Thursday, April 09, 2009

Spring! And, a note on our April 13 closure

Any researchers visiting the History of Medicine Room this time of year know to schedule extra hours, to compensate for the time lost while gazing out the window at our our own private magnolia tree:


Sure, it's beginning to block the view of the rest of campus, but who needs the rest of the world when you've got blooms?

We often wonder about our magnolia, its placement, its lineage, its (possibly) checkered past. Why? Because there's a whole folder of photographs in the Historical Image Collection (PDF) called "Magnolia Tree (Moving)". Upon inspection, it seems that not all of these images deal with the same time period, or perhaps even the same tree. The only dated photo is one showing a leafless magnolia being moved into place somewhere outside the Old Library Building (our home) in 1949:


Other images show magnolias in various states of leafiness, from sadly sparse to lusciously full (that's Wren Gaines, superintendent, observing the operation):


Was one tree moved multiple times? Were several specimens installed, only to die thereafter? We have photos of the tree(s) on trucks, moving across campus and down city streets.


A mystery. Anyone wishing to come up and do some eyes-on research him/herself is more than welcome--except not on Monday, April 13, 2009, when Historical Collections & Archives will be closed for staff absences to a) an all-day meeting on the one hand, and b) much needed vacation on the other. As always, we'll return calls and emails when we get back.

Happy holidays to all!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Exhibit now online: Röntgen Rays, Harnessed to Heal

Just in time for the de-installation of the physical display, the web component of our most recent exhibit has been mounted:

Röntgen Rays, Harnessed to Heal: Early Radiography and Radiation Medicine in Portland

Delayed by the web update moratorium, the new online exhibit reproduces the text of the printed brochure and shares much of the background information--if not all the artifacts and images--with those of you unable to visit Marquam Hill in person.

A reminder that the presentation on the history of radiation medicine in Oregon, delivered by Kenneth R. Stevens, Jr., MD, in January, is available as a streaming video on our History of Medicine Society Lecture Series page.

Also, a note: our next exhibit, showcasing the artifacts in the Kenneth C. Swan Papers, has been postponed due to the growth of an aggressive leak near the display area on the third floor of the Main Library. Stay tuned for more information about a resolution to the problem and a planned opening date. In the meantime, you can enjoy the (sort of) Velvet Swan on the main exhibits page.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Graphic medicine


Another of the fantastic little tidbits rediscovered in our ongoing assessment of the older collections in offsite storage here at OHSU is the small publication Adventure in Burma, told in pictures: Dr. Gordon S. Seagrave builds a hospital. Published in 1944 by the missionary Judson Press, the comic book-style story is a condensed version of the events told in Seagrave's more famous Burma Surgeon. Only ten libraries in Worldcat hold this particular gem.

This piece is interesting for a number of reasons, not least of which is the way it helps us understand the depiction of medical "heroes" and the development of physician archetypes. Especially since the medical world is all abuzz lately with news of the recent availability in English of another comic book medical "hero", Tezuka's surgeon Black Jack. Just think: if we were to compare and contrast the characteristics of Nimrod Seagrave and Black Jack, what could we learn about the changing role of medicine in society?


(By the way, "nimrod" used to mean hunter. In case you were maybe thinking of another, more modern, usage.)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Resources for National Public Health Week

It's that time of year again: magnolias blooming, grass growing, and folks whooping it up for the annual celebration known as National Public Health Week!

We have a wealth of resources here in Historical Collections & Archives that shed light on the history of public health in Oregon (so many, in fact, that a couple of researchers have been a bit put off by the number of things they were going to have to wade through--but only a couple!) We've talked about some of these before (such as here and here), but are making a more deliberate list in honor of this year's festivities:

Selected List of Public Health Resources in HC&A

Archival Collections:
1999-010 People's Institute Slides
2001-002 Portland Free Dispensary Board of Trustees Minutes
2001-004 Esther Pohl Lovejoy Collection
2001-010 Record of Deaths 1891-1901 [Portland, OR]
2001-011 Esther Pohl Lovejoy Collection
2004-004 Harold T. Osterud Papers [unprocessed]
2004-025 Public Health Survey Records
2005-010 Portland Free Dispensary Letters Collection
2005-012 City of Portland Public Health Survey
2008-010 People's Institute and Free Dispensary Records [unprocessed]
2008-018 Harry J. Sears Papers [unprocessed]
2008-026 Greg Howell Collection on Harry J. Sears [unprocessed]
2009-005 Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Statistical Methods Seminar Papers [unprocessed]

Publications, Subjects:
Public Health -- Oregon
Public Health Administration -- Oregon
Public Health -- history -- Oregon
Public Health -- legislation & jurisprudence -- Oregon.
Public Health Nursing -- history -- Oregon
Public Health Nursing -- Oregon

Subject Files:
Brown, E.C.: Brown Trust Fund, Sex Education
Nursing: Public Health
Public Health
Public Health Administration

Other Resources:
Interview with Harold T. Osterud [sound recording] / Harold T. Osterud ; interview conducted April 26, 1999 by Linda Weimer.
Catalogs, University of Oregon Medical School and Oregon Health Sciences University [shows curriculum and organizational changes over time]
Biographical Files [Harold Osterud, Adolph Weinzirl, etc.]

Now, get out and celebrate by mowing that grass! Or, check out the national list of NPHW events. You can see a list of the talks planned at OHSU on the university calendar here. Of course, if you'd like to come spend some time with any of the materials listed above as a celebration, we'd be happy to party with you!