Duke Medical Center Archives Blog

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Dorothy Beard

Oral Histories from the Archives: Women's History Month
Posted On: March 14, 2017 by
Rebecca Williams

In honor of Women’s History Month, we are featuring Women in Duke Medicine: An oral history exhibit, our online exhibit containing of oral history interviews with many pioneering women at Duke Medicine. The digital exhibit includes brief biographies, sound clips, photos, and interview transcripts of women from multiple fields at Duke Medicine. Many of these women were pioneers or in some way “firsts” in their respective disciplines, so each has a unique historical perspective. The exhibit chronicles both the stories of individual women in addition to providing a deeper look into the context in which those stories took place. Oral history, the primary method of inquiry for this exhibit, is a unique format that allows for both.To view the digital exhibit, visit http://digitaldukemed.mc... MORE
Category: Collection Spotlight, News Comment count: 0
Donna Allen Harris

Oral Histories from the Archives: Donna Allen Harris
Posted On: February 28, 2017 by
Rebecca Williams

In honor of Black History Month, our blog this week features Donna Allen Harris, the first African American woman to graduate from Duke’s School of Nursing in 1971. On December 4, 2008, Jessica Roseberry conducted an oral history interview with Harris at the Medical Center Archive. During the interview, Harris recalls the isolation she felt while helping integrate the high school in Elizabeth City. Coming to Duke, she worried about the continuation of that isolation but found a close group of friends among the nursing students. Harris contends, “It was that this social aspect of it was so much different from high school and that was my solace.”Donna Allen Harris was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Due to her father’s enlistment in the Navy, the family frequently moved,... MORE
Category: DUMC History Comment count: 0
Esther Johnson

Black History Month: Donald Love, Esther Johnson, and the staff of Duke Medical Center
Posted On: February 22, 2017 by
Rebecca Williams

Dr. W. Delano Meriwether, the first black student admitted to the Duke School of Medicine, came to Duke in 1963. Dr. Charles Johnson, the first black faculty member, came to Duke in 1970. While black students and faculty were unfortunately not welcomed to Duke until more recently in history, African Americans have been a part of the Duke Medical Center since the very beginning. In 1930, when the hospital and the School of Medicine were about to open, Donald Love was busy with the many necessary preparations for the new hospital wards. Love, pictured to the right, is considered the first African American hire. He was hired in 1930 and worked at Duke until his retirement in 1974. In a 1970 issue of the Intercom, Donald Love recounts the large amount of tasks required to open the... MORE
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Dr. Jean Spaulding

Oral Histories from the Archives: Dr. Jean Spaulding
Posted On: February 13, 2017 by
Rebecca Williams

In honor of Black History Month, our blog this week features Dr. Jean Spaulding, the first African American woman to graduate from Duke’s School of Medicine in 1972. Although born in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Spaulding grew up in Highland Park, Michigan, just outside of Detroit. She moved back to the South in order to attend Duke University’s School of Medicine. When she received her MD in 1972, she became the first African American woman to graduate from Duke University’s School of Medicine. Dr. Spaulding stayed at Duke to complete her fellowship and residency in psychiatry. In 1977, she opened a private psychiatry practice in Durham, North Carolina. She also worked as a clinical consultant in child psychiatry at Duke from 1977 to 1990. Among other professional roles she has held at... MORE
Category: Collection Highlights Comment count: 0

Black History Month at Duke Medicine
Posted On: February 6, 2017 by
Rebecca Williams

February is Black History Month and we will be celebrating it all month long here at the Duke Medical Center Archives. On our blog this month, we will highlight some important people and events in Black history at Duke Medicine. We encourage you to check out the Archives’ research guide African American History at Duke Medicine. The guide aims to introduce researchers to materials documenting the history of African American faculty, students, and staff at Duke Medicine. Included are oral histories, archival collections, photographs, audiovisual materials, and publications, selected key dates and key figures, and links to recommended digital resources.  Please stay tuned for another post next week or contact the archives with any specific questions you might have or... MORE
Category: News, DUMC History Comment count: 0
nursing uniforms over the years

