Duke Medical Center Archives Blog

Historical Images Added to MEDSpace
Posted On: March 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 1930’s to the 1990’s have been uploaded to the digital repository. Included are portraits key faculty and staff, views of campus buildings, and photos of medical and nursing students (such as the 1950's image of nursing students to the 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. 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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The architecture of Duke’s campus has been long admired for its gothic features and manicured gardens. Even modern structures, like the Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans Center for Health Education, are gorgeous from every angle. Yet it is beneath their exteriors that these walls become truly interesting.The Davison and Seely G. Mudd buildings, for example, share a design feature not found elsewhere in the medical center: each has a columbarium.

The idea for a columbarium began in 1949 when the Executive Committee of the Medical School formed a subcommittee, chaired by Dr. Wiley Forbus, to draft a proposal on how to commemorate the founding of the medical school. The initial proposal recommended murals be painted to honor significant events and...

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We are happy to announce that our new exhibit, “The Medical Garden,” is now on display at the Medical Center Library. Highlighting herbs and flowers from the Library’s medical garden, the exhibit features plant specimens, botanical illustrations, and archival materials. Items from the DUMC Archives on display include Wilburt Davison's botany notebook from his undergraduate days at Princeton and materials on poisonous plants from the Jay Arena Papers.

The idea for a medical garden was first suggested by Susan Carlton Smith Cavanagh, the Assistant Curator of the Trent Collection, who also worked as a botanical illustrator. In 1976, she and the Curator of the Trent...

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Duke’s African American LPN Program
Posted On: February 20, 2014 by Jolie Braun

This article first appeared in the February 2014 issue of the Medical Center Library's newsletter.

In honor of Black History Month, this look back at DUMC history features Duke’s licensed practical nursing (LPN) program. When it began in 1948, there were already several others in the state. Duke’s was unique, however, as it was the only one in North Carolina established exclusively for training African American nurses. (To the right is a photo of some of the program's first students.)

The program, known as the Practical Nurse School at Hillside High School, was a collaborative effort between Duke University Hospital, the Durham City Schools, and the North Carolina Department of...

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The Archives has many publications created over the course of Duke University Medical Center's history. One we're especially fond of is Shifting Dullness, a newsletter produced entirely by Duke medical students.

When Shifting Dullness began in 1968, its earliest issues were often a single page of announcements and events. Over the years, though, it grew, and by the 1990’s the publication had become a space for medical students to discuss professional issues as well as personal interests. Issues averaged 16 pages and included a wide variety of content: articles about the student code of conduct...

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Similar to badges, patches are a form of official identification often affixed to a uniform. These range from simple name tags to much more elaborate designs. Historically patches feature symbols and colors of importance to the organization. While there are different varieties of patches, embroidered are the most common. 

Over the years, Duke has produced patches for various staff and units affiliated with the Medical Center. The Archives has a representative selection of these within our collection. Pictured on the right is the patch from a Cadet Nurse uniform. In the center is a white Maltese Cross on a scarlet and gray background. The cross symbolized caring for the sick. The Cadet Nurse Corps began...

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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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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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