Friday, December 11, 2009

Heart warmer for a cold day

Poking further into the boxes from a former staffer, we came across this sweet note (with apparently less-sweet note crossed out on verso; waste not, want not was a pioneering ethic):


Who was this Theophilus Degen, M.D.? Olof Larsell (The Doctor in Oregon) provides some background:

"A physician of good training arrived in 1844 in the person of Dr. Theophilus Degen, who settled first at Lafayette but later went to southern Oregon. Degen was born in Germany about 1809 and was educated in one of the south German universities, probably Leipzig. He had come to the United States sometime in the late 1830's because of political troubles in his native Bavaria, and appears to have practiced medicine for some time in New York. However, by 1844 he had reached Missouri and joined the wagon train which left Caple's Landing in the spring of that year. He was best remembered by the members of this party as the "German doctor" or the "Dutch doctor" who looked after the Sager family after the death of the father somewhere in Wyoming and the subsequent death of the mother before reaching Oregon. On arriving at the Whitman Mission he turned over the children to the care of Dr. and Mrs. Whitman, who adopted them. The doctor, whose full name the emigrants could not pronounce so that he said to them "call me Degen," is described as a cheerful, rotund little man with blue eyes and a heavy accent. He remained in Yamhill County several years but his activities there are unknown. His subsequent life is better known and will be considered in connection with the Umpqua region, where he practiced for many years." (p. 134-135)

In fact, Larsell was so taken with the story of Degen that he wrote a short biography of him. "Theophilus Degen" was published in the Western Journal of Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology (1944), 52:316.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Old primates in the library

The Isabel McDonald Library at the Oregon National Primate Research Center on OHSU's West Campus will soon be relocating its staff and books for a construction project which is expected to last several months. The collection will reopen in a newly earthquake-proofed space. It seems like a good time to highlight some of the fun and fantastic titles from the Primate's Historical Book Case, home to over 125 rare and classic books. By scoping out the collection now, you can sneak in to see some of these gems during the slow holiday season, or plan to visit them in their new space after renovation.

In the "high points" category, we have Histoire naturelle des singes et des makis by J.B. Audebert (Paris : Desray, an 8. [i.e. 1800]), the first monograph from the renowned illustrator, with sixty-three leaves of plates. There's also the nine-volume Oeuvres completes de Buffon avec les supplemens [sic], augmentees de la classification de G. Cuvier, et accompagnees de 700 vignettes gravees sur acier, representant au moins 900 animaux (Paris : P. Dumenil, 1835-1836)--because it's just not a zoological library without a set of the works of this premier French naturalist. Lastly, I'll point out Anatomie comparee du cerveau, dans les quatres classes des animaux vertebres by Etienne Renaud Augustin Serres (Paris : Gabon et compagnie; [etc., etc.], 1824-26), which is a classic work from this embryologist and comparative anatomist.

In the fun for all ages category, we have the children's book A description of some curious and uncommon creatures, omitted in the Description of three hundred animals, and likewise in the Supplement to that book; designed as an addition to those two treatises for the entertainment of young people. Compiled by the same hand (London, Printed for Richard Ware and Thomas Boreman, 1739). If kids could successfully read the title, they'd be treated to sixteen pretty pictures of animals. Nowadays, we have books with short snappy titles that run to 1,000 pages (Harry Potter, anyone?)

In the politically incorrect category, we have the offprint Contribution a l'anatomie des races negres : dissection d'un boschiman by Leo Testut ([Paris : Masson, 1884]), in which Testut really seems convinced that the primate called a "boschiman" was a member of the Bushmen peoples of Africa. Equally offensive to modern tastes is A philological essay concerning the pygmies of the ancients. By Edward Tyson ... A. D. 1699. New ed., with an introduction treating of pigmy races and fairy tales, by Bertram C. A. Windle (London : D. Nutt, 1894). There aren't many books that have as subject headings Dwarfs, Pygmies, and Fairies. Why keep these titles if the ideas they contain are so misleading? Precisely because they show modern readers how incomplete science bolstered mistaken views, and remind us all to be on our guard about the claims of 21st century scientists. A tendency to question authority can be a healthy habit.

Lastly, in the unexpected category, we have the exotic Un Chimpance Cubano by Dr. Louis Montane (Habana : "El Siglo XX", 1915); the topical (having just passed the anniversary of Pearl Harbor) A list of the mammals of the Japanese war area by G. H. H. Tate (New York : The American museum of natural history, 1944); and the wacky-sounding Do you speak Chimpanzee? An introduction to the study of the speech of animals and of primitive men, by Georg Schwidetsky (London : G. Routledge & sons, ltd., 1932). And Chimpanzee is much more complicated than pig latin.

There's lots more to see and explore in the historical collection of the Primate Center; for online exploration, all the books are cataloged in the OHSU Library Catalog. For real-time trips to visit the collection, contact library staff. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

"Anyway, I have the sword!!!!!"

