Thursday, December 06, 2007

Old year nearly over, new one nearly begun: 120th anniversary of the Medical School

Reflecting on the impending close of the calendar year, I realized that the twelve-month celebratory period of the 120th anniversary of the OHSU School of Medicine is nearly over. Since I have only posted once on this topic, I feel shamefully behind in my merry-making and seek to redress the oversight by focusing on one of our neatest book collections: the First Class Collection.

Considered part of the History of Medicine Collection but shelved separately, the First Class Collection was created by Librarian Bertha Hallam beginning in 1937. Working off the list of required and recommended texts printed in the annual announcement for the first school session of 1887-88, Hallam methodically sought out each edition, moving copies still owned out of the circulating collections and purchasing other titles no longer held by the library.

Students of 2007 find this collection remarkable in its size -- its small size, that is. Often, they comment on the vast universe of information that today's medical student is expected to master, and they think wistfully of their forebears and the free time they surely must have enjoyed. Of course, they didn't have computers or the Internet in 1887, and every fact to be memorized had to be first located in a print volume and then laboriously hand copied to a notebook. No cutting and pasting. No last quick check of Harrison's Online on the laptop minutes before the exam. It may be true that the universe of information is just exactly as big as it can be for the technology available to access it, and that medical students of 1887 felt just as overwhelmed as this year's class.

The list of titles, all of which can be found in the library's online catalog, includes:

An American text-book of physiology (Philadelphia : Saunders, c1896)

Anatomy, descriptive and surgical. / Gray, Henry, 1825-1861 (Philadelphia, Lea brothers & co., 1887)

Clinical lectures on diseases of the urinary organs, delivered at University College Hospital / Thompson, Henry, Sir, 1820-1904 (London, J. & A. Churchill, 1879)

Diseases of the throat and nasal passages; a guide to the diagnosis and treatment of affections of the pharynx, oesophagus, trachea, larynx, and nares / Cohen, J. Solis (Jacob Solis), 1838-1927 (New York, Wood, 1880)

The Dispensatory of the United States of America (Philadelphia, Pa. : Grigg & Elliot, 1883)

Handbook of physiology / Kirkes, William Senhouse, 1823-1864 (Philadelphia : Lea, 1873)

Insanity and its treatment : lectures on the treatment, medical and legal, of insane patients / Blandford, G. Fielding (George Fielding), 1829-1911 (Philadelphia, Henry C. Lea, 1871)

Lectures on orthopaedic surgery : delivered at the Brooklyn Medical and Surgical Institute / Bauer, Louis, 1814-1898 (New York : Wood, 1868)

Lectures on orthopedic surgery : and diseases of the joints : delivered at Bellevue Hospital Medical College, during the session of 1874-1875 / Sayre, Lewis A. (Lewis Albert), 1820-1900 (New York : D. Appleton and Company, 1885)

Legal medicine / Tidy, Charles Meymott, 1843-1892 (New York : W. Wood & company, 1882-84)

A manual of diseases of the throat and nose : including the pharynx, larynx, trachea, Å“sophagus, nose and naso-pharynx / Mackenzie, Morell, Sir, 1837-1892 (New York : W. Wood & Co., 1884)

Manual of gynecology / Hart, D. Berry (David Berry), 1851-1920 (New York, William Wood, 1883)

A manual of medical jurisprudence, with special reference to diseases and injuries of the nervous system / Hamilton, Allan McLane, 1848-1919 (New York [etc.], Bermingham & company, 1883)

A manual of midwifery including the pathology of pregnancy and the puerperal state ... / Schroeder, Karl Ludwig Ernst, 1838-1887 (New York, D. Appleton, 1873)

Manual of operative surgery / Bryant, Joseph D. (Joseph Decatur), 1845-1914 (New York : D. Appleton, 1887, c1886)

A manual of physiology, a textbook for students of medicine / Yeo, Gerald F. (Philadelphia : Blakiston, 1887)

Medical jurisprudence / Taylor, Alfred Swaine, 1806-1880 (Philadelphia : Blanchard & Lea, 1861)

A practical treatise on disease in children / Smith, Eustace, 1835-1914 (New York, W. Wood, 1884)

A practical treatise on the diseases of women / Thomas, T. Gaillard (Theodore Gaillard), 1832-1903 (Philadelphia, H. C. Lea's Son & Co., 1880)

The principles and practice of gynaecology / Emmet, Thomas Addis, 1828-1919 (Philadelphia : Henry C. Lea, 1884)

The principles and practice of obstetrics / Bedford, Gunning S., 1806-1870 (New York : Wood, 1876 [c1868])

Quain's Elements of anatomy / Quain, Jones, 1796-1865 (London : Longmans, Green, 1876-1878)

The science and art of midwifery / Lusk, William Thompson, 1838-1897 (New York : Appleton, 1885)

The science and art of surgery : a treatise on surgical injuries, diseases, and operations / Erichsen, John Eric, 1818-1896 (Philadelphia : Henry C. Lea's Son, 1884-1885)

A system of midwifery : including the diseases of pregnancy and the puerperal state / Leishman, William, 1834-1894 (Philadelphia : Henry C. Lea, 1879)

A system of surgery; pathological, diagnostic, therapeutic, and operative / Gross, Samuel D. (Samuel David), 1805-1884 (Philadelphia ; H.C. Lea, 1872)

A text-book of human physiology : including histology and microscopical anatomy; with special reference to the requirements of pratical medicine / Landois, L. (Leonard), 1837-1902 (Philadelphia, P. Blakiston, 1887)

A text-book of physiology / Foster, M. (Michael), Sir, 1836-1907 (Philadelphia, Lea Brothers & Co., 1885)

The theory and practice of obstetrics : including diseases of pregnancy and parturition, obstetrical operations, etc. / Cazeaux, P. (Pierre), 1808-1862 (Philadelphia : P. Blakiston, 1887, c1886)

A treatise on the principles and practice of medicine; designed for the use of practitioners and students of medicine / Flint, Austin, 1812-1886 (Philadelphia : H.C. Lea's Son & Co., 1884)

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