Duke Medical Center Archives Blog

The DUMC Archives has a large collection of oral histories documenting the medical center’s history. In this post, we’re highlighting three that were conducted with individuals who worked with Dr. Grace Kerby. Kerby, who first came to Duke in 1940 as a research assistant in the Department of Pathology, is notable for a few “Duke firsts.” In 1946 she was the first female chief resident in the Department of Medicine, and in 1964 she became the first female full professor in the department. Additionally, from 1965 to 1971 she was the chief of the Division of Rheumatic and Genetic Disease in the Department of Medicine, the first female to become a division chief in the department.

The Archives is fortunate to have multiple documented recollections of Dr. Kerby. Her secretary,...

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Category: Collection Highlights

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Read the Fall/Winter Newsletter
Posted On: November 11, 2014 by Jolie Braun

The DUMC Archives Fall/Winter 2015 newsletter is now available! To read it, visit: /newsletters

In this issue:

  • From the Director’s Chair: Archival Treasures 
  • New Hyperbaric Medicine Exhibit
  • The DUMC Archives Acquires the Arts & Health at Duke Department Records
  • A Plea for Posterity
  • DUMC Archives at Work
  • DUMC Archives Halloween Event

If you’d like to subscribe to our newsletter, email us at: dumc.archives@mc.duke.edu.

Category: News

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It Came from the Archives! Halloween Highlights from the DUMC Archives
Location: Medical Center Library & Archives, Level 2, Room 212E  
Date:
 Friday, October 31, 11am – 1pm

The Duke University Medical Center Archives is hosting a 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 free and open to all. For more information, contact...

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This week the Archives honors National PA Day (October 6) by highlighting a selection of resources available on the history of the profession and program at Duke. The Physician Assistant (PA) profession has its origins here at Duke with the pioneering efforts of Dr. Eugene A Stead, Jr. Stead first saw a problem for practicing physicians’ access to continuing medical education where many physicians, specifically in rural areas, did not have the time to seek further training due to lack of clinical support. To address this issue, Stead envisioned a physician assistant to provide clinical support to physicians. An experienced educator, Stead knew that many routine tasks performed by doctors were learned...

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Category: Duke Firsts

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The MCL&A’s new exhibit, “Under Pressure: Hyperbaric Medicine at Duke” is now on display. Featuring the Duke Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology, the exhibit charts the Center’s development, activities, and achievements since its beginnings in the early 1960s. Items on display include documents, photographs, and promotional materials spanning the Center’s history.

The Duke Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology is the major facility in the Southeast and provides patient care treatment for medical conditions – such as carbon monoxide poisoning and decompression sickness – using 100% pure oxygen. The facility also has been a hub for innovative research, such as the record-breaking Atlantis dives...

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This month Duke Medicine celebrated completing 1,000 heart transplants, a milestone relatively few medical centers in the country have achieved. In honor of this, we wanted to take a look back to where it all started: Duke's very first heart transplant. This April 1985 issue of the Intercom recounts the intense preparation and work involved in the surgery, which included a team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and technicians. Click on the image to enlarge and read the first page of the article.

Category: Duke Firsts

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New Collection Added to the Archives!
Posted On: September 17, 2014 by Matthew Shangler

We are excited to announce the addition of a new collection: the Arts and Health at Duke Department Records. Originally called the Cultural Services Program, Arts & Health at Duke was founded in 1978 through the efforts of Drs. James Semans and Wayne Rundles. Together they launched a program one of the first of its kind in the country

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Category: Collection Highlights

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Did you know that Duke’s School of Medicine was one of the first in the nation to offer hospital administration courses? When Duke Hospital and the School of Medicine opened in 1930, hospital administration was a new, relatively small field. Yet for the first School of Medicine Dean, Wilburt Davison, it was an issue of special importance, as the process of organizing and establishing the hospital had made him well aware of the need for good hospital administrators. He also believed it was crucial to have more well-trained administrators throughout the South in order to help raise the standards of health care in the region. Inspired in part by Michael M. Davis’ 1929 publication, Hospital Administration: A Career, which stressed the importance of training for hospital...

