Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Now Hiring: Student workers for LSTA Grant to Digitize Public Health Materials


OHSU HC&A is looking to hire 2 students for a grant-funded project.  The project involves the digitization of public health materials from the late 19th and early 20th century and assisting with data curation.  The recruitment period will be open for the next 2 weeks with interviews anticipated in December/January.

More details on the grant can be found here.

For more details on the position, please see below:
Functions/Duties of Position

  • Assist with processing and digitizing collections for grant-funded project.
  • Conduct research relevant to collections.
  • Page, shelve, and shift collections.
  • Assist with data curation.

Job Requirements

  • Enrolled in Undergraduate Program (minimum 6 credit hours), OR Graduate Program (minimum 4.5 credit hours).
  • Attention to detail combined with ability to balance multiple responsibilities.
  • Strong experience using desktop PCs and Windows XP/7/8, including Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, etc.) and Internet/WWW.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; tact and discretion in communication.
  • Ability to repeatedly lift and move objects weighing 20-50 lbs.; pushing and maneuvering loaded book trucks; bending and stooping
  • Ability to handle rare and fragile library materials.
  • Demonstrated interest in archives and/or special collections.
  • Previous library work experience.
  • Experience with scanning equipment and software.
  • Enrollment in MLS or library technician program.
  • Undergraduate or graduate training in history or a related field.

Additional Details

OHSU is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability or protected veteran status. Applicants with disabilities can request reasonable accommodation by contacting the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Department at 503-494-5148.

How To Apply

Apply here online. Be sure to upload a resume and a cover letter.

Please search for “IRC50566” exactly to find this position on the OHSU HR website.

Best regards,

Thanksgiving at Base Hospital 46, 1918

The valley where Base Hospital 46 was located in 1918. A small arrow (in pencil) points to BH 46 at far right.
Several weeks ago, while pulling out the fantastic Grace Phelps Papers for a visitor, I came across a number of mementos that Ms. Phelps saved from her time as Supervisor of Nurses at Base Hospital 46 during World War I (she attained the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army). The folder includes striking photographs, ephemera, and even poems written by soldiers recovering in the hospital. Such items really bring to life the experiences of Phelps and her colleagues at the base. The image above shows Base Hospital 46 in Bazoilles-sur-Meuse, France. In Phelps's own words, from the back of the photograph: 
This is the valley where we have been during the time since we arrived on the 16th of last July. The arrow points to B.H. 46. The little round o is 42, the place where we were stationed for the first two days. The Commanding thought he liked the other side of the river so we moved. The day we moved we had our first order for surgical teams to go to the front. Such a time as we had getting the girls ready. Our baggage had not arrived so we had to borrow clothes for the nurses. We had them ready in less than two hours from the time we got the order. At that time there were no lights allowed -- all travel was in the dark. The party had not gone far when they had an accident and one of the nurses got a cut in the forehead, but they dressed the wound and on they went.
Amidst all the tumult and sorrow and drudgery of their time in France, the staff and soldiers of Base Hospital 46 still found time for small comforts, including Thanksgiving. From the same folder in the Phelps Papers, here is a Thanksgiving menu from the Nurses Mess on November 28, 1918: 
Looks pretty tasty, I must say!
 I love the poetic commentary hand-inscribed on the menu: "If you have eaten all of this / I'm sure your [sic] goin' to feel amiss! Wow!" 

Reading over the menu and looking through the pictures, I found myself thinking of those nurses, physicians, and soldiers of Base Hospital 46 doing their best to celebrate traditions like a cherished American holiday as best they could, so far from home. It really gives one cause to reflect on one's own good fortune and gratitude.

This week, like many of you, all of us at HC&A are feeling very thankful. We're so grateful for our talented, supportive colleagues in our department and at OHSU Library, our OHSU and community collaborators, and of course our wonderful supporters and friends (like you, dear reader!). All of you help make our work preserving and sharing the history of the health sciences a fun, challenging, and rewarding task. 

From the gang at HC&A, Happy Thanksgiving! 

