Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New acquisitions: Five modern classics

Our History of Medicine Collection has a long and complicated history of development. For many years, only books published before a certain date were added to the collection. Most recently, a cutoff date of 1901 was established. However, as understanding about the use and value of rare books evolved, later facsimiles, reprints and modern classics were added. Nowadays, I am only too happy to add an important 20th century text to this collection.

Yesterday, five modern classics came back from cataloging, and are ready to be shelved alongside the centuries-old books that make up the majority of the HOM Collection:

Cummins, Harold, and Charles Midlo. Finger Prints, Palms and Soles; An Introduction to Dermatoglyphics. New York: Dover, 1961. A reprint of a seminal 1943 work on the science of dermatoglyphics.

Merritt, H. Houston, Raymond D. Adams, and Harry C. Solomon. Neurosyphilis. New York: Oxford University Press, 1946. Merritt was an eminent neurologist and a leading authority on neurosyphilis. His work culminated in this monograph - which was almost immediately rendered obsolete by the advent of penicillin.

Morton, Dudley J. The Human Foot: Its Evolution, Physiology and Functional Disorders. New York: Columbia University Press, 1935. This landmark work by the world's foremost expert on the foot is still pertinent in anatomy and surgery today.
Penfield, Wilder and Theodore Rasmussen. The Cerebral Cortex of Man; A Clinical Study of Localization of Function. New York: Macmillan, 1950. Penfield was one of the greatest neurosurgeons of the last century. This monograph summarizes his extensive studies of the motor and sensory functions of the human brain. A somewhat tattered copy of this book was transferred from the library's circulating collection to HC&A - we are lucky to be able to add a second, fresher copy free from library markings and with a dust jacket!

Wyburn-Mason, Roger.
The Vascular Abnormalities and Tumours of the Spinal Cord and Its Membranes. London: H. Kimpton, 1943. Wyburn-Mason's M.D. thesis was the first compilation of current knowledge on this subject, and was published as a monograph.

These books are part of a collection donated by the family of Russell A. Baker, an alumnus of University of Oregon Medical School. Dr. Baker practiced internal medicine in Portland and evidently had a fine library. HC&A also holds Dr. Baker's papers.

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