Duke Medical Center Archives
Category: Collection Highlights

Duke COVID-19 website screenshot

Virtual COVID-19 Towns Halls
Posted On: April 27, 2022 by Rebecca Williams

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Duke Health assembled a COVID-19 Response Team (now named Duke Health Leadership). Along with Duke Health Nursing, they began to hold virtual town halls where they discussed Duke Health’s and Duke Nursing’s clinical response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each town hall had a theme, panelists, and a Q&A session for participants. Some themes included: COVID-19 patient surge preparations, COVID-19 testing, nursing issues, PPE, COVID-19 patient care, clinical and operations updates, COVID-19 vaccine, return to school, Duke Health’s voter registration and turnout initiative for the 2020 elections, and Moments to Movement (Duke Health’s collective stand against systemic racism and injustice). These videos are... MORE

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This is Part 4 of a multi part series on oral histories at the Medical Center Archives.

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This is Part 3 of a multi part series on oral histories at the Medical Center Archives. Part 1 “Oral Histories at the Medical Center Archives” outlines what an oral history is and the types of oral histories held at the Medical Center Archives. Part 2 “Women in Duke Health Oral Histories at the Medical Center Archives” highlights the oral history interviews with Duke women and showcases an online exhibit about these interviews.  This month, we are... MORE

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This is Part 2 of a multi part series on oral histories at the Medical Center Archives. Part 1 “Oral Histories at the Medical Center Archives” outlines what an oral history is and the types of oral histories held at the Medical Center Archives.

An oral history is an interview that records an individual’s personal recollections of the past and historical events. The Women in Duke Health oral history project began in the fall of 2006, when Jessica Roseberry, who at the time was the Oral History Program Coordinator at the Medical Center Archives, was approached by Dr. Ann Brown, Associate Vice Dean for Faculty...

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The Duke University Medical Center Archives (DUMCA) actively collects the official records of the DUMC and DUHS departments and divisions, including a variety of materials that provide evidence of business, interests, and activities through the years. In doing so, the DUMCA serves as the institutional memory of the DUMC and DUHS by collecting, preserving, and making accessible materials that provide evidence of day to operations. Guided by our collection development policy, we strive to document the intellectual, administrative, social, cultural, and visual history of the DUMC and DUHS in order to provide evidence of past actions and contribute to an understanding of the structure and history of the DUMC and DUHS. See below for a listing of materials added to the DUMCA. The types of... MORE

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Dr. Charles Johnson

Remembering Dr. Charles Johnson
Posted On: December 17, 2021 by Rebecca Williams

The Duke Community was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Charles Johnson. He joined Duke in 1970 as the first Black faculty member in the School of Medicine and first Black physician on the faculty of Duke University. He was an important and vital pioneer at the School of Medicine.

In a 1990 article, the late Dr. Onye Akwari, the first Black professor of surgery, commented that “I don’t think people realize what Charlie has done in this institution. Charlie and Jim Carter [a psychiatrist who joined the faculty in 1971] were the initial black physicians in the institution, and these were very difficult days. They have served as the shields behind...

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The Medical Center Archives is happy to announce the addition of the following student groups to its collections’ holdings: Duke Chapter of the American Medical Women's Association Records The American Medical Women's Association (AMWA), founded in 1915, is an organization which functions at the local, national, and international level to advocate for the advancement of women in medicine and for the improvement of women's health. Contains records pertaining to the operations of the Duke Chapter of the AMWA. Materials date from 2019 to 2020 ... MORE

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An oral history is an interview that records an individual’s personal recollections of the past and historical events. Using this method of gathering, preserving, and interpreting ensures that the voices and memories of people, communities, and participants are added to the historical record. Oral histories are conducted by a well prepared interviewer questioning an interviewee and recording their subsequent discussion in an audio or video format. Afterwards, the recording of the interview is transcribed to create a transcript and added to the holdings of a library or archives where it should be cataloged to make it discoverable by future users. Did you know that the Medical Center Archives houses a robust oral history collection of over 350 interviews? These oral histories date to as... MORE

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Joanne AP Wilson and Jane Richardson

Women in Duke Health Exhibit
Posted On: March 11, 2021 by Rebecca Williams

Duke Medical Center Library & Archives is debuting a newly redesigned and updated online exhibit of Women in Duke Health just in time for Women's History Month.

Highlighting women in multiple fields at Duke, many of which were pioneers or firsts in their disciplines, this exhibit looks at their stories and the context in which those stories took place. The primary method of inquiry for context in this exhibit was via oral histories, a unique format that allows for both.

This historical perspective is presented through individual profiles and interviews, a general timeline of events, and background interviews conducted with people who have a longtime view of Duke Medicine. For most...

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With the events of the past year, it has probably become clichéd to say that “we are living in historic times”. However, as we celebrate Black History Month this year, the reality of systemic racism and injustice is forefront in many of our minds. An important first step to addressing systemic racism is learning more about how race and racism is embedded in our history, including that of Duke Health.  The Duke University Medical Center Archives seeks to preserve materials that document the history of Duke Health and make them available for research and education. For example, we have been actively capturing and preserving the 2020 Moments to Movement programs... MORE

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If you have never browsed the pages of the Intercom, we highly suggest taking a look. The Intercom was Duke Medicine’s primary news publication from 1953 to 1972. The pages are filled with traditional news stories about new medical innovations, changes in hospital policy, or personnel changes. As we’ve documented here on the blog previously, we especially enjoy the lighthearted stories of daily life at the Medical Center. Throughout the 1960s, one heavily documented group in the Intercom is the Medical Center Bowling League. 

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Our annual Halloween event, It Came From the Archives, will not be happening this year for obvious reasons.  For the past six years, we have enjoyed sharing a variety of materials from our collections in a casual open house setting in the library.  While we try to select different items each year for display, some of our favorite things to share every year are medical illustrations. Duke University Medical Center was among the first educational institutions in the United States to provide medical illustration services. Artwork was created with traditional and digital media and includes surgical and anatomic drawings, schematic and mechanical drawings... MORE

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This is the third blog post in a three part series about processing digital files. See the following links for Part 1 and Part 2.

Over the course of this past year, the Duke University Medical Center Archives (DUMCA) began addressing our digital files backlog by identifying and adding these digital files to the collections to which they belong. This process has uncovered materials current Archives staff were unaware of, introducing us to new stories about Duke and Duke Alumni. 

When appraising digital files located in the backlog (for more...

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Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature

Medical Center Library & Archives - Level 3 (NLM) & Level 1 (MCL&A) 

NLM Exhibit on Display until June 16, 2018 

The Medical Center Library is hosting “Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature,” a six-banner traveling exhibition. Developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, it displays the abiding relevance of the Frankenstein story to contemporary questions about science and technology. Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel explores individual and societal responsibility through its discussion of scientific advancement and medical ethics. 

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In honor of Black History Month, our blog this week features Clydie Pugh-Myers, a graduate of the first class of Duke’s licensed practical nursing (LPN) program in 1949.

Duke’s LPN program was established in 1948 as a collaboration of Duke University Hospital, Durham City School, and the North Carolina Department of Vocational Education to train African American nurses. Although 72 women qualified and registered for the program its inaugural year, only 26 would pass the rigorous training and examinations to graduate the following year. The LPN program transferred to the Durham Industrial Education Center, which would later become Durham Technical Community College, in the early 1960s.On January 18, 2006, Jessica Roseberry conducted an oral history interview with Pugh-Myers at her...

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