Thursday, March 10, 2011

OHSU's School of Dentistry Receives It's Biggest Gift Ever

Ethical, Professional and Compassionate

Dr. Wilbur N. Van Zile

Wilbur N. Van Zile, DDS, had no living heirs at the time of his death at the ripe old age of 104. A generous friend of HC&A donated the Van Zile papers to HC&A in 2009, the same year Van Zile died.

The materials consist of Van Zile's certificates and awards, manuscripts, research, teaching slides and dental equipment and supplies. There is correspondence and photographs and artifacts relating to his Naval service which includes buttons, dog tags and other uniform regalia. There is also personal correspondence between Van Zile and his wife during WWII and family photographs including two tintypes that may be Van Zile's parents. The 15 boxes of materials date from 1900-2004. It is a truly amazing collection that tells the story of his prodigious life.

And why is this newsworthy at this particular moment? The OHSU School of Dentistry just received the largest private gift in it's 112 year history. The $5.1 million bequest from the Van Zile estate will provide scholarships for oral and maxillofacial surgery residents and dental students.

The article announcing the gift also provides a wonderful short biography of Dr. Van Zile.

A Treatise on the Diseases of the Heart and Great Vessels, 1839

We recently filled a scanning order for an image that's too wonderful not to share:

Source: Hope, James. A Treatise on the Diseases of the Heart and Great Vessels: And on the Affections Which May Be Mistaken for Them : Comprising the Author's View of the Physiology of the Heart's Actions and Sounds, As Demonstrated by His Experiments on the Motions and Sounds in 1830, and on the Sounds in 1834-35. London: John Churchill, 1839.

Shown in this plate is figure 3, "the interior of the left ventricle and the mitral valve." Sprinkled around it are figures 4a-c, diagrams illustrating the book's description of valvular disease: "It is suggested to the young student to carry these diagrams, with their descriptions, in his pocket, until he is master of the subject."

A contemporary critic commented, " When [Hope's] great work on Diseases of the Heart was first published, the whole profession united in commendation of its excellence; and in the enlarged and improved form in which the author was fortunately enabled to reproduce it in a third edition, It is now universally acknowledged to be the best book on the subject in any language."

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

"William Osler -- Physician and Philanthropist"

We've recently turned up some interesting new additions to our collections in the history of medicine in the Pacific Northwest. One is this reprint of a talk given at a meeting of the King County Medical Society in Seattle:


At the March 25, 1925 meeting, San Francisco surgeon Edgar Lorrington Gilcreest spoke about his experiences with the renowned Sir William Osler. His talk, "William Osler -- Physician and Philanthropist -- Glimpses During the World War" was included in the Sir William Osler Memorial issue of the Bulletin of the International Association of Medical Museums, and in this reprint. During World War I, Dr. Gilcreest served in Britain as a surgeon with the Red Cross. It was there that he first met Sir William Osler. Osler was an occasional presence and perennial inspiration in Dr. Gilcreest's life as a surgeon.