Call for Artifacts!

The New York Academy of Medicine is working with the Museum of the City of New York and Wellcome Collection on an exhibition based around epidemic disease in NYC for September 2018. “Germ City: Microbes, Migration, and the Metropolis” will use specific sites of disease outbreaks, and responses to contagious disease, to explore New York City’s public health history.
 
Artifacts with a New York connection are of particular interest, as are artifacts that reflect individual stories and experiences, as well as those relating to clinical and public health responses to disease.
 
We would be grateful for information about specific artifacts and/or details of relevant catalogs or collections. Thanks to those who have already responded to our call, and I look forward to discovering other relevant materials.

NLM Book Symposium

~This post courtesy Stephen Greenberg, Head, Rare Books & Early Manuscripts, History of Medicine Division.

You are cordially invited to a public symposium to mark the recent publication of Images of America: US National Library of Medicine, and the simultaneous availability via NLM Digital Collections of the complete book at:

https://collections.nlm.nih.gov/ImagesofAmericaNLM

and original versions of the 170+ images which appear in the book in black and white:

https://go.usa.gov/xNfnw

Learn more about this new, publicly-available publication here:

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/news/illustrated-history-nlm-published-2017.html.

The symposium will be a part of the NLM History of Medicine Lecture Series and will take place next Thursday, July 13, 2016, from 2:30pm to 4pm in Lipsett Amphitheater on the first floor of the NIH Clnical Center, Building 10, on the NIH Campus in Bethesda, MD.

If you cannot join us onsite, you can watch the proceedings via NIH Videocasting: https://videocast.nih.gov/. You can also participate in the proceedings via Twitter by following #NLMHistTalk.

Sign language interpretation is provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate may contact Stephen J. Greenberg  at 301-827-4577, or by email at stephen.greenberg@nih.gov, or the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339).

Due to current security measures at NIH, off-campus visitors are advised to consult the NLM Visitors and Security website:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/about/visitor.html

Sponsored by:
NLM’s History of Medicine Division
Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, Chief

Event contact:
Stephen J. Greenberg, MSLS, PhD

Head, Rare Books & Early Manuscripts
History of Medicine Division
National Library of Medicine, NIH
301-827-4577
stephen.greenberg@nih.gov

Medicine in World War I Online Exhibit

In commemoration of the centennial of America’s entry into World War I in April 1917 through to the Armistice in November 1918, partner institutions contributing to the Medical Heritage Library have developed this collaborative online exhibit on medicine, surgery, and nursing in the war, with texts and images drawn from the digital corpus of the MHL. A significant amount of professional medical and surgical literature was produced even as the conflict continued to rage, and many personal narratives of physicians and nurses and histories of hospitals and army medical units were also published in the years immediately after the war.  A selection of this material is incorporated into the exhibit.

Medicine in World War I is divided into several broad categories: common diseases of the battlefield and camps; injuries and prosthetic devices; shell-shock and stress; military nursing; and the Spanish influenza epidemic.   There are also sections of bibliographic references with links to items in the Medical Heritage Library and a short list of other exhibits devoted to World War I and medicine.

The real history behind the look of “Wonder Woman”s Dr. Poison

~Courtesy Michael Rhode, Archivist / Curator, US Navy BUMED Communications Directorate (M09B7) Office of Medical History

The new Wonder Woman movie has a long-standing villain named Dr. Poison who is developing a super poison gas to reverse Germany’s imminent loss of the Great War. Elena Anaya’s character is shown with a porcelain mask over the lower quadrant of the left side of her face… Read the rest of Michael’s post here!

Heart’s Ease

~Courtesy Chrissie Perella and Beth Lander, MLS, College Librarian, Historical Medical Library.

What is a recipe?  Is it instructions from which one can prepare a meal, a snack, a dessert?  Or is it how to mix the best cocktail?  Or how to cure acne?  Or how to care for a bee sting?  What other knowledge does one need to properly take advantage of the advice in a recipe?  Recipes found in medical books are no different than ones found in food cookbooks; it’s just that the desired outcome is different than a crowd-pleasing cake.

