William W. Johnston Collection, 1964-1991

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Johnston, William W.
Contains the papers and slides of Dr. William W. Johnston (1933-) who served as a physician and professor in the Duke University School of Medicine Department of Pathology and later chief of Cytopathology. Types of materials include slides, correspondence, depositions, and research papers. Major subjects include cytopathological diseases and conditions. The collection contains approximately 10,400 slides from approximately 1,100 unique cases. Reference index cards corresponding with the slides are also included in the collection. Materials in this collection range in date from 1964 to 1991.
42.25 Linear Feet (14 cartons, 5 card boxes, 37 slide binder boxes, 1 lantern slide box)
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

This collection contains materials pertaining to the career of William W. Johnston, a physician and professor, including his time at Duke University, from 1964-1996. Types of materials include correspondence, depositions, research papers, and research and lecture slides. Types of audiovisual material contained in the collection include slides regarding cytopathological diseases. Materials range in date from 1964 to 1991.

Biographical / historical:

William Webb Johnston was born in Statesville, North Carolina, in 1933. Johnston received his BS degree from Davidson College before earning his Doctorate of Medicine from Duke University in 1959. He completed his residency at Duke Hospital in the Department of Pathology, and was then appointed to a position within the department. While at Duke, Johnston travelled to Johns Hopkins University, where he was introduced to the field of Cytopathology. Upon returning to Duke, Johnston started the Division of Cytology within the Department of Pathology. Johnston was promoted to Professor of Pathology in 1972 and also served as chief of Cytopathology for 25 years, until his retirement in 1996.
During his career in the Department of Pathology, Johnston undertook research in areas such as pulmonary cytology, infectious diseases, and immunocytochemistry. He co-authored five books on respiratory and central nervous system Cytopathology, 23 book chapters, and 134 peer-reviewed papers. His honors include the presidency of the American Society of Cytopathology (1981-1982), the Distinguished Service Award of the Commission of Continuing Education of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, and the Maurice Goldblatt Award of the International Academy of Cytology.

Acquisition information:
Accession A2006.033 (transferred, February 2006), Accession A2010.039 (transferred, July 2010)
Processing information:

Processed by Cate Putirskis: March 2007; encoded by Cate Putirskis: March 2007; updated by Brian Goforth and Dawne Howard Lucas: October 2008

Organized into the following series: Slides, 1970-1986; Reference Index Cards, 1970-1986; Accession A2010.039, 1964-1991. Material within this collection has been organized by accession reflecting the fact that the collection has been acquired in increments over time. Researchers should note that material within each accession overlaps with/or relates to material found in other accessions. In order to locate all relevant material within this collection, researchers will need to consult each accession described in the Series Scope and Contents section. Researchers should also note that similar material can be arranged differently in each accession, depending on how the material was organized when it was received by the DUMCA.
Physical location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Duke University Medical Center Library's online catalog.


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Personal Name(s):
Johnston, William W.
Corporate Name(s):
Duke University. Medical Center
Duke University. School of Medicine
Duke University. Department of Pathology
Topical Term(s):
Cell Biology.
Education, Medical.


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This collection may contain material 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.
Contains University Administrative records. These include records of the officers of the University, as defined in the Bylaws, the deans of schools and colleges, and departments, institutes, and other offices as designated by the President. For a period of twenty-five years from the origin of the material, permission in writing from the director of the office of record and the University Archivist is required for use. After twenty-five years, records that have been processed may be consulted with the permission of the University Archivist. (Issued by the Office of the Chancellor, December 1, 1975).
Reference index cards in this collection are restricted under HIPAA regulations. Slides older than 25 years are open to researchers. Slides created less than 25 years ago are available 25 years from their creation date. Undated slides are restricted until 2021.

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], William W. Johnston Records, Duke University Medical Center Archives.