Don’t Miss This From the BHL

The Biodiversity Heritage Library is an open access library for biodiversity literature and archives. The BHL currently has over 130,000 thousand volumes and you can learn more about the history of the BHL and the project partners here.

Library assistant Elizabeth Meyer has written a fascinating post about a title that the BHL and MHL share: John Forbes Royle’s 1837 volume, An essay on the antiquity of Hindoo medicine, including an introductory lecture to the course of materia medica and therapeutics, delivered at. King’s College.

You can see more of Royle’s writing in the MHL and see more from the BHL staff on their blog.

 

Celebrating Elizabeth Blackwell

blackwellThis week, the Medical Heritage Library is celebrating the life of Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910), the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States and the first woman on the UK Medical Register. Elizabeth, born February 3, 1821, in Bristol, England, was the third child of Hannah (Lane) Blackwell (1792–1870) and Samuel Blackwell (1790–1838)’s nine children. Elizabeth attended Geneva Medical College from 1847 to 1849, and in 1853, she established a small dispensary in New York City with her sister, Emily (the third woman to receive a medical degree in the United States), and Dr. Marie Zakrzewska (1829-1902); the dispensary  expanded in 1857 to become the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children. As an adjunct to the infirmary, Elizabeth and Emily founded the Women’s Medical College in New York in 1868. In the years following the Civil War, Elizabeth resettled in England. There, with physician and feminist Sophia Jex-Blake (1840-1912), she founded the London School of Medicine for Women in 1874. Like her sisters, Elizabeth Blackwell never married. Continue reading

New to the MHL!

The MC Migel Library of the American Printing House for the Blind has been adding lots of great new items recently. Here are just a few:

Additionally, the Wellcome Library has been adding lots of titles to its collection of medical officer of health reports all of which are available as part of the MHL, too.

The Gaither Report

On November 7, 1957, H. Rowan Gaither’s report, “Deterrence & Survival in the Nuclear Age” was issued. It called for $30 billion to build bomb shelters to protect American citizens in the event of nuclear war. In the years that followed, articles, such as those published in the New England Journal of Medicine (5/31/1962) called out the medical consequences of thermonuclear war, including “Some Psychiatric and Social Aspects of the Defense-Shelter Program” by P. Herbert Leiderman and Jack H. Mendelson. They bluntly summarized the situation: “It should be apparent that the psychologic and social problems raised in planning a defense-shelter program are of a magnitude and complexity that make it advisable to concentrate massive efforts on eliminating the need for such a program.” Data about the two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki informed the discussion. Published in 1946, this “Medical report of the Joint Commission for the Investigation of the Effects of the Atomic Bomb” (volume 6) illustrates population and casualties, as well as building and shielding studies. Also check out Elena Carter’s “Beds not bombs: Highlights from the Medact collection.

~This post was originally on our Facebook page and is courtesy Emily R. Novak Gustainis.

Digital Highlights: Johann Remmelin’s “Kleiner Welt Spiegel”

The Archives and Special Collections of the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library of Columbia University have digitized the 1661 German translation of Johann Remelin’s Catoptrum Microcosmicum.

Check out the great video made about the process:

And read their full post about digitizing a medical pop-up book! You can check out the final result in the MHL here.

Digital Highlights: Home Dangers

Mrs. Priestley’s 1885 lecture Unseen dangers in the home is a tour de force collection of late Victorian concerns about health and hygiene. She starts right off with the dangers of polluted air and moves on through bad water and the dangers of in-house piping among other things. It’s interesting to note that Priestley’s text assumes her audience is one of well-off matrons with disposable income; this is not a lecture designed to help the working poor, for example. She recounts anecdotes from friends with houses in Mayfair, Picadilly, and St. James, who have had to deal with complaints from their servants of bad air in basements, kitchens, bathrooms, and attics.

Flip through the pages of Mrs. Priestley’s lecture below or follow this link to read Unseen dangers in the home.

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!