The Historical Medical Library holds over 20 manuscript recipe (or “receipt”) books, dating from the 17thcentury up through the early 20th century.  The majority of our recipe books are medical in nature, but many include food, drink, and household cleaning recipes as well.  I’ve even seen recipes for ink in a couple of our 19th century books.

However, the recipe book I’ve chosen to look at for The Recipes Project’s virtual conversation does not contain any ‘extras’ – it is filled with strictly medicinal concoctions.  MSS 2/258 (Lancaster County recipe book) is dated to circa 1854 and attributed to an unknown physician from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  I chose this particular book because I found it interesting that no food, drink, or household cleaning recipes are included.  Other unusual features are a table of weights; a conversion table for liquid measures; a summary of “Doses of medicines for the different ages;” a chart of pulse rates, categorized by age; and my favorite, “The regulation of doses of Laudanum for Children.”

“Table of weights adopted by the Pharmacopoeias” and table of “Liquid measure.”

“Doses of medicines for the different ages”

“The regulation of doses of Laudanum for Children” and “Pulse.”

The second section of MSS 2/258 reminds me strongly of student lecture notes.  The next 5 pages include explanatory paragraphs about topics such as the circulatory system, irritation or inflammation, and “The Dangerous effect of bleeding.”

 

It is dangerous to bleed a person immediately after receiving a fall in such accidents a shock is given to the great nervous centres, which bleeding would augment or bring on the fate of the patient, if it be employed before reaction has taken place. D.mm.m.ii.164-5

The Dangerous effect of bleeding.

Following the notes are recipes from both botanical and eclectic medical sources, which are often cited.  One of my favorite citations is for a recipe for plasters: “This is the recipe of the plaster so long kept secret and remaining in the family of Doctor and Mrs. Carpenter.”

One has to wonder how our physician was able to get the secret plaster recipe from Dr. Carpenter.  Another recipe in the book caught my eye because of its name: “Heart’s Ease.”  I was curious to see whether this was some sort of tonic or tea, and if it was for what we may term depression/heartache/etc.  I found some familiar ingredients (not ALL uses are enumerated here): valerian, used for insomnia as well as depression and conditions related to stress; saffron, for insomnia and depression; bergamot, used in aromatherapy to reduce anxiety; and the all-powerful lavender, useful for insomnia, depression, anxiety, and fatigue.  Surprisingly, aloe

s socotrine is listed; it is described in Boericke’s Materia Medica (1901) as

An excellent remedy to aid in re-establishing physiological equilibrium after much dosing, where disease and drug symptoms are much mixed. There is no remedy richer in symptoms of portal congestion and none that has given better clinical results, both for the primary pathological condition and secondary phenomena. Bad effects from sedentary life or habits. Especially suitable to lymphatic and hypochondriacal patients. The rectal symptoms usually determine the choice. Adapted to weary people, the aged, and phlegmatic, old beer-drinkers. Dissatisfied and angry about himself, alternating with lumbago. Heat internally and externally. Has been used successfully in the treatment of consumption by giving the pure juice.

Also listed is “Musk – best common” which is apparently good for stroke, coma, nerve problems, seizures (convulsions), heart pains, and sores.

Well, it was fairly clear to me that either calming and soothing tinctures, teas, and tonics have greatly changed over the past 150 years or so, or I was way off on what this concoction was used for.  It turns out that “heart’s ease” is not meant to relieve anxiety, sadness, or anything like that, but for “the treatment of diseases of the heart palpitations.”  The tincture is described as a “stimulating antispasmodic.”  A stimulating antispasmodic works to prevent or calm spasms by stimulating the higher nervous system.

Recipes like the one above, and recipe books like MSS 2/258, can tell us much about the time in which they were written – what ingredients were familiar and available to the author, what medical or natural philosophy books the author studied or referenced, what ailments were common or considered important to know how to treat, and sometimes even short case studies about the effectiveness of a particular treatment.

What I find most fascinating, perhaps, about many of the Library’s recipe books is that they are non-discriminatory when it comes to choosing recipes: a treatment for kidney stones will be followed by a recipe for roast mutton; something to stop the flux will be followed by hair tonic.  But MSS 2/258 is different in that it includes only medical recipes.  The nature of the book is more formal and less chatty than some in the collection: I’m thinking specifically of MSS 2/351, (Elizabeth Paschall Coates receipt book), which includes notes like this in recipes:

“Susannah Fowler an old Acquaintance of mine from her Childhood & a person of Good Reputation had a verry bad fellon Coming on her finger. . . this She Says was practised by a woman as a very Grate Secret I Dispersd one for our Girl Rose in 6 or 8 Dressings. . .”

While we know a bit about Elizabeth Paschall Coates, we know nothing about our Lancaster County physician.  Where did he attend medical school?  Did he have his own practice or did he work in a hospital?  The way his recipe book is laid out and the contents it includes suggest that he was a meticulous, thorough person, and therefore was probably a decent doctor.  Perhaps he didn’t include food, drink, or household cleaning recipes because he liked everything well organized and in its place – do recipes for bread, punches, or inks belong with medicines?

Even in strictly medical recipe books one will find many answers to the question “What is a recipe?” and perhaps more questions, as well.

New York Academy of Medicine Library Launches New Digital Collections Website

de Chauliac_watermarkThe New York Academy of Medicine Library announced
today the launch of its new digital collections and exhibits website, hosted on the open-source framework Islandora and accessible at http://digitalcollections.nyam.org/. The new site makes it easy for the public to access and explore highlights of the Library’s world-class historical collections in
the history of medicine and public health.

“The Academy is committed to enhancing access to our Library’s world-class collections through digitization,” said Academy President Jo Ivey Boufford, MD.
“With the launch of our new digital collections and exhibits website, users across
the globe will have access to an ever-growing number of important resources in the
history of medicine and public health.”

VESALIUS ICONES SUITE_010_watermark2
The website includes a glimpse into the Library’s rare and historical collections material. In one day, high-end photographer Ardon Bar-Hama, courtesy of George Blumenthal, took photos of a subset of the Library’s treasures, which are all accessible via the new website. Visitors interested in cookery can page through the Library’s Apicius manuscript with 500 Greek and Roman recipes from the 4th and 5th centuries. Other highlights includes beautiful anatomical images from Andreas Vesalius’s De Humani corporis Fabrica and striking botanicals like this skunk cabbage
(Symplocarpus Foetida) hand-colored plate from William P. C. Barton’s
Vegetable Materia Medica.

AyersHairVigor_watermarkAlso featured is The William H. Helfand Collection of Pharmaceutical Trade Cards, which contains approximately 300 colorful pharmaceutical trade cards produced in the U.S. and France between 1875 and 1895 that were used to advertise a wide range of goods in the nineteenth century. Such cards are now regarded as some of the
best source material for the study of advertising, technology and trade in the post-Civil War period.

“It is gratifying to digitize our materials and see them come to life with the launch,”
said Robin Naughton, PhD, Head of Digital for the Library. “Our digital collections and
exhibits website represent a bridge between the Academy Library’s collections and
the world as it intersects with the humanities and technology.”

The Library will continue to launch new digital collections and exhibits, including
“How to Pass Your O.W.L.’s at Hogwarts: A Prep Course,” which celebrates the 20th
anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and will be
launched on June 26. Two other upcoming digital projects focus on the history of the
book: “Facendo Il Libro/Making the Book,” funded by the Gladys Krieble Delmas
Foundation, and “Biography of a Book,” funded by a National Endowment for the
Humanities Digital Projects for the Public grant.

About The New York Academy of Medicine Library
The Academy is home to one of the most significant historical libraries in medicine
and public health in the world, safeguarding the heritage of medicine to inform the
future of health. The Library is dedicated to building bridges among an
interdisciplinary community of scholars, educators, clinicians, and the general
public, and fills a unique role in the cultural and scholarly landscape of New York
City. Serving a diverse group of patrons—from historians and researchers to
documentary filmmakers to medical students and elementary school students—the
Academy collections serve to inform and inspire a variety of audiences from the
academic to the public at large.

