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  • Claudia Durham Collection

Claudia Durham was born in rural Mississippi on October 26, 1908. She attended elementary school in Mississippi (1916-1922) and high school and junior college in Chicago after her family moved to Illinois in 1923. She received her diploma from Provident Hospital School of Nursing in 1933 and degrees in Public Health Nursing from Loyola University (B.S. 1942) and in Administration and Supervision from the University of Chicago (M.S., 1954). Ms. Durham attended Tuskegee Nurse-Midwifery School in Alabama and did graduate coursework at Illinois Teachers College (1958-1965) and Roosevelt University (1965).

Her forty-five year professional career included positions as staff and public health nurse, nursing school teacher/supervisor, consultant in maternal and child health and in personal and public service occupations, elementary/adult education teacher and librarian. She worked at such private and public organizations as nurse midwifery schools, Chicago Department of Health, U.S. Children’s Bureau, National League for Nursing, Illinois State Board of Vocational Education and Rehabilitation and the East Central Curriculum Management Center. Ms. Durham retired from the Illinois Office of Education in June 1978. She worked briefly on an educational research project at Eastern Illinois University, July 1978-June 1979. She was active in several community and religious organizations including: Senior Learners Program, Sangamon State University, American Nurses Association, NAACP, Springfield Urban League, Gray Panthers, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, and Project Area Agency on Aging. Divorced with no children, Durham died March 22, 1995.

Photographs in this collection include images of African American nurses at work, family photographs, and portraits.

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