Friday, November 13, 2015

New Acquisitions: Public Health-related materials

I decided to call this one a new acquisition because I haven't had the time to really dig in and see if I can figure out the exact provenance (who created, or otherwise maintained these items, think: chain of custody) of these materials.  The items were transferred to us from the Department of Public Health and Preventative Medicine (Soon to be a school) and are composed of a variety of materials related to Harold Osterud and William Morton, both previous directors of the department.
Teaching slide
Lecture slide on "Immunity"
The inventory of the collection is as follows:

-Glass lantern slides (primarily teaching, but some potential research on the slides)
-35mm slides with similar content as the glass
-Audio recordings of lectures
-Video recording
-A handful of photographs and 4x5 negatives
-Copies (draft and final) of Physician Manpower in Oregon Data Book (1974)
Obsolete video formats
Audio recording of public health lectures
This is a small collection, but contains some rare gems in both content and formats.  Audio and video formats on reel-to-reel, coupled with glass slides and 35mm slides makes for a visual feast of public health lectures and programs.

A smattering of photos
Physician Manpower in Oregon Data Book
This collection will be accessioned pretty soon, but until then it is still open for research, so just drop us a line with a date and time you would like to visit and we will bring these out for you.

Next week, more new accessions, OR perhaps a little story about a recent adventure in an attic that lead to a materials review in a basement.  Good Time!

Till then,

15 transcripts just added to oral history digital collection!

HC&A student assistant Crystal Rodgers just finished adding 15 more transcripts to our oral history  collection in OHSU Digital Commons! The collection now includes a whopping 104 transcripts.

This latest batch includes interviews with distinguished geneticist Dr. R. Ellen Magenis; beloved dermatologist and activist Dr. Frances J. Storrs; HC&A's own former archivist Karen Peterson; Knight Cancer Institute founding director Dr. Grover Bagby; and many more. We'll continue adding new transcripts as they're processed.

You can also consult our complete list of interviews to see all the participants in this program. Interview transcripts and recordings are still available for checkout from OHSU's Main Library, and DVD copies of interviews are also available for a fee.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

In honor of Veteran's Day: Resources on veterans, World War I and World War II

Cliff Morris, who joined Base Hospital 46 in 1942 after training at UOMS, kisses his bride Irene Ehlers.
The experience of veterans is woven throughout the fabric of OHSU's history. In honor of Veteran's Day, I want to highlight some of our primary sources that concern the experience of those who have served. Our collections are especially rich in materials related to Base Hospital 46 (World War I) and the 46th General Hospital (World War II),  the University of Oregon Medical School's organized contingents of volunteer medical personnel during the wars.

Base Hospital 46 nurses and officers, Camp Lewis, WA, 1918

We have many archival collections that were created by or contain information on OHSU's veterans, including significant holdings of documents and images. Some images have been digitized and are available to peruse via our Digital Collections. In addition, our Oral History program features quite a few stories from veterans among our OHSU faculty and alumni.

Archival collections & manuscripts on Archives West:
Collections with materials on World War I
Collections with materials on World War II

Digitized images:
Digital Collections images of World War I
Digital Collections images of World War II

Library Catalog items:
Base Hospital 46 (World War I)
46th General Hospital (World War II)

Oral histories (search by keyword, such as "World War II"):

46th General Hospital nurses marching in Oran, Algeria, ca. 1942
If you have questions about our holdings, or have specific reference questions related to these materials, email me at or call 503 494-5587 and I'll be happy to act as your guide to these rich resources.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Regulating Birth in Oregon symposium at Oregon Historical Society, November 17th

Our friends at Oregon Historical Quarterly are presenting a symposium that is likely to be of interest to many of our readers. The full-day event will be at Oregon Historical Society on November 17th. The program includes talks on midwifery, reproductive politics and policy, and genetics.

Registration is $35 ($25 for OHS members), though the evening keynote presentation is free to all. The full announcement is below.

