Thursday, March 27, 2014

HC&A receives Donin collection of rare books on ophthalmology

On March 12th, ten unassuming boxes were delivered to HC&A via Fed Ex:

I like to say that working in special collections is like Christmas every day. The boxes contained expertly packed rare books on ophthalmology, dating from the early eighteenth century to the late twentieth century. Opening just one of the boxes at random yielded a trove of wonderful titles:

 Above:  Jean Teilleux, Observation sur une pupille artificielle (Paris: Sétier, 1826); Albrecht von Graefe, De l’iridectomie appliquée au glaucome et des affections glaucomateuses (Brussels, 1858); Ernst Wilhelm von Bruecke, Anatomische Beschreibung des menschlichen Augapfels (Berlin: G. Reimer, 1847)

The books are a generous gift from Mrs. Jacqueline C. Donin of Claremont, California. Mrs. Donin's husband, ophthalmologist Jerry F. Donin, M.D., built a significant collection of rare books in his field. We are honored to have been selected as a new home for 110 titles from his collection. Dr. Donin's books will bring additional distinction to our holdings in ophthalmology, an emerging area of emphasis for our rare book collections.

Highlights from the collection include Antoine Maître-Jan's  Traité des maladies de l’oeil et des remedies propres pour leur guerison enrichi d’experiences de physique (1707), the first ophthalmology textbook in Western medicine; six different editions of Richard Liebreich's  Atlas der Ophthalmmoscopie, the first atlas of ophthalmoscopy; Julius Hirschberg's nine-volume Geschichte der Augenheilkunde (1899-1918), a monumental history of ophthalmology; and many classic titles by
Albrecht von Graefe, Maurice Constantin Perrin, and Antonio Scarpa.

The books will be cataloged and accessible to the public in the History of Medicine Room. We are also looking forward to holding a public exhibit of selections from the collection, targeted for 2015.

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