Friday, December 30, 2011
Founded in 1961, Physicians for Social Responsibility is a a leading advocate for environmental health and nuclear disarmament. The organization's Oregon chapter was founded in 1982 by a group of health care professionals concerned with the health threats of nuclear war. Today, the chapter also addresses issues such as global warming, environmental toxins, and food safety.
For the last few months, Karen has been collaborating with the Oregon chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility to develop our upcoming exhibit, Celebrating 30 Years of Work for a Healthy and Peaceful World. During this process, we also began working with Oregon PSR's leadership to establish an archival collection of their organizational records here in HC&A. Our mission to preserve the history of medicine in the Pacific Northwest makes this a natural partnership, as does our holding of a complementary collection of the papers of Dr. Charles Grossman, a leader in Oregon PSR. The first accession has already arrived, and Oregon PSR has put a call out to their membership to contribute additional materials to the collection.
We commend Oregon PSR's leadership for recognizing the significance of their records - not only to the history of the organization, but also to the history of our region. We are excited to be working with Oregon PSR to preserve these important records of Oregon's environmental and social history.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Happy holidays from Historical Collections & Archives!
Blog posting will be light for the next two weeks as we take time to spend with family and friends. We will be open as usual for walk-in hours on Thursdays from 12:00-3:00.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Arne Solberg (pictured above left, with Richard Farnsworth and M. Lowell Edwards), worked as a machinist for Edwards. Mr. Solberg discusses in detail the innovative technical processes that led to the success of the Starr-Edwards valve.
Jeri Dobbs is a perfusionist who began working for Dr. Albert Starr in 1966. In his interview, he shares vivid memories of working on Starr's research team.
Both subjects were interviewed by Rich Mullins, MD. I'm looking forward to working with Dr. Mullins and producer Matt Simek to add more interviews to this project. Historical Collections & Archives will preserve DVDs and transcripts of interviews, as well as administrative records of the project.
An interview with Dr. Albert Starr is also available as part of the OHSU Oral History Program. The recording and transcript can be checked out from the Main Library.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Dr. Hunter is Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery, and is also an active member of the OHSU History of Medicine Society, which supports the lecture series managed by HC&A. As an honorary fellow of the college, Dr. Hunter joins an international group of over 17,000 Fellows and Members.
Tracing its roots to 1505, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is one of the oldest surgical societies in the world. Since that time, it has been dedicated to maintaining and promoting the highest standards of surgical practice. The college is also committed to preserving its long history through the Surgeons' Hall Museums, which itself is historic - founded in 1832, it is Scotland's oldest museum.
HC&A joins the rest of the university in congratulating Dr. Hunter on this honor!
Thursday, December 08, 2011
BOOK: Hippocrates, Aphorisms, 1638
BOOK: Works of Galen
LECTURE: Arabic medicine
BOOKS: Rhazes, A Treatise on the Small-Pox and Measles
Maimonides, A Treatise on Poisons and their Antidotes
Hunayn ibn Ishaq, The Book of the Ten Treatises on the Eye
LECTURE: The Middle Ages
BOOK: I missed out on this one, but had hoped to bring:
Guglielmo da Saliceto, The Surgery of William of Saliceto
Leonard Rosenman, A Medieval Surgical Pharmacopeia and Formulary
LECTURE: The Renaissance
BOOK: Andreas Vesalius, De humani corporis fabrica
LECTURE: The English Humanists
BOOK: John Caius, The Works of John Caius, M.D.
LECTURE: William Harvey
BOOK: William Harvey, The Works of William Harvey
LECTURE: Willis, Sydenham and Leeuwenhoek
BOOK: Thomas Willis, Pharmaceutice rationalis
I'll change some of these selections in the future, based on what the students seemed to respond to best. In a couple cases I'll also be making different selections that complement the lecture content a little more closely.
Monday, December 05, 2011
Richard J. Mullins, M.D. was interviewed by Don D. Trunkey, M.D. Dr. Mullins discussed his mentors and role models, his role in developing the Oregon trauma care system, and his military service during the Iraq War. He and Dr. Trunkey also had an insightful, theoretical discussion about the future of trauma care.
Brian Druker, M.D. was interviewed by Edward J. Keenan, Ph.D. It was fascinating to learn the personal story behind Dr. Druker's revolutionary research in oncology. We learned about his motivation to pursue cancer research, his decision to leave the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for OHSU, and the development of the pathbreaking drug Gleevec.