Regulating Birth in Oregon

A symposium presented by the Oregon Historical Quarterly

Sybil Harber of Lakeview, OR, circa 1895, Midwife. OHS Research Library bb007000

The Oregon Historical Quarterly, in collaboration with Dr. Christin Hancock of the University of Portland, presents a symposium that promotes scholarship on the broad subject of regulating birth, from legal, social, political, religious, and cultural perspectives. A special issue of the Quarterly will be drawn from the scholarship presented.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
10:15am - 4:30pm
Oregon Historical Society
with free keynote presentation at 7pm
$35 / $25 members

New Accessions: Fred E. Gulick Collection

Dear Readers,
I've got a real special one today.  This recent accession came to us by way of the OHSU Foundation and included a wide variety of materials on Fred E. Gulick.  The reason I say this is special (because all of our collections are very special) is that the materials remind me of an exercise I had in grad school that involved created a finding aid (collection guide) for a group of materials.  The materials indirectly gave you much of the information about the individual (access cards for a certain facility, responses from professors, offers of employment, a time card, etc.), but there were no materials that specifically spelled out what the individual did and who they were in a Wikipedia-style fashion.  With that as a preface, let me introduce you to the Fred E. Gulick Collection.
A letter if news clippings
Based on a webpage from the site for the Pacific Coast Society of Prosthodontics, Fred E. Gulick was a founding member of the society back in 1930 when it was formed by Gulick and a number of his friends.  This happened because at the time dental conventions and conferences were East Coast-centered with the occasional one held in Chicago.
Program for the "Twentieth Anniversary of the Oregon State Board of Health."
Gulick was also a president of the Oregon Dental Association, and attended NPDC for a number of courses.  He was in World War I, and afterwards took up practice in Portland, OR.
Photographs - Military and Academic
There are many other details that can be obtained from a close reading of these records, however for the time being, I am just going to highlight the types of materials you will find here.
Photographs, correspondence and a tiny letter.
A lot of photographs, and great ones too.  Early childhood photos with dates, teenage photos, army photos and various images of Gulick with his associates.  There are some telegrams pasted onto scrapbook paper, matriculation cards for North Pacific Dental College and discharge papers from the army.  The collection also contains ephemera from various organizations Gulick was a member of and some clippings from local newspapers with quotes from Gulick.
Letter from Gulick.
There's only a about .5 feet of records/materials here, but what we have is quality and in excellent condition.  The collection is open for research, as always, just give us a holler and set up an appointment.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

History of Medicine Collection spotlight: Lavoisier's "Elements of Chemistry"

It's been some time since we've delved into our fabulous History of Medicine Collection of rare books, so I thought I'd bring it back with a bang!* Behold, our two volume set of the 5th English edition of Antoine Lavoisier's Elements of chemistry : In a new systematic order, containing all the modern discoveries [QD28 L41 1802]:

The book presented a host of new theories of chemistry, and is often considered the first modern textbook on the subject. Lavoisier is known for innumerable contributions to modern chemistry, including conducting some of the first quantitative chemical experiments and advancing a new theory of combustion. He also produced the first modern list of chemical elements, including oxygen and hydrogen, both of which he recognized and named himself. This "Table of Simple Substances" below lists thirty-three of what he deemed elements and their corresponding former names. The book also expounds on Lavoisier's ideas about elements formed chemical compounds.

Volume II includes many illustrated plates, which detail both Lavoisier's instruments and their arrangements in his experiments. These diagrams are really a steampunk dream, with all of the early nineteenth century scientific apparatus you could ever hope for! 

Combustion apparatus
But perhaps the most compelling aspect of the plates to me is the fact that they were created by Lavoisier's wife, Marie Anne Lavoisier. Madame Lavoisier took instruction in chemistry from early in her marriage in order to act as her husband's laboratory assistant. One of her contributions was the creation of these plates. From initial watercolor sketches to final engravings, the plates were wholly the product of her work.** The detail of these plates allowed for the clear communication of the experiments, and more importantly, rendered the described procedures reproducible. 

Below is the diagram for the gazometer, which allowed Lavoisier to take precise measurements of the weight and volume of gases. 

The gazometer
While Lavoisier contributed a great deal to chemistry and the science of the Enlightenment, he found himself on the wrong side of the French Revolution's politics and was eventually executed during the Reign of Terror in 1794.

Marie Anne Lavoisier survived, though herself remained in jail for several months, and later published her husband's memoirs. Though she is not credited alongside her husband, Madame Lavoisier's contributions to his work indicate that she is another unsung heroine of modern science.

* Yes, this is a chemistry pun. Very sneaky, I know! Combustion!
** Roald Hoffman, "Mme. Lavoisier." American ScientistJanuary-February 2002 (Volume 90, Number 1), page 22.