Friday, December 30, 2011

Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility collection

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

Holiday greetings

Happy holidays from Historical Collections & Archives!

Above: A snowman visits campus. Sara found this photograph in the University News & Publications collection, and shared it for the 2006 holidays.

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

Starr-Edwards oral history project

Historical Collections & Archives is participating in a new oral history project that will collect first-hand accounts of the development of the Starr-Edwards heart valve. We recently received DVDs of the first two interviews in this project:

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

John Hunter, MD elected to Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

We heard last week that OHSU's own John Hunter, MD was made an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

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

Round-up of history of medicine books in the classroom

This fall I've been posting about books that I've brought to the History of Medicine I course, a weekly lecture given in the School of Medicine by Dr. Lynn Loriaux. Before each lecture, I do a short book talk tailored to the audience of first-year medical students. Rare and fragile items are displayed on a podium during the lecture, and I stay afterwards to answer questions and guide the students as they inspect the books. But whenever possible, I bring non-rare items that are appropriate for the students to pass around and browse through freely during the lecture.

The final lecture of the term was last week. This week I'm posting a round-up of the books I selected for each class - partly as a memory aid for me next year, but also for of other librarians out there who are interested in teaching with primary sources. I've included a link to a bib record or blog post for more information on each item.

LECTURE: Ancient Greece
BOOK: Karl Kerenyi, Asklepios: Archetypal Image of the Physician's Existence

LECTURE: Hippocrates
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.

Teaching with primary resources is an emerging competency for archivists and special collections librarians. I recently joined the Teaching with Primary Resources Working Group of the Reference, Access and Outreach Section of SAA, and in 2012 I'll be looking for more opportunities to bring our collections into a classroom setting.

Monday, December 05, 2011

OHSU Oral History Program - interviews with Dr. Richard Mullins and Dr. Brian Druker

Last Wednesday we kicked off production of two exciting new additions to the OHSU Oral History Program:

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

Thomas Willis in the classroom

Here's the next installation of a series of posts about books I've been bringing to the History of Medicine I class, including editions of Vesalius, Galen, and Hippocrates. This week's History of Medicine I lecture covered a lot of ground - Leeuwenhoek, Thomas Willis, and Thomas Sydenham. I had a few different choices of what to bring for this class, and decided on a recent acquisition made in 2009.

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

Historical Collections & Archives receives Edwards Lifesciences Fund award

We are proud to announce that Historical Collections & Archives has received an award from the Edwards Lifesciences Fund to complete a public history project on M. Lowell Edwards, co-inventor of the Starr-Edwards heart valve.

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

Giving thanks

Historical Collections & Archives will be closed this Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday. I'd like to thank those in the campus community and beyond who have gone the extra mile to support HC&A programs:

-- 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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Isabel McDonald Library awarded LSTA grant

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

MLA Oral History Project interview with Isabel G. McDonald

We just received a transcript of an interview with Isabel G. McDonald, conducted for the Medical Library Association's Oral History Project. Active since 1977, this program supports the study of health sciences librarianship, and the history of the MLA.

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

As told by Josephi

It was October 7th when I posted about my visit with James Hawthorne Beck, great grandson of the famous James C. Hawthorne. I mentioned then that I would post some highlights from the interview that Fred Lockley, reporter with the Oregon Journal, conducted with Dr. Simeon Josephi on September 1, 1926. I have been feeling remiss since a month has passed since my promise. So instead of highlights, I decided to transcribe the interview for your reading pleasure. Besides information about Josephi, our first Dean, you will read here a bit of history about Portland, Hawthorne, the Insane Hospital and much more.


Lockley: "Here begins an installment story of the career of a poineer physician of Portland, who came hither in 1867. A second chapter forthcoming.

Dr. S. E. Josephi is, in point of service, dean of the medical profession of Portland. When I interviewed him recently, at his office in the Corbett Building, he said:"

Josephi: "I was born in New York city on December 3, 1849. My father, Edward Josephi, with his brothers Henry and Isaac, conducted a wholesale jewelry establishment in Maiden Lane. My father was born at what was then St. Petersburg but is now Leningrad, Russia. My mother's maiden name was Mendoza. Her parents were Spanish but she was born in England. You can see that I am a product of that melting pot. There were eight of us children. I have five sisters and two brothers. I went to school to Professor Quackenbos. He had a private school in New York city at that time and was the author of an arithmetic that was very popular. Later I attended the public schools of New York city and still later the New York college. I secured work as a clerk in a wholesale hat house.