Many thanks to the interviewees for sharing their experiences so openly and thoughtfully, to the interviewers for their engaged and informed questions, and to all for taking time out of their busy schedules to contribute to this program.
Our friends at Pacific Standard Television will complete production of the video interviews, and then they're off to the transcriptionist. Then it's back to the library to be processed for our collections. Completed transcripts will be available from HC&A upon request. DVDs of the interviews, along with indexed transcripts, will be processed for the OHSU Main Library's collection. Please see our Website for a complete inventory and index of interviews completed for the OHSU Oral History Program.
Friday, December 02, 2011
Willis, Thomas. Pharmaceutice Rationalis, or, An Exercitation of the Operations of Medicines in Humane Bodies: Shewing the Signs, Causes, and Cures of Most Distempers Incident Thereunto ; in Two Parts ; As Also a Treatise of the Scurvy, and the Several Sorts Thereof, with Their Symptoms, Causes, and Cure. London: Printed for T. Dring, C. Harper, and J. Leigh : 1679.
Thomas Willis (1621-1675) was an English physician who co-founded the Royal Society and made important advances in anatomy and neurology, among other fields. This is the first English edition of his last work. Pharmaceutice rationalis is one of the major English works on pharmacology, and also contains observations on diabetes that contributed greatly to endocrinology. I also made sure to show the medical students the section where Willis discusses the effects of what was then a new and trendy beverage: coffee.
Our copy of this book carries the very snazzy bookplate of Otto Orren Fisher:
Dr. Fisher was a scientist and book collector who lived in Detroit. His collection was dispersed, and books he once owned can now be found in many museums and libraries.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Funding will support a six-month project that will include the development of a Web presentation of the library's collections related to Lowell Edwards, providing longevity for our current exhibition, educating the public about M. Lowell Edwards, and providing online access to selected materials in our collections. Historical Collections & Archives staff will collaborate with staff in the library's Content Management & Systems department to complete this project. The award will also fund the production of a booklet to publicize the library's resources on M. Lowell Edwards, and the preservation of the Jeri L. Dobbs Collection of heart valve prototypes.
This news came on the heels of the announcement of a grant from LSTA to fund the Isabel McDonald Library's digitization project, which HC&A will also support. All of us in HC&A are looking forward to not one but two exciting grant projects in 2012!
Monday, November 21, 2011
-- Rich Mullins, M.D. has been mentioned many times on this blog in the past year, mainly for his collaboration with us on our exhibit on M. Lowell Edwards. But I also want to recognize his unflagging support for HC&A and commitment to preserving the history of medicine in Oregon.
-- All the university staff who have helped out with upgrades to security in HC&A space, especially Brad and Joseph from the Lock Shop, and Valerie Fishler from Library Administration. Thank you for understanding our security needs and coming up with creative solutions to keep our collections safe!
-- Matt Simek and Teresa Bergen, respectively the producer and transcriber for the OHSU Oral History Program. Without their energy, reliability and outstanding communication, our oral history program would probably just be a wish list of interviewees and a mountain of untranscribed recordings!
-- Morgen Young of Alder LLC, the consulting historian on the OHSU Diversity Wall project. As well as being an outstanding researcher to work with, Morgen ensured that the Diversity Wall highlighted our collections and represented HC&A as the source for university history.
-- And of course, all the wonderful donors who have given books and archival material for our collections. This year we made important additions to our collections through the generosity of university faculty, alumni and their families, members of the Portland-area medical community, and other health sciences libraries. All of these donors chose HC&A as the new home for their treasures, and we couldn't be more flattered and pleased.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
The Oregon National Primate Research Center’s Isabel McDonald Library has been awarded a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the Oregon State Library. The grant supports digitization of a selection of rare books on primatology from the McDonald Library’s collection. Staff of the Isabel McDonald Library will collaborate with OHSU Library staff to complete this project. Grant funding will begin in February 2012, with the project to be completed in a 12-month period.
We in Historical Collections & Archives are very proud to support the McDonald Library’s in this project, and are looking forward to participating in this collaborative effort.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Isabel G. McDonald was Librarian at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center from 1961-1990. She was instrumental in growing the library's collection of books on primatology, including the development of a unique rare books collection. She also introduced online searching and interlibrary loan networking to the institution. On her retirement, the library was renamed the Isabel McDonald Library.
