New Collection Added to the Archives!

We are excited to announce the addition of a new collection: Department of Arts & Health at Duke 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 that brought local artists and performers into Duke Hospital to entertain patients and employees. Over the years, services expanded to include a book club, writing programs, and art shows. Additionally, the program is responsible for acquiring all the art around the hospital. Today Arts and Health is a department under Guest Services.

Arts and Health event flyer, 1980This collection contains a wide variety of material documenting the origins of the program, its growth, and activities. Not only is the material broad in scope, but it also includes a range of different media, from paper documents to photographs to video. A few highlights from this collection include several binders of news clippings, photographs, and press releases documenting many of the performances organized by the program. Accompanying these are copies of flyers advertising the events. Pictured on the right is a 1980 flyer with today’s date. Many of the publications also include some variation of a Mona Lisa illustration, as seen below. This design has been the program’s logo for more than 20 years.

Arts and Health logo, 1996Also in this collection are volumes of poetry about medicine, illness, and health, put together by the literary arts branch of the program. These volumes contain contributions from the broader Duke community, and reflect the experiences of faculty, students, staff, patients, and the relatives of patients at the hospital and Medical Center.

While the finding aid for this collection is not yet available, we are happy to work with researchers interested in these materials. To learn more about this collection, please contact us. Information about the Arts & Health at Duke's current events and programs can be found on their website.