Friday, October 15, 2010

Announcing Fall Exhibit

Art Prints from Editions Medicina Rara

For those who are able to make an on-site visit to the exhibits from the OHSU Historical Collections & Archives, you are familiar with my style of assemblage. With two relatively small cases in which to exhibit, I usually fit as much into them as they will hold, while working to lead the viewer to our remarkable and rich collections.

Surprisingly, I have installed an austere exhibit this month to draw a more focused attention to three of the Editions Medicina Rara print folios that are held in our historical manuscript collection. The exhibit will rotate images two to three times a week.

The first display features the "fantasmic" and startling pen and ink drawings of American artist, Leonard Baskin, "Ars Anatomica".

The second rotation will highlight the garish and certainly vulgar caricatures of English artist, Thomas Rowlandson, "The Doctor Dissected".

The third and final display will stage the provocative and alluring paintings of India's ancient schools of art (16th-17th c.) "Healing and Health Care in India".

I hope that you will be able to come to the exhibit weekly to see the full spectrum of prints, but for those who cannot, an online component will be forthcoming. Please visit our Exhibits web page to see the past and present exhibits from the OHSU Historical Collections & Archives.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

And where would we be without technology? And where are we with it?

An exciting new shipment recently came to Historical Collections & Archives: the Ion Tape 2 PC.

This top of the line device will allow HC&A to transfer the content recorded on audio tapes to digital files. Preservation of audio recordings is very tricky, and magnetic tapes are susceptible to quality loss every time they are played as the tape gets stretched and thins. Moreover, how long will it be until one can no longer purchase an audio tape player that functions properly?

Our Ion Tape 2 PC will enable Karen, our archivist, and others to make audio recordings more widely accessible to our visitors. It will also help us save valuable information that, in the future, might be inaccessible due to technologies that are obsolete. The first request we've already gotten, for which we will use this machine, came from none other than the NIH! The Dr. Roy Hertz oral history interview will be transferred from a magnetic tape to a digital audio file.

Dr. Hertz was many things in medicine. He was involved in the development of chemotherapy techniques as well as the first birth control pill.You can read more about Dr. Hertz's accomplishments in one of our older blog posts.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Visual Allure of History

Last week we had a visit from a local portrait photographer and historical object enthusiast, Jake Shivery. He wanted to use the alluring background of the History of Medicine room's beautiful wood bookcases for one of his portraits.
Shivery himself, uses a historical artifact to make his portraits.You'll notice in the image below the photographer behind a large format Deardorff 8x10 camera.

While we don't have any Deardorff cameras over in HC&A, we do own a few interesting pieces of equipment that have been used for medical imaging. Take, for instance, the Coreco portable camera, which was used in operating rooms. It's part of the Medical Museum Collection. In this collection as well is an old stereoscope. You can view any of these items by making an appointment; and maybe even view some of the stereoptic slides showing dermatological conditions.