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Dr. Frank Porter Graham (called “Dr. Frank”), president of the University of North Carolina 1930-49, played an important role in negotiations for the recognition of Indonesia’s independence in 1947-48, under the auspices of the United Nations. This virtual exhibition provides information on his role, some primary sources related to Dr. Frank and Indonesia during its struggle for independence, and links to further reading on these subjects.

The virtual exhibit is presented across nine pages, loosely chronologically ordered:

  1. Dr. Frank Porter Graham: From UNC to the World
  2. Indonesia in the 1940s
  3. The Indonesian Revolution and the United Nations
  4. How Dr. Frank Came to Serve on the UN Committee of Good Offices
  5. Dr. Frank Meeting the Indonesian People
  6. Dr. Frank on the Ground in Indonesia
  7. The Renville Agreement: January 1948
  8. Indonesia after Renville
  9. Dr. Frank Porter Graham as a Diplomat

Some of the material has been drawn from the Frank Porter Graham Papers in the collection of Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This allows for uniquely personal perspectives from Dr. Frank. Many of the exhibition pages above come with a note on “Further Reading,” for those hoping to delve deeper into the history.

In addition, two primary documents have been rendered in searchable type to make them more accessible:

  1. Frank Porter Graham’s Statement before the Opening Session aboard the U.S.S. Renville (December 8, 1947)
  2. Frank Porter Graham’s Statement on the Conflict in Indonesia (April 5, 1949)


This virtual exhibition was compiled by Dr. Kevin W. Fogg on the 75th anniversary of the Renville Agreement, in conjunction with the Carolina Asia Center event “Indonesia in International Relations.” Much gratitude to the staff of Special Collections at Wilson Library, who enthusiastically welcomed this idea and supported additional scans of the materials to illustrate the exhibition.