Monday, May 03, 2010

Something to look at: new donation of ophthalmology texts

As we briefly alluded to in an earlier post, we've been awaiting the arrival of a large donation of books on ophthalmology, neuro-ophthalmology, and related fields, which was being shipped to us from Los Angeles. While most of the contents of one of the nine boxes went AWOL somewhere between Southern California and northern Oregon, the resulting haul is nevertheless quite impressive. Fifty-six volumes have been selected for addition to the collections here--many of them new to the consortium of Oregon and Washington academic libraries, Orbis Cascade Alliance.

The earliest of the titles is Henry Rosborough Swanzy's "Eye-diseases and eye-symptoms in their relation to organic diseases of the brain and spinal cord." Though it lacks a proper title page (being an extract from a larger work), we find, through the magic of WorldCat, a date of 1899. The top figure shown here from the Swanzy is illustrative of how we feel after many a long day in the archive.

One of the scarcest of the titles is G. Offret's Les myosites orbitales (1939), for which I find no American holdings. The illustrations are quite nice (and two in full color), but the publisher's emblem on the rear cover, shown here, was most appealing in its art deco simplicity.

One of the oddest finds was Neuro-ophthalmology now! edited by J. Lawton Smith. A perfectly standard text, judging by the table of contents and the editor's preface ("One will find here an overview by many eminent contributors..."). However, the editor took the opportunity of a (somewhat) captive audience, using his Foreword on page xvii to digress on the meaning and import of Mark 13 and to advertise his "small book," A Physician's Faith, of which we find but one single copy in American libraries. The foreword is provided here below in its entirety for curious readers.

Other titles include the first edition of Ragnar Granit's Sensory mechanisms of the retina (1947), four works by the Swiss ophthalmologist Otto Haab (1900-1905), and Pierre Lagrange's Atlas d'ophtalmoscopie de guerre (1918). All of these additions will make their way through the cataloging pipeline and into the book collections over time; as always, feel free to contact us if you have specific questions on any of our materials.

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