Paging through the materials from yesterday's find to make an inventory, I didn't have much time to read the items at all, but I would be surprised if this letter didn't turn out to be the most entertaining piece. From Estella Ford Warner to Lucy Davis Phillips, Jan. 29, 1937, it begins: "I am sorry to be late in answering your inquiry about my possession of a sword."...
[Click on image for larger version]

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Women in Oregon medicine: additional records uncovered

It's quite cold in Portland this week, and I admit that an interest in staying up and active and in an environmentally-controlled storage room drove me to peek into some of the unprocessed boxes from a collection of materials recovered from a former library staff member. What I found there amounts to no less than a early Christmas present for scholars of the history of women physicians in Oregon.

The fat folder was labeled "Women doctor's [sic] (graduates) survey 1936/37"--which immediately tipped us off that these materials might have been gathered by Registrar Lucy Davis Phillips for her research on alumnae of both the Willamette University Medical Department and the University of Oregon Medical School (see Accession 2004-030). A handwritten note on an envelope within the folder suggests that the papers were loaned by Lucy to Dr. Mabel Akin, who then returned them to Librarian Bertha Hallam, who loaned them to Olof Larsell, PhD, who then returned them to the library at some point.

Apparently, this packet was never repatriated to the archives and had languished in damp conditions for at least twenty years (as far as we can tell). The result was the sort of collection that makes one glad for tetanus booster shots, with rust so thick it had become fuzzy and sticky. The weight of the papers above this folder in the large box had also caused some of the pages to adhere to one another. Luckily, mold had not yet set in.

So, what did Santa bring us? An inventory of the unarranged material follows. Be aware that many of the typescript pieces bear manuscript notations:

Publication. Program, 25th annual meeting of the UOMS Alumni Association, 1937, with Lucy's "History of Women Graduates of Oregon Medical School"

Manuscript, no title, no date. 8 pages. Apparent distillation of survey results.

Typescript. "Analysis of replies regarding financial returns"

Typescript. "Advice for prospective women medical students"

Typescript. Copy of editorial from Oregon Journal, "Need for Women in Medicine"

Clipping. "Oregon Medical School Graduate Pens Book on 'Women Doctors of the World'" by Bertha Hallam. MCMS Bulletin, 1957

Copy of typescript. "Dr. Esther Pohl Lovejoy" by Lucy D. Phillips. Feb. 10, 1940.

Publication. View, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound. Contains "Women in Medicine" by James Rigali. January 1980.

Photocopy of clipping. "Ex-official, Now 93, Visits" by Tom Stimmel. Oregon Journal, Aug. 6, 1963.

Publication. Esther Pohl Lovejoy, M.D.: founder and first president, Medical Women's International Association. MWIA Golden Jubilee Souvenir. 1970.

Typescript. "President's message." AMWA. January 1960.

Correspondence. Jessie Laird Brodie, AMWA President, to Officers, Regional Directors, State Directors, Branch Presidents, Standing Committee Chairmen. Manuscript corrections blurred and largely unreadable. 1959.

Correspondence. Esther Pohl Lovejoy to Mabel Akin. July 25, 1933. With letter from Anna Beckman to Akin, July 21, 1933, and typescript biographical sketch of Lovejoy.

Typescript, no title, no date. Preamble to listing of Oregon women medical graduates.

Correspondence. [Lucy Davis?] to Fred C. Zapffe, AAMC. Jan. 21, 1937. In re graduates LA Smith and Helena Scammon.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Martha Tracy, Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania. March 26, 1935.

Correspondence. Martha Tracy to Lucy Davis, April 4, 1935.

Correspondence. Myrtle C. Burnham, Washington State Normal School, to Lucy Phillips, Nov. 12, 1937. With letters from Phillips to MS Kuder, Registrar, Western Washington College of Education; to Myrtle Burnham; and to Mrs. Louis Frazee. All dated Nov. 17, 1937.

Correspondence. Estella Ford Warner to Lucy Davis, Jan. 29, 1937.

Typescript. Pages 4, 5, 7, of undated manuscript. Advice to women medical students.

Blank survey form.

Typescript. "Women Graduates - Willamette University Medical Department and the University of Oregon Medical School." Dec. 1936. (4 copies)

Photographic copy. Resolution of the War Service Committee, MWNA, June 1, 1917, authorizing Lovejoy to go to Europe as Committee representative.

Typescript. "Survey of women graduates, University of Oregon Medical School." Feb. 5, 1935.

Typescript. "University of Oregon Medical School Roster of Women Graduates by Classes." Feb. 8, 1937.

Typescript. "University of Oregon Medical School List of Women Graduates by Classes." no date.

Typescript. Chart. "Survey of women graduates, University of Oregon Medical School." Feb. 5, 1935.