My oldest brother, David Josephi, had gone to San Francisco as manager of the San Francisco branch of the I & S Josephi & Co., wholesale jewelers. In 1866, when I was 17 years old, I had a bad attack of wanderlust. I wanted to see the world, so I went out to San Francisco to visit my brother David. After I had been in San Francisco about six months Dr. Loryea of Portland dropped in to visit my brother David. David introduced me to Dr. Loryea, who inquired as to my plans. When he learned that I was a clerk and understood bookkeeping, he said 'Dr. J. C. Hawthorne and myself have the contract from the state for the care of the insane. Our hospital is in Portland. If you want to come up to Portland and take a look around and see if you like the country, you can work for us keeping books and doing clerical work.' I agreed to go to Portland and work for Drs. Loryea and Hawthorne for six months.

I will never forget my introduction to Portland. I came up aboard the Oriflamme, Ben Holladay's favorite steamer and flagship. We reached Portland on the evening of February 4, 1867. For a day or two there had been a continuous rain storm. The river was high, the wind was blowing a gale, and when the captain got the hawser out to draw us into the dock it snapped and we drifted back into the stream. Once more the hawser was attached to the dock, and again the wind and current snapped it, so we dropped anchor and stayed out in the stream until morning. Next morning I was met by an attendant from the hospital and taken by horse and buggy across Stark street steam ferry to East Portland and driven to the hospital. In those days the ferry ran only during daylight. If you wanted to cross the Willamette to Portland after dusk you stood on the bank and called across to the ferryman, who came over in a rowboat to get you.

I had not worked at the asylum long until Dr. Hawthorne suggested that I take up the study of medicine. At that time the practice was that a physician must study one year under a preceptor and spend two years at college before he could secure his medical degree. Dr. Hawthorne was a very capable physician and a very likeable man. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1819. He graduated from the Medical University at Louisville, KY. In 1850 he located in Auburn, Placer county, California, where he was engaged in general practice but also in hospital work. He served as state senator from Placer county for two terms. In 1857 he came to Portland and engaged in practice. The following year he was given a contract by the county commissioners to take charge of the county hospital. Govenor Whiteaker gave him the contract to care for Oregon's insane. For 21 years he had charge of the Oregon hospital for the insane. He was a specialist in nervous diseases, having made a deep study along this line and also of the treatment of the insane.

I worked as a clerk at the hospital for the insane for two years, putting in my spare time studying medicine. Dr. Hawthorne, who had the contract for the county hospital also, maintained this hospital in the rear of the buiding in which the insane patients were quartered. There were usually from half a dozen to a dozen patients in the county hospital, so this gave me some clinical opportunites. In 1869 I went back to New York city to take my medical course at Bellevue. I was unable to arrange my financial affairs to be able to graduate, so I returned to Portland, resuming my work at the hospital. In 1869 there were several banks in Portland, among them the bank of Oregon, of which Ladd & Tilton were the proprietors; the Bank of British Columbia; the First National Bank; the bank of Wells Fargo & Co., and on the east side of the river, to what was then the city of East Portland, was the bank of Stephens & Loryea. On account of my familiarity with bookkeeping methods and accounts, Dr. Loryea offered me a position in the bank. I divided my time between my work for Dr. Hawthorne in the hospital and my work at the bank. Later I took a postion with Hamilton Boyd, agent for the well-known insurance company. While working for Mr. Boyd I took a course in commercial law.

I still continued my medical studies from 5 a.m. till breakfast, put in the day at my work, and resumed my study in the evening. When I had saved sufficient money to see me through college, I went to San Francisco and entered Toland Medical school, which later became the nedical department of the University of California. I graduated in 1877, 49 years ago. Dr. Hawthorne offered me a place as assistant physician of the hospital. I accepted this place, and when Dr. Hawthorne died, in February, 1881, I became medical superintendent of the hospital, continuing in this position till 1883 when the insane patients were removed to a building that had been erected in Salem." ........................................................................................................................................

The second and final installment coming up next Friday.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Charles T. Jackson's A Manual of Etherization

I posted last week about Josiah P. Flagg's The Family Dentist, a new acquisition for our History of Dentistry collection. I mentioned that Flagg and his brother were both involved in disputes around the discovery of etherization in the mid-19th century (Massachusetts General Hospital's "A Celebration of Ether" includes a short summary of the ether controversy). Another recent acquisition is an artifact of this fascinating moment in medical history.

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:

"Charles Roberts Esq / Editor Bangor Evening Times / with the respects of the publisher"

Some quick internet research reveals that the book's first owner was Charles Phelps Roberts (1822-1914). Phelps graduated from Bowdoin College and practiced law before turning his attention to journalism. He edited several different newspapers in Bangor during the 1850s-1860s. He also wrote poems! His "The Sleep of Nature" is in an anthology of Maine poets on Google books.

The second inscription:

"W W Fellows / Bangor / Maine"

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

David K. Grandy papers

This week we received our first donation of papers of David K. Grandy, Ph.D., Professor in the Physiology and Pharmacology Department. Dr. Grandy's research focuses on neurotransmitters, with the goal of developing new drugs to treat drug addiction and mental illness. His work also seeks to raise awareness of the biological causes of mental illness, reducing the social stigma faced by its victims.

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

Josiah P. Flagg's The Family Dentist

We're fortunate to have recently acquired a copy of one of the earliest American books on dentistry.

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

Vesalius in the classroom

Frontispiece, De humani corporis fabrica

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

Kempelen digitized!

We're very pleased to announce the completion of our latest digitization project:

Wolfgangs Von Kempelen, Mechanismus der menschlichen Sprache nebst der Beschreibung seiner sprechenden Maschine.

Illustration, page 110

The digitized book is available to the public online via our Digital Resources Library.

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 Saarbr├╝cken, Germany.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Simon Chaplin's "Doctors and the Death of History" lecture video

Video of Simon Chaplin's "Doctors and the Death of History" lecture is now available on our Website!

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

New exhibit: Oregon's M. Lowell Edwards: Co-Inventor of the Starr-Edwards Heart Valve

OHSU Library's Historical Collections & Archives is pleased to announce the exhibit Oregon's M. Lowell Edwards: Co-Inventor of the Starr-Edwards Heart Valve.

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

Apothecary show globes at the Waring Historical Library

The Waring Historical Library of the Medical University of South Carolina just launched a fascinating online exhibit of apothecary's show globes.

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

It's Foundational

J. C. Hawthorne and S. E. Josephi

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting with James Hawthorne Beck, great-grandson and namesake of the famous Dr. James C. Hawthorne (1819-1881), the first neurologist on the Pacific Coast. In 1862, Hawthorne and his associate, Dr. A. M. Loryea, founded the first mental hospital in Oregon, and called it the Insane Hospital.

Mr. Beck, who for a time was a chemist at the University of Oregon Medical School, donated some interesting materials to us some years back and here he was again with more stories to tell and a sheath of paper in his hand. I fidgeted in my seat, clasping my hands in my lap as he waved it about. You see, Mr. Beck probably knows more about the lives of these two gentlemen, or so he claims, than anyone else on this earth, so I knew it would be a good conversation and that he held some interesting materials, as well.

Great-grandfather Hawthorne was closely tied to our first dean, Simeon Edward Josephi (1849-1935), who became a prominent physician and civic leader in Portland. Josephi came to Portland and began his career as a protege of Hawthorne working as a bookeeper at the Insane Hospital. After working eight years in the business office, he decided to study medicine and graduated from the Toland Medical College in San Francisco in 1877. Returning to Portland once again, he took a position with Hawthorne as an assistant physician, where he focused on nervous and mental diseases. When the Willamette University Medical Department moved to Portland in 1878, he joined the faculty. When Hawthorne died in 1881, Josephi took over the hospital until it's closure in 1883.

Josephi turned to general practice and in 1884, he helped to organize the Portland Medical Society that later became the Multnomah County Medical Society, and the Portland Academy of Medicine in 1906, serving as president in both societies. He served two terms as State Senator, and was a member of the State Board of Pardons, served on the Portland Water Commission and was treasurer of Good Samaritan Hospital for thirty-six years. In 1885, he was appointed superintendent of the Oregon Insane Asylum in Salem but resigned the following year to return to Portland. He was to play an important role in the formation of the University of Oregon Medical Department, established in 1887. He became its first dean and professor of nervous and mental diseases. He retired after twenty-five years of service as dean emeritus in 1912.

Oh, yes... upon this rock!

I forgot! I was going to talk about what Mr. Beck brought us but the introduction to the subject has become exceedingly long and, I hope, exceedingly interesting. I will just say that the sheath of papers held tight in his hand was an interview between Fred Lockley and Josephi. Next week I will post some highlights from that interview, which I think you will find fascinating.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Tomorrow! OHSU History of Medicine Society lecture: "Doctors and the Death of History"

"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

Upcoming exhibit on M. Lowell Edwards

All of us in HC&A are very excited about our upcoming exhibit in the Main Library:

Oregon's M. Lowell Edwards

Co-Inventor of the Starr-Edwards Heart Valve

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.