Duke University Opens Doris Duke Papers to Researchers

Doris and James B. Duke

Duke University has opened to researchers the papers of Doris Duke, which are housed in the university’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The papers were donated to the library in 2009 by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Doris Duke was the only child of James B. Duke, the founder of the American Tobacco Company and co-founder of Duke Energy. At the age of 12, Doris Duke inherited her father’s $80 million estate in 1925. By the time of her death in 1993, her fortune exceeded $1.5 billion.

Doris Duke was a philanthropist and patron of the arts. The archives include letters, drawings, photographs, income tax returns, and inventories of jewelry, art, clothing, and the furniture in her seven homes.

The most notable document in the collection may be a 1923 letter from James B. Duke to his 10-year-old daughter. It is the only known letter written to Doris Duke from her father.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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