Friday, April 27, 2007

Hot off the new press!

At the second training session on our new scanner yesterday, one of the trainees had the presence of mind to bring a thumb drive (or, maybe I'm the only geezer left out there who doesn't always have one of these hanging from my neck...). The test scans from the training are now available to share with the world--except, they are WAY too huge to put up on the web for those of you out there who might be curious to see just what exactly the Indus can do. So, here's the image, but keep in mind that the original tiff file has been compressed into a jpeg and then the resolution bumped down from 400 dpi to 100 dpi. Nevertheless, I think the quality is impressive. This is a two-page spread from one of the many folio news clipping books we have here in the archives, which--being full of acidic paper and glue (which you can see in this scan!)--will go the way of the dodo very shortly without some major intervention. The books are one of the top priorities we've identified for digitization.

Of course, once we have the images, then we'll need an index to the contents. Ah, job security!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Scanner in the house!

I just got back from the first training session for library staff on our brand-new (and not yet fully paid for) large format scanner. Made by Indus, the scanner will enable us to digitize folio volumes, fragile bindings, small objects, etc. We tested glossy paper, warped paper, original drawings, news clipping books--even a daguerrotype--to see how it would perform on various types of materials, and what manual adjustments are available for optimizing images.

It's certainly not the biggest scanner on the market, nor the most sophisticated, but we're extremely pleased and excited to have the capability to digitize so many more of our extremely fragile materials. Stay tuned for upcoming images produced by our newest acquisition!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lovejoy lecture now available online

As promised, the streaming video of Kimberly Jensen's wonderful lecture on alumna Dr. Esther Clayson Pohl Lovejoy is now available from the Historical Collections & Archives website. The list of resources that Professor Jensen mentions was made available in Monday's post.

Stay tuned for the final lecture in the History of Medicine Society Series: author Michael Bliss will be delivering a talk on Harvey Cushing, father of neurosurgery, on May 18, 2007. It, too, will be made available electronically shortly after the Friday lecture.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Not rare but forgotten

I've been reading some of the essays in the recently-published collection Book Talk: essays on books, booksellers, collecting, and special collections (Oak Knoll Books, 2006). While some of the sentiments expressed therein seem rather high-flown for a small repository like ours, two of the pieces struck me as particularly relevant to not only our repository, but to many special collections.

In his essay "Books that everyone has forgotten: some preliminary notes on low spots in literature," Garrett Scott reminds us that there are more books than appear on lists of classics, and that history (and the whims of fashion) may have been unkind to a majority of these. He concludes by reflecting that "Perhaps the scarcity of a given individual book becomes less important than the context in which one places the work." This is certainly true of a collection such as ours, filled with relatively unremarkable texts which are nevertheless remarkable for their provenance (almost all having been donated by individuals affiliated with the university) and their significance in the history of medical education and research. It is that value which is so hard to measure quantitatively, but which makes our collection so important to the history of our schools.

Similarly, Geoffrey D. Smith makes a plug for unprocessed or underprocessed collections in his essay "I didn't know you had that!--resuscitating special collections." Every institution has a backlog of materials awaiting processing, and every institution is required to prioritize which collections will receive attention. Collections deemed of lower research value often receive minimal processing; when scholarly trends change and scholars begin to focus their efforts on new areas of research, these underprocessed collections may continue to languish, effectively hiding information of potentially great value to academics. Giving a nod to such grandiose schemes as Google Print, Smith nevertheless concludes that "Electronic access tools are improving and making research easier in many ways, but myriad unidentified, undocumented, or minimally cataloged collections of books and manuscripts will guarantee, for a long time ahead, the need for old-fashioned, hands-on examination of texts."

I feel positively inspired to go back and upgrade some catalog records right now!

Monday, April 23, 2007

More resources on Lovejoy and women in medicine

At her History of Medicine Society lecture on Friday, Professor Kimberly Jensen handed out a list of additional resources for people interested in learning more about Esther Pohl Lovejoy. For those of you who were unable to pick up a copy, here is the list (with some links to catalog records for the books, where appropriate).

Stay tuned for a link to the streaming video of the talk, which will be forthcoming.

Additional Resources: Esther Clayson Pohl Lovejoy (1869-1967)
Esther Pohl Lovejoy Collection, 2001-011, 2001-004, OHSU Historical Collections & Archives

Esther Pohl Lovejoy, The house of the good neighbor (New York: Macmillan, 1919)
Esther Pohl Lovejoy, Certain Samaritans (New York: Macmillan, 1933)
Esther Pohl Lovejoy, Women physicians and surgeons; national and international organizations (Livingston, NY: Livingston Press, 1939)
Esther Pohl Lovejoy, Women doctors of the world (New York: Macmillan, 1957)
Esther C.P. Lovejoy, with introduction by Bertha Hallam, "My medical school, 1890-1894," Oregon Historical Quarterly 75:1 (March 1974) 7-35 (also available in Accession 2001-004, as listed above)

Kimberly Jensen, "Esther Pohl Lovejoy, M.D., the First World War, and a feminist critique of wartime violence," in Alison Fell and Ingrid Sharp, eds., The Women's movement in wartime: international perspectives 1914-1919 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)
Kimberly Jensen, Mobilizing Minerva: American women and the First World War (Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, forthcoming 2007)

Alan Dawley, Changing the world: American Progressives in war and revolution (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003)
Jewel Lansing, Portland: people, politics, and power, 1851-2001 (Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, 2003)
E. Kimbark MacColl, The shaping of a city: business and politics in Portland, Oregon, 1885-1915 (Portland, OR: Georgian Press, 1976)
Rebecca Mead, How the vote was won: woman suffrage in the Western United States (New York: New York University Press, 2004)
James Mohr, Plague and fire: battling Black Death and the 1900 burning of Honolulu's Chinatown (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005)
Regina Markell Morantz-Sanchez, Sympathy and science: women physicians in American medicine (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2000)
Ellen More, Restoring the balance: women physicians and the profession of medicine, 1850-1995 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999)
Leila Rupp, Worlds of women: the making of an international women's movement (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997)