Friday, March 06, 2015

New Accessions: State of Oregon - Public Health Reports and Studies

Over the past weekend I had the opportunity to visit a donor at their home and go through some public health-related materials.  We ended up transferring roughly one and a half boxes of materials from his basement to my apartment, whereby I brought them by bus up to the archives on Monday.  Included in the donation are records of the Oregon Public Health Association, materials related to the fluoridation campaign in Oregon, and a few years of Oregon Vital Statistics reports.

Materials packed for travel
During the course of the week I received another package of materials from the same donor.  This time we received a wide variety of public health reports and studies in the areas of maternal and childhood health, teen sexual health, infant health and the prevention of child abuse.
Some of the reports from the Oregon Health Authority
For reference, I am including a rundown of the publications received in the most recent transfer:

Oregon Perinatal Data Book - 2007
Oregon Benchmarks - County Data Book - November 2005
Promotion of Adolescent Mental Health and Prevention of Substance Abuse - September 2000
Babies First! - August 2005
Oregon Child Health 2010 - Data and Resource Guide 
Oregon Youth Sexual Health Plan
Oregon Mothers Care
How to Become a Breastfeeding Friendly Mother Employer
Oregon School-based Health Centers Standards for Certification - 2009 Standards
Oregon Teen Pregnancy Prevention - Action Agenda - 2002 Revision
A Healthy Active Oregon: Statewide Physical Activity and Nutrition Plan 2007-2012
Child and Family Health Needs Assessment and Recommendations for Public Health - Summary - June 2000
Working to improve the Health of Oregon's Children, Women and Families - Progress Report - December 2004
Early Childhood Matters
A Safe Place for Newborns
School-based Health Centers: Focusing on our Future - 2001 Statues Report
School-based Health Centers: Accessible Health Care for Youth - 2006 Status Report
School-based Health Centers: Quality Health Care for Kids - 2007 Status Report
Oregon Teen Pregnancy Prevention Action Agenda - Research-based Effective Curricula
Achieving Oregon's Healthy Birth Benchmarks - A Maternity Care Needs Assessment 1994
Turning Point: Collaborating for a New Century in Public Health
Child Care & Education: Building a Firm Foundation for Oregon's Families and Oregon's Economy - 2007
Health Care Counts: Healthier Youth, Stronger Communities - 2008 Status report

More reports!

The records from the Oregon Public Health Association will be processed along with the other materials from the donor, after which a finding aid will be posted on our website.  I am working to bring in the records of OPHA in bulk and will post an update when that is complete.

Till next week!

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Extreme Makeover: History of Medicine Room Edition

Well friends, I am delighted to share our recent History of Medicine Room reconfiguration with you. If you have ever visited us in the HOM Room, you've probably noticed the large free-standing wall that divided the reading room table from the service desk and stacks areas. Removing the wall and rearranging the desk space has been a goal of HC&A for quite some time, and this week, our  our hopes for a more open, inviting space came to fruition!

I managed to snap some pictures of our very own "Extreme Makeover" episode. First, the before:
The wall in question
We were very happy to meet the kind experts from the Facilities carpentry department when they arrived to take the wall down on Tuesday. Everyone in HC&A who was available came to see the wall come down!
The panels are vanquished!
Once the carpenters removed the screws and nails holding the wall together, the pieces came down somewhat easily. 

Luckily, the platform supporting the dividing wall was resting on top of the existing carpet
That was that! Facilities staff carried off the offending wall, which was never to be heard from again. We set right to work in rearranging the public services desk for a more open and welcoming configuration. Within one day, our amazing OHSU Library systems staff moved our staff computer and set up our new computer station for patrons, so we didn't miss a beat with our public services operations! Now that you've seen the "before", who's ready to see some "after"s?
View from the HOM Room entry 
A much more inviting reading room area

Max, Jeff and I moved our c. early 20th century examination table to display
We also placed some items for display in the exhibit case, which will rotate to show off highlights from our collections

"What wall? I don't remember any wall..."
Our new setup has really put a spring in all of our steps, and today it made its first debut when we hosted a tour for the AAUW [American Association of University Women] Tigard chapter! We can't wait to share it with more visitors.

