World War I: Reflections at the Centennial

~Post courtesy Emily Gustainis, Deputy Director, Center for the History of Medicine at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine of Harvard Medical School.

The Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, in partnership with its co-sponsors theHarvard Medical School Civilian-Military Collaborative and the Ackerman Program on Medicine & Culture, is pleased to announce the upcoming event World War I: Reflections at the Centennial with speakers James A. Schafer, Ph.D., and Jeffrey S. Reznick, Ph.D.

James A. Schafer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Houston, will present “The Mobilization of American Medicine for the First World War,” an examination of the causes and effects of the rapid recruitment of doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel (such as volunteer ambulance drivers) during the War. Drawing from Harvard University and other Boston area examples, Professor Schafer will measure the scope and scale of medical mobilization, explain the motivations for doctors, nurses and medical personnel to mobilize, and explore the immediate effects of mobilization on the careers and lives of American doctors, nurses, and medical personnel.

Jeffrey S. Reznick, Ph.D., Chief of the History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health, will present “A Prisoner of the Great War and his Songs in Captivity,” an exploration of the period when Rudolf Helmut Sauter (1895-1977)—the artist, writer, and nephew of the novelist John Galsworthy—was an internee in Alexandra Palace camp, north London, and Frith Hill, Surrey. Drawing on collections of the NLM, Imperial War Museum, and University of Birmingham, among other archives and libraries, Dr. Reznick will reveal how Sauter’s experiences open a unique window onto the history of the Great War both as Sauter experienced it and as he subsequently sought to forget it like so many other surviving members of the “generation of 1914.”

The event will take place on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 in the Minot Room, Countway Library, from 5:00-6:30.Registration is required.  Please visit our EventBrite page to register.

A Conversation About Graphic Medicine

~Post courtesy Stephen Greenberg, Section Head, Rare Books and Early Manuscripts History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine.

You are cordially invited to the next NLM History of Medicine lecture, to be held on Thursday, March 1, from 2:00pm until 3:30pm in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD. NLM Director Patricia Brennan, RN, PhD will host “A Conversation About Graphic Medicine” with pioneers from this emerging genre of literature that combines the art of comics and the personal illness narrative.


Dr. Brennan will be joined in conversation by Ellen Forney, cartoonist, educator, author of the New York Times bestselling graphic memoir, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me, and guest curator of the new NLM exhibition, Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived and Well-Drawn!; MK Czerwiec, RN, MA, Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, author of Taking Turns: Stories from HIV-AIDS Care Unit 371, and co-manager of; and Michael Green, MD, physician, bioethicist, and professor at Penn State University’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and co-author with MK Czerwiec and others, of The Graphic Medicine Manifesto.


“A Conversation About Graphic Medicine” will address the place of graphic medicine within medical literature and the landscape of personal health communication in the 21st century. This special public program is in conjunction with the new NLM exhibition, Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived and Well-Drawn! on display in the History of Medicine Division Reading Room on the first floor of the NLM, Building 38 and online here:


This lecture, like all NLM History of Medicine Lectures, will be free, open to the public, live-streamed globally, and subsequently archived, by NIH VideoCasting. All are welcome to attend onsite and remotely:


The specific live-stream URL for this talk is here:


Sign language interpretation is provided for all lectures. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate may contact Erika Mills at 301-594-1947,, or via 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:

In addition, we warmly welcome you to visit our blog, Circulating Now, where you can learn more about the collections and related programs of the NLM’s History of Medicine Division, and watch for interviews with guest participants in the upcoming Conversation about Graphic Medicine:

Here also you can read interviews with previous lecturers:


Sponsored by:

NLM’s History of Medicine Division

Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, Chief


Event contact:

Erika Mills


New York Academy of Medicine Library Launches Digital Exhibit “Facendo Il Libro: The Making of Fasciculus Medicinae, an Early Printed Anatomy”

~Post courtesy Kiri Oliver, Communications Manager, The New York Academy of Medicine

The New York Academy of Medicine Library has launched a new digital exhibit, “Facendo Il Libro: The Making of Fasciculus  Medicinae, an Early Printed Anatomy.” The Library, one of the world’s most significant historical libraries in medicine and public health, holds five editions printed between the years of 1495 and 1522 of the Fasciculus Medicinae, which contains the earliest realistic anatomical images in print, and the earliest scenes of dissection anywhere. The digital exhibit explores full scans of these richly illustrated editions, examining each work on its own – and also in context of each other, and looking at the printing techniques that were used to create them.

“The Academy’s dedication to public access to our Library’s collections continues with the launch of a digitized exhibit of this seminal work. Today, scholars and users worldwide can easily access an important resource in the history of medicine and public health,” said Academy President Judith A. Salerno, MD, MS.

The book was first printed in Venice in 1491 by the brothers Gregori at their famous printing house. It was extremely popular, and went through 14 editions by the year 1522.  Originally collected in manuscript form, the text comprises a number of medical treatises on uroscopy, phlebotomy, anatomy, surgery, and gynecology. The book’s woodcut illustrations include skilled renderings of medieval prototypes including a Zodiac Man, bloodletting man, and an urinoscopic consultation.

“This exhibit tells an important story about an influential medical text, and its evolution during the earliest years of printing in Northern Italy. Exploring the book’s astonishing woodcuts, the earliest realistic anatomical illustrations in print, enhances our understanding of how sixteenth-century individuals related to and understood their bodies in times of sickness and health,” said Academy Library Curator Anne Garner.

“Facendo Il Libro” is an addition to the Academy’s digitization initiatives led by Dr. Robin Naughton, Head of Digital. Also included in the exhibit are curated essays on each edition, noting important technical, textual, and artistic changes in each, and on the culture of Venetian print. The essays were contributed by guest scholars

Taylor McCall, PhD, and Natalie Lussey Seale, PhD. This online exhibit was made possible by generous support from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.


Valentine’s Day at the MHL

Drop “Valentine” into the search box on the MHL’s Internet Archive page and you get some interesting results. Lots on nineteenth century physician Valentine Mott, as you might imagine, but also items about a blind child prodigy, Valentine Miller and a 1909 warning on the perils of venereal disease from the AMA.

You can also flip through F. C. Valentine’s 600 Medical Don’ts and, if you’re tired of reading, watch a compilation of Marlboro commercials!