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Medical History and Special Collections: Richmond Rm


Semans apothecary

Italian apothecary jar, circa 1555. On loan from Duke-Semans Fine Arts Foundation.

caldwell jar

Apothecary jar from Caldwell Collection

Richmond House Room

Richmond House Room: Part of Duke Medicine's
and the Duke Family's History!


The Richmond House Roompreviously the Trent Room, houses medical artifacts from the Medical Center Library & Archives collections. The room is also available as a group study space. For more information, see our Newsletter article.

Trent Room

Above is a  photograph of the original Trent Room, now the Richmond House Room, when it held rare books and artifacts from the historical collections.   The Richmond House Room now houses medical artifacts, albarelli and versatoi.

 A new "Trent Room" has been constructed within the David M.Rubenstein Rare Books & Manuscript Library to showcase selections from the History of Medicine Collections

The 1720 period Richmond House Room contains pine paneling removed from the library of the Duke of Richmond in the Richmond House, Plaistow, England.  Glass window panes were designed to complement the paneling and give visitors a feeling of stepping back in time into an English country house library. A photographic mural behind the windows gives the appearance of a formal garden. 

The room was donated to Duke University by Mrs. Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans and Karl Bock, an architect who worked with the Duke family.  Moved to Duke in honor of Josiah Charles Trent, MD (1914-1948) and his combined love of books and medicine, the original Trent Room was first constructed in 1956 in the original Duke Hospital  library, which was located in the Davison building. It was moved to its present location on the lower level of the Medical Center Library in 1975.

With the opening of a new "Trent Room" within the Rubenstein Library, the Richmond House Room was renamed to reflect its original roots.  A plaque in the room honors the donor of Mrs. Semans and Mr. Bock and there is more detailed information about the room on display in the room.

Visitors are welcome to tour the Richmond House Room when the Medical Center Library is open.

Other Medical Artifacts

cupping glasses

Cupping glasses for bloodletting


Kymograph used to record
physiological findings

 patent medicine boxes

Patent medicine boxes

medicine chest

Medicine chest

On Display

Sabiston bust

David C. Sabiston, Jr. MD

Model of early diving suit on loan from Banas family. Part of the Libary's Hyperbaric Medicine Collections.