Shirley K. Osterhout Papers

The Medical Center Archives is happy to announce that the Shirley K. Osterhout Papers are processed and open for research. The collection contains educational materials related to Osterhout’s career at the Duke University Poison Control Center

Osterhout received her MD from Duke University in 1957. Following graduation, she completed her residency in the Department of Pediatrics at Duke, working closely with Dr. Jay Arena on poison control issues. Arena founded the Duke Poison Control Center in 1953. It was the second such center in the United States. This collection complements the Jay M. Arena Papers, which document the activities and history of the Duke Poison Control Center from its organization until Osterhout became the center’s medical director in 1985. She served in this position until her retirement in 1995. Osterhout was also the assistant dean of medical education of Duke University Medical Center from 1971 to 1987. 

The Osterhout Papers document the history of the Duke Poison Control Center and the evolution of pediatric poison prevention and safety guidelines. The educational materials in this collection include safety brochures, posters, coloring books, a syllabus for teaching poison prevention to children, educational slideshows, and information concerning pesticides, fetal drugs, poisonous plants, and chemicals. In addition, the collection contains Osterhout’s notes pertaining to Duke’s involvement with health fairs.

To learn more about these materials, visit the finding aid or contact the archives staff. For more information about the career of Shirley K. Osterhout, her oral history interviews are available upon request at the Archives.

This blog was contributed by Archives Intern Caroline Waller.

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