Duke Medical Center Archives Blog

In honor of the Medical Center Library’s Trent Room being renamed the Richmond House Room this month, the Archives is highlighting materials from our collections about its history in the display case on Level 2 of the Library.

The Richmond House Room is a 1730 period room containing pine paneling, bookcase doors, and fireplace surround removed from the Richmond House in Plaistow, England, which was once the seat of the Duke of Richmond. The room was donated to Duke in 1956 by Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans and architect Karl Block. (To the right is an image of the room's first visitors during the 1956 dedication ceremony.)

The room’s first location on campus was at the Duke University Hospital library in the Davison...

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Happy Holidays from the Medical Center Archives staff! While gifts exchanged vary year to year, cards have stayed a consistent part of the holiday ritual. In this post we extend our seasons’ greetings through the cards of Christmas past – three, to be exact.

The first card (pictured right) was sent by Dr. Norman Ross of the 65th General Hospital Unit to his wife in 1943 while he was stationed overseas in England. In a departure from the traditional red and green color scheme, this card features a patriotic red, white and blue illustration. (The 65th General Hospital Unit was organized by Duke to serve in the allied war effort during World War II.)

Pictured on the left is a 1962 holiday card by medical artist Elon Clark....

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New Images Added to MEDSpace
Posted On: December 12, 2013 by Jolie Braun

The DUMC Archives is happy to announce that we have added more historic photographs to MEDSpace. Over 30 images spanning the 1930's to the 1990's have been added to the digital repository. Included are mock clinic and student-faculty show performances (such as the 1950 image to the right), views of the medical campus, 1940's photos of the Medical Art and Illustration staff, 1980's pictures of Duke North, 1960-70's photos of the hospital pharmacy, and early images of nursing students.

The new images 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...

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With this post we’re starting a new feature, "Collection Spotlight," which will focus on a particular collection at the DUMC Archives. For our first in this series, we're excited to highlight the papers of Russell Dicks, a pioneer in modern pastoral care who worked at Duke during the 1950s.

Born in Oklahoma in 1906, Dicks received his BA from the University of Oklahoma in 1929 and his BD from Union Theological Seminary in 1933. He served as chaplain at Massachusetts General Hospital and multiple hospitals in Chicago before joining Duke in 1948 as a professor of pastoral care, the director of clinical pastoral training, and the chaplain of Duke University Hospital.

Dick’s methods and ideas about pastoral psychology,...

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Intercom front page

Thanksgiving at DUMC
Posted On: November 26, 2013 by Jolie Braun

 

In honor of Thanksgiving, we wanted to highlight this 1967 holiday issue of the Intercom, Duke Medicine’s primary news publication from 1953 to 1986. The cover story, “All This to Cook the Turkey,” gives a behind-the-scenes look at the dietetics staff’s work to prepare a special “home cooked” Thanksgiving meal for patients. The amount of planning, preparation, and food involved may surprise you. Check out a few highlights below, or click on the image to enlarge and read the full article.

1967 Thanksgiving dinner at Duke University Hospital:

  • All 246 dietetics staff pitched in to help prepare meals for 1,000 individuals
  • Preparation began several days before Thanksgiving, with a...
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Category: DUMC History

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Musical Maladies - The Fungus Five
Posted On: November 13, 2013 by Matthew Shangler

The School of Medicine class of 1958 was among those honored at the Medical Alumni Weekend last month. During this event we were reminded of a unique group of students from this class. A few musically inclined students formed the group called The Fungus Five (they later expanded and were renamed The Syphilitic Six). The members (pictured on right) were Roger Berry (guitar), John Thorton Dunn (piano), David Randolph Jones (mandolin), James Davis Mallory (banjo), John Halloway Milam (clarinet), and George Edward Cassady II (drums). 

Similar to the Student-Faculty Shows, the goal of The Fungus Five was to make the audience laugh. They sang in a country/folk style about various ailments and life as medical...

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We are excited to announce that our new exhibit, “An Eye for the Eye: Medical Illustration at Duke, 1932-2005” is now on display at the Medical Center Library. Documenting over 70 years of medical illustration at Duke, the exhibit includes original artwork (such as the drawing to the right by Robert Blake), photographs, brochures, medical textbooks, and even a prosthetic nose and pair of ears.

Duke was one of the first educational institutions to provide medical illustration services. Established in 1935, the Division of Medical Art and Illustration produced charts, graphics, and photographs for Duke University and Duke University Medical Center publications. In addition to creating artwork, the unit also was instrumental in the Medical Center's efforts to advance...