Archives WWI Exhibit, Talk and Tours

Exhibit opening and Archives talk: “DO THE BEST FOR OUR SOLDIERS:” University of California Medical Service in World War I.

Date: Tuesday, May 23rd
Exhibit Tour: 11 am – 11:45 am, main floor of the Library
Lecture: 12 pm – 1:15 pm, Lange Room, 5th Floor, UCSF Library
Exhibit Tour: 1:30 pm – 2 pm, main floor of the Library

Lecturers: Morton G. Rivo, DDS (retired) and Wen T. Shen, M.D. (UCSF)
Moderator: Aimee Medeiros, PhD (UCSF)
Location: Lange Room, 5th Floor, UCSF Library – Parnassus
530 Parnassus Ave, SF, CA 94143

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.
REGISTRATION REQUIRED: http://calendars.library.ucsf.edu/event/3321575

Lieutenant Colonel Howard C. Naffziger in World War I army uniform. Base Hospital 30 collection, AR 2017-16, carton 1, Family Album World War I.

The UCSF Archives and Special Collections is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit at the UCSF Library, “DO THE BEST FOR OUR SOLDIERS:” University of California Medical Service in World War I.  The exhibit commemorates the centennial anniversary of US involvement in World War I and recognizes the service of UCSF doctors, nurses and dentists at Base Hospital No. 30 in Royat, France. It also highlights the war-related research and care provided by UCSF scientists, clinicians, and healthcare workers in San Francisco and abroad.

Join UCSF Archives & Special Collections for guided tours of the exhibit and an afternoon talk with Drs. Morton G. Rivo and Wen T. Shen. Dr. Shen will speak on the biography of Dr. Howard C. Naffziger. Lieutenant Colonel Howard C. Naffziger, a prominent neurosurgeon before the war, served in the Army Medical Corps in France and at home, as Chief of the Neuro-Surgical Service at the U.S. Army Letterman General Hospital located in the Presidio. Naffziger became the Chair of the first Department of Neurosurgery at the University of California in 1947.

Dental chair and equipment. This picture accompanied aletter written to Dr. Guy S. Millberry on October 7, 1918. UCSF School of Dentistry scrapbook titled “Dental College Alumni Serving in the First World War, 1917 – 1919.”

Dental chair and equipment. This picture accompanied aletter written to Dr. Guy S. Millberry on October 7, 1918. UCSF School of Dentistry scrapbook titled “Dental College Alumni Serving in the First World War, 1917 – 1919.”

This exhibit was curated by Cristina Nigro, graduate student from the History of Health Sciences  Program, UCSF Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine.In April 1917, when America formally entered World War I, the United States Army had 86 dental officers, the US Navy, even fewer. Dr. Rivo will discuss the contributions of the UCSF Medical and Dental Schools that helped to quickly establish extensive dental/maxillofacial services on the Home Front and with the American Expeditionary Forces in France. He will address the role of dentists and oral surgeons, both in the US as the military mobilized, and in France, during the ensuing brutal year and a half of combat which terminated in November 1918.

Morton G. Rivo, DDS
Dr. Rivo received his dental education at SUNY Buffalo. He continued his specialty training in Philadelphia and Boston, first as a Fellow in Periodontology at the Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania and then as Resident Fellow in Periodontology and Oral Medicine at the Beth Israel-Deaconess Hospital in Boston. Dr. Rivo served as a Captain in the US Army Dental Corps in France, stationed near the old World War 1 battlefields.

After practicing for several years in Buffalo, Rivo transferred his clinical practice to San Francisco where he subsequently worked and taught periodontics for over 30 years. He is the former Chief of Periodontics at UCSF Medical Center/ Mt. Zion Hospital and was a member of the Medical Staff at California Pacific Medical Center. Dr. Rivo is past-president of the American Academy of the History of Dentistry. He is also the past-chair of the Achenbach Graphic Arts Council at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Dr. Rivo has retired from the practice of periodontology and currently is a student at the Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco, where he is studying art, music, history and philosophy.

