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Guide to the Eleanor B. Easley Papers, 1945-1993 (MC.0061)

Abstract

Contains the professional papers of Eleanor Beamer Easley (1907-1998), a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology who practiced in Durham, North Carolina. Easley was the first female graduate of Duke's School of Medicine's first four-year class. In 1941, Easley helped co-found the Durham Women's Clinic. Types of materials include notes from talks and presentations, short writings, meeting minutes, agendas, articles, reports, photographs, correspondence, and clippings. Major subjects include Durham, North Carolina; nursing; obstetrics and gynecology; women physicians; women's health; and Watts Hospital. Materials range in date from 1945 to 1993 with the bulk ranging from 1967 to 1975.

Descriptive Summary

Call Number
MC.0061
Title
Eleanor B. Easley Papers
Date
1945-1993
Creator
Easley, Eleanor B.
Extent
1 Linear Foot (2 manuscript boxes)
Repository
Duke University Medical Center Archives

Collection Overview

Contains the professional papers or Eleanor B. Easley, doctor of obstetrics and gynecology. Easley was the first female graduate of Duke's School of Medicine's first four-year class. In 1941, Easley helped co-found the Durham Women's Clinic. Types of materials include notes from talks and presentations, short writings, meeting minutes, agendas, articles, reports, photographs, correspondence, and clippings. Materials range in date from 1945 to 1993 with the bulk ranging from 1967 to 1975.

Arrangement Note

Organized into the following series: Talks and Presentations, 1947-1982; Writings, 1965-1972; Watts Hospital Advisory Activities, 1968-1973; North Carolina Medical Society, 1968-1979; Correspondence and Ephemera, 1945-1993.

Restrictions on Access & Use

Some collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval.

Access Restrictions

None.

Use Restrictions

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Contents of the Collection

1. Talks and Presentations, 1947-1982

Series Scope and Contents: This series contains written notes of speeches and presentations given by Easley before medical students, community organizations, and professional societies and organizations. Topics include women's health, women working in a male-dominated culture or field, and how economic, social, and psychological factors affect health. Materials range in date from 1947 to 1982.

Abortion (for Hillside High School), 1972
Box 1
Adjustment Problems and Gynecologic Illness, 1972
Box 1
Adolescence and Psychosocial Interrelationships, 1965
Box 1
Black Banding Ceremony, Watts Hospital School of Nursing, 1971
Box 1
The Community is Where the Action is, 1971
Box 1
The Dilemma of Women in Our Culture, 1964, 1971
Box 1
Education for Marriage Counseling, 1965
Box 1
The Female Student in the 1930s. Duke Medical Alumni Dean's Hour, 1982
Box 1
Gynecological Illness and Sexual Behavior: More Social than Medical, 1967
Box 1
Marital and Sexual Problems in Gynecologic Practice, 1965-1975
Box 1
The Menopause, 1972
Box 1
Nursing Education and Nursing Profession, 1947-1969
Box 1
Premarital Counseling, 1964
Box 1
Ramifications of Population Growth, 1970
Box 1
Sexual and Marital Problems in Gynecologic Practice, undated
Box 1
Therapeutic Abortion for the Operating Room Nurse, 1971
Box 1
Understanding a Woman as a Physical Being, 1967
Box 1
Woman's Identity, 1972-1973
Box 1
Women's Problems, 1974
Box 1
[Career Advancement], 1974
Box 1
[Medications and Other Therapy During Gestation and Congenital Abnormalities, 1972
Box 1
Some Medical Problems of Women About Which Husbands Might Well Listen, 1970
Box 1
[Pregnancy Stress], 1966
Box 1
[Pre-marriage Counseling], 1972
Box 1
[Sex education] for the Durham-Orange County Medical Society, 1947-1969
Box 1
AAUW [Educating our Daughters], 1953
Box 1

2. Writings, 1965-1972

Series Scope and Contents: Contains Easley's writings about women's health, teaching sexual education in public schools, and the obstetrics and gynecology field. Materials range in date from 1965 to 1972.

Facts Concerning the Abortion Problem, 1972
Box 2
Good Housekeeping, preface to book on women's health, undated
Box 2
Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality, 1971-1972
Box 2
Management of Pelvic Relaxation in the Elderly Female: Comments on Dr. Gardner's case report, 1966
Box 2
Practical Nurse Training Program: Its Contribution to Nursing Service, undated
Box 2
Premarital Medical Examinations, undated
Box 2
Public School Teaching of Human Reproduction, 1965
Box 2

3. Watts Hospital Advisory Activities, 1968-1973

Series Scope and Contents: Contains meeting minutes and agendas pertaining to Easley's work at Watts Hospital. Materials range in date from 1968 to 1973.

Ad Hoc Committee of the Watts Medical Board, 1973
Box 2
Patient Care Committee, 1968
Box 2
Statement for Watts Hospital Staff Meeting, 1969
Box 2

4. North Carolina Medical Society, 1968-1979

Series Scope and Contents: Contains correspondence, reports, clippings, articles, notes, and speeches pertaining to Easley's involvement with the North Carolina Medical Society. Materials range in date from 1968 to 1979.

Abortion and Public Policy, undated
Box 2
Alternatives to Unwanted Pregnancies, 1979
Box 2
Committee on Marriage Counseling and Family Life Education, 1968-1977
Box 2

5. Correspondence and Ephemera, 1945-1993

Series Scope and Contents: Contains correspondence received by Easley, clippings about Easley, a photograph of Easley, and two "Prenatal Instructions" booklets written by Easley. Materials range in date from 1945 to 1993.

Durham Women's Health Clinic, partners, 1976-1983
Box 2
Correspondence, professional, 1945-1993
Box 2
Clippings, 1982-1989
Box 2
Photographs, undated
Box 2
Prenatal Instructions booklets, 1960, 1982
Box 2

Biographical Note

Eleanor Beamer Easley was born in 1907 to Mae Celestine Van Ancken and J. D. Beamer. She received her AB degree from University of Idaho in 1928 and a MA from Iowa in 1929. In 1934, she became the first woman to graduate from Duke University School of Medicine's first four-year class. In 1941, Easley and Richard Pearce co-founded the Durham Women's Clinic. Easley was a member of Duke University house staff and an associate in obstetrics and gynecology.

Easley was a pioneer in the use of anesthesiology for labor and delivery, as well as education about birth control, early detection of breast cancer, preparation for childbirth, and counseling for sexual problems. Additionally, she promoted the use of the upright position for women in labor in certain difficult births and advocated for nurse-midwives in prenatal care and delivery.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Easley gave presentations about women's health and women working and living in a male-dominated culture. These presentations often discussed how economic, social, and psychological factors could affect health.

In 1928, Easley married Howard Easley. Easley died in 1998.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Eleanor B. Easley Papers, Duke University Medical Center Archives.

Acquisitions Information

Source unknown

Processing Information

Processed by Emily Glenn: May 2006; encoded by Emily Glenn: May 2006