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Category: DUMC History

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We receive quite a few requests from patrons looking up past students and faculty. Some are researching family members; others need biographical information for an award recipient. Whatever the occasion, the Archives has a few resources to help you search!

Are you researching a notable Duke faculty or staff member? One of the first places we recommend searching for information on individuals is the Biographical Files Collection. This collection features basic information about notable individuals affiliated with Duke Medicine. Materials often include CVs, news clippings, and obituaries. The finding aid for the collection is searchable on our website and the folders are available to view in our reading room...

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Category: Collection Spotlight

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Historic Images Added to MEDSpace
Posted On: July 24, 2014 by Jolie Braun

The DUMC Archives is happy to announce that we have added more historic photographs to MEDSpace. Over 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 (such as the photo of Dr. Brenda Armstrong, to the right), images of the 65th General Hospital, photos of nursing students, and operating room 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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We are excited to report that today's post on the This Day in North Carolina History blog features DUMC history. Maintained by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, This Day in North Carolina History highlights people and places of the Tar Heel state, day by day. Today's entry looks back at the beginnings of Duke University Hospital, which opened for patients on July 21, 1930, 84 years ago today. Please visit the Duke University Hospital blog entry to read about the institution's auspicious first day and learn more. Thanks to the folks at the Department of Cultural Resources for...

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The Davison Building Shields
Posted On: July 15, 2014 by Jolie Braun

84 years ago this month, July 1930, construction of the Davison Building was completed. Then simply known as the School of Medicine Building, the structure was built to resemble the collegiate gothic architecture found throughout Duke’s main campus, and included common features of the style such as arches, buttresses, and parapets.

Buildings on the main campus also frequently displayed shields connected to the department or discipline they housed, and the Davison Building was no different: 15 prominent medical and educational institutions are represented above the entrance. Included are some of the most influential medical schools throughout the world, such as the University of Virginia, McGill University, Royal College of Surgeons, University of Padua, and Trinity College (...

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Category: DUMC History

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The Oral History Collection here at the Archives is one of our oldest and most interesting collections. There are over 300 interviews with key figures in the Med Center’s history that date from 1955 to as recent as 2012. This post is the first in a series we are launching to highlight major subjects and individuals featured in this collection. As July 3 marked the 72 anniversary of Duke’s 65th General Hospital Unit receiving orders to report for duty at Fort Bragg, we wanted to begin our Oral History series with Dr. Ivan Brown, who served in the unit and played an integral role in preserving its memory.

Dr. Brown began his career at Duke as a student, and after graduating with his MD in 1940, joined the 65th General Hospital Unit in 1943. Though he went on to accomplish much...

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Category: Collection Highlights

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We are happy to announce that our new exhibit, “Civil War Medicine,” is now on display at the Medical Center Library. Featuring rare books, medical instruments and artifacts, and historic images and documents from the Rubenstein Library, the exhibit explores health care during the Civil War. It will be on display from June to September.

In addition to this exhibit, the Library & Archives is hosting a six-banner traveling exhibition, “Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine.” Produced by the National Library of Medicine, this display highlights the contributions of African Americans as nurses, surgeons, and hospital staff during the war. It will be on Level 2 of...

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Category: News

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As it’s graduation season, we thought it would be fitting to celebrate in style with two recent accessions. The first item, pictured on the left, is a blazer that was donated to us by alumna Gladys Lewis at the Nursing Alumni Weekend in April. The blazer was available for purchase by Duke undergraduates and could be had with or without the Duke seal on the breast pocket. Mrs. Lewis earned both her Bachelors in Nursing (’60) and Masters in Nursing (’62) at Duke and taught nursing students on Osler Ward from 1961-1963. Afterwards she went on to work in hospice care and raise a family before returning to nursing later in her career. Mrs. Lewis was proud of her achievements at Duke and the blazer symbolized that sentiment. Though the blazer is not specific to the School...

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