Operating room at Juilly, France in 1918 with Surgical Team #50, friends and Miss Perry Handley. UCSF Tales and Traditions, Volume VIII, Base Hospital 30 staff, WWI.

Operating room at Juilly, France in 1918 with Surgical Team #50, friends and Miss Perry Handley. UCSF Tales and Traditions, Volume VIII, Base Hospital 30 staff, WWI.

Wen Shen, M.D.
Wen T. Shen, M.D., M.A. is an endocrine surgeon specializing in procedures for thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal gland surgery. His research focuses on the molecular biology, genetics and treatment of thyroid cancer as well as the use of minimally invasive surgery. Shen also has an interest in medical history and has studied the development of hormonal therapies for benign and malignant conditions and the impact of the 1942 Coconut Grove Fire in Boston on the evolution of surface treatment for burns.

Dr. Shen graduated magna cum laude at Harvard College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and science. He earned a medical degree and completed a surgical residency and research fellowship in endocrine surgery at UCSF. He received the Esther Nusz Achievement Award from the UCSF Department of Surgery, Resident’s Prize from the Pacific Coast Surgical Association, William Osler Medal from the American Association for the History of Medicine and Rothschild Prize from the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University.

In 2016, Dr. Shen was elected the 67th President of the UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society for its 2016-2017 term.

Freeing the LAMS from the Silos; or, How We Learned to Love MARC for the Sake of BIBFRAME

On April 1st, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia released what we lovingly refer to as the “Digital Spine,” one of the few MHL_image_1catalogs in the United States that merges descriptions of, and access to, library, archival and museum collections.

Approximately 145,000 bibliographic records for collections in the Historical Medical Library and approximately 28,000 records for objects in the Mütter Museum will be merged in a single, cross-searchable database.  To sample this integration, go to https://cpp.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/library and search for “foreign bodies.”

MHL_image_2

 

 

 

Museum records are slowly being released into the online public access catalog (OPAC).  One of the biggest problems with integrating these two collections is the lack of standardization for describing museum objects (of any kind).  In library description, we have “title.” In museum description, something akin to a title can be found in “Remarks” or “Description” or “Object Description” or “Object Name.”  Building crosswalks between library and museum descriptions is an engaging activity.

MHL_Image_3

 

Another problem is the interim use of the MARC format to catalog museum objects.  The long-term goal of the Digital Spine project is to expose collections metadata to crawling by search engines.  In order to do this, we had to start with MARC, which seems antithetical, since MARC is not a structure that is understood by search engines. The College selected SirsiDynix as the vendor for this project because of SirsiDynix’ recent release of its BLUEcloud LSP.  BLUEcloud Visibility pulls a library’s records and transforms them using BIBFRAME, which exposes catalog records as linked data.  Here, for example, is part of the “Person” record for Chevalier L. Jackson, the “father” of American laryngology, whose foreign body collection, items referenced above, is one of the first museum collections to be released into the OPAC.

 

MHL_image_4

 

In the near future, we anticipating spending a lot of time tidying museum records and releasing them to the OPAC; retrospectively cataloging original library material that never made it into the original conversion to electronic format; and working with SirsiDynix to create an archives “module” to accommodate hierarchically described collections.  In the long term, we plan to expand the reach of our metadata as linked data – how extensible can we be?  In answering that question, we will truly free the LAMs from the silo.

 

 

Margaret Humphreys to Speak on African Americans in Civil War Medicine

You are cordially invited to attend a lecture by the distinguished historian and professor Dr. Margaret Humphreys titled “African Americans in Civil War Medicine”. Many histories have been written about medical care during the Civil War, but the participation and contributions of African Americans as nurses, surgeons, and hospital workers has often been overlooked. The event will be held on May 10, 2017 at 5:30 PM at the Knowledge Center of the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences located at 701 West 168 Street (Fort Washington Avenue) on the Columbia University Medical Center campus. Continue reading