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Collection Number: 05088

Collection Title: James Alexander Boyer Papers, 1924-2000

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size About 500 items (1.0 linear feet)
Abstract James Alexander Boyer, an African American educator, was professor of English, dean of the College, and College president at Saint Augustine's College of Raleigh, N.C. Documented are Boyer's intellectual interests and honors received, his education, his service in the United States Navy during World War II, Boyer family history, and various events at Saint Augustine's College. With the exception of speaking notes and a few lesson planners, there are no documents relating to Boyer's official duties and responsibilities at Saint Augustine's. Audio tapes include discussions about prominent African American political figures and a 1997 conversation involving Boyer and others about the history of college athletics at Saint Augustine's.
Creator Boyer, James Alexander, 1909-1998.
Language English.
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Restrictions to Access
This collection contains additional materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the James Alexander Boyer Papers #5088, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Provenance
Received from Edna Rich-Ballentine of Raleigh, N.C., in January 2002 (Acc. 99189) and August 2002 (Acc. 99305).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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James Alexander Boyer's life was inextricably bound to Saint Augustine's College of Raleigh, N.C. On 15 June 1909, he was born on its campus, where his father, Charles H. Boyer, taught and later served as the institution's first African American dean.

James Alexander Boyer received his elementary and secondary education at Saint Augustine's. After completing the two years of post-secondary instruction that were then offered by the College, Boyer went on to finish his bachelor's degree at Morehouse College in 1931. In 1934, he earned a master's degree from Atlanta University and returned to Saint Augustine's as chair of its English department. In 1940, he began work in a doctoral program at the University of Michigan, but his studies were interrupted by service in the United States Navy, 1942-1946. After his discharge, Boyer returned briefly to Saint Augustine's and then resumed his doctoral work at Michigan.

After receiving his Ph.D., Boyer became dean of the College at Saint Augustine's. After serving in this capacity from 1949 to 1955, he assumed the presidency of the College and served in this capacity until 1967. Upon his retirement, he continued to teach and play an active role within the Saint Augustine's community until his death on 28 Feburary 1998.

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The collection includes papers that reflect the career of James Alexander Boyer, an African American educator, who was professor of English, dean of the College, and president at Saint Augustine's College in Raleigh, N.C. Documented are Boyer's intellectual interests and honors received, his education, his service in the United States Navy during World War II, Boyer family history, and various events at Saint Augustine's College. With the exception of speaking notes and a few lesson planners, there are no documents relating to Boyer's official duties and responsibilities at Saint Augustine's. Audio tapes in the collection include discussions about prominent African American political figures and a 1997 conversation involving Boyer and others about the history of college athletics at Saint Augustine's.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Papers, 1924-2000.

About 500 items.

Arrangement: by material type.

These papers were kept by James Alexander Boyer, an African American educator, who for nearly half a century served Saint Augustine's College in Raleigh, N.C., as professor of English, dean of the College, and College president. With the exception of speaking notes, this collection does not contain documents that relate to Boyer's official duties and responsibilities as dean or president. These papers are more personal in nature, reflecting his accomplishments, Boyer family history, events attended at Saint Augustine's College, intellectual interests, and honors received.

Included are transcripts and other materials related to the degrees that Boyer earned at Morehouse College, Atlanta University, and the University of Michigan. There is also a February 1939 exchange of correspondence between Boyer and W. W. Pierson, dean of the Graduate School at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, regarding the possibility of Boyer's admission. There are also documents relating to his service in the United States Navy during World War II and to his status as a member of the Masonic Order.

Also included are materials Boyer collected about his family's history, among them a family tree and photocopied articles about his father, Charles H. Boyer. There are also a letter his father wrote in 1935; a brother-in-law's Dental School diploma and a photograph of 1924 graduates of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn.; a photograph taken in 1970 of the Boyer family celebrating the naming of an academic building at Saint Augustine's after Charles H. Boyer; and an undated photograph of "The Team that Defeated Shaw." Boyer, the coach, appears in the upper left corner.

There is also a collection of speeches on index cards on topics including Boyer's notions of the proper behavior and educational goals of college freshmen, the virtues of acquiring an education at Saint Augustine's College, and the then current state of African American education; five notebooks that Boyer used as lesson planners for Freshman English 1A and Advanced Composition that he taught 1938-1940 and 1946-1948; and a variety of printed materials related to events at or about Saint Augustine's that Boyer attended. These occasions ranged from church services at the campus chapel and graduation cermonies to building dedications and the awarding of honorary degrees.

There is a file of clippings regarding Saint Augustine's College and the Boyer family. The articles, 1940s-1990s, are primarily from The Carolinian and other local Raleigh papers.

Also included are four audio tapes. The first tape is a 1966-1967 recording of a talk show hosted by Jammie Brag Top of Washington, D.C. The second tape contains a discussion "for and against" Congressman Adam Clayton Powell and Senator Edward Brooks, President Lyndon Johnson's 1967 State of the Union Address, and a discussion between Francis O. Wilcox of Johns Hopkins University and James M. Nabet of Howard University. The third tape is the remainder of Johnson's 1967 State of the Union address and comments about the speech from news reports and public interviews. The third tape continues with a discussion opposed to the Washington school track system, a message from Grover Maddox of Georgia, and further discussion about Congressman Powell and African Americans in general. The fourth tape, recorded 25 July 1997, contains a conversation among James Alexander Boyer, Coach H. Heartley, L. Simmons Henry, and Emma Perry Boyer about the history of college athletics at Saint Augustine's.

Folder 1

Educational transcripts and other materials, 1927-1949 #05088, Series: "Papers, 1924-2000." Folder 1

Folder 2

Military service records, 1942-1946 #05088, Series: "Papers, 1924-2000." Folder 2

Folder 3

Freemasonry material, 1949 #05088, Series: "Papers, 1924-2000." Folder 3

Folder 4

Boyer family materials, 1924-1970 #05088, Series: "Papers, 1924-2000." Folder 4

Folder 5

Newspaper clippings, 1949-1993 #05088, Series: "Papers, 1924-2000." Folder 5

Folder 6-7

Folder 6

Folder 7

Lesson plans, 1936-1940 and 1946-1948 #05088, Series: "Papers, 1924-2000." Folder 6-7

Folder 8-11

Folder 8

Folder 9

Folder 10

Folder 11

Speeches #05088, Series: "Papers, 1924-2000." Folder 8-11

Folder 12

The Teacher and Integration, with notes by James Alexander Boyer #05088, Series: "Papers, 1924-2000." Folder 12

Folder 13

Honorary degree from Saint Augustine's College, 13 May 1984 #05088, Series: "Papers, 1924-2000." Folder 13

Folder 14

Miscellaneous materials, 1948-1971 #05088, Series: "Papers, 1924-2000." Folder 14

Folder 15-16

Folder 15

Folder 16

Saint Augustine's publications, 1947-2000 #05088, Series: "Papers, 1924-2000." Folder 15-16

Folder 17

History of Saint Augustine's College #05088, Series: "Papers, 1924-2000." Folder 17

Folder 18

Audio tapes, 1966-1967, 1997 #05088, Series: "Papers, 1924-2000." Folder 18

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