Following Max's lead, I'll close with a reading room "shelfie" of my own! Come see your faithful Public Services Coordinator (me) during Thursday walk-in hours, 12pm-3pm, or contact me ( or 503-494-5587) to make an appointment.
(Hello! Please excuse that awkward floating hand!)

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Updated census of De humani corporis fabrica

 A few months ago I responded to an interesting set of survey questions about our 1555 edition of Andreas Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica. Our response, along with similar submissions from other libraries, book collectors, book dealers, and auction houses, were compiled by Stephen N. Joffe and Veronica Buchanan into a new census of copies held in the U.S.

The results were published as "An Updated Census of the Edition of 1555 of Andreas Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica in the United State of America" in volume 8 number 1 of the International Archives of Medicine (doi:10.3823/1600). The census updates a previous 2009 version by Joffe, which in turn built upon a 1943 census conducted by Harvey Cushing. This new census was published in conjunction with the 500th anniversary of Vesalius' birth.

Some conclusions of the census that I found interesting:
  • A total of 58 copies were located in 49 libraries. The 2009 census under-reported these holdings (our was included, however). In comparison, Cushing located 22 copies. 20 of those are still in the locations noted by Cushing (primarily institutional libraries).
  • Copies began appearing in the U.S. as early as the mid-eighteenth century.
  • No patterns of theft or other nefarious behavior were discovered. I tend to agree with the authors that most missing books are actually just misplaced.
  • The size of the original print run is unknown. Joffe had estimated that the run would have been in the range of 800-1000 copies but now believes this estimate is too high, with 300-500 copies being more likely. Around half of the original print run appears to have survived to the present day.
The article notes over time, copies are donated to institutional libraries (who will never part with them). Thus, there is a dwindling number of copies left in private hands. This suggests that there are few copies out there still remaining to be discovered - but you never know!

Monday, March 02, 2015

The Inner Sanctum

Last week was “no-meeting” week at the library which gave me ample time to execute one of the goals I have for 2015: a re-organization of the physical archival materials at OHSU HC&A.  The re-organization was prompted by an analysis of the physical holdings of the archives which indicated that we could gain some space and maximize shelf utilization by moving from an accession number-arranged schema, to one in which materials were arranged by the size of their enclosure (metal edge letter boxes, versus legal; oversize materials versus negatives, slides or micro-formats, etc.).  In scoping out the plan I determined that I would need to move roughly 1,155 linear feet of material.  No-meeting week seemed perfect for this.

I started with an inventory of the oversize boxes and their rough dimensions.  I cleaned off one row of materials and moved them to work tables, allowing me to free the space where the oversize materials would move to.  I decided initially to start with oversize materials and ensure that they were located closely to the work tables and the giant flat space under which more oversize materials are stored.

Stacks - Oversize materials on the right
As materials were moved to the first row and eventually the second row, they were re-indexed on a spreadsheet and the resulting new locations were entered into our archival management software tool.  As the central rows were slowly filled with oversize boxes, the row that had been marked for letter-size metal edge boxes was also starting to fill.  After approximately 30 hours of shifting and shelf-optimization, the process was complete.

Stacks - 14 sections of letter-size boxes on right

In the end we freed roughly 80 linear feet of shelf space and set the stage for new materials to fit right in with their same sized buddies.  With the new layout we also have completely free aisles and table tops to work with.

I thought I would end this post with a "shelfie."  In the background you can see a little of the School of Nursing Banner, which adds some color and light to the room.  Also, you can see our new (not really "new") archives buddy, Melvin P. Judkins' cobra, which once sat on Dr. Judkins' desk.

University Archivist (right) with cobra (left)
Interested in visiting our archives?  Contact University Archivist, Max Johnson and I'll be happy to schedule a tour.