The transcript will be cataloged for the PNW Collection and available for research in HC&A. A separate interview with Isabel McDonald was conducted for the OHSU Oral History Program in 1997. The transcript and recording are both available at the Main Library.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Jackson, Charles T. A Manual of Etherization: Containing Directions for the Employment of Ether, Chloroform, and Other Anaesthetic Agents by Inhalation, in Surgical Operations, Intended for Military and Naval Surgeons, and All Who May Be Exposed to Surgical Operations; with Instructions for the Preparation of Ether and Chloroform, and for Testing Them for Impurities. Comprising, Also, a Brief History of the Discovery of Anaesthesia. Boston: J. B. Mansfield, 1861.
This book contains Charles T. Jackson's claim to his discovery of anesthesia, and also includes chapters on the administration of ether and its effects. Of the major claimants to the discovery of anesthesia, Jackson was easily the least credible. He also claimed to have invented the telegraph and guncotton, and to have discovered the digestive processes of the stomach before Beaumont.
Our copy of this book contains two interesting inscriptions:
The second inscription:
This would be William Warren Fellows, (1835-1920) who was an engineer with Bangor's city waterworks, and a leader in the Bangor Historical Society.
Jackson's claim to the discovery of etherization will be cataloged for our rare book collections and available for research in Historical Collections & Archives.
Friday, November 04, 2011
During our first visit with Dr. Grandy, Karen and I were treated to a guided tour of his busy lab. The Grandy Lab conducts research on dopamine signaling in the brain, and has also identified three previously unknown signaling systems.
We look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Grandy to preserve the records of his research in the university archives.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Flagg, Josiah F. The Family Dentist; Containing a Brief Description of the Structure, Formation, Diseases, and Treatment of the Human Teeth. Boston: J. W. Ingraham, 1822.
Worldcat shows 33 other copies, with only 2 other copies on the West Coast (at UCLA and UCSF).
Josiah Foster Flagg (1788-1853) was the son of Josiah Flagg (1763-1816), who is known as "the first native-born American dentist." The younger Flagg studied medicine in Boston under Dr. John Collins Warren. Flagg practiced a variety of professions, including medicine and anatomical illustration, before settling on dentistry. He devoted much of his career to improving dental technology and educating the public about dental care. Flagg and his brother John Foster Brewster Flagg (also a dentist) were both involved in the controversy surrounding the discovery of etherization in the mid-19th century.
Flagg's book is aimed not at dentists or students, but at a popular audience. He describes his purpose as "1. To give, in as few words as possible, a clear description of the structure and formation of the teeth...2. To give a brief sketch of the most common diseases to which the teeth are liable; together with such directions, relative to their treatment and preservation, as shall enable the reader to take the necessary care of his own teeth...3. To guard against the injurious practice of ignorant operators."
The book includes a striking frontispiece, probably created by Flagg himself. The text describes it as "a representation of the bones of the face, in which the first and second sets of teeth are so exposed as to show their relative situation in both jaws, as they are found in a child at about the age of six or seven years."
This title will be cataloged for our History of Dentistry collection, where it will join many other works by Josiah F. Flagg, and one by John Foster Brewster Flagg.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Tomorrow's History of Medicine class is another great opportunity to bring rare books to our students. For the lecture on Renaissance medicine, I'm bringing one of the highlights of our collections, a 1555 edition of Andreas Vesalius's De humani corporis fabrica. I also invited library staff to drop in and visit the book while we have it on hold for class - I was delighted to share it with some colleagues who had heard we had this monument of Western medicine, but had never seen it themselves.
As Sara noted in 2007, something that often seems to impress viewers of rare books is the condition and quality of the paper. Many are surprised to find that you can easily turn the pages without doing any damage. Our centuries-old Vesalius, while not in tip-top condition, has held up much better than, say, your average 1950s paperback book - primarily due to the quality of the paper they were each printed on.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Wolfgangs Von Kempelen, Mechanismus der menschlichen Sprache nebst der Beschreibung seiner sprechenden Maschine.
