Contains the personal and professional papers of J. Deryl Hart, chair of the Department of Surgery at Duke University from 1930 to 1960, and president of Duke University from 1960 to 1963. Major subjects include Chowan College, Duke University Medical Center, the Duke Private Diagnostic Clinic, surgical wound infection, medical hospitals, history of teaching medical schools, and history of surgery in North Carolina. Types of materials include personal and professional correspondence, memorabilia, certificates, diplomas, scrapbooks, photographs, speeches, lectures, addresses, clippings, sketches, reprints, ledgers, lantern slides, subject files, and committee materials. Materials range in date from 1916 to 1987.
Julian Deryl Hart was born in Buena Vista, Ga. in 1894 and was raised on a plantation of several hundred acres in Taylor County, Ga. He matriculated at Emory University, where he distinguished himself in mathematics and speech, compiling the best record in math over four years of any student. During his senior year, he decided to become a doctor. He remained at Emory beyond his 1916 graduation (A.B) to receive a master's degree in mathematics (1917). Hart chose to attend the The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was selected by Dr. William Stewart Halsted to join the surgical training program, where he made his highest grade in medicine. After earning his degree in 1921 (M.D.), he served at Johns Hopkins Hospital as intern (1921-1922), assistant in pathology (1922-1923), instructor in surgery (1923-1929), assistant resident in surgery and surgical pathology (1923-1927), resident surgeon (1927-1929), and associate surgeon (1929-1930). While a resident, he authored Surgery of the Hand, a text in the Practice of Surgery series (edited by Dean Lewis). In 1928, Wilburt C. Davison, dean of the Duke University School of Medicine, approached Hart to become professor of surgery and first chair of the Department of Surgery in the Duke University School of Medicine and Hospital. In 1928, Hart joined Duke, a school in the process of building a national reputation. Dr. Hart placed emphasis on achieving excellence in patient care and teaching by integrating research with development. Through this philosophy, he laid the foundation for a model system of integrating the fundamental missions of academic medical centers: patient care, education, research and administration. During his tenure as chair, Dr. Hart expected faculty members to assume major clinical and teaching responsibilities and to pursue laboratory research. He recruited the founding members of the surgical faculty and established Duke's surgery residency. Soon after assembling a core group of practitioners, Hart saw a way to provide patient services more efficiently. In 1932, with Frederic M. Hanes and the cooperation of other members of the clinical faculty, Hart implemented a private diagnostic clinic plan. Under the plan, physicians would share clinics with examining rooms, a patient waiting room, and a central office. An office staff managed clerical work and lab technicians conducted tests, hence freeing doctors to see more patients. Duke's Private Diagnostic Clinic not only provided coordinated medical and surgical care to private patients with moderate incomes, but it allowed members of the medical faculty to contribute a portion of their earnings toward the continued excellence of medicine at Duke. The private diagnostic clinic model was subsequently employed at other healthcare institutions around the country. Hart's innovation was evident both in administration and research. In the 1920s, Hart worked on several patents for equipment to improve patient care. His inventions included a pneumatic bed, a surgical basin and support (for clean rooms), an operating room supply table, and variable pressure beds (or air mattresses) to ease bed sores. At Duke, Hart led plans to create a surgical instrument shop which would meet Duke's needs for specialized medical tools and instruments. Dr. Hart was also credited with originating the use of ultraviolet radiation to control airborne infections in surgical operating rooms (1936), a technique that became widely accepted across the country. This procedure dramatically reduced the number of infections and related deaths and won national acclaim in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Also in 1949, Hart and Dr. James Moody claimed national attention for their work on changing the male-female ratio in litters of rats. Relating their results to human experience, they suggested that it made a difference, in terms of sex determination, how early in the period of fertility an egg was fertilized. For many years after this work was published, Dr. Hart served, often informally, as a counselor to childless couples or couples desiring a child of a certain sex. In 1960, Hart became president of Duke University, the fourth man to be elevated from within the institution. Hart organized the provost group to share in governance of the university; guided the adoption of new bylaws that replaced the University Council with our present faculty legislature, the Academic Council; expanded the role of the University Planning Committee; and significantly redefined the responsibilities of the offices of Institutional Advancement, Development, Business, Legal Counsel, Registrar, Undergraduate Admissions and Architect. During his three-year tenure, the number of distinguished professorships doubled and faculty salaries increased. Hart's administration was also responsible for amending the admissions policy to affirm equality of opportunity regardless of race, creed or national origin. Outside of Duke University, Hart held offices with the American College of Surgeons, Southern Surgical Association, Southern Society of Clinical Surgeons, and the Durham-Orange County Medical Society. He was also director of the Durham Bank and Trust Company, member of the Corporation of Research Triangle Institute and the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina, American Association of Thoracic Surgery, Society of University Surgeons, American Medical Association, International Surgical Association, Nu Sigma Nu, Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Omega Alpha, Sigma Xi, Durham Rotary Club (N.C.), and fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Other honors include an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1929). Dr. Hart married Mary Johnson Hart in July 1932 in Raleigh, in a ceremony recognized as 'the social event of the year.' The Harts had their home built at the corner of Duke University Road and N.C. 751. Over the years, dozens of Duke medical and divinity students lived in the Harts' house, staying in a backyard building that had been converted from an old chicken coop. After Dr. Hart died in 1980, Mrs. Hart served as honorary chairwoman of the Duke University Founder's Society, which was formed to recognize individuals, foundations, and corporations that made endowment gifts to the University. Mrs. Hart died in 2000.
Correspondence, 1916-1975; Department of Surgery and the Private Diagnostic Clinic, 1930-1970; Building Program and Development Funding, 1931-1963, 1974; Subject Files, 1956-1975; Addresses, Speeches and Lectures, 1952-1977; Professional Organizations, 1953-1975; Clinical Research, 1930-1975; Chowan College Board of Advisors, 1964-1975; Redevelopment Commission of Durham, 1960-1973; Hart Residences, 1933-1983; Personal Materials, 1917-1987; Teaching Slides, 1940-1960; Oversize Materials, undated; Blueprints and Plans, undated.