Mildred Sherwood's Japan Scrapbooks

Pages from Mildred Sherwood's ScrapbookWe have several scrapbooks of programs and individuals associated with the Medical Center in our collections at the Archives, but a particular favorite and one we want to highlight in this post is those of Mildred Sherwood.

Sherwood (pictured right, in the center of the top photo) dedicated her professional life to Duke, having been recruited by the first School of Medicine Dean Wilburt C. Davison (like many of her colleagues, from a position at Johns Hopkins Hospital) to be pediatrics supervisor at Duke University Hospital when it opened in 1930. She also was an instructor in the Department of Pediatrics, teaching medical and nursing students about patient care. She remained at Duke until her retirement in 1960.

What’s so special about Sherwood’s scrapbooks? From July 1952 from August 1955, Sherwood served as the supervisor of nursing services for the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) in Hiroshima, Japan, which studied the effects of radiation on atomic-bomb survivors. During her time there, she took photos of the people she met, places she went, and the things she saw, documenting both her professional and personal experiences. Images of fellow nurses and Red Cross staff appear alongside photographs of Japanese cuisine, architecture, arts, and culture, creating a compelling portrait of an American health professional living abroad in early post-war Japan.

In addition to scrapbooks, the Mildred M. Sherwood Papers contain correspondence, newsletters and reports published by the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, studies of work done in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

To learn more about Sherwood and these materials, visit the Mildred M. Sherwood Papers finding aid or contact the Archives at

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