Guide to the William R. Burk Papers, 2005-2010
William (Bill) Burk is a retired botany librarian, formerly at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The collection consists of a series of journals, handwritten with items pasted and tipped in, documenting Burk's care of his mother, Lillian Marie Renstrom Burk, in the last years of her life.
- Collection Number
- William R. Burk papers
- Burk, William R.
- 2.1 Linear Feet, 20 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English
The collection contains 12 journals kept by William Burk about his visits to his mother, Lillian Marie Renstrom Burk, while she was a resident at Chapel Hill Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center. The journals are handwritten: 11 of them are in composition-style notebooks, while the earliest is on a yellow notepad. The dates range from July 2005 through June 2008.
In the journals, Burk meticulously documented every interaction with his mother, including his near-daily visits to her at the nursing home; her diagnoses, appointments, and medications; her reports to him about her mood, her activities, and her feelings; his observations about the care given to her and fellow residents of the center; his interactions with the nurses, doctors, and staff; and his thoughts and feelings about his overall visit each day. Burk also added email printouts, letters, cards, and other correspondence or materials next to each day's journal entry. These have been tipped-in to the book or glued on its pages. Burk continued the journals for several weeks following Lillian's death on April 5, 2008, adding condolence notes, obituaries, funeral and cremation materials, and final invoices from various medical facilities.
Also included in the collection is an undated black-and-white portrait of Lillian in Norwalk, CT, donated in 2010 by William Burk.
Access to the Collection
CLOSED: Collection is closed to to researchers until 2020.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
Use & Permissions
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], William R. Burk Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
This series is CLOSED to researchers until 2020.
William (Bill) Burk is a retired botany librarian, formerly at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also the historian for the North Carolina Academy of Science.
His mother, Lillian Marie Renstrom Burk, spent most of her life and career as a cook in Norwalk, CT. After retirement, she moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 1983, to be closer to her son. After a stroke in 2005, she became a resident of Chapel Hill Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center. She died peacefully on April 5, 2008.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Aging parents -- Health and hygiene
- Aging parents -- Medical care
- Adult children of aging parents
- Hospice care -- North Carolina
- Nursing home patients -- Care
- Nursing homes -- North Carolina
- Parents -- Death
The William R. Burk Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2010.
Processed by Meghan Lyon, August 2010
Encoded by Meghan Lyon, August 2010
Materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.
Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2010-0130