Duke University. Department of History

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The study of history emerged as a separate field of study at Trinity College in the late nineteenth-century supported by a change in popular attitudes, interests, and the ongoing professionalization of the field of historical inquiry. In 1891, Trinity College became the first southern educational institution to establish a distinct chair of history. In 1896, Stephen B. Weeks founded the Trinity College Historical Society which gave further impetus to strengthening the Department of History and supported a gradual shift from local to world history topics. By 1923, when Trinity College was ready to transition into Duke University, six semester hours of history course work was required for graduation. William K. Boyd and William T. Laprade formed the foundation of the History Department at Duke University, with Boyd's focus in American History with a concentration on Southern history and Laprade's focus on British history. In 1923, E. Malcolm Carroll joined the history faculty and shifted his research from American to continental European history to suit a void in research focus within the department. Between 1925 and 1939 the Department of History grew from six members to eighteen.

The transition from Trinity College to Duke University also included not only a change in name but also a shift from a small liberal arts college to a research university and consequently the emphasis of the Department of History. Under the direction of Boyd and President William Preston Few, the University sought to expand its collection of books and primary source material in the library to facilitate a new faculty concentration on original research and substantive contributions to historical understanding through scholarly publication. By the end of the 1930s, the Department of History had added five new faculty members that would spend their entire careers at Duke University: historian of British and Commonwealth history, William B. Hamilton; military historian Theodore Ropp; Harold T. Parker, historian of Revolutionary and Napoleonic France; English Rennaisance specialist Arthur B. Ferguson; and Richard L. Watson, Jr., historian of the Progressive Era and early twentieth-century United States.

Other noteworthy faculty joined Duke in the decades following the Second World War including Emeriti Professors Joel Colton in European history in 1947, Anne F. Scott in Women's History, military historian I.B. Holley, Peter H. Wood and Robert F. Durden, historian of the 19th century U.S. South, the Duke family, and author of The Launching of Duke University: 1925-1949 published by Duke University Press.

Currently the Department of History operates with a Chair and Directors of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies. The chairman is appointed by the Provost on the basis of the department's recommendations and in consultation with the Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Dean of the Graduate School. The chairman is appointed to a three-year term and will normally serve no more than two consecutive terms. The chairman is the principal point of contact between the department and central administration and is responsible for proposing appointees for the director of graduate and undergraduate studies; departmental committees; arrangement of the schedule of courses and teaching assignments; budget preparation, proposals, and departmental spending. Also, the chairman is to insure excellence in the faculty and to take the initiative in determining departmental needs and faculty prospects. However, the chair must cultivate the active cooperation and consent of his colleagues in order to maintain the collegial integrity of the department.

Portions of this Historical Note were adopted from Robert F. Durden, The Launching of Duke University: 1924-1949 (Duke University Press, 1993), 131-138.

From the guide to the Department of History Records, 1932-[ongoing], (University Archives, Duke University)

There has been a Dept. of History at Duke since its days as Trinity College.

From the description of Dept. of History Records, 1932-[ongoing] (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 311600824

