includes 1928 correspondence regarding a house for his daughter in Myers Park, Charlotte, designed by Martin E. Boyer, Jr. Also includes correspondence, receipts, contracts, and specifications (1907-08) for the Erwin home, "Hillcrest," and Saint Joseph's Episcopal Church both designed by Barrett & Thompson, Architects.
William A. Erwin Series, St. Mary's School Bldg. Committee includes extensive correspondence, meeting minutes, contracts, and specifications regarding the construction of a new dormitory. Architects represented include George Watts Carr and Northup & O'Brien, (1927-1928). Several contractors and equipment companies are represented.
W. Robert Leckie Papers, (1768-1905)
Robert Leckie (d. 1839), military engineer; educated in Scotland. Papers are concerted with construction of public buildings, canals, arsenals, aqueducts, fortification, masonry of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and surveying and building of walls in the District of Columbia.
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Records, 1834-1850
Iredell Circuit Records, Iredell County, NC, Volume L-2885, pages 1-11 contains an essay by Joshua Leigh entitled "On Church Building." Includes elevations and floor plans for a suggested ideal Methodist Episcopal church.
Edward C. Miller Papers (1863-1890)
Chiefly correspondence of Chesterfield Co., VA architect and civil engineer who taught architectural drawing at Cooper Union Institute. Letters relate to personal and business affairs.
Pilot Mills Company Records (1890-1971)
Correspondence (1892-1918) primarily concerns the construction and equipment of Pilot Cotton Mills and houses for mill workers. Includes plans and specifications for an office/boarding house and barn (1894); specifications and plans for the construction of an auditorium in Raleigh (1901); designs and plans for construction of mill houses (1893), some of which were also used by Erwin Mills (1893); and a fire sprinkling system (1892).
Oversized records include a plat of Pilot Mills (1910), blueprint of Pilot Mills building (1910); a new picker building (1916); plans for a standard cotton store house (1890, heliotype), and many other undated plans, ca 1890. Also includes plans for additions and alterations (1959-1971).
William Alexander Smith Papers
Legal Papers include November 1842 contract to build a "meeting house or church" in Anson County.
Joseph P. Smith Series includes many references to the Ansonville Store and the bricks to build it.
Duke University, The University Archives
341 Perkins Library, Box 90202
Durham NC 27708-0202
Blueprints and working drawings for the campus buildings have been transferred to the university's Facilities Planning Management Office for proper storage. Drawings are available by appointment.
Julian Abele, includes secondary information (news clippings, articles, etc.) on the career of Julian Abele, an associate and chief of design in the firm of Horace Trumbauer. Also includes a list of Abele renderings housed in several repositories and private collections in Philadelphia.
Horace Trumbauer, includes secondary information on the career and firm of Horace Trumbauer, architect of Duke University, east and west campuses. Also includes photographs of Trumbauer work in NY, NJ, PA, and RI.
Frank Clyde Brown Papers, 1899-1943
Frank Clyde Brown was an English professor and comptroller of the university who oversaw the construction of the campus and took special interest the architecture of Duke University. His papers include a diary, construction logs, detailed correspondence with Horace Trumbauer, Julian Abele, and James Buchanan Duke regarding the process of design and architecture of the campus. Includes a scrapbook (1924) completed during a trip taken with President Few to compare campus architecture. Twenty one campuses are represented. Files are extremely detailed, documenting every aspect of the buildings. Also includes Foreman's Daily Reports and Daily Analysis Reports.
Construction Progress Reports
Collection of annual reports on campus construction projects, 1967-present.
Duke University, Operations and Maintenance Department Records (1920-1950)
Includes records (specifications and blueprints) of renovation and remodeling projects for campus buildings.
Duke University, Progress Pictures Albums
Albums provide monthly record of the construction of both Duke University Campuses (east and west), 1927-1932. Includes over 400 photographs.
Duke University, Chapel Records, 1932-present
Contains information on the stone carvings of the chapel. Also includes a 1937 letter from E. H. Clement to Horace Trumbauer describing procedures used in quarrying, handling, and laying the Duke stone.
Duke University, Records of the University President's Office
Most of the papers of each of the Duke University President's Office contain records relating to campus construction. The papers of William Preston Few's administration (1910-1940) contain correspondence, drawings, and other information regarding the original construction of the campus, 1927-1932.
Includes a tintype (ca. 1860) of proposed building for Trinity College, Randolph County. Possibly designed by Braxton Craven, president of the college, or Jacob Holt who won the contract to build the building. (The building was never built.)
Also includes a rendering (1919) by C. C. Hook of Charlotte for the gymnasium at Trinity College.
Horace Trumbauer, Architect, Architectural Drawings Collection
Architectural drawings (undated) by Horace Trumbauer, campus architect, 1927. Includes specifications, plans, details and renderings of buildings and other structures erected and proposed at Duke by Trumbauer, and by Julian Abele, and photo negatives of other Trumbauer commissions, (36 technical drawings, 6 volumes and 2 photo negatives). The following buildings are represented: Davidson Building, Duke Chapel, East Campus Auditorium, School of Forestry (proposed), Ackland Art Museum (proposed), James B. Duke Statue (framed and unframed). (Other records of Horace Trumbauer were discarded after the death of Julian Abele by Abele's family.)