Biographical Files Collection, 1930s-present

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Duke University. Medical Center. Archives.
Biographical materials files were created primarily by Duke News Service from the 1930s until around the early 1980s. Duke News Service also maintained a clippings file documenting activities of Duke University Medical Center departments, programs, and student life. Collection contains clippings, notes, brochures, curriculum vitae and other materials of a biographical nature pertaining to individuals associated with Duke University Medical Center. Major subjects include Duke University faculty, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, Duke University Medical Center, and Duke Hospital. Materials range in date from the 1930s to the present.
9 Linear Feet (3 drawers) and 313 KB
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

Contains files of clippings, notes, brochures, curriculum vitae, obituaries, and other materials pertaining to biographical information of individuals associated with Duke University Medical Center and the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. Materials range in date from the 1930s to the present.

Biographical / historical:

The concept for Duke Medicine began in the mid-1920s during the final years of life of James Buchanan Duke. A talented businessman, Duke built his fortunes in the tobacco and textile industries. In 1924, he used $40 million to establish the Duke Endowment and directed that $6 million be used to transform Trinity College into Duke University. The next year, upon his death, he made an additional bequest to the Endowment and the University, including $4 million to establish a medical school, hospital, and home for nurses.

One of Duke's primary motivations in establishing the Endowment and Duke School of Medicine was the improvement of health care in the Carolinas, a relatively poor region of the country at that time, lacking in physicians, hospitals and medical schools. Duke's bold dream was to create what he hoped would become the best medical institution between Baltimore and New Orleans. Indeed, less than four years after the new school and hospital opened in 1930, an accreditation committee of the American Medical Association placed Duke among the top 20 schools in the country.

Several dedicated educators, administrators, and researchers established the foundations for current successes during the Medical Center's formative years. Forty-six original faculty of the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Health Services, which included teaching and clinical positions within the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and Duke Hospital, were appointed between February 10, 1929 and January 3, 1931, except for Wilburt C. Davison, first dean of the School of Medicine, who was appointed on January 21, 1927.

Acquisition information:
Accession A2006.068.x (gift, September 2007), Accession A2007.006 (transferred, January 2007), Accession A2007.016 (gift, January 2007), Accession A2007.026 (gift, March 2007), Accession A2007.032 (gift, March 2007), Accession A2007.079 (gift, September 2007), Accession A2008.013 (gift, February 2008), Accession A2008.072 (gift, October 2008), Accession A2009.051 (gift, September 2009), Accession A2010.019 (gift, April 2010), Accession A2010.043 (gift, July 2010), Accession A2011.006 (transferred, January 2011), Accession A2011.023 (gift, March 2011), Accession A2011.032 (gift, April 2011), Accession A2011.033 (transferred, April 2011), Accession A2011.034 (transferred, April 2011), Accession A2011.087 (gift, November 2011), Accession A2012.052 (transferred, July 2012), Accession A2013.002 (transferred, January 2013), Accession A2013.003 (transferred, January 2013), Accession A2013.012 (transferred, February 2013), Accession A2013.030 (transferred, June 2013), Accession A2017.034 (transferred by Rebecca Williams, August 2017), Accession A2018.043 (transferred by Lucy Waldrop), Accession A2019.034 (transferred by Rebecca Williams, May 2019), Accession A2019.078 (transferred by Rebecca Williams, August 2019), Accession A2020.001 (transferred by Rebecca Williams, January 2020), Accession A2020.069 (transferred by Rebecca Williams, December 2020), Accession A2022.020 (transferred by Morag Maclachlan, February 2022), Accession A2022.040 (gift by Michael S. Jones, June 2022), Accession A2023.050 (transferred by Cathleen Durgin, September 2023)
Processing information:

Processed by Jessica Roseberry: April 2006; encoded by Emily Glenn: May 2006; updated by Dawne E. Howard: January 2007, March 2007, April 2007; updated by Dawne Howard Lucas: March 2008, April 2008, June 2008, July 2008, August 2008, October 2008, November 2008, December 2008, January 2009, May 2009, June 2009, August 2009, September 2009, October 2009, January 2010, February 2010, July 2010, September 2010, June 2011, February 2012, June 2012, July 2012, October 2012, January 2013, February 2013, March 2013; updated by Lucy Waldrop: August 2017, July 2018, May 2019, August 2019, January 2020, December 2020, March 2022, June 2022, September 2023

Organized alphabetically into three file cabinet drawers: A-Gl, Go-Ri, Ro-Z and a Digital Files series.
Physical location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Duke University Medical Center Library's online catalog.
Rules or conventions:


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This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals or IRB approval may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which Duke University assumes no responsibility.

Terms of access:

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.

Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Biographical Files Collection, Duke University Medical Center Archives.