Albert R. Behnke Papers, 1906-1996

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Behnke, Albert Richard
Albert Behnke, a physician and captain in the United States Navy; pioneered the development of body composition assessment through the study of elite athletes; member of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. Collection contains correspondence, reports, committee materials, text of speeches and lectures, presentation notes, manuscript materials, research files, reprints, and grant files. Major subjects include diving, decompression, diving physiology, and body composition. Materials range in date from 1906 to 1997.
62.25 Linear Feet (41 cartons, 1 half manuscript box, 1 flat box)
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

This collection contains the professional papers of Dr. Albert Behnke, who researched extensively within the hyperbaric medical field. Types of materials include correspondence, lectures, research files, conference material, notebooks, research reports, published materials, photographs, and slides. Materials date from 1906 to 1990, with the bulk of the materials from 1945 to 1988.

Biographical / historical:

Navy Captain Albert Behnke (1903-1992) received his medical degree from Stanford University in 1930 before doing postdoctoral studies on the physiology of diving at Harvard University's School of Public Health. As part of his research, he separated the symptoms of Arterial Gas Embolisms (AGE) and decompression sickness (commonly referred to by divers as "the bends") and advocated for using oxygen in recompression therapy. He wrote and researched extensively on body weight, body mass, muscular strength and their analysis using hyperbaric methods. Additionally, he helped develop the U.S. Naval Medical Research Institute.

Acquisition information:
Accession A2005.025 (gift, March 2005), Accession A2007.105 (transferred, December 2007), Accession A2008.004 (transferred, January 2008), Accession A2008.073 (gift, October 2008), Accession A2010.010 (transferred, March 2010), Accession A2011.005 (transferred, January 2011), Accession A2015.048 (gift by Victor Katch, December 2015)
Processing information:

Processed by Archives staff: June 2005; encoded by Emily Glenn: June 2005; reprocessed by Astrid Cook-Dail, 2015

This collection is organized into the following series: Correspondence, 1926-1990; Research, 1913-1988; Subject Files, 1908-1997; Conferences, 1906-1995; Writings, 1926-1989; Awards and Certificates, 1947-1979; Maps and Drawings, 1945-1973; Audiovisual Materials, 1938-1979.
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):
Behnke, Albert Richard
Corporate Name(s):
Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society.
Topical Term(s):
Body composition.
Decompression Sickness.


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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], Albert R. Behnke Collection, Duke University Medical Center Archives.