Thursday, March 31, 2011

Anatomical flap books

Duke University Library's online version of their exhibit Animated Anatomies has been making the rounds here, and it's absolutely stunning. I'm particularly impressed by the beautiful job of photographing these complex and delicate anatomical flap books.

We recently acquired a wonderful example of the genre, about which more later. I was a bit frustrated to find that there's no solid subject heading or genre term that would help us identify other examples in our collections. Fortunately, the exhibits staff at Duke have started assembling a bibliography of flap books, which I've used to uncover the following in our library:

Bartisch, George. Ophthalmodouleia, das ist Augendienst: newer und wolgegruendter Bericht von Ursachen und Erkentnues aller Gebrechen, Schaeden und Maengel der Augen und des Gesichtes, wie man solchen anfenglich mit gebuerlichen Mitteln begegenen, vorkommen und wehren, auch wie man alle solche Gebresten kuenstlich durch Artzney, Instrument und Handgrieffe curiren, wircken und vertreiben sol. Ilkey, Eng: Scolar Press, 1970. [facsimile of the 1583 edition]

Hollick, Frederick. The Origin of Life and Process of Reproduction in Plants and Animals: With the Anatomy and Physiology of the Human Generative System, Male and Female, and the Causes, Prevention and Cure of the Special Diseases to Which It Is Liable ; a Plain, Practical Treatise, for Popular Use. Philadelphia: D. McKay, 1902.

Knox, James Suydam, David Wilson Graham, and John E. Owens. Physicians' Anatomical Aid. Chicago: Webster Pub. House, 1888.

Richardson, Joseph Gibbons, William Henry Ford, C. C. Vanderbeck, and James P. Wood. Medicology, or Home Encyclopedia of Health: A Complete Family Guide. New York: University Medical Society, 1901.

Below is a peek at our Physicians' Anatomical Aid:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What is it?

Found while pulling photos of dental school graduates from the oversize boxes in the Archives, this large exposure of what could be an alien terrain has very terrestrial origins. A combination of “microorganism and extracellular matrix,” this view consists of (mainly) “Streptococcus mutans and anaerobes” with the composition varying by location. Examples of anaerobes involved include “fusobacterium and actinobacteria” with the extracellular matrix consisting of “proteins, long chain polysaccharides and lipids.”

So what is this? According to the note on the back of the photo, it plaque!

A quick web search yielded many additional full-color photographs and anyone interested in more information should seek out the Wikipedia article,, which is also the source I used for this post.

It’s always fascinating what can be found when pulling research materials.

--Max Johnson, HC&A Student Assistant

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Warm fuzzies

Today ranks among the most satisfying I've experienced since I began my job in November.

When I got to my office, I had a voicemail from an extremely busy university administrator who had noticed some antique medical equipment on campus that was in danger of being junked. Though it would have been easier to just send it off to the dumpster, instead he thought of us and set aside time for me to see if the equipment is a good fit for our museum collection.

Later this morning, a longtime friend of HC&A surprised me and Karen with tickets to an anniversary dinner hosted by a local physicians' group. Then a few hours later, I received a letter from another researcher and friend who is in poor health; his letter was a reflection on the role that libraries and librarians had played in his family's life. I am overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of these two gentlemen.

Then later this afternoon, we hosted a meeting of the Portland Area Archivists, a vibrant and close-knit group that have impressed me ever since I attended the 2010 Archives Crawl. It was such a pleasure to meet everyone, show off our collections, and talk some shop.

Midway through the day, Max brought over a package that I suspect contains two fabulous new additions to our rare books collection. I'm going to open it now to celebrate the end of a great day.