The History of Higher Education in California: A Big Data Approach

In his talk at the UCSF Archives & Special Collections, Zach Bleemer will discuss how he has used data science – thousands of computer-processed versions of annual registers, directories, and catalogs –  to reconstruct a near-complete database of all students, faculty, and courses at four-year universities in California in the first half of the 20th century, including UC San Francisco (which taught both undergraduates and graduate students at the time). Visualizations of this database display the expansion of higher education into rural California communities, the rise and fall of various academic departments and disciplines, and the slow (and still-incomplete) transition towards egalitarian major selection.
Zach will also discuss his recent CSHE Working Paper, in which he uses additional digitized records to analyze the social impact of the early 20th century’s expansion of female high school science teachers and female doctors across rural California communities. He finds that newly-arrived female STEM professionals serve as important role models for young women in these rural communities, causing substantial increases in female college-going. However, these young women are no more likely to study STEM fields or become doctors themselves.
Zach Bleemer is a PhD student in Economics and Digital Humanities Fellow at UC Berkeley, where his research examines the educational and occupational decisions of young Americans. He has previously held senior research analyst positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Mathematica PolicyResearch, and has published working papers on student debt, parental coresidence, and university attendance. He is also currently a Research Associate at UC Berkeley’s Center for Studies in Higher Education and a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Register for the talk which will take place Friday, March 3, from 12-1.15pm.

The Roles of Physicians in 19th Century Polar Exploration

Please join the New York Academy of Medicine on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 6:30PM-7:30PM for a talk on physicians and polar exploration.
Douglas Kondziolka collects arctic and antarctic polar exploration books, maps and letters from the era of the late eighteenth through the early twentieth century. A focus on the Arctic was stimulated first by his Canadian father’s tenure with the US Air Force at their Canadian base in the arctic in the 1950s, and later by the popular historian Pierre Berton and his book “The Arctic Grail.” Dr. Kondziolka’s collection began in 1994 and was fostered by several trips to the arctic to visit important exploration sites. The collection documents the important steps in Arctic discovery, both for a Northwest passage to Asia, and to the North Pole itself. The publications, letters and maps tell that story of a cast of unique characters, and among them many physicians, who dared to venture into lands unknown. In this talk, the roles of physicians, spanning from naturalists, to artists, to caregivers, to troublemakers, will be highlighted.
Wine and refreshments will be provided during the talk. Please register no later than Wednesday, January 25, 2017.
Friends of the Rare Book Room are invited to come at 6:00pm to look at selected books with the speaker in the Drs. Barry and Bobbi Coller Rare Book Reading Room prior to the talk. This event is part of our series for Friends. To join the Friends please click here.

Dr. Douglas Kondziolka received his medical degree from the University of Toronto and graduated from the Toronto neurosurgery residency program in 1991. From 1989 to 1991 at the University of Pittsburgh, he completed a master of science program in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience and a fellowship in stereotactic surgery and radiosurgery. He joined the faculty of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh in January 1992 and later was named Chief of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. In November 2012, Dr. Kondziolka joined the neurosurgery faculty at New York University as Professor and Vice-Chair for Clinical Research.

($35 for Friends of the Rare Book Room; $50 general public. Wine and refreshments included in the ticket price. Please register no later than Wednesday, January 25, 2017.)

The John K. Lattimer Lecture: “The Marrow of Tragedy: Disease and Diversity in Civil War Medicine”

Please join The New York Academy of Medicine (1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029) on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 6:00PM-7:30PM for Margaret Humphreys’ John K. Lattimer Lecture.

Health care in the U.S. Civil War is often depicted as gruesome, with amputations (sans anesthesia) as the centerpiece of horror. In actuality, hospitals could be sites of healing, although there were significant differences between North and South. In this lecture, Margaret Humphreys highlights the variations among medical loci during the war, an analysis that illustrates the aspects of “good health care” that made a difference in the survival of Civil War patients.

