Josiah Charles Trent History of Medicine Room

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Prosthetic glass eyeballs [View Item]
Anonymous Collection Artifacts
History of Medicine Collections, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

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Perrot-design bow saw, late 18th century [View Item]
Dr. Josiah Charles Trent Collection Artifacts, approximately 1650-late 19th century
History of Medicine Collections, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

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Burmese apothecary jar, 19th century [View Item]
Anonymous Collection Artifacts
History of Medicine Collections, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

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Infant feeder, approx. 1820 [View Item]
Beyer Family Collection Artifacts, 18th century-circa 1935
History of Medicine Collections, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

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Home medicine chest, approximately 1830 [View Item]
Dr. Josiah Charles Trent Collection Artifacts, approximately 1650-late 19th century
History of Medicine Collections, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

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Loring's ophthalmoscope, late 19th or early 20th century [View Item]
Beyer Family Collection Artifacts, 18th century-circa 1935
History of Medicine Collections, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

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General purpose medical and surgical kit, 19th century [View Item]
Beyer Family Collection Artifacts, 18th century-circa 1935
History of Medicine Collections, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

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Acupuncture model, People's Republic of China, 20th century [View Item]
Anonymous Collection Artifacts
History of Medicine Collections, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

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Barber surgeon-style bleeding bowl, 17th century? [View Item]
George D. Wilbanks Collection Artifacts, approximately 1750-1952
History of Medicine Collections, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

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Screw-barrel microscope, 18th century [View Item]
Dr. Josiah Charles Trent Collection Artifacts, approximately 1650-late 19th century
History of Medicine Collections, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

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Clothed female manikin on carved wooden couch, 17th or 18th century [View Item]
Dr. Josiah Charles Trent Collection Artifacts, approximately 1650-late 19th century
History of Medicine Collections, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

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Chinese diagnostic doll, 19th century? [View Item]
Dr. Josiah Charles Trent Collection Artifacts, approximately 1650-late 19th century
History of Medicine Collections, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

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Female manikin with tilted head on brown velvet couch, 17th or 18th century [View Item]
Dr. Josiah Charles Trent Collection Artifacts, approximately 1650-late 19th century
History of Medicine Collections, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

History

Dr. Josiah C. Trent

In 1956, the Trent Room was constructed to honor Dr. Josiah Charles Trent (1914–1948) and the donation of his remarkable historical medical collection by his wife Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans (1920–2012). Initially located in the original Duke Medical Library in the Davison Building, the Trent Room was relocated in 1975 to the Seeley G. Mudd Building upon its construction to house the Medical Library, and has now been renamed the Richmond House Room. The History of Medicine Collections, itself, moved to the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in the summer of 2011. The relocation of the History of Medicine Collections to the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library and the renovation of the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library spaces have provided an opportunity to design a new room to honor and display the history of medicine collections donated to Duke University by Dr. Josiah C. Trent and Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans.

Perkins Library received the Trent Collection (most notably including Whitman manuscripts) in 1943 from Dr. and Mrs. Trent. They funded the creation of a Rare Book Room to house the collection, and that room moved to the Biddle Rare Book Room in 1949. The Trent Collection was named in honor of the Trent’s daughters — Mary Duke, Sarah Elizabeth, Rebecca Gray, and Barbara Biddle — and the room was named the Trent Room when it became part of the Biddle Rare Book Room.

The newly constructed Josiah Charles Trent History of Medicine Room is intended to showcase the generosity and legacy Dr. Josiah Charles Trent and Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans. Other collections donated by the families, including materials related to Walt Whitman and children’s books, will be displayed as appropriate in the Stone Family Gallery and Mary Duke Biddle Rare Book Room.

Description

The Josiah Charles Trent History of Medicine Room will allow visitors, scholars, and others to view many of the most notable History of Medicine Collections’ items in a safe and secure environment. The state of the art cases, with ideal lighting and environmental monitoring, will showcase rare materials including ivory manikins, surgical instruments, microscopes, as well as manuscript and print materials. The look and feel of the Josiah Charles Trent History of Medicine Room will be consistent with the adjacent Mary Duke Biddle Rare Book Room and Stone Family Gallery Room and will echo the style of the historic Trent Room from Duke’s Medical Center Library.

Policy Information

This room is open to the public during exhibit hours. This room will rarely be available for public events, unless related to exhibitions and the room has no IT or AV equipment available for public use. For information about using this as an event space, contact David Pavelich. The exhibition space is primarily for displaying Rubenstein Library History of Medicine collection materials and will rarely be used for outside curated exhibitions.

Donor Information

The Josiah Charles Trent History of Medicine Room reflects the generosity and collecting interests of Dr. Josiah Charles Trent, Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans, and their families. Dr. Trent was a graduate of Duke University (1934) and the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania. He was Duke’s first Division Chief of Thoracic Surgery, an historian, a prolific writer, and avid collector.


Past Exhibits from the Josiah Charles Trent History of Medicine Room


A Sound Mind in a Sound Body

Health Advice for Scholars and Students

Maria de Bruyn Papers

World AIDS Day exhibit

A Delicate Balance

Understanding the Four Humors