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Duke University. Dept. of History. Dept. of History Records, 1932-[ongoing] Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Rippy, J. Fred (James Fred), 1892-. J. Fred Rippy papers, 1926-1935. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Woody, Robert H. (Robert Hilliard), 1903-1985. Robert H. Woody papers, 1927-1985. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Scott, Anne Firor, 1921-. Anne Firor Scott papers, 1939-2002. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Sydnor, Charles S. (Charles Sackett), 1898-1954. Papers, 1729-1978 and n.d. (bulk 1923-1954). Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Chaffin, Nora Campbell, 1900-1981. Nora Campbell Chaffin papers, 1835-1981. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Preston, Richard Arthur. Richard A. Preston papers, circa 1745-1987 (bulk 1956-1987). Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Hollyday, Frederic B. M. Frederic B. M. Hollyday papers, 1943-1971. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Adams, Herbert Baxter, 1850-1901. Papers, 1891-1913; (bulk 1891-1902). Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Duke University. Dept. of History. Cultural Perspectives of the 20th Century U.S. South Student Papers, 1997. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Boyd, William Kenneth, 1879-1938. William Kenneth Boyd papers, 1851-1956. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Scott, Anne Firor, 1921-. Papers, 1939-2000. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Clyde, Paul Hibbert, 1896-1998. Paul H. Clyde papers, 1972. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Hamilton, William Baskerville, 1908-1972. William Baskerville Hamilton Papers, circa 1700-1972. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn TePaske, John Jay. Papers, 1500-1988, 1991 and n.d. Howard University
referencedIn Watson, Richard L. Richard L. Watson, Jr. papers, 1941-1989. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Lanning, John Tate, 1902-1976. John Tate Lanning papers, 1926-1976. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Manchester, Alan K. (Alan Krebs), b. 1897. Alan K. Manchester papers, 1905-1975. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Charles S. Sydnor Papers, and undated, 1729-1978 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf Department of History Records, 1932-[ongoing] University Archives, Duke University.
referencedIn Carroll, Eber Malcolm, 1893-1959. E. Malcom Carroll papers, circa 1930-1954. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Nelson, Ernest William, 1896-. Ernest W. Nelson records and papers, 1913-1975 (bulk 1926-1974). Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Hamilton, William Baskerville, 1908-1972. Papers, ca. 1930-1979. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Acomb, Frances Dorothy, 1907-. Frances D. Acomb papers, 1953-1975. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Colton, Joel, 1918-2011. Joel G. Colton papers, 1942-1983. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Scott, Anne Firor, 1921-. Anne Firor Scott papers, 1963-2002. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn TePaske, John Jay. Papers, 1500-1988, 1991 and n.d. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Laprade, William Thomas, 1883-1975. William Thomas Laprade Papers, 1660-1975 (bulk 1898-1975). Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Sydnor, Charles S. (Charles Sackett), 1898-1954. Papers, 1729-1978 (bulk 1923-1954). Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Acomb, Frances Dorothy, 1907- person
associatedWith Adams, Herbert Baxter, 1850-1901. person
associatedWith Boyd, William Kenneth, 1879-1938. person
associatedWith Carroll, Eber Malcolm, 1893-1959. person
associatedWith Chaffin, Nora Campbell, 1900-1981. person
associatedWith Clyde, Paul Hibbert, 1896-1998. person
associatedWith Colton, Joel, 1918-2011. person
associatedWith Duke University corporateBody
associatedWith Duke University corporateBody
associatedWith Glen Raven Mills Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Hamilton, William Baskerville, 1908-1972. person
associatedWith Hamilton, William Baskerville, 1908-1972. person
associatedWith Hollyday, Frederic B. M. person
associatedWith Lanning, John Tate, 1902-1976. person
associatedWith Laprade, William Thomas, 1883-1975. person
associatedWith Manchester, Alan K. (Alan Krebs), b. 1897. person
associatedWith Nelson, Ernest William, 1896- person
associatedWith Preston, Richard Arthur. person
associatedWith Rippy, J. Fred (James Fred), 1892-. person
associatedWith Scott, Anne Firor, 1921- person
associatedWith Scott, Anne Firor, 1921- person
associatedWith Scott, Anne Firor, 1921-. person
associatedWith Sydnor, Charles S., 1898-1954 person
associatedWith Sydnor, Charles S. (Charles Sackett), 1898-1954. person
associatedWith Sydnor, Charles S. (Charles Sackett), 1898-1954. person
associatedWith TePaske, John Jay. person
associatedWith TePaske, John Jay. person
associatedWith Watson, Richard L. person
associatedWith Woody, Robert H. (Robert Hilliard), 1903-1985. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
North Carolina--Durham
Durham (N.C.)
United States
North Carolina
Southern States
Subject
Discrimination in employment
Women
Racism
Racism--History--20th century
Minorities--Employment
Religion and state
Textile factories
School integration
Occupation
Function

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