Pictures of Nursing Now On Display
Posted On: January 26, 2017 by
Rebecca Williams

The Medical Center Library & Archives is happy to announce that the National Library of Medicine’s traveling exhibit, “Pictures of Nursing:  The Zwerdling Postcard Collection” is display through February 25th. It is now accompanied by a display of “Pictures of Nursing at Duke” featuring pictures from the Duke Medical Center Archives. Nurses and nursing have often been the subject of postcard art for over a hundred years; thus, the postcards from the Zwerdling Collection provide insight into popular social and cultural perceptions of the nursing profession. In conjunction with these artistic renderings of nurses, the “Pictures of Nursing at Duke” display provides archival photographs of nurses working and studying at Duke Hospital and the School of Nursing respectively.... MORE
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Dr. James M. Young, SOM '55

White House Physician
Posted On: January 10, 2017 by
Rebecca Williams

Today President Obama will deliver his farewell speech as he prepares to leave office and President-elect Trump prepares for his inauguration on January 20th. In this time of transition, there have been many news stories about the cabinet members, policy advisors, and the many 4,000+ jobs that the new administration must fill. There are a lot of people that work in the White House with varying backgrounds and responsibilities—including doctors! The White House Medical Unit is an important, but perhaps lesser known department that provides important healthcare services for the president, his employees, and everyone who visits the White House each day.Dr. James M. Young, a 1955 graduate of the Duke School of Medicine, served as one of the physicians in this unit from 1963-1966 during the... MORE
Category: DUMC History Comment count: 0

Elbert L. Persons Papers
Posted On: January 4, 2017 by
Lucy Waldrop

The Archives is happy to announce that the Elbert L. Persons Papers, 1923-1970, are processed and open to researchers. The collection is organized into the following series: Personal Papers, 1951-1969; Correspondence, 1946-1970; Duke Medicine, 1931-1970; Professional Papers, 1923-1970; United States Armed Forces, 1934-1970; American College of Physicians (ACP), 1943-1970; Diets, circa 1940-1949; and Audiovisual, 1964, undated. The papers contain professional and personal correspondence, grant materials, records pertaining to Persons’ time with the 65th General Hospital, Duke Medicine, and the ACP, as well as, administrative records, guides, brochures, programs, schedules, information on Duke Medicine’s Annual Medical Symposium, meeting materials, schedules, notes, photographic... MORE
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When Mold Strikes
Posted On: December 21, 2016 by
Lucy Waldrop

 This summer, during a seemingly innocuous project to add more description to our finding aids, an intern pulled a box from the Arthur A. Morris Papers, a Duke alumni who helped found the Neurosurgical Society of America, and was confronted with one of the worst four letter words in archives: mold. This fungus grows on the surface of its host and feeds on living organisms and dead organic matter. Once these fungal spores are present, along with sufficient moisture and nutrients, they will germinate. Elevated temperatures, poor air circulation, dim or no light, and accumulated dirt all accelerate the growth of mold. Without the presence of moisture, mold spores will lie dormant. After inspecting the Morris Papers, we were certain they were covered in dormant mold.It is true that there... MORE
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Dr. H. Keith H. Brodie

Remembering Dr. H. Keith H. Brodie
Posted On: December 13, 2016 by
Rebecca Williams

The Duke Community was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. H. Keith H. Brodie earlier this month. As both chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and president of Duke, he had a profound impact on Duke University and Duke Health.There have been several well-written tributes to Dr. Brodie and his legacy in the past couple of weeks, so rather than attempt to write another, we thought that we would share some of his own words. We conducted an oral history interview with Dr. Brodie in 2004 that hopefully provides a glimpse of the type of leader that he was.When asked about his continued dedication to psychiatry, Dr. Brodie shared the following: “It’s been fun. You know, I’ve always felt that if we could interest undergraduates in what psychiatry is all about and what mental illness was... MORE
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It Came from the Archives: Trained Fleas Now Showing at Hubert’s Museum
Posted On: November 22, 2016 by
Rebecca Williams

