Duke Medical Center Archives Blog

The Archives recently acquired new additions to the Robert L. Blake Papers. Blake was a medical artist in the Division of Medical Illustration (later named Division of Audiovisual Education) at Duke from 1943-1983. His long career is surpassed only by the lasting impact of his artistic contributions to the University and Medical Center. This recent accession expands upon our already extensive collection of Blake’s artwork.

This accession (pictured on the right) contains two scrapbooks, slides, prints, publications and other papers documenting Blake’s professional career at Duke. One scrapbook features photos of division staff between 1943 and 1983. The image of Bob Blake below is from this scrapbook. The other scrapbook features copies of...

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Category: Collection Spotlight

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Surviving & Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture
Location: Medical Center Library & Archives, Level 2R

Date: May 11-June 20, 2015




The Medical Center Library & Archives is currently hosting "Surviving & Thriving: Aids,...

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Category: News

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The Medical Center Archives Spring/Summer 2015 newsletter is now available. To read it, visit: /newsletters or click on the image below.

In this issue:

  • From the Director’s Chair
  • Dr. Robert J. Lefkowitz Papers
  • Archives Awarded Trent Grant 
  • Duke Intercom Now Online
  • Medical Attire Exhibit
  • Medical Center Archives at Work
  • Dr. John D. Hamilton Lecture
  • New Archives Guide

To subscribe to our newsletter, email us at: dumc.archives@mc.duke.edu.

Category: News

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Nursing Materials on Display
Posted On: April 15, 2015 by Matthew Shangler

This Friday the School of Nursing hosts its annual Reunion Weekend for alumni. Each year the Archives has a display during this event with items showcasing the history of nursing at Duke. We invite you to get a close-up look at some of our artifacts, such as a vintage nursing uniform and publications, and a timeline complete with historic images. Since we have more material than we can display, here is a look at some of what we have available for research.

One of the best parts about the School of Nursing Records collection is that it contains a wide variety of media. We have everything from artifacts and photographs to paper and textiles. Among the most interesting of these items are the scrapbooks compiled by nursing students. These...

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Category: Collection Spotlight

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Please join us on Thursday, May 14 at noon for a lecture by Dr. John D. Hamilton, "The History of Infectious Diseases at Duke in the 20th Century.” The talk will be held in Room 102 of the Medical Center Library & Archives. This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be available.

Dr. Hamilton joined the faculty in the Department of Medicine at Duke in 1971, serving first as the Chief of the Durham VA Infectious Diseases Section from 1971 to 1994, and then as Chief of the adult Duke Infectious Diseases and International Health Division from 1994 to 2010. His book, The History of Infectious Diseases at...

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Category: News

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The Duke University Medical Center Archives is happy to announce that the Intercom is now online.

Duke Medicine’s primary news publication from 1953 to 1986, the Intercom featured information about campus construction and events, faculty and staff news, facts and figures, and articles about medical research and innovations at Duke. The Archives collaborated with the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center on this project, who digitized the first 25 years of the publication, making more than 500 issues available online. They can be accessed via ...

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Category: News

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Life Flight flying over hospital

Happy 30th, Life Flight!
Posted On: March 4, 2015 by Jolie Braun

Today we wish a happy birthday to Life Flight, which turned 30 this week! When it started on March 1, 1985, Life Flight was the first hospital-based emergency transportation service in North Carolina. The new service, which had required a year and a half of planning, was significant in a couple of ways: the helicopter could transport critically ill or injured patients more quickly than a ground ambulance, and it allowed Duke to extend its scope of tertiary care to a 150 mile radius of Durham. The helicopter contained everything needed for an airborne intensive care unit, including ventilators, blood pressure monitors, IV fluids and special drugs, cardiac monitors and pacemakers, defibrillators, and intubation equipment. The equipment...

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Category: Duke Firsts

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Remembering Robert Blake
Posted On: February 25, 2015 by Matthew Shangler

This week the Archives honors the life and work of medical artist Robert Blake, who recently passed away at the age of 98. Blake came to Duke in 1941 as part of Civilian Public Service Unit #61. The picture on the right shows Blake during his service with Unit #61. He contributed illustrations to the unit newsletter and his artistic ability was noticed by medical artist, Elon Clark, who hired him on as part of the Division of Medical Illustration after the war.

