Duke Medical Center Archives Blog

The Duke University Medical Center Archives (DUMCA) is excited to announce the acquisition of the Onyekwere E. Akwari Papers, a collection that documents the personal life and professional career of Dr. Onyekwere E. Akwari, a Nigerian-American and the first African-American surgeon at Duke University. Dr. Akwari was the son of Theophilus Akwari, an export-import business owner, and Ngarasi Christiana Ukegbu, the owner and operator of numerous local shops. He was raised in Abia State, Nigeria as the oldest of eight children. In 1962, shortly after Nigeria declared its independence from British rule, Akwari made the decision to leave his home country and travel to the United States for... MORE

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“Archives—it’s where technology comes to die” is a phrase I frequently use when discussing obsolete audiovisual formats in archives. Think about it, when is the last time you shoved a VHS tape into your VCR, a Betamax into your Betamax player, or a U-Matic into its player? Have you fired up your wire recorder recently? Threaded a film into your 16mm or 8mm projector? How about a DVD? Do you watch those anymore? Listened to any audiocassette tapes or CDs recently? What about a reel-to-reel audio tape? Even if you haven’t, these formats still exist. Often the only copy of a recording is on an obsolete format, which is why archival repositories that collect these obsolete formats, also need to collect obsolete format players.  ... MORE

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Watts School of Nursing Class of 2005

Watts School of Nursing Records
Posted On: December 17, 2019 by Rebecca Williams

The Duke University Medical Center Archives is happy to announce that Watts School of Nursing Records are processed and open for research. Watts School of Nursing (SON), originally Watts Hospital Training School for Nurses, began as part of Watts Hospital in 1895 as a two-year diploma program. Its first graduate received her nursing degree in 1897. In 1956, Watts Hospital Training School for Nurses became the first diploma program in North Carolina to achieve National League for Nursing accreditation. Watts Hospital closed in 1976 when Durham County General Hospital opened. At this time, Watts Hospital Training School for Nurses moved to Durham Regional Hospital and was...

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For All the People: A Century of Citizen Action in Health Care ReformMedical Center Library & Archives - Level 1On Display Now The Medical Center Library is hosting “For All the People: A Century of Citizen Action in Health Care Reform,” a six-banner traveling exhibition. Developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, it explores changes to the American health care system and highlights the work of citizens to instigate change.  In conjunction with the NLM display, the Medical Center Library and Archives produced a companion exhibit featuring photographs of Duke Health community members and their involvement in local civic efforts. 

 

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Documenting Durham’s Health History Medical Center Library & Archives – Level 2R, Room 212E, and Level 3 On Display November 21-December 13 Through maps, images, and video interviews, this exhibition examines the roots of health disparities in the "City of Medicine." It highlights four sequential case studies: tuberculosis before WWII, childbirth during hospital desegregation in the 1960s, HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980-90s, and the more recent rise of type 2 diabetes. The exhibit looks at each case study from multiple vantage points. While racial disparities characterize all four examples, each one illustrates how race intersects with... MORE

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Rhizopuspepsin domain 1

Jane and David Richardson Papers
Posted On: November 11, 2019 by Rebecca Williams

The Archives is happy to announce they are now home to the Jane and David Richardson Papers. Both Jane and David are currently professors in Duke’s Department of Biochemistry. Jane is James B. Duke professor of Biochemistry and David is professor of Biochemistry and founding director of Duke’s Structural Biology and Biophysics Graduate Training Program. The Richardson’s met while students at Swarthmore College. Following graduation, they married and David continued his studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pursing a PhD in chemistry while working in the laboratory of Albert F. Cotton and researching small molecule inorganic chemistry and crystallography. Meanwhile, Jane attended Harvard... MORE

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Bell building

October is Archives Month
Posted On: October 25, 2019 by Rebecca Williams

Archives Month is an annual, month-long observance of the agencies and people responsible for maintaining and making available the archival and historical records of our nation, state, communities, and people. Archives serve as the memory of our nation, and by celebrating, we recognize and give legitimacy to the enduring value of American records and America’s archives.

There are several ways to celebrate this month and learn more about the work of archives. The first is through social media. On October 2, 2019, archivists around the country took to Twitter to respond to questions tweeted with the hashtag #AskAnArchivist. From our Twitter account we provided...

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Location: Medical Center Library & Archives, Level 2, Room 212E

Date: Thursday, October 31, 11am – 2pm

The Duke University Medical Center Archives is hosting its sixth annual Halloween event featuring a selection of odd, intriguing, and rarely seen materials from their collections.

All are invited to drop in to view detailed medical illustrations, touch old medical instruments, explore forgotten stories from the history of Duke Health, and much more.

Come by for a fun break with free Halloween candy!

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The Duke Community was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Wolfgang K. Joklik earlier this month. As both Chair of the Duke Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and co-founder of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, he had a profound impact on Duke Health. 

There have been several well-written tributes to Dr. Joklik and his legacy in the past couple of weeks, so rather than attempt to write another, we thought that we would share some of his own words. We conducted an oral history interview with Dr. Joklik in 2007 that hopefully provides some insight on the passion that guided much of his work.

When describing his dedication to Duke and the Cancer Center, Dr. Joklik shared the following:

“In 1968 I was recruited to become Chairman of the...

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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. 

This collection documents the Duke...

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The Computerized Textbook of Medicine: The development of computer technology and medical databases at Duke Medicine 

Medical Center Library & Archives – Level 1

On Display Now

Today it is hard to remember a world without computers, but their value in medicine was not always apparent. As with any new technology, widespread adoption takes time. 

Duke University Medical Center has played a crucial role in the development of data science techniques and innovations in medicine and clinical research since the 1960s. This is most clearly evident in the development of the Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Disease, but early data science efforts also played a critical role in other departments...

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Take-A-Seat Gala

Duke Cancer Institute Records
Posted On: April 5, 2019 by Rebecca Williams

The Archives is happy to announce that the Duke Cancer Institute Records has been reprocessed and is open for research. The Duke Cancer Institute (DCI) was established in 1973 as one of the original eight comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Since, Duke cancer researchers have made many notable accomplishments in the field, including the creation of the nation's first outpatient bone marrow transplantation program (1992) and assisting in the discovery of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that are responsible for many inherited forms of breast and ovarian cancer (1995). In 2010 the DCI was Duke’s first entity to consolidate cancer care, research, and education.

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The Medical Center Archives is happy to announce that new additions to the Division of Cardiology Records and the Joseph C. Greenfield Papers are open for research. The first collection documents the administrative functions of the Division of Cardiology, as well as the personal experiences of its faculty and residents, while the second collection contains the research and personal files of Dr. Joseph C. Greenfield, one of the division’s most accomplished physicians. 

The Duke Division of Cardiology is one of the largest programs in the...

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scrapbook page

Duke Surgical Women Club Records
Posted On: March 11, 2019 by Rebecca Williams

The Duke University Medical Center Archives is happy to announce that the Duke Surgical Women’s Club Records are processed and open for research. The collection contains records pertaining to the club whose members were the spouses of interns, residents, and follows in the Department of Surgery at Duke.

This collection documents the philanthropic and social activities of the Duke Surgical Women’s Club, including the October 1977 vote in which the club voted to change their name from Duke Surgical Wives to Duke Surgical Women. Materials include the club’s newsletter, The Probe; publicity committee materials; scrapbooks created by club members; and clippings pertaining to the club and their activities. 

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Dr. Richard Lyman

Richard S. Lyman Papers
Posted On: February 27, 2019 by Rebecca Williams

The Archives is pleased to spotlight our recently reprocessed Richard S. Lyman Papers. Dr. Richard S. Lyman was the founding chairman of Duke’s Department of Psychiatry in 1940, and his long career included widespread international research, projects with the United States Military, and service on the staff of North Carolina’s Highland Hospital. To learn more about Highland Hospital, visit the finding aid to the Highland Hospital Records. Materials in the collection date from 1927 to 1957. 

Dr. Lyman began his medical career with an eye toward international research. Less than a decade after his 1921 graduation from Johns Hopkins...

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