Margaret Humphreys is the Josiah Charles Trent Professor in the History of Medicine at Duke University. She received her PhD in the History of Science (1983) and MD (1987) from Harvard University. She is the author of Yellow Fever and the South (Rutgers, 1992) and Malaria: Poverty, Race and Public Health in the United States (Johns Hopkins, 2001), Intensely Human: The Health of the Black Soldier in American Civil War (2008) and Marrow of Tragedy: The Health Crisis of the American Civil War (2013). She teaches the history of medicine, public health, global health, food, and biology to undergraduates at Duke University, and is editor emeritus of the Journal of the History of Medicine. (For more information, see

The event is part of the Library’s Legacies of War: Medical Innovations and Impacts Series.

The profound physical and mental destruction left in the wake of war has by necessity accelerated innovation in medicine that often led to benefits for society as a whole. The conditions of war have brought advances in surgical care, prosthetics, blood banking, antibiotics and trauma care. This series commemorates the American entry into World War I in 1917 by exploring the often-intertwined history of conflict and medical innovation, as well as the devastating and ongoing impact of war on the minds and bodies of soldiers and civilian populations.

($12 General Public | $8 Friends, Fellows, Members, Seniors | Free to Students with ID)

Nuisance or Necessity? Historical Perspectives on the ‘Informed’ Patient

Dr. Dana Atchley interviewing a patient, 1958.  Photo by Elizabeth Wilcox, courtesy Archives & Special Collections, Columbia University Health Sciences Library.

Dr. Dana Atchley interviewing a patient, 1958. Photo by Elizabeth Wilcox, courtesy Archives & Special Collections, Columbia University Health Sciences Library.

The History of the Health Sciences Lecture Series presents Nuisance or Necessity? Historical Perspectives on the ‘Informed’ Patient, by Nancy Tomes, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of History, Stony Brook University, New York.

Fake Silk: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon

Join UCSF Archives & Special Collections on Friday, December 2, at noon in the Lange Room for an afternoon talk with medical historian and author Paul Blanc MD MSPH  as he discusses the toxic legacy of viscose rayon portrayed in his new book, Fake Silk. Dr. Blanc poses a basic question: When a new technology makes people ill, how high does the body count have to be before protectives steps are taken? His work tells a dark story of hazardous manufacturing, poisonous materials, environmental abuses, political machinations, and economics trumping safety concerns. It explores the century-long history of “fake silk,” or cellulose viscose, used to produce such products as rayon textiles and tires, cellophane, and everyday kitchen sponges. His research uncovers the grim history of a product that crippled and even served a death sentence to many industry workers while also releasing toxic carbon disulfide into the environment. Continue reading

Bullitt History of Medicine Club Lecture: “Once You Pop, You Can’t Stop (Bleeding): Aortic Aneurysms and their Management from the 18th to the 21st Century”

b2233547x_0015Please join us for the next in the series of Bullitt History of Medicine Club Lectures  on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, 12:00 noon in the UNC Health Sciences Library, Room 527. Refreshments provided! Our speaker will be Justin Barr, MD, PhD, General Surgery Residency Program, Duke University Medical Center. Continue reading

Upcoming at UNC: Health Sciences Library Special Collections Open House!

tumblr_odyy6rtgfn1td5mkfo1_1280Do you want to attend a Halloween event that won’t affect your waistline and is free of Disney princesses and Minions? Here’s your chance! Visit the UNC Health Sciences Library on Monday, October 31 at NOON (HSL 527) to view books, photographs, and medical equipment that will make you appreciate today’s medical and dental practices. This event is also a celebration of American Archives Month and North Carolina Archives Month.

~This post is courtesy Dawne Lucas, Special Collections Librarian.

Lecture: “A Dental School on University Lines”: The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, 1916-2016

Pediatric Orthodontic Clinic at what was then called the Columbia University School of Dental & Oral Surgery (now renamed the College of Dental Medicine), ca. 1930.

Pediatric Orthodontic Clinic at what was then called the Columbia University School of Dental & Oral Surgery (now renamed the College of Dental Medicine), ca. 1930.

The History of the Health Sciences Lecture Series presents: “A Dental School on University Lines”: The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, 1916-2016, Allan J. Formicola, D.D.S., Professor Emeritus of Dental Medicine; Dean Emeritus of the College of Dental Medicine on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 (Lecture, 6pm; Reception and Book Signing, 7pm). Continue reading