Typescript. "Roster of University of Oregon Medical School Women Graduates by Classes." Feb. 8, 1937.

Typescript. "Division of Practice. For those still in active practice." no date.

Correspondence. Harriet Emigh Judy to Lucy Davis. Dec. 20, 1936.

Correspondence. Kate Campbell Mead to Lucy Davis. Dec. 25, 1936.

Correspondence. C. Gertrude French to Lucy Davis. Aug. 18, 1936.

Correspondence. M. McBride Getchell to Lucy Davis. Jan. 27, 1935.

Correspondence. C. Gertrude French to Lucy Davis. Aug. 31, 1936.

Correspondence. Marie M. Goffin to Lucy Davis. Oct. 1, 1936.

Correspondence. Harriet Emigh Judy to Lucy Davis. Dec. 11, [1936?].

Correspondence. Ruth H. Hubbert to Lucy Davis. Sept. 14, 1936. With photo of Bill Hubbert.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Edna Northey. April 2, 1935. With Northey to Davis, Mar. 27, 1935.

Correspondence. FV Cargill, AMA, to Lucy Davis. March 7, 1935. Three pages of directory information on women graduates.

Correspondence. Fred Zapffe, AAMC, to Lucy Davis. Jan. 26, 1937.

Correspondence. Belle H. Wilson to Lucy Davis. Aug. 13, 1936.

Correspondence. William C. Cutter, AMA, to Lucy Davis. Dec. 31, 1936.

Correspondence. Florence Aiken Banks to Lucy Davis. Dec. 22, 1936. In re Lucetta Smith.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Sara M. Hill. April 6, 1936.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Fred Zapffe. Dec. 18, 1936.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Gussie A. Niles, Dec. 18, 1936.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to LA Smith. Oct. 10, 1936. With letters to Davis from Marjorie J. Wilson, Oct. 2, 1936; Davis to Ila Laubach, Sept. 29 and Dec. 15, 1936; Davis to Wilson, Nov. 10, 1936, Davis to Edith Falbe, Nov. 10, 1936;

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Jessie B. Farrior, Feb. 24, 1937.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Mrs. Louis A. Banks. Dec. 18, 1936.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to William Cutter, Dec. 18, 1936.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Kate Campbell Mead, Dec. 18, 1936.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Ethel A. Schreiber, Dec. 18, 1936.

Typescript. "Unable to Trace." No date.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to FV Cargill, March 16, 1936.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Grace Young. Dec. 15, 1936.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Belle H. Wilson. Dec. 15, 1936.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Zola Morgan. Sept. 10, 1936.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Ruth Hughes Hubbert, Sept. 10, 1936.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Kate C. Mead. Jan. 20, 1937.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Mabel Akin. Jan. 5, 1937.

Correspondence. Mabel Akin to Lucy Davis. Jan. 4, 1937.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Martha Tracy. April 10, 1935.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Sarah Marquam Hill. Feb. 24, 1937.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Jessie B. Farrior. March 23, 1937.

Correspondence. Jessie B. Farrior to Lucy Davis, March 11, 1937.

Correspondence. Fred Zapffe to Lucy Davis. Dec. 23, 1936.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Kate C. Mead. Feb. 13, 1937.

Typescript. "In active practice." No date.

Completed survey response form from Minnie Burdon. No date.

Completed survey response forms, unsigned. 56 responses.

Typescript. "Survey of Women Graduates, University of Oregon Medical School, " Feb. 5, 1935.

Typescript. Two pages listing women graduates with notes on whereabouts.

Typescript. "Known deceased (1936)"

Typescript. Two pages of women graduates in active practice. No date.

Typescript. "Not in active practice." No date.

Typescript. "Survey of Women Graduates University of Oregon Medical School." Pages 2-3 only. Feb. 5, 1935.

Typescript. List of women graduates with manuscript note from JM McGavin. Sept. 11, 1936.

Typescript. "Analysis of replies regarding financial returns." No date.

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Martha Tracy. Feb. 15, 1926. With letter, Tracy to Davis, Dec. 18, 1925.

Typescript. List of women graduates with practice status. Dec. 1936?

Correspondence. Lucy Davis to Harriet Emigh Judy, Dec. 18, 1936.

Typescript. "Survey of records of woman [sic] graduates, University of Oregon Medical School." No date.

Typescript. List of women graduates with last known address. No date.

Correspondence. Kate Campbell Mead to Lucy Davis, Feb. 20, 1937.

Typescript. "Geographic location of those in active practice." Page 3 only. No date.

Manuscript. Possibly index to compiled data. No date.

Typescript. Graduates by year. No date.

Typescript. List of untraced graduates with notes on whereabouts.

Clipping. "Some reasons for belonging to the M.W.N.A." No date.

Publication. "Author's reference file of the books written by or about medical women" from the Medical Woman's Library of the Medical Woman's National Association. No date.

