Monday, October 02, 2006

Midwifery

Today marks the beginning of National Nurse-Midwifery Week. The OHSU Nurse-Midwifery Faculty Practice is celebrating the occasion with a display in the Hatfield Atrium tomorrow. Here in HC&A, we have many books on midwifery, old and (relatively) new, which you can see just by doing a keyword search on "midwifery" in the catalog and then limiting to location "special collections."

But what is history without a little visual interest? Although they didn't call themselves midwives, the staff at the well-baby clinic of the People's Institute and Portland Free Dispensary certainly have their hands full with newborns in this photograph in the Digital Resources Library. Upstairs in the Medical Museum Collection, we actually have the baby scale used by alumna Dr. Jesse Laird Brodie during her many years as a practicing physician here in Portland. Unfortunately we don't have a picture of that, but we do have copies of her interesting autobiography, Dr. Jessie, the Odyssey of a Woman Physician.

If you've seen the recent cinematic version of the Laurence Sterne opus Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, you'll probably never think about forceps in the same way again. We have more forceps in the MMC than you can shake a stick at, including this quartet donated by Dr. W.L. Bishop.

By the way, if any of you out there know what this device is, let us know--something like an early traction device?

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