A record group is a designation given to University Archives’ materials by Archives staff. These artificial designations are primarily based on the structure of Duke University and are intended to organize the collections by organizational area and function. For example, all of records of the Presidents, including the Office of the President, as well as individual President’s records, are grouped together in RG 3. Each record group also has subgroups. Subgroups are assigned to collections by Archives staff.

Record groups are regularly updated based on organizational changes at the university. Record group and subgroup names are based on the current name of the office, center, or department; previous names are also listed if known. 

Researchers may see “gaps” in the numbers of subgroups; these gaps are based on internal archival practices and are not indicative of gaps in the collections. 

These record groups are designed to show researchers the scope of collections and allow them to orient themselves within organizational collecting areas. Researchers may use these record groups as another tool to search and explore University Archives’ collections. Researchers should note that they may need to review collections within multiple record groups to explore the full extent of the Duke University Archives’ collections. For example, if you are looking for information on the Department of English, you may need to search the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences (RG 25), the Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates (RG 29), and the Office of the Provost (RG 5) as well.  

Please also note that the collections displayed through the record groups below are limited to those which currently have published collection guides. Additional Archives collections without published collection guides are available through the Duke University Libraries catalog

Questions about these record groups? Contact the University Archives via this inquiry form.