Treasures of DCL’s North Carolina Collection

Jean Bradley Anderson papers a treasure trove
Jan. 04, 2014 @ 05:13 PM

The Jean Bradley Anderson Papers are a treasure trove of Durham history. They include research notes, photographs, clippings, print material, oral histories, letters and more. Anderson compiled most of the material as she was writing and publishing various works, including both editions of her excellent book entitled “Durham County: A History of Durham County, North Carolina.”

The myriad topics Anderson has researched  include African-American history in Durham city and county and Orange County, with information on neighborhoods, cemeteries, cultural and professional life, families, slaves and freedmen. Other topics include land and land ownership; local businesses, institutions, organizations, and industries; cemeteries, mills, and churches; the history of medicine and medical practice in North Carolina; and contemporary topics such as Latin American  immigration, HIV and AIDS, and the development of Research Triangle Park.

The collection features materials relating to Anderson’s activities with local preservation organizations and historic sites and homes, among them Hill House, the Eno River Association and Stagville Foundation, and includes photos of now-demolished historic homes such as those of Eric Tilley, Robert McCauley and the Patterson family.  In-depth information about the Bennehan and Cameron families, who owned extensive lands including Durham County’s Stagville Plantation, is an important part of the collection. For the complete guide or finding aid to Jean Anderson’s papers, go to