Digital Collections

Cone Health collection to be digitized

Judge Alfred M. Lindau and Bernard Cone at the cornerstone ceremony for Cone Hospital in 1951.

The University Libraries have entered into a partnership with the Cone Health Medical Library to digitize a large and important collection of archival materials documenting the history of Greensboro's Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital.

Aerial view of Cone Hospital, circa 1953.

The hospital, which opened in February, 1953, was originally funded through a trust established by Bertha Cone in honor of her husband, Moses H. Cone, who was one of the founders of Cone Mills in Greensboro. The Greensboro Daily News reported that Mrs. Cone had "proposed to build the most modern hospital in the South." It is now the flagship institution of the Cone Health network, one of the largest healthcare providers in the Southeast.

Moses H. Cone.
The Cone Hospital collection contains historical information about the Cone family, who were instrumental in the development of Greensboro into the city that it is today, and a wealth of material on the background, construction, and ongoing operations and growth of Cone Hospital. Included are historical records, construction photographs, newsletters, rate books, and procedure manuals.

Of particular interest is material related to the 1963 Simkins v. Cone case which resulted in a ruling by the United States Supreme Court ending segregation in publicly-funded hospitals. Cone Health Medical Library Director Edward Donnald described the collection as "a significant historical resource with local, regional, and even national interest."

The project will digitize more than 16,000 items from the collection during 2016, and all material will be made publicly available as part of the local history portal of UNCG Digital Collections.

The partners are currently working on a grant proposal to digitize additional medical history collections held by Cone Health, the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives at UNCG, and the Greensboro Historical Museum.

(Note: Some of the quotes in this post were taken from the October, 2015, issue of Code U, the Cone Health newsletter.)

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