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R. Kelly Bryant Papers and Obituary Collection

Title:R. Kelly Bryant Papers and Obituary Collection
Inclusive Dates:1934-2013
Extent of Materials:8 file cabinet drawers, 5 Hollinger boxes
Location:NC Collection Office, wire shelves; NC Room filing cabinet 4; Map Case 2, Drawer 12
Date of Accession:2007, 2013
Donor:R. Kelly Bryant
Relationship of donor or materials to the DCL/NCR
Processor:Rachel Walton; Holly Withrow, Amy McDonald, and Kristen Merryman, also Judith Fortson, Cavett French, Patty Melendez
Subject Headings:Durham (N.C.)—History.
Funeral rites and ceremonies—North Carolina—Durham County.
Obituaries—North Carolina—Durham County.
Scope and Content:The collection consists of photocopies of Bryant’s extensive collection of primarily local newspaper obituaries and funeral service programs, which he has assembled over the course of his 70-odd years as a Durham resident. Arranged in alphabetical order, these materials often contain biographical and genealogical information on their subjects. The collection also contains biographical materials, papers related to Mr. Bryant's involvement in social, professional, and alumni organizations, his long-time involvement with the Boy Scouts, and his work on the historically African-American Geer Cemetery and other cemeteries in Durham.
Related Materials:Oral histories in NC Collection, Durham County Library; Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University
Restrictions:The collection is open for research.
Biographical/Historical Note:Born in 1917, Bryant was raised in Rocky Mount, N.C., and graduated from the town's Booker T. Washington High School in 1935. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in accounting from Hampton University in 1940. His career at Durham’s North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company spanned 37 years, as he rose from chief clerk of the Ordinary Department to assistant secretary in charge of the Conservation Department. His wide-ranging community activities and service include work with the Boy Scouts, Durham Business and Professional Chain, Durham Civil Rights Reunion, Masons, Friends of Geer Cemetery, Durham Urban Trails and Greenway Commission, Durham Historic Preservation Commission, White Rock Baptist Church, Black Solidarity Committee for Community Improvement, Durham Outboard Boating Club, and more too numerous to name. He has held leadership positions in many of these organizations and has won numerous awards for his service. He is a historian with extensive knowledge of Durham in general and the old Hayti community in particular. His dedication to the Durham community and to the study of Durham history has been exceptional in its breadth and depth. His full curriculum vitae is located in the North Carolina Collection’s Biographical File.
Condition Notes:
Organization of Collection:
Container List:File Cabinet Drawers, North Carolina Room
Contains over 2,500 obituaries arranged alphabetically collected by Bryant. The full list can be seen here:
Box 1
Archival Assessment of Personal Papers performed by Lynn Richardson, April 13, 2006
Correspondence of others (copies)
Durham Business and Professional Chain, 1946-1971
General Biographical Information and Personal Materials
General Correspondence, 1947-12006
Faucette Family
Hampton Alumni Association
Hampton Institute School Work, 1934-1937
Letters of Recommendation, 1967-1987
NAACP, 1980, 1987
Newspaper Clippings, 1951-1998
North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, 1959, 1971-1992, 2006
Prince Hall Grand Lodge Masons, 1975-1998
Prince Hall Grand Lodge Masons Programs and Newsletters, 1983-1993
Programs from Durham Churches and Schools, 1967-2001
White Rock Baptist Church, 1926, 1970-1989, 2000-2003
Box 2 - Boy Scouts
Boy Scout General Memorabilia and Ephemera, 1948-1950, N.D.
Boy Scout Instructional Materials
Boy Scout Health and Safety Leaflets, 1941-1946
Boy Scout History of Integration, 1919, 1964-1968, 2003-2009
Boy Scout Jamboree of 1953--Correspondence, Memorabilia, and Ephemera, July 1953
Boy Scout Jamboree of 1953--Travel Photos (see digital photo archive)
Boy Scout Leader Correspondence, 1945-1953
Boy Scout Newsletters, 1947, 1952, 1966
Boy Scout Newspaper Clippings, 1957, N.D.
Boy Scout Radio Script (WDNC), 1951-1952
Boy Scout Radio Script (WDNC), 1952
Boy Scout Radio Script (WDUR), 1947-1949
Boy Scout Radio Script (WHHT), 1948
Boy Scout Radio Script (WSSB), 1951-1952
Boy Scout Radio Script (WTIK), 1948-1949
Boy Scout Reports, Itineraries, and Memorandums, 1946, 1952-1953
Box 3 - Boy Scouts
Boy Scout Roster--Drafts and Original Copy, 1950-1951
Boy Scout Summer Camp, 1946-1949
Boy Scout Travel Memorabilia and Ephemera (1), 1953, N.D.
Boy Scout Travel Memorabilia and Ephemera (2), 1953, N.D.
Girl Scouts
Box 4 - Friends of Geer Cemetery
Friends of Geer Cemetery Agendas and Notes, 1990-1991, 2003-2005
Friends of Geer Cemetery Correspondence, 1985-1990, 2002-2005
Friends of Geer Cemetery Correspondence, 2005
Friends of Geer Cemetery Meeting Minutes, 2003-2005
Friends of Geer Cemetery Rosters, 2003, N.D.
Box 5 - Friends of Geer Cemetery, Other Durham Cemeteries
Geer Cemetery-- City Council Decisions and Other Government Aid, 1989, 2003-2005
Geer Cemetery General History, 1910, 1918, 1985-1989, 2002-2004
Geer Cemetery Historical Paper (written by Jessica Thompson Eustice) with Ex-Slave Oral Histories done by the WPA, 1937, 1945, 2002
Geer Cemetery Newspaper Clippings
Geer Cemetery Photos
Grove Hill Cemetery, 1997, 2000
Other Durham Cemeteries, 2003-2005
Violet (aka: Wolf Den) Cemetery, 1994-1995