Duke Poison Control Center: A Retrospective Exhibit

In July 2022, the Library & Archives debuted the newly redesigned and updated online exhibit of the Duke Poison Control Center: A Retrospective Exhibit. The retrospective exhibit conveys the profound impact of the Duke Poison Control Center from 1954-1995. From the design of the safety cap to community outreach and education, the Center has always been at the forefront of poison prevention and safety issues.
The exhibit was updated and expanded by the Medical Center Library & Archives Exhibits Committee: Rebecca Williams and Beverly Murphy (Co-Chairs), Michael Ravenel-Baker, Victor Gordon, Steph Hendren, and Carter Hulinsky. Focused around the concept, "Is There a Killer in Your Medicine Chest?," the exhibit is divided into three main areas:
  • Part I: Posion Epidemic: A young Duke resident is alarmed by the amount of seemingly preventable cases of poisoning in children.
  • Part II: Innovations for Safety: The fight against accidental poisonings goes nationwide as big innovations are made in technology.
  • Part III: National Advocacy: The movement spreads as Dr. Jay Arena and Dr. Shirley Osterhout take their message of children's safety to the national level.
The exhibit also includes a timeline of events and biographies and oral history interviews of key leaders for the Duke Poison Control Center.
The Poison Control Center exhibit was originally created in 2006 by the staff of Duke Medical Center Archives. They utilized the collections preserved at the Archives including oral history interviews conducted by Dr. James Gifford and Jessica Roseberry. A bibliography from the original exhibit is available upon request. 
The history of the Duke Poison Control Center (1954-1995) is marked with innovation, compassion, and excellence. Not only has the Center left an impressive legacy with the North Carolina community, it has raised awareness of poison prevention and safety issues throughout the world.
If you are interested in learning more about the Poison Control Center Exhibit or any of our Archives holdings, please contact the Archives staff.
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