Friday, November 21, 2008

TODAY: History of Medicine Society Lecture

A reminder that today at 12:15 in the OHSU Old Library Auditorium, we will be kicking off the 2008-09 season of the OHSU History of Medicine Society Lecture Series. The event is free and open to the public, so please join us!


“Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers: Yesterday and Tomorrow”
Guest speaker: Joseph B. McCormick, M.D., Regional Dean and James Steele Professor, University of Texas Health Science Center

Friday November 21, 2008
Public lecture: 12:15 p.m.
Refreshments served at noon
Location: Old Library Auditorium

In 1977, Dr. McCormick founded the CDC Lassa fever Research Project in Sierra Leone. There, he conducted extensive and definitive studies of the epidemiology and treatment of Lassa hemorrhagic fever, publishing a landmark publication in the New England Journal of Medicine on effective antiviral treatment for this disease.

He returned to Atlanta in 1979 and became Chief, Special Pathogens Branch, Division of Viral Diseases at the CDC, directing the Biosafety level 4 laboratories for 9 years. He subsequently led the original team that did the first AIDS investigation in Africa and established the Project SIDA in Kinshasa, Zaire, and later the Project Retro-Ci in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. In 1993, he became Chairman, Community Health Sciences Department, at the Aga Khan University Medical School (AKU) where he established an epidemiology program resembling the CDC Field Epidemiology Training Programs, and a Masters' degree in Epidemiology. In 1997 he moved to France where he founded epidemiology programs for the Institute Pasteur and for Aventis Pasteur. He returned to the US in 2001 to start a new regional campus of the UT-Houston School of Public Health in Brownsville.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Richer on La grande hysterie

Another fantastically illustrated volume from the History of Medicine Collection is Paul Marie Louis Pierre Richer's Études cliniques sur la grande hystérie ou hystéro-épilepsie (1885). Normally disguised by a very mundane grey buckram binding, it caught my eye during one of the many recent shifts of materials in the History of Medicine Room.

Well known not only as a clinician but also as an anatomical illustrator, Richer here took the opportunity to let his talents shine. The text is peppered with dramatic representations of various states of "hysteria," or convulsions. Shown here is planche VI, one of the less risqué images (showing, as it does, a male sufferer).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Readers' advisory

Two notes on important developments here in the History of Medicine Room, for researchers thinking to visit us in the coming month:

First, the good news.
Wireless Access Now Available!
Wireless hubs were installed in HC&A spaces this morning. Researchers with laptops will be able to access the internet using the OHSU guest network. Mirabile dictu!

Now, the bad news.
Construction Update:
Work has begun in earnest on the surgical simulation lab going in downstairs. From now through December, there will be periodic disruptions and noise in the building.

Also, this is a good time to note holiday closures for HC&A, which are the same as those for the OHSU Main Library: Christmas Day and Dec. 26, New Year's Day and Jan. 1.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Help Wanted: Russian readers

Last Friday, we received from a local practitioner three Russian LPs (yes, that's LP as in vinyl records). The materials were presented to Ralph Crawshaw, MD, on the occasion of his trip to Russia in the 1970s on a US-USSR scholar exchange program. Dr. Crawshaw neither speaks nor reads Russian, and sadly, we have no Russian readers on staff here at Historical Collections & Archives (we cover a lot of languages, but not this one!)

So, for any volunteers out there, here are scans of the front covers of the three albums (click on each for larger images). We'd love to hear from you if you know what these are!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Envisioning Oregon, Part I

This morning, the first of several planned town hall meetings for the "Envisioning Oregon" project took place at the Oregon Historical Society. A group of over twenty representatives from cultural heritage institutions in and around Portland gathered to begin discussions on the project's stated goal of identifying, collecting, and making accessible Oregon's documentary heritage by means of active collaboration and cooperation between repositories.

Being a relatively small repository, we wholeheartedly embrace the premise that a single institution cannot effectively or efficiently collect in all areas; that cooperation between institutions benefits both donors and repositories; and that collaborative collection development is required if we hope to preserve the full range of cultural materials that are necessary to any study of a given society. This morning's discussions made it clear that we are not alone in thinking this way, and we're looking forward to working with others and hearing more from the project's leaders as discussions continue across the state.

One notable feature of this morning's meeting was the presence at the table of a number of small repositories (besides ourselves!), such as the archives of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, the Oregon Jewish Museum, the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, and Philip Foster Farm, among others. Even with this representation, we could all think of at least one other small repository or collection that was not yet represented. So, a call to all readers: if you work at or volunteer at a small repository, or belong to an organization or institution that has a collection of archival or museum materials, and you're interested in being part of this dialog, please contact the project lead, James Fox, for more information and/or a copy of the survey. You have nothing to lose but your anonymity! :-)