Healthcare in Southeast North Carolina


This guide identifies collections that relate to the healthcare industry in Southeast North Carolina. Content focuses on local hospitals including Babies, Bulluck, Community, James Walker Memorial, and New Hanover Memorial hospitals, as well as on doctors and nurses who were educated or worked in the area. Sources date from the Civil War through the 20th century and include correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, legal documents, records, and memorabilia. Healthcare remains a strong industry in Southeastern North Carolina today, particularly in New Hanover County, with UNCW's School of Nursing serving as a major degree program for the region and beyond.

Special Collections also holds the William H. Gillen History of Medicine Collection, a collection of rare and unique books medical books dating from 1600 to present. 

Digital Collections

Nursing in Wilmington, N.C.

Collection includes James Walker School of Nursing student yearbooks, published under varying titles (The Triangle, The Epitome, and The Cardinal) from 1939-1964 and UNCW School of Nursing alumni magazines and newsletters.

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"The Epitome" Yearbook of the James Walker Memorial Hospital School of Nursing

Digital copies of yearbooks from the James Walker Memorial Hospital, 1940s-1960s, available as part of the Nursing in Wilmington, N.C. digital collection from University Archives.

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Book Collections

History of Medicine Collection

Library catalog resource consisting of over 1500 books and monographs. Collection documents the history of medicine from 1600 to present. Donated by Dr. H. William Gillen.

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History of Science Collection

Library catalog collection of books and monographs of written scientific thinking from circa 1750 to 1950. Donated by Dr. Ralph W. Brauer.

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Manuscript Collections

Below are collections that feature a significant amount of material specific to healthcare in Southeastern North Carolina as it relates to the education, practice, and function of healthcare organizations and professionals. Please note that citizen health and local healthcare practices are often mentioned in the correspondence of many individuals and family papers not listed here. You can search for additional manuscript collections here.

MS 026 Wilmington, NC and the Lower Cape Fear Area During the Civil War

This collection contains excerpts of letters, diaries, papers, and published materials comprise the body of this research collection, which relate specifically to Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear (LCF) during the Civil War. Subjects include troop movements, civilian life, shipping, prisoners of war, and military engagements. Wilmington was the last Confederate port to be captured; blockading and blockade runners and the defense and capture of Fort Fisher are especially well represented.

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MS 031 Alton A. Lennon Congressional Papers

This collection contains the papers of Congressman Alton Lennon during his tenure as U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 7th congressional district from 1957-1972. Included in the collection is correspondence, reports, and other documents related to legislation, district affairs, and politics during the time. Also included are three large scrapbooks documenting news coverage from Congressman Lennon's career and campaigns.

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MS 033 John J. Burney, Jr. Legislative Papers

This collections contains the legislative papers of North Carolina State Senator John J. Burney, Jr. Senator Burney represented New Hanover County from 1966-1972. The legislative papers consist primarily of correspondence, bills, publications, printed materials and newspaper clippings, covering a broad spectrum of social, economic and political issues during his time in office. Topics include taxation, environmentalism, transportation and infrastructure, Wilmington College (now UNCW), and water resources.

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MS 046 Dr. Hubert A Eaton, Sr. Papers

This extensive collection includes the original materials and photocopies of the legal actions instituted by Dr. Eaton and his fellow plaintiffs to compel the integration of the fundamental institutions of New Hanover County--the public schools and the hospital--in the 1960s and 1970s. Moreover, the collection also reflects the broad spectrum of Dr. Eaton's interests and activities which included medical and public health issues, education, civil rights and athletics.

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MS 116 Quelch Nursing Memorabilia

This collection consists of nursing memorabilia that belonged to Dorothea Quelch, R.N. Items include a small Manual of The Guild of St. Barnabas for Nurses containing the Constitution and By-Laws, as well as various prayers for the sick and dying or the dead; booklet of Constitution and By-Laws for the Alumnae Association of the Tucker Sanatorium Training School for Nurses in Richmond, Virginia; Constitution and By-Laws of District No. 11 Registered Nurses Association in Wilmington, North Carolina; and a graduation announcement dated 1920.

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MS 127 Barden Family Papers

This collection contains the papers of the Barden Family of Southeastern North Carolina. Contained are records, receipts, deeds, correspondence, and photographs. All items are photocopies, except for the photographs from 1922.

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MS 142 James Walker Memorial Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association Papers

These papers contain the association's records, photographs, brochures, and related memorabilia, as well as documents belonging to alumni from their time of attendance.

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MS 172 Dr. Thomas Fanning Wood Family Papers

Papers of the Dr. T. F. Wood family of Wilmington, NC. Includes Dr. Woods's Civil War recollections, correspondence, writings of Dr. Edward Jenner Wood, and genealogy of the Wood family.

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MS 205 Dr. Leroy W. Upperman Collection

This collection contains materials relating to the education, career, and civic activities of Dr. Leroy Upperman, including diplomas, certificates, photographs, audiovisual materials, and memorabilia. Also included are diplomas and certificates related to the education and careers of Callie Smith Upperman and Leroy Upperman, Jr. Materials date from 1934 to 1996.

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MS 233 New Hanover Regional Hospital Documents

Resource contains information on the merging of James Walker Memorial Hospital and Community Hospital into New Hanover Memorial Hospital. Files include architect plans, equipment inventories, financial statements, merger agreements, etc. from 1957-1978.

