Duke Medical Center Archives
Category: Collection Highlights

The Oral History Collection here at the Archives is one of our oldest and most interesting collections. There are over 300 interviews with key figures in the Med Center’s history that date from 1955 to as recent as 2012. This post is the first in a series we are launching to highlight major subjects and individuals featured in this collection. As July 3 marked the 72 anniversary of Duke’s 65th General Hospital Unit receiving orders to report for duty at Fort Bragg, we wanted to begin our Oral History series with Dr. Ivan Brown, who served in the unit and played an integral role in preserving its memory.

Dr. Brown began his career at Duke as a student, and after graduating with his MD in 1940, joined the 65th General Hospital Unit in 1943. Though he went on to accomplish much...

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In this post we’re highlighting one of our favorite older publications: a 1940's brochure of Highland Hospital.

Founded in 1904 in Asheville, North Carolina, Highland Hospital was a psychiatric facility that treated patients with mental illness, depression, and substance abuse problems. The hospital was known for attracting an elite clientele from around the country, and even treated some well-known figures, such as Zelda Fitzgerald. In 1939 founder Robert Sproul Carroll donated the hospital to Duke, who owned it until 1980, when the institution was purchased by the Psychiatric Institutes of America.

The brochure is lavishly illustrated, and describes the institution’s services and facilities. Highland Hospital was a product of the relatively new, burgeoning field of...

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This week the School of Nursing welcomes back its graduates for their annual Reunion Weekend. In honor of the occasion, we shine our spotlight on a special part of the School of Nursing Records: the scrapbooks. Coincidentally, it was during a Reunion Weekend in 2006 that these scrapbooks were donated to the Archives. There are 11 scrapbooks in all, covering a 30-year period, from 1952-1984.

Highlights include two scrapbooks from nursing conventions. The first is of the 1952 Biennial Nursing Convention held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It features a conference program, registration directory, and many newspaper clippings about the event. Pictured on the right are two pages and the cover. The second is from the 1965 National Student Nurses’...

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The Archives has many publications created over the course of Duke University Medical Center's history. One we're especially fond of is Shifting Dullness, a newsletter produced entirely by Duke medical students.

When Shifting Dullness began in 1968, its earliest issues were often a single page of announcements and events. Over the years, though, it grew, and by the 1990’s the publication had become a space for medical students to discuss professional issues as well as personal interests. Issues averaged 16 pages and included a wide variety of content: articles about the student code of conduct...

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Similar to badges, patches are a form of official identification often affixed to a uniform. These range from simple name tags to much more elaborate designs. Historically patches feature symbols and colors of importance to the organization. While there are different varieties of patches, embroidered are the most common. 

Over the years, Duke has produced patches for various staff and units affiliated with the Medical Center. The Archives has a representative selection of these within our collection. Pictured on the right is the patch from a Cadet Nurse uniform. In the center is a white Maltese Cross on a scarlet and gray background. The cross symbolized caring for the sick. The Cadet Nurse Corps began...

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Happy Holidays from the Medical Center Archives staff! While gifts exchanged vary year to year, cards have stayed a consistent part of the holiday ritual. In this post we extend our seasons’ greetings through the cards of Christmas past – three, to be exact.

The first card (pictured right) was sent by Dr. Norman Ross of the 65th General Hospital Unit to his wife in 1943 while he was stationed overseas in England. In a departure from the traditional red and green color scheme, this card features a patriotic red, white and blue illustration. (The 65th General Hospital Unit was organized by Duke to serve in the allied war effort during World War II.)

Pictured on the left is a 1962 holiday card by medical artist Elon Clark....

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Musical Maladies - The Fungus Five
Posted On: November 13, 2013 by Matthew Shangler

The School of Medicine class of 1958 was among those honored at the Medical Alumni Weekend last month. During this event we were reminded of a unique group of students from this class. A few musically inclined students formed the group called The Fungus Five (they later expanded and were renamed The Syphilitic Six). The members (pictured on right) were Roger Berry (guitar), John Thorton Dunn (piano), David Randolph Jones (mandolin), James Davis Mallory (banjo), John Halloway Milam (clarinet), and George Edward Cassady II (drums). 

Similar to the Student-Faculty Shows, the goal of The Fungus Five was to make the audience laugh. They sang in a country/folk style about various ailments and life as medical...

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Scalps!
Posted On: October 30, 2013 by Jolie Braun

This week we're highlighting one of the more humorous items in our collections. Scalps!, published in 1958, is a 32-page booklet of caricatures of School of Medicine faculty. For SOM alumni and those with a knowledge of DUMC history, the book is a collection of familiar faces, depicting key figures in Duke Medicine, such as the first School of Medicine Dean Wilburt Davison (pointing at globe). All of the artwork was done by Elec LeClerq, who came to Duke in 1957 as a resident in Endocrinology...

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Illustration for Malcolm Tyor's talk, "What's the Evidence?"

Malcolm Tyor's "What's the Evidence?"
Posted On: September 6, 2013 by Jolie Braun

Recently we happened to come across some illustrations in our collections that seemed too good to not share. The cartoons you see here were two of the images used to accompany Dr. Malcolm Tyor’s talk, “What’s the Evidence?” which he gave at a meeting of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). (Unfortunately the year this presentation was given and the creator of the artwork are unknown.) Drawing on Tyor’s long, successful career as a gastroenterologist, his speech focused on the importance of inquiry and maintaining a sense of curiosity for both medical students and professionals: “We are all prone to employ certain key phrases generally introduced to our professional repertoire by our teachers…‘What’s the evidence?’ has served me well through my...

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