When looking for items for our recent Halloween event, we made an interesting and unexpected find that we wanted to share. In a folder titled “The Effect of Radiation on the World's Most Precious Material” in the Charles W. Shilling Papers, we not only found Dr. Shilling’s speech notes withthe aforementioned title, but also an informational pamphlet about Professor Heckler’s Trained Flea Circus at Hubert’s Museum in New York City, shown on the left. We are not exactly sure why Dr. Shilling had this brochure in his papers. Did he visit Hubert’s Museum in Times Square on a whim? Or did someone send this back to him? As a doctor who created a method of radiation sterilization of a fly was he keenly interested in seeing the famous flea circus?One thing is sure—flea circuses were (and are!) a... MORE
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On This Day: The Eye Center Opens
Posted On: November 8, 2016 by
Rebecca Williams

On November 8, 1973, the Duke Eye Center (now called the Wadsworth Eye Center) was opened and dedicated. The $3.7 million project was the result of more than eight years of planning. Prior to its construction, patients with serious or unusual eye diseases often had to be referred to eye centers in distant places like New York, Baltimore, or Miami.The three-story structure built in 1973 contained a 43-bed inpatient unit, operating rooms, a 22,000-square-foot outpatient clinic and one complete floor of research laboratories. It was built from funds received from individuals, foundations, and other private sources. The fact that no government funds or tax money was used on the project was a big source of pride for Duke.Approximately ten years later, on April 22, 1983, the Duke Eye Center was... MORE
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It Came from the Archives: Fallout Shelters
Posted On: October 25, 2016 by
Rebecca Williams

Next Monday is our annual Halloween event and we are so excited about sharing all the spooky (and silly) things that we have in our collections. In anticipation of next week’s event, we are highlighting one group of materials that will be on display at the event—fallout shelter plans and pamphlets. One thing that scared many Americas during the 1960s was the prospect of nuclear war. Consequently, many plans were made across the country for the building or preparation of fallout shelters. These were sites “intended to give some protection against fallout radiation and other effects of a nuclear explosion, either an existing area such as a basement or tunnel, or a structure specially constructed for this purpose” (Dictionary of Energy, p. 218). In the Bernard Fetter Papers, there is an... MORE
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W.C. Davison

Moonshine and Biochemistry: Archives Month at the Medical Center Archives
Posted On: October 20, 2016 by
Rebecca Williams

October is a month of cooler temperatures, changing leaves, and Halloween candy, but also Archives Month! This annual celebration promotes archives, the materials they preserve, and people who work in them. All month events have been held across the country to celebrate. For example, on October 5th, archivists responded to questions on Twitter with the hashtag #AskAnArchivist. Upcoming on October 26th & 27th, the National Archives will host a live, two-day, virtual Genealogy Fair via webcast on Youtube. And this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of events!On a state level, the Society of North Carolina Archivists sponsors Archives Month events every year. In fact, Gov. McCrory officially declared October to be “Archives Month” in the state of North Carolina and commended “its... MORE
Category: Collection Highlights, News Comment count: 0

Celebrate Halloween with the Duke Medical Center Archives!
Posted On: October 10, 2016 by
Rebecca Williams

It Came from the Archives! Halloween Highlights from the Duke Medical Center ArchivesLocation: Medical Center Library & Archives, Level 2, Room 212EDate: Monday, October 31, 11am – 2pmIn honor of Archives Month in October, the Duke University Medical Center Archives is hosting its third annual Halloween event at the Medical Center Library & Archives featuring a selection of eerie, fascinating, and rarely seen materials from their collections. Brave souls are invited to gaze upon spine-chilling artwork, stare into the faces of frightening death masks, behold macabre medical artifacts and instruments, and much more! Halloween candy will be available…for those who haven’t lost their appetite. The event is free and open to all. For more information, contact Rebecca Williams at... MORE
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