Blake remained at Duke through his retirement in 1983. During his long career, he contributed artwork for medical exhibits, such as one on Accidental Poisoning for Dr. Jay Arena; calligraphy for Duke medical diplomas; and countless illustrations for Duke physicians. Blake, alongside...

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Category: DUMC History

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In celebration of African American History Month, the Medical Center Archives is excited to publish a new research guide about the history of African Americans at the Medical Center. The guide aims to introduce researchers to materials documenting the history of African American faculty, students, and staff at Duke Medicine. Included are recommended oral histories, archival collections, photograph and AV items, and publications, selected key dates and key figures, and links to suggested digital resources. To view the guide, visit: http://guides.mclibrary.duke.edu/afam

Category: News

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We are happy to announce that our new exhibit, "Head to Toe: Medical Attire Past & Present," is now on display. Featuring clothing and accessories from the Medical Center Archives collections, the exhibit explores the role of apparel in the health profession, and particularly at Duke Medicine, over the past 75 years. Items include an original 1970's era Duke nursing student uniform, an early medical bag of a Duke physician, and a graduation cap of the first School of Medicine Dean, Wilburt Davison, as well as historical photographs and documents. 

Learn about the...

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Category: News

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The Duke University Medical Center Archives is honored to receive a grant from the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation Endowment Fund. Awarded for history of medicine projects at Duke, the grant will enable the Archives to digitize films from the Audiovisual Collection. Because many of the materials in this collection exist solely on older and obsolete media formats, digitization will help the Archives preserve and improve access to important and unique footage documenting the Medical Center’s heritage. Films include interviews with prominent Duke figures such as Drs. J. Deryl Hart and Jay Arena, as well as footage about major innovations and key events, including the groundbreaking of Duke North and the 65th General...

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Though we are a relatively small department, our mission is big: to serve the Medical Center community by collecting, preserving, maintaining, and making available for research the permanent records of the DUMC and DUHS. To this end, the Archives offers a broad range of records management services to departments and offices across campus at no cost to our users.

Services we provide:

  •          Safe and secure storage of permanently valuable records in a climate controlled environment
  •          Guidance and recommendations on records retention and disposal
  •          Convenient access to and retrieval of records
  •          Pick up and circulation of records

Benefits to your office...

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Category: Ask The Archives

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Please join us on Thursday, January 29 at noon for a lecture by Dr. John J. Freiberger, “The Past and Present of the Duke University Hyperbaric Chamber.” The talk will be held in Room 102 of the Medical Center Library & Archives. This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be available. 

Dr. Freiberger, M.D., M.P.H., is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at Duke and Director of the fellowship program at the Duke Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology. He is the first Executive Director of Duke Dive Medicine, the extreme environment and diving injury consultation service hosted at the Duke Chamber. In 2014 Dr. Freiberger received the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society’s Craig Hoffman/...

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Category: News

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New Images Added to MEDSpace
Posted On: December 8, 2014 by Jolie Braun

The DUMC Archives is happy to announce that we have added more historic photographs to MEDSpace. Nearly two dozen images from the 1940’s to the 1980’s have been uploaded to the digital repository. Included are portraits of key faculty and staff, images of the 65th General Hospital, photos of nursing students (such as the 1960 image of students in the snow to the right), and hyperbaric chamber images. 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. While some of the people in these images have been identified, others have not. You can help us identify individuals by visiting our ...

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Category: News

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Last month the School of Medicine welcomed alumni back to campus for the annual Medical Alumni Weekend. This week, we look at the origins of this tradition in honor of the first medical reunion which was held on November 29th, 1940.

The Duke Medical Alumni Association was established in 1940 and organized the first reunion later that year. The second meeting, held April 24-26, 1947, was attended by 281 alumni and featured presentations on various medical topics and a business meeting. The program for this meeting is pictured on the right. Reunions were held every three years (with a hiatus for World War II) until 1959 when an alumni weekend in its current form was proposed.

The first...

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Category: DUMC History

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