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MS 294 Jean C. and Morris F. Powell Memorabilia

This collection contains the personal memorabilia of Jean C. and Morris F. Powell, including pharmaceutical advertisements, photographs and a diploma from James Walker Memorial Hospital Nursing School.

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MS 338 Mike McIntyre Congressional Collection

Congressman Mike McIntyre served as the Representative for North Carolina's 7th Congressional district from 1997 to 2015. McIntyre's Congressional collection consists of papers and memorabilia accrued during his time in office. Materials in this collection cover a wide range of subject areas pertinent to North Carolina’s 7th district and McIntyre’s interactions as a Congressman including but not limited to agriculture, coastal issues, economic development, health care, military and veterans’ affairs, senior citizens affairs and U.S. Presidents.

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MS 364 Diane Satterfield Collection

This collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, photos, pamphlets, and printed documents related to nurse Diane Satterfield and her education at the James Walker Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Wilmington, NC.

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MS 371 Blanche Ambrose Scrapbook Collection

The collection contains five scrapbooks and a few loose documents and photographs depicting Blanche Ambrose's life in Wilmington, NC and her education as a nurse.

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MS 372 Bulluck Hospital Collection

This collection contains separated scrapbook pages of newspaper articles, announcements, correspondence, photographs etc. related to the Bulluck Hospital in Wilmington, NC from the early 20th century.

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MS 381 Annie Mavis Brady Nursing Collection

This collection contains digital photographs, diplomas, a nursing cape, and a log of surgeries observed by Annie Mavis Brady during her time at James Walker Memorial Nursing School in the 1940s.

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Special Collections Vertical Files

The Special Collections vertical files are compiled by Special Collections staff on an ongoing basis and contain material such as articles, photographs, maps, emphemera, etc. of various persons, places, organizations, and topical subjects related to UNCW and Southeastern North Carolina history.

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Records of the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS), UNCW

This record group includes information by and about the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) at the University of North Carolina Wilmington from 1960 to the present. CHHS consists of the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences (SHAHS), School of Social Work (SSW), and School of Nursing (SON). Administrative files produced by campus offices are predominant in this record group.

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Oral Histories

Below are a sampling of available oral histories from those who were educated or worked in the healthcare industry in southeast North Carolina. To explore more interviews, please search the Oral History Collection.

Interview with Blanche Ambrose (Oral History)

Interview with Blanche Ambrose which took place at her Wilmington home on June 18, 2004. It was conducted by LuAnn Mims and Jerry Parnell for the Heath Services Series. Ambrose, an RN, developed the LPN program (1965) at Cape Fear Technical Institute. She speaks directly about her training, education and pulling this all together to make this program work.

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Interview with Toni Barfield (Oral History)

Interview with Toni Barfield who served as an instructor and was fundamental in developing the nursing program first at Wilmington College then UNCW. She graduated from UNC-CH school of nursing in 1963 with a BSN at age 22. She joined the faculty at Wilmington College in 1968 and taught for many years. Barfield explains that she acquired her specialty in OB-GYN only in response to the increasing demand for classes in the field. She explains that nursing students did their psychiatry training at Cherry Hospital and mentions the first male graduate in 1972.

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Interview with Alice Brittain Brooks (Oral History)

Interview with Alice Brittian Brook, a 1964 graduate of the James Walker School of Nursing. During her time in training she witnessed the transformation of nursing towards integration of hospital patients and staff with the opening of New Hanover Memorial Hospital. Her long career includes an expanded nursing role as a nurse practitioner in the field of pediatric nursing. She currently works at the Child Development Center in Wilmington.

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Interview with Richard Corbett (Oral History)

Interview with Dr. Richard Corbett who graduated from Wake Forest Medical School in 1957. He studied radiology and notes many of the transitions in this field. Besides his memories of Bullock Hospital Clinic he also recalls the Community, James Walker, Cape Fear, and New Hanover Hospitals. He retired in 1990 only to come back to work a few months later and was still interpreting and consulting as of 2005 when the interview was conducted.

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Interview with Mildred Jones Floyd (Oral History)

Interview with Mildred Floyd, a 1950 graduate of the Community Hospital School of Nursing. Born and raised in rural eastern NC, Floyd came to the school as she always wanted to be a nurse. Her career included various positions within the Community Hospital as well as head of the OB/GYN ward there. Later when New Hanover Hospital opened, she went into educational department and trained new personnel. Her interview includes her time in training, physicians and staff of Community Hospital, and follow-up with the Alumni Association.

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Interview with Annette Freeman (Oral History)

Annette Freeman, a 1938 graduate of Community Hospital School of Nursing in Wilmington, discusses her experience as a nursing student and a professional nurse and anesthetist during segregation.

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Interview with Lockert Mason (Oral History)

In this interview, Dr. Mason Lockert recounts his medical career in Wilmington. He gives specific examples of procedures and policies at Betty H. Cameron Women's & Children's Hospital and James Walker.

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Interview with Samuel Warshauer (Oral History)

In this interview, Dr. Sam Warshauer describes his experiences in Wilmington as a young cardiologist. He began his practice in the Murchison Building in downtown Wilmington and worked at James Walker, Community, Cape Fear, and New Hanover Regional hospitals. Dr. Warshauer explains how medical technology grew during the years that he practiced from 1945 to the late 1980s. He remembers how he, with a few other doctors from James Walker hospital, learned to use the first defibrillator in Wilmington.

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Contact Librarian

Rebecca Baugnon

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Special Collections Librarian
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