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Scalps!
Posted On: October 30, 2013 by Jolie Braun

This week we're highlighting one of the more humorous items in our collections. Scalps!, published in 1958, is a 32-page booklet of caricatures of School of Medicine faculty. For SOM alumni and those with a knowledge of DUMC history, the book is a collection of familiar faces, depicting key figures in Duke Medicine, such as the first School of Medicine Dean Wilburt Davison (pointing at globe). All of the artwork was done by Elec LeClerq, who came to Duke in 1957 as a resident in...

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Because food probably isn't the first topic that comes to mind when thinking of medical archives, you might be surprised to find out that the Duke University Medical Center Archives has many materials related to food and nutrition. In honor of the 2013 North Carolina Archives Week’s (October 21-27) theme, “Home Grown! A Celebration of N.C. Food Culture & History,” we're highlighting a few of these items below.

To the right is an image of Duke medical students at Turnage’s...

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The 65th General Hospital Unit of Duke University provided crucial support to allied troops in the Eastern Theater of Operations during World War II. This medical unit supplied care to troops and treated over 17,000 patients. Less well-known is that Duke also had a presence and impact on the home front through Civilian Public Service Unit #61.

The Civilian Public Service (CPS) was established on October 16, 1940, as an alternative to military conscription for Conscientious Objectors (CO) during World War II. CO’s were men who declined military service based on their religious beliefs. Rather than serve as soldiers, these men were given the opportunity to support the home front in various capacities. These jobs consisted of work in soil...

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Historic Images Added to MEDSpace
Posted On: October 8, 2013 by Jolie Braun

The DUMC Archives is happy to announce that we recently added more historic images to MEDSpace. Over two dozen images spanning the 1940s to the 1980s have been added to the digital repository. Included are photos of important innovations in DUMC’s history, such as the PRT and Life Flight, group portraits of department faculty and students, and medical artwork. They can be viewed by scrolling down on the 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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Read the October 2013 Newsletter
Posted On: October 3, 2013 by Jolie Braun

The October 2013 DUMC Archives newsletter is now available! To read it, visit: /newsletters

In this issue:

  • From the Director’s Chair: MEDSpace, Past & Present
  • 65th General Hospital & Department of Surgery Documented in New Collection
  • DUMC Archives at Work
  • Meet the DUMC Archives Intern
  • Lights, Camera, Access: Processing the EMS Motion Film Collection
  • News & Notes
  • Upcoming Events  

If you’d like to provide suggestions, feedback, or be added to our mailing list, please contact us at dumc.archives@mc.duke.edu

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Project MED-AID
Posted On: September 19, 2013 by Jolie Braun

Duke University Medical Center’s history is full of many high-profile firsts. In this post, we're highlighting what is perhaps a slightly less well-known one: Duke was first medical center in the world to offer a radio consultative program to isolated doctors in other countries.

Begun in 1966 through the DUMC Amateur Radio Club, Project MED-AID – short for Medical Assistance for Isolated Doctors – used shortwave amateur radio to provide advice, consultation, and supplies in emergencies to doctors working in developing countries, particularly those in remote areas such as jungle hospitals, mobile units, and village clinics. For doctors working in such environments with few or no options, the radio program was an invaluable resource.

The station, operating under the call...

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It may not be a surprise to learn that the Archives collects copies of the School of Medicine yearbook, the Aesculapian. Less well known is that our copies are among our most frequently used reference tools. These volumes are invaluable for verifying names of former students and faculty, as well as years they were at Duke. They also offer a wealth of images of people, events, and buildings. 

In 1950, the predecessor to the Aesculapian, The Stethoscope, was published as the first yearbook of the School of Medicine. The ...

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Illustration for Malcolm Tyor's talk, "What's the Evidence?"

Malcolm Tyor's "What's the Evidence?"
Posted On: September 6, 2013 by Jolie Braun

Recently we happened to come across some illustrations in our collections that seemed too good to not share. The cartoons you see here were two of the images used to accompany Dr. Malcolm Tyor’s talk, “What’s the Evidence?” which he gave at a meeting of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). (Unfortunately the year this presentation was given and the creator of the artwork are unknown.) Drawing on Tyor’s long, successful career as a gastroenterologist, his speech focused on the importance of inquiry and maintaining a sense of curiosity for both medical students and professionals: “We are all prone to employ certain key phrases generally introduced to our professional repertoire by our teachers…‘What’s the evidence?’ has served me well through my...

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