Duke Medical Faculty Wives Records

The Duke University Medical Center Archives is happy to announce that the Duke Faculty Wives Records are processed and open for research. The collection contains materials documenting the Duke Medical Faculty Wives and their running of the Nearly New Shoppe as a means to raise money for scholarships to the Duke University School of Medicine and the Duke University School of Nursing. Types of materials include administrative records, by-laws, financial records, roosters, photo albums, scrapbooks, photographs, clippings, invitations, architectural plans, and digital files. Materials date from 1968-2018. scrapbook pages

This collection documents the Duke Medical Faculty Wives (DMFW), a group created by Duke University School of Medicine faculty wives to raise money for medical student scholarships. The idea to create the group and run a thrift shop as the primary way of fundraising for medical scholarships was proposed by Ethel Wyngaarten. In 1968, by-laws were established, creating the Nearly New Shoppe; Wyngaarten was the chair and Martha Wadsworth was elected president. 

In its first 6 months, the Nearly New Shoppe generated $6,000 in profit: $4,000 was allocated for medical student scholarships, $1,500 was used to improve the medical student lounge on the top floor of the Davison Building, and the remaining $500 was used for store improvements.

The success of the Nearly New Shoppe continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and as the DMFW grew, they held annual coffees to welcome new members.

In 1970, the group established an endowed scholarship, the Medical School Faculty Wives Scholarship Fund for North Carolinians. In 1998, the group expanded their support to create an endowed scholarship fund for the Duke University School of Nursing. In 2012, a third endowed scholarship fund, the Medical School Faculty Wives Scholarship Fund, was established. A fourth endowment was established in 2017 to support students in the School of Nursing’s ABSN program.

current Chair Virginia Brown Lang at the checkout counter While the Nearly New Shoppe has been in three locations in Durham, North Carolina over the years, it has consistently been run by dedicated volunteers and a small number of paid managers and workers. 

Nearly New Shoppe locations:

•1801 Erwin Road (1968-1977)

•615 Douglas Street (1978-2004)

•2424 Erwin Road, Suite G-01 (2004-present)

In 2013, Duke University School of Medicine recognized the Medical Faculty Wives with a Distinguished Service Award. In 2018, the Nearly New Shoppe celebrated its 50th anniversary.

To learn more about these materials, visit the finding aid or contact the archives staff

This blog was contributed by Archives Technical Services Head Lucy Waldrop.

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