Friday, March 20, 2015

The Scroll of Nursing Uniform Changes

We received a unique donation this week from one of our allies at the School of Nursing, Elaine Mahoney, RN., MPH., who also served on the Archives Committee at SoN (the SON Archives Collection is at HC&A and open for research).  Elaine has been working on a way to track the changes in nursing uniforms through out the school's history and on Tuesday I was presented with this:
A mysterious scroll?

Elaine and I unwrapped this donation and she explained the resulting tabular data to me.  On the top row of the table we have the year in chronological order, along the side column is the type of uniform (dress, apron, cloak, etc.) and in the boxes are the changes that happened to the uniform during that year.
Example of years with many changes.

Included are notes on acronym usage.
This excellent resource will be housed along with the SON Archives Collection Finding Aid and linked to the textile materials in that collection.  We anticipate the information being extremely useful in several cases, for instance if a patron or colleague has a uniform that we need to date, this chart will go a long way towards helping accomplish this goal.

Meg Langford, HC&A's Public Services Coordinator and I are discussing whether to digitize the document or whether to create a table in Excel so we have something to send distance-patrons-- or both!

A big "Thanks!" to Elaine for creating this information and sharing it with us.

I'll be back next week with more New Accessions.

Till then!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

New rare book acquisition: Medical Women by Sophia Jex-Blake

Last month we were lucky to acquire a copy of Sophia Jex-Blake's Medical Women: A Thesis in History. First published in 1872, ours is the expanded second edition, published by Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier in Edinburgh, 1886.

It's bound in rather flamboyant bright scarlet cloth with gold lettering!

Sophia Jex-Blake was one of the first female physicians in Great Britain. She was a leading advocate for women's rights and medical education for women. Interestingly, our copy of the book has the signature of Thomas B. Jex-Blake, and a note presenting the book from Miss Th. B. Jex-Blake to a Dr. Wyatt.

As "Thomas" appears to be the preferred name for men in the Jex-Blake lineage, it will take more research to determine how this individual is related to Sophia, and who Dr. Wyatt might be.

One of the most interesting parts of the book is a detailed account of the Surgeons' Hall Riot in Edinburgh. In 1870, hundreds of protestors blocked seven women medical students (known as the "Edinburgh Seven") from entering the school for an anatomy lecture. Withstanding verbal and physical abuse, the women finally accessed the building. The riot was the culmination of an ongoing, organized campaign to harass and threaten the women students. However, media coverage of the riot created public sympathy for the women students, and broadened support for medical education for women. Unfortunately, the university eventually refused to graduate the students. Soon after, Sophia Jex-Blake founded the London School of Medicine for Women. Most of the original seven women from Edinburgh attended the school.

Medical Women will be cataloged for the History of Medicine Collection, and available for research in our reading room.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Exhibit Snapshots: Dental Anomalies featured in "Impressions in Time"

It's been a lot of fun showing visitors our winter exhibit, "Impressions in Time: The Growth of the OHSU School of Dentistry," which was beautifully curated by University Archivist Max Johnson. In preparation for a poster display at the upcoming Oregon Dental Convention (April 9-11 at the Oregon Convention Center), we had occasion to photograph the exhibit and its artifacts. I just had to share these "glamour shots" of the biggest crowd-pleasers of the exhibit, the Ernest Starr Memorial Museum of Dental Anomalies. 

From the exhibit text:
For the last 60 years, this collection was housed in the Marquam Hill School of Dentistry building, where it was a regular fixture in the lives of many in the School of Dentistry.  The collection includes a wide variety of dental anomalies collected by Dr. Ernest E. Starr (North Pacific Dental College Class of 1907) from his patients and those of his colleagues.  The collection was donated by Dr. Starr in 1946 and was housed in the school until 2014.   The collection contains over 500 specimens of dental anomalies, including examples such as  a four-rooted upper molar, hypercementosis, and calculus on a lower anterior. 
Originally stored in a glass case on a plywood display stand with labels, OHSU Historical Collections & Archives worked with the School of Dentistry to relocate the collection to a secure storage space in 2014.  Archives staff housed the collection in archival storage containers and make every effort to ensure the preservation of these fascinating objects for future generations.
Apparently the dental anomalies were sometimes known colloquially among SOD faculty & students as the "freaky teeth" - take a gander at these specimens and you may understand why!

The collection has a whole exhibit case to itself - and these aren't even all of them!

In the land of the dental anomalies...
According to the collection's original index, this specimen & x-ray set is an example of "[r]esorption – lower 2nd molar by impacted 3rd molar" 

This is actually my favorite shot of the anomalies - It looks like it belongs in the opening credits of "American Horror Story"!
As great as these photos are, you really have to see the specimens in person to appreciate the uniqueness of these artifacts. Come and visit our exhibit, "Impressions in Time: The Growth of the OHSU School of Dentistry" in the OHSU Library, on the 3rd floor of the BICC at OHSU's Marquam Hill campus. The dental anomalies await!

Update: Check out this great video of Dr. Henry Clarke talking about the collection and other SOD artifacts, when they were on display in the former SOD building, as first posted by Maija in 2012: