Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Swan revealed

Well, the delivery snafu has been corrected and at last we have been left with the boxes of materials that will form the Kenneth Carl Swan Papers (Accession 2007-011)--and although there may be a few more items trickling in through the month of August, what we have now received is certainly more than enough to crow about.

Most of the oversize moving boxes have now been opened, their contents transferred into smaller boxes that we (wee women) can actually move. The books will be transferred to the library collections (mostly pre-1940 ophthalmology texts, including what appear to be full sets of Duke-Elder's works). We've already started to weed out multiple copies of reprints and other publications, and so the original thirty boxes may turn out to occupy about 20 linear feet of our storage area. The big surprise is that there may actually be more linear feet of artifacts than of papers and photographic materials: there are tiny knives for eye surgery, tonometers from several different decades, a stereopticon, and lots and lots of things whose purpose I frankly do not yet understand. We do know that at least some of the early artifacts belonged to fellow ophthalmologist John E. Weeks, M.D., who was instrumental in the construction of the very building in which I sit.

We have found, so far, two pathological specimen slides, but hundreds of 35mm slides of patients; original drawings by Swan and the Medical School's medical illustrator Clarice Ashworth Francone; framed portraits of Swan; certificates, awards, and licenses; correspondence; case studies, reprints, presentations, and exhibits; and news clippings--lots and lots of news clippings. There is information on the Medical School, the Dept. of Ophthalmology, Casey Eye Institute, and the Elks Children's Eye Clinic, as well as Swan's career, his research, and his work with local and national organizations.

Interesting information in visually stunning documents--what more could we ask for? Fun to play with and fun for future researchers!

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