Publication. Journal of the Association of Medical Students. Feb. 1940.

Pad, quadrille ruled. Manuscript notes and charts. Begins with "University of Oregon Medical School Social Statistics for Registration of 1932-33 and 1933-34.

Manuscript. Dates of matriculation, place of birth, and preceptor information for women medical students. Possible copy of matriculation registers.

Notebook. Manuscript title: "Early Women Physicians of Oregon. Cardwell. Excerpted by K.C. Mead, January 1930." 44 leaves. Photo of Angela L. Ford Warren tipped in.

Publication. "List of hospitals approved by the American Medical Association for the training of women internes." May 1941.

Manuscript. Jessie M. McGavin, short autobiographical sketch, on her prescription note paper.

Clipping. "Dr. Ame H. Cardwell" by Amelia Ziegler. From The Medical Woman's Journal. No date.

Clipping. "Women Medics to Meet." With manuscript notes about Jessie McGavin. No date.

Correspondence. Angela L. Ford Warren to Mabel Akin. March 9, 1933.

Clipping. Notice of the estate of Bethenia Owens-Adair. 1927.

Manuscript. Short biography of Bethenia Owens-Adair. No date.

Correspondence. Mabel Akin to "Dear Doctor." Sept. 28, 1931. Invitation to join Medical Women's National.

Manuscript. Draft of speech? Medical education in America and Great Britain. 1 page.

Typescript. "Reasons for joining the Medical Women's National Association." No date.

Typescript. Report: "North Pacific Region" by Mabel Akin. No date.

Pamphlet. "Medical Women Pioneers. Founders of Hospitals & Medical Schools -- Civic & Social Leaders." No date.

Envelope. Addressed to M. Ada Henley. Contains small piece of paper with manuscript notes. No date.

Manuscript. Short sketches of five women graduates. No date.

Correspondence. Dora J. Underwood to Mabel Akin. Postmarked Mar. 28, 1933.

Correspondence. Bertha Hallam to Mabel Akin. Sept. 22, 1933.

Typescript. Biographical sketch of Belle Reinhart Ferguson on Amelia Ziegler's letterhead. No date.

Manuscript. List: "Some Women Physicians Not Written Up. 1/28/46."

Typescript. "Women graduates of the University of Oregon Medical School." May 5, 1927.

Typescript. Lists of women graduates. Dec. 1936.

Typescript. Biographical sketches of 16 women graduates. No date.

Typescript. "A Summary of Oregon Sterilization Law, Secs. 68-1401 to 68-1412, Oregon Code, 1930."

Correspondence. Esther Pohl Lovejoy to Mabel Akin. Postmarked May 15, 1934. With miscellaneous manuscript notes and clippings.

Manuscript. Biographical sketches of nine women graduates.

Miscellaneous loose news clippings.

Miscellaneous loose manuscript notes.

Monday, December 07, 2009

More from Meyer: hoaxes, poetry, games, etc.

On Friday, E. Alan Meyer, PhD, handed over an accrual to the collection of his papers, originally donated in late summer.

The meat of the day's haul are folders containing every reprint, paper abstract, and scientific report from Meyer's 51-year research career. We also got a copy of the book Meyer co-authored with Romanian colleague Simona Radulescu, Parazitologie medicala (Bucharest, Editura ALL, 1994)--which is unrecorded in WorldCat, so it may be unique to American libraries.

But if the research is the meat, then the rest of the material we took in must be the delightful garnishes--radishes carved as roses, cucumber boats, perhaps even a butter lamb with clove eyes and a red ribbon round his neck.

In 2002, Meyer self-published Bingo Anagram Headlines, with the tagline: "Imagine a world in which every news headline is a Bingo anagram!" Some examples include "Lingcods scolding straying stingray" and "Moorhens + Hormones = Horniest Ornithes". For conservators out there, we even have "Regluing is Grueling!" A great fan of word games, Meyer also printed out his lifetime (to date) record in Scrabble tournaments and a few of his published poems.

Meyer is also something of a practical joker, has been since he was a young man. On his tour of duty as a cryptographer in the Azores during the Second World War, Meyer decided to have a little fun with the military's plan to detonate unused dynamite on the island. He fabricated a wire report from the Royal Observatory Greenwich noting that "Officials of Greenwich Observatory today reported unusual earth tremors occuring regularly for the past few days. The Observatory explained that slight shocks probably originated under the ocean off Portugal and the seismograph had recorded numerous tremors of short duration. Experts added that earthquakes are known to occur in cycles but that cycles of such short duration are classified as very unusual phenomena." His audience bought it: we have a copy of the short notice that ran in Life magazine shortly afterwards.

Wordsmith, parasitologist, prankster. Add library booster: all the materials were delivered in a tote from the Newberg Public Library, on whose board Meyer serves.