Monday, October 29, 2007

Discovery under the rustling leaves: a fall time diversion

Fans of our first series of limited edition Historic Postcards may be heartened to hear that a second series is in the planning stage; series II will include both historic images of campus life and activities and images of notable women physicians from Oregon. If you haven't seen the first set -- which has sold out, unfortunately -- you can view all ten images (plus thirteen not deemed worthy of postcardization) in the OHSU Digital Resources Library.

It was this morning, as I was pawing around in the archives for good candidate images for series II that I happened across the unprocessed collection of papers from Milton deVries Brunkow, M.D. I wandered down the range of shelves that holds some of our stellar image collections (including the Porter collection, the Labby scrapbook, the Francone drawings, the People's Institute slides, the Hilda Drum scrapbooks, plus Tinker, Norris, and Colonel Strohm's Nurses), and became distracted by three large banker's boxes of unprocessed materials.

Opening box number 2 and pulling out a black faux-leather three-ring binder, I came across the attached drawing -- and many more -- in Brunkow's class notes from a pathology course he took here at the Medical School. As a junior at Reed College, Brunkow began simultaneous studies up here on the Hill, finally graduating with his M.D. in 1939 (same class as Daniel Labby, whose scrapbook now inhabits the same shelving range). Brunkow went on to a long career as a general practitioner here in Portland, both at Emanuel and Holladay Park hospitals; he passed away in May of 1979.

The collection consists primarily of class notes (both illustrated and not), manuscripts, case histories, and reports dating from his time as a student (1931-1938), with a smattering of correspondence and a few medical instruments, accompanied by a few lab slides. It affords a unique perspective on medical education in the early 20th century, and is a wonderful complement to some of our other medical student collections, including Thomas Fox, Matthew Caldwell, and the anonymous 1880 class notes (also unprocessed).

For more information on any of our image or student collections, see our Archives listing -- or contact is directly at

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