Wolfgang von Kempelen (1734-1804) was a Hungarian inventor best-known for the infamous chess-playing automaton known as "The Turk," and revealed to be an elaborate hoax. However, Kempelen also conducted legitimate, pioneering research on phonetics and speech synthesis. His 1791 Mechanismus der menschlichen Sprache nebst Beschreibung einer sprechenden Maschine (translated as The Mechanism of Human Speech, with a Description of a Speaking Machine) describes in detail his design for a human voice synthesizer, as well as his research on the human vocal tract.
The book itself is owned by Richard W. Sproat, Professor at OHSU's Center for Spoken Language Understanding. Prof. Sproat made this project possible by kindly loaning this book to the library on a long-term basis. Bibliographic information is available via the library catalog.
I'd like to acknowledge the efforts of several different OHSU Library staff members for their work on this project. Sara Piasecki, former Head of Historical Collections & Archives, arranged with Prof. Sproat for the loan of this important book to the library. Karen Peterson collaborated with Prof. Sproat, as well as with HC&A assistant Jeff Colby and Cataloging and Metadata Librarian Friday Valentine to scan the item and create metadata. And we are especially grateful to Friday for shepherding us through the challenges of compound objects in CONTENTdm!
A demonstration of a reconstruction of Kempelen's speaking machine can be seen in this video from Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Dr. Chaplin's outstanding presentation was the first in our 2011/2012 OHSU History of Medicine Society lecture series. It was a spectacular kickoff to this year's program.
Please refer to our Website for a full list of HOM Society lectures, which include videos for lectures given from 2005 to the present.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
This public exhibit draws on historical research conducted by Richard J. Mullins, M.D., Professor of Surgery at OHSU. Bringing together archival material from OHSU Historical Collections & Archives with items loaned by the family of M. Lowell Edwards, the exhibit highlights this Oregonian's work in co-inventing the Starr-Edwards heart valve.
The exhibit is on view from October through December 2011 and is open to the public. It is located on the OHSU campus, BICC building 3rd floor, Main Library lobby.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Curated by digital archivist Jennifer Welch, Mysterious Show Globes of the Apothecary presents some exquisite examples of these symbols of the profession, along with well-researched text. I enjoyed the debunking of myths surrounding the history of show globes, and also appreciated the use of pharmaceutical supply catalogs as supporting materials.
I did some searching, and while our museum collection contains plenty of pharmacy-related items, it doesn't appear that we have any examples of these beautiful artifacts. Our History of Medicine collection includes an 1890 pharmaceutical and chemical supply catalog from Peter van Schaak & Sons. HC&A and the Main Library also hold many books on the history of pharmacy, which can be searched in our catalog.
Friday, October 07, 2011
Thursday, October 06, 2011
"Doctors and the Death of History”
Guest speaker: Simon Chaplin, Ph.D.
Friday, October 7, 2011
Public lecture: 12:15pm
Refreshments served at noon
Location: Old Library Auditorium
Dr. Simon Chaplin is Head of the Wellcome Library. Located in London, England, the library is one of the world’s leading research centers for the history of medicine and the medical humanities. Since joining the Wellcome Library in 2010, Dr. Chaplin has been responsible for leading a major digitization program focusing on the history of genetics, which will form the pilot for the full-scale digitization of the library’s collections. Prior to joining the Wellcome Library, Dr. Chaplin was Director of Museums and Special Collections at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, where he led the 2005 refurbishment of the Hunterian Museum, a collection based on the anatomical museum of the eighteenth-century surgeon John Hunter. Dr. Chaplin’s received a B.A. in natural sciences from Cambridge University (1991), and a Ph.D. in history from King’s College, London (2009), completing a dissertation on the history of anatomical museums. Dr. Chaplin is a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London, was the Hunterian Orator for the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 2010, and was also elected a fellow of the college’s dental faculty.
The lecture is free and open to the public. If you have a disability and need an accommodation to attend or participate in this event please contact Maija Anderson (503-418-2287) at least five business days prior to the event.
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Oregon's M. Lowell Edwards
This public exhibit draws on historical research conducted by Richard J. Mullins, M.D., Professor of Surgery at OHSU. Bringing together archival material from OHSU Historical Collections & Archives with items loaned by the family of M. Lowell Edwards, the exhibit highlights this Oregonian's work in co-inventing the Starr-Edwards heart valve. The exhibit will be on display on the 3rd floor of OHSU's Main Library from October-December 2011.
The exhibit is currently being installed in BICC in preparation for opening next week.