Duke Medical Center Archive Blog

Celebrating NC Archives Week: A Gastronomical Look at DUMC History
Posted On: October 23, 2013 by Jolie Braun

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… MORE

Category: News

Service magazine cover

At Your Service: Civilian Public Service Unit #61
Posted On: October 16, 2013 by Matthew Shangler

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… MORE

Category: DUMC History

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 MORE

Category: News

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: /dumc-newsletter

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

Category: News

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… MORE

Category: Duke Firsts

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… MORE

Category: Collection Highlights

Archives Launches New Version of MEDSpace
Posted On: August 27, 2013 by Jolie Braun

The DUMC Archives is proud to announce the release of a new version of our digital repository, MEDSpace.

While the content of MEDSpace remains the same, the site has been redesigned with a new user interface and functionality to make it easier and faster to use. In addition to being quicker and more user-friendly, the new version also has improved catalog records, as Archives staff updated and corrected information as needed during the process of transferring images and metadata to the new site.

MEDSpace contains thousands of images and publications related to the history of Duke Medicine. Two highlights are Foundations of Excellence… MORE

Category: News

Instrument Shop

Duke's Surgical Instrument Shop
Posted On: August 19, 2013 by Jolie Braun

Chances are that you’ve never heard of the Surgical Instrument Shop, although it played an important part in Duke's research and innovation.

In the early days of Duke Hospital, research equipment was not as readily available on the market as it is today, and individuals involved in special research often had to create their own devices. Recognizing the need for a unit that could fabricate surgical and medical instruments on campus, Dr. J. Deryl Hart, the then Chair of the Department of Surgery, pioneered the Surgical Instrument Shop, which opened in 1949.

The Shop worked closely with doctors to create devices based on their ideas and needs. A 1955 article in the Intercom (shown left) estimated that since opening only a six years before, the Shop had… MORE

Category: DUMC History

Posted On: August 14, 2013 by Jolie Braun

Welcome to the Duke University Medical Center Archives' new blog! This is where we will share stories about the history of the DUMC community, highlight interesting images, artifacts, and documents from our collections, and provide information about our resources, services, news, and events. We’ll be posting regularly, and hope you will check back frequently.

Category: News

Ask the Archivist: Can I send my department’s accounting records to the Medical Center Archives?

The Medical Center Archives only accepts records that should be kept permanently. Whereas some accounting records should be sent to the Medical Center Archives, many should not. You can determine how long you should keep accounting records by referring to Duke University’s GAP 200.240, Retention Period Of Accounting Documents. According to this policy, “Minimum retention requirements for accounting documents are established as part of an effective internal control program to ensure the University can provide the documents requested by any federal, state and local agencies within the Statutes of Limitations. Other… MORE

Category: Ask The Archives

Who can access materials at the Medical Center Archives?
Posted On: June 14, 2012 by Dawne Lucas

Ask the Archivist: Who can access materials at the Medical Center Archives?

Everyone! Students, faculty and staff members, alumni, and the general public all have access to the photographs, papers, oral histories, and memorabilia documenting the history of Duke Medicine. Materials are accessible in the Medical Center Archives reading room, located at 1408-A Christian Avenue, on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is strongly recommended that you contact the Archives at least 24 hours before your visit so that the staff can have materials ready for you when you arrive. The phone number is 919-383-2653, and the email address is dumc.archives@mc.duke.edu. Don’t let the possibility of access restrictions discourage you from… MORE

Category: Ask The Archives

Thanks for dropping off boxes! How do you put them together?
Posted On: May 14, 2012 by Dawne Lucas

Ask the Archivist: Thanks for dropping off boxes! How do you put them together?

The boxes that we use to store departmental records are high-quality, but not easy to put together! Each box should have assembly instructions printed on them. When the box is properly assembled, the instructions will be on the bottom of the box. If you have problems interpreting the instructions, please contact us for assistance. We are more than happy to help you! Here are a couple of box assembly hints: 1) You do not need any additional materials to assemble the boxes. If, after assembling the box, it appears that tape is needed for it to stay together, it is not assembled correctly. 2) There are not any printed assembly instructions for the lids. Fear not; assembling the lids is very… MORE

Category: Ask The Archives

Ask the Archivist: Should I attach an inventory of the materials my department is sending to the Archives?

Absolutely! Since you are working directly with the materials that you are packing, it’s easy to forget that not everyone can easily figure out what they are, and therefore think that there’s no need to prepare an inventory. It’s obviously correspondence from 1990 to 1991, right? Who needs a list? Unfortunately, the materials often aren’t as easy to identify as you might think, and a lack of an inventory can lead to archivists and researchers misinterpreting and misidentifying your files. This problem is easily prevented by preparing a list by individual folder title (or notebook title, etc.) or groups for each box. The list will be used for retrieving records in… MORE

Category: Ask The Archives

Ask the Archivist: My department has records to send to the Medical Center Archives. How should we pack them?

The Medical Center Archives purchases acid-free boxes to store departmental records. Please contact the Medical Center Archives (383-2653 or email us) to request boxes. It usually takes two of these boxes to pack one full file drawer. You should fill the boxes to the point that the folders do not slouch, but can still be removed easily. Hanging folders do not fit well in the boxes and should be avoided. The Archives kindly asks that you return any unused boxes. A few tips for box and lid assembly: Follow the instructions printed on the box. You do not need any additional materials (including tape) to assemble the boxes. When assembling the lids, look for the… MORE

Category: Ask The Archives

What does “Archive” mean?
Posted On: February 14, 2012 by Dawne Lucas

Ask the Archivist: What does “Archive” mean?

Don’t worry; I won’t start quoting definitions from The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. I do want to make you aware, however, of what archivists mean when they say the word “archive.” In today’s world of Gmail and online “Archive” buttons, it’s understandable to think that “archive” means “to save something for later, even if it’s just a short amount of time.” My job is “to identify, preserve and make available noncurrent records and papers of enduring value.”1 Noncurrent refers to records that you do not plan to access on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is that the records should be at least three years old, although there are exceptions to this rule. It’s possible that you will need to refer to some files after you have… MORE

Category: Ask The Archives