Benjamin Edward Powell, a native of Gates County, was a graduate in history from Trinity College (now Duke University). In 1928, Powell accepted a position on the Duke Library Staff. In 1930, he received a degree in Library Science from Columbia University and in 1946 received a doctorate in Library Science from the University of Chicago. Powell planned, organized and supervised the Trinity College Library move to Duke University. Under the direction of Powell, the Duke Library grew immensely, was modernized and the Duke University Archives became a part of the Library.