Duke Medical Center Archives Blog

This is the first blog post in a three part series about Dr. Jay M. Arena, a preeminent physician in the field of pediatrics and toxicology. During his career, Arena published approximately 300 articles and pamphlets on poisoning and a variety of pediatric subjects, as well as authoring, coauthoring, and editing numerous books on child safety and poisoning. In addition to writing, Arena also served on the editorial board of numerous publications, was appointed to and served with various government agencies, and served as an advisor on the Committee on Safety for Children and the United States Project Safety Commission. As an advisory expert on the Accidents and Poison Panel of the International Pediatric Association, Arena frequently gave expert witness testimony in cases of accidental...

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Just in time for spring’s colorful blossoms, the Duke Medical Center Archives acquired three vibrant watercolors of Duke Medicine buildings from the Facilities, Planning, Design/Construction department. The paintings were added to the Facilities Planning and Development Collection. The watercolors depict the Medical Center (2003), the Duke Cancer Center (2009), and Duke Medicine Circle (2009). The Medical Center and Duke Medicine Circle include campus views, while the Duke Cancer Center painting shows the front of the building with flowers in full bloom. Click to enlarge the image.

The artwork, ranging in size from 22.5” x 14” to 30” x 22”,...

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The Duke Medical Center Archives is happy to be a co-sponsor of the upcoming Wikipedia event. Full details are below.

Women of Science and Philosophy: Reframing the Canon with the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection and Project Vox
When: Tuesday, March 29, 6-9pm
Where: The Edge Workshop room
Wikipedia Meetup page: Women_of_Science_and_Philosophy
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1519930418312442/

Please join us for an...

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Navigating Duke Hospital with SEDO
Posted On: March 14, 2016 by Jolie Braun

If you think the Medical Center is easy to get lost in now, consider what it may have been like decades ago, before standardized signage was created. 45 years ago this month, March 1971, Duke University Medical Center introduced its first major signage system, SEDO.

During the 1960s, the Medical Center experienced unprecedented growth. New development meant more buildings, more employees, and more patients. As it expanded, the need for a way to easily navigate the growing complex became increasingly important. To address this issue, Duke hired a graphic designer to produce and oversee the implementation of a new wayfinding system. 

The result was SEDO, or “System for Environmental Direction and Orientation.” This new approach divided the Medical Center into eight major,...

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In honor of Black History Month, in this blog post we’re featuring Prentiss Harrison, who, upon graduating from Duke’s program in 1968, was the first African American PA in the nation.

Harrison first heard of Duke’s fledging PA program while working as an operating room technician at the UNC Chapel Hill Hospital. Established in 1965, Duke’s program was a two-year course intended to train students to practice medicine and provide health care services under a doctor’s supervision, and was the first of its kind in the nation. Harrison, who had been trained as a medical corspman while serving in the Army, recognized that this new field could offer professional opportunity and advancement. He applied and was accepted into the second class.

The Medical Center Archives...

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Mildred Sherwood's Japan Scrapbooks
Posted On: January 5, 2016 by Jolie Braun

We 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...

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We are happy to announce that the Department of Arts & Health at Duke Records are processed and open for research. This interesting collection documents the department’s history of providing cultural services programming for Duke Hospital. Fittingly, the collection displays material in a variety of formats, from published poetry compilations to scrapbooks highlighting sponsored performing arts programs, as exhibited in the image on the right.    

The Arts & Health Department at Duke was established in 1978 as the Cultural Services Program. Founded by James H. Semans, MD, and Wayne Rundles, MD, with initial support from the National Endowment for the Arts and Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, the program’s...

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We are happy to announce that a new collection, the William H. Briner Papers, is now available and open for research.

Captain William Harold Briner was a pharmacist who began his career in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in 1954 and later went on to establish one of the first nuclear pharmacies in the country. After retiring from this service in 1970, he worked at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill as an adjunct professor as well as at Duke Medical Center as an Assistant Professor of Radiology. During his time at Duke, Briner was a prolific member of the nuclear medicine community, establishing the first nuclear pharmacy in North Carolina and serving as a director of both...

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New Images Available on MEDSpace
Posted On: November 9, 2015 by Jolie Braun

The Medical Center Archives is happy to announce that we have added more historic photographs to MEDSpace. Over two dozen images from the 1960’s to the 1990’s have been uploaded to the digital repository. Included are portraits of key faculty and staff, photos of PA students, operating room images, and images of key events (such as the Duke North Hospital groundbreaking, pictured right). The new additions can be viewed by scrolling down to the bottom of MEDSpace’s homepage and clicking the “Recent Additions” tab on the far right.

To view all of our digitized historic images, please visit the Foundations of Excellence ...

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It Came from the Archives! Halloween Highlights from the Duke Medical Center Archives

Location: Medical Center Library & Archives, Level 2, Room 212E 
Date: Friday, October 30, 11am – 2pm

In honor of Archives Month in October, the Duke University Medical Center Archives is hosting our second annual Halloween event at the MCL&A featuring a selection of eerie, fascinating, and rarely seen materials from our collections. Brave souls are invited to gaze upon spine-chilling artwork, stare into the faces of frightening death masks, behold macabre medical artifacts and instruments, and much more! Halloween candy will be available…for those who haven’t lost their appetite.

The event is...

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We are happy to announce that our new exhibit, Celebrating 50 Years of the Duke Physician Assistant Program: The Birth of a Profession, is now on display. Featuring artifacts, photographs, and documents from the Medical Center Archives collections, the exhibit charts the founding, growth, and accomplishments of Duke’s PA Program. Highlights include a 1964 letter written by Dr. Eugene A. Stead, Jr., expressing his desire to start the program at Duke, scrapbooks and publications made by PA students, and the 1966 issue of Look magazine that introduced the profession, and Duke’s program, to the general public.

When Dr. Stead, then Chairman of Duke’s Department of Medicine, established the PA Program in 1965, it was the first of its kind in the nation. A two-year...

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Earlier this summer we unveiled the exhibit, Remembering the 65th: Duke’s General Hospital Unit, which documents the staff, activities, and accomplishments of the 65th General Hospital, Duke's World War II unit. We are happy to announce that digital version is now available online.

Like the physical exhibit, Remembering the 65th features artifacts, photographs, and documents from the Medical Center Archives collections. Items include medical instruments used by hospital staff, an aircrew flak helmet worn by a patient treated at the hospital, original artwork depicting the unit’s doctors and nurses, and a letter from President Ronald Reagan commending the unit.The digital exhibit...

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notebooks

Albert R. Behnke Collection
Posted On: July 7, 2015 by Matthew Shangler

The Archives recently began processing the Albert R. Behnke Collection. Captain Albert R. Behnke was a physician with the US Navy from 1929-1959. He is best known for developing the US Naval Medical Research Institute and for his research and work with compressed air to treat decompression sickness. He continued his work and research after retiring from the Navy as a professor of preventive medicine at the University of California and Director of the Institute of Applied Biology, Presbyterian Medical Center, San Francisco, California. Behnke is also one of the cofounders of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS). This collection is closely related to the C.J. Lambertsen Papers and is also part of the...

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We are happy to announce that our new exhibit, Remembering the 65th: Duke’s General Hospital Unit, is now on display. Featuring artifacts, photographs, and documents from the Medical Center Archives collections, the exhibit tells the story of Duke Medicine’s World War II hospital unit. Items include medical instruments used by hospital staff, an aircrew flak helmet worn by a patient treated at the hospital, original artwork of the unit’s doctors and nurses, and a letter from President Ronald Reagan commending the unit.

The idea for a Duke hospital army unit was born in October 1940, the brainchild of Wilburt C. Davison, then dean of the Duke University School of Medicine. Activated in July 1942, the Army reserve unit's original crew consisted of...

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The Archives is happy to announce that we have added an oral history with Dr. John Falletta to our collections. Dr. Falletta is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and Emeritus Senior Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the School of Medicine. In this recently conducted interview, he recounts his life and career, from his childhood in Kansas to his advisory role at the IRB.

After receiving his degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Dr. Falletta joined the staff of Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, where his work on a local cluster of childhood leukemia cases solidified his interest in pediatric hematology-oncology. In 1976 he came to Duke to serve as the Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology....

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