Saturday, March 8, 2008

Anatomical Art is Cool

Morbid Anatomy has a cool post on comparative anatomical illustrations, and that post links to this blog Medical Illustration Studio Blog. If you're not a Morbid Anatomy reader, you're missing out on great stuff, so grab their feed, and I, for one, added this new art-with-a-medical twist blog to the reader today. Enjoy.

More Brainy Goodies

We'll certainly have much more to tell about our awesome Brain Awareness Week activities in future posts, but I wanted to make sure I thank the good people at for linking to us this week (not once, but twice!) and allowing us to spotlight our incredible partners for the upcoming programs. I am told that its an exciting and fun week, my first at the Museum, and I'll be glad to offer some news and photos in the near future.

The Internet and Museums: Perfect Together

I've made an effort (mostly reading other blogs, of course, the source of all real information, right?), since starting at the Museum, to keep an eye out for any sort of 'best practices' papers or research that helps support positive growth and new ideas in the museum world. There's lots of good stuff, for sure, but this came across the wires the other day.

I came across a blog post at that links to a new study which tries to put down the theory that the Internet is doing some irreparable harm to museums and libraries. The report was done with the support of several universities and the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. The report itself is online at and much like the museum blogger linked above, I've only scanned the main conclusions slides, but it seems persuasive.

I wonder now how much this gets noticed in the community.

Friday, March 7, 2008

New pics on Flickr

I put up five photographs today that were part of last year's scanning project.

This one's been popular:

Poliomyelitis. Transmission Experiment with Aedes aegypti. (although polio is not transmitted by mosquitos).


Reeve 10795
American soldier wounded but still happy. Boureuilles, Meuse, France. 09/26/1918.

Reeve 085182-19
"Healthy, Happy Companionship. The community that provides - wholesome family life, - healthy recreation, - V.D. education will protect its young people." Ontario. Issued by the Ontario Provincial Department of Health, circa World War 2.

Reeve 000303-A
[summer night crowd watching motion picture, circa World War 1. "Fit to Fight" anti-venereal disease film showing?]

Two more World War 1 books to download

Only one left to go!

The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 13: Part 1,
Physical Reconstruction and Vocational Education; Part 2, The Army Nurse Corps (1927)

The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 15: Part 2, Medical and Casualty Statistics (1925)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

New Bell Daguerretoype acquired and finding aid added to website.

The museum has acquired an 1852 daguerreotype taken by William Bell, chief photographer for the Army Medical Museum during and after the Civil War. Bell took many of the pictures included in the collection of Photographs of Surgical Cases and Specimens and provided his work to Matthew Brady's gallery. The daguerreotype, in a pristine leather case with a velvet lining embossed with "W. Bell, Jenny Lind Gallery, 86 N Second St, Phil[adelphia]" shows a man with ptosis (drooping eyelid). This acquisition was made with the generous assistance of Frederic A. Sharf.

We updated the finding aid for Bell's collection done a few years back by intern Rudolf D'Souza and posted it to the website as well. You can see more of Bell's scenery pictures from the 1882 expedition to photograph transit of Venus (and his obituary) on the website too.

Another WW1 book uploaded - this time with influenza

The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 12: Pathology of the Acute Respiratory Diseases, and of Gas Gangrene Following War Wounds (1929)

Collect them all!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


And here's a fun program that we've been asked to publicize. These gents donated a set of their dissection dvds (going