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Calling all researchers: the Duke University Medical Archives is pleased to announce that the Stuart M. Sessoms Records are processed and open to researchers. This collection is rich with the history of Duke Medical Center during the Civil Rights Era. It illustrates how a large institution in the South adapted to extreme, rapid social changes with grace and dignity. I don’t think you will be disappointed. There are juicy bits.
The materials date from 1952 to 1980 with the bulk of the records dating to Sessoms’ tenure, which also happened to be the socially turbulent period between 1968 and 1976. These materials provide evidence of how the institution adapted to national and state legislation and litigation, shifting views of patients and staff, and technological changes. Issues addressed directly and in chronological order include but are not limited to:
While that list is not inclusive, those were the major subjects that jumped out at me while processing this collection. I am certain there are more topics worth exploring included in the files about Duke Hospital, Duke Hospital departments, clinics, business and finance, Duke University School of Medicine, Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, Sea Level Hospital, Lincoln Hospital, Highland Hospital, the VA Hospital, Methodist Church Hospital and Homes, Hillhaven Convalescent Center, and State agencies and boards.
This collection has a story to tell about how Duke University Medical Center navigated the changing social landscape of the mid-twentieth century. I invite you to come see it for yourself.
This blog post was contributed by Archives Volunteer Elizabeth DuRocher.