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The Duke Family

This guide is a starting point for learning about the Duke family, their role in the founding of Duke University, and their papers and collections housed at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Rubenstein Library

Rubenstein Library Entrance

David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

General Contact Information:

Rubenstein Library, Main Floor
Box 90185
Durham, NC 27708


Duke Family Manuscript Collections

The archival collections of Duke family members with the strongest connection to Trinity College and Duke University are listed below. View a family tree of Washington Duke's descendants.

Papers of Other Duke or Roney Family Members

  • Jonathan Cicero Angier Papers, 1892-1946: Letters, some concerning Republican politics in N.C., and some from Mrs. Angier concerning the King's Daughters and Duke Memorial Methodist Church, in which she was active. There is also a brief genealogy of the Duke family; pictures representing women's work for missions in the M. E. Church, South; maps of missions in Africa, Brazil, China, and Korea; and clippings (mostly from Durham newspapers) which mainly concern marriages and deaths in the Angier and Duke families, social and civic events in which they were involved, honors bestowed upon them, and the estates of James B., B. N. Duke, Angier B., and Mrs. B. N. Duke.
  • Lida Aurelia Duke Angier Papers, 1899-1928, 1948 and undated: Biographical sketch of Lida Duke Angier written by her daughter, Carlotta Gilmore Angier Satterfield (Mrs. H.C. Satterfield), discussing the family, the Duke Memorial Church, and philanthropy. Letters to Mrs. Angier pertaining to the settlement of the James B. Duke estate, in particular the bequest to his cousins. Includes several handwritten letters from B.N. Duke pertaining to J.B. Duke's will, disbursements to Mrs. Angier and various other relatives, and personal matters. Also contains clippings and other miscellaneous items.
  • Betty Dailey Papers, 1924-1928: Letters and papers concerning the efforts of Benjamin N. Duke and J. B. Duke to uncover the genealogy of the Roney branch of the family. Betty Dailey's maiden name was Roney; she compiled for the Dukes a list of the Roney genealogy through the Duke's second cousins. A letter of Jan. 7, 1925 from J. B. Duke to Betty Dailey states the reasons for his establishment of the Duke Endowment.
  • Wylanta Duke Strayhorn Aycock Holt Papers, 1889-1980: Mrs. Holt was the fourth and final wife of Brodie L. Duke. Her papers chronicle her personal life as well as the business and financial transactions which she conducted as a prominent landowner in Durham.
  • George Leonidas Lyon Papers, 1870s-1926: Correspondence, clippings, and photos, chiefly relating to Lyon's involvement in the sport of trapshooting. Photos include several generations of the related Carr, Duke, Lyon, McClamroch, and Watts families.
  • Cordelia Biddle Duke Robertson Scrapbooks, ca. 1933-1962: The scrapbooks containing photographs, clippings, correspondence, and memorabilia relating to the Biddle and Duke families, in particular to Cordelia Robertson's sons, Anthony Drexel Duke and Angier Biddle Duke, and to her brother, Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle, Jr., who was married to Mary Duke.
  • Inez Duke Angier Stokes Papers, 1888-1975: The collection includes photocopied pages from John Duke's Bible; reminiscences by Lida Duke of her family including comments about James, Benjamin, and Washington Duke; clippings relating to marriages, deaths, and will stipulations; items related to philanthropic endeavors such as Trinity College which later became Duke University; items relating to the Duke Homestead and the Duke Centennial Celebration of 1939. There is extensive information about Doris Duke including clippings about her marriages to James H.R. Cromwell and Porfirio Rubirosa, and other information revealing how closely her actions were reported upon in the press. The scrapbook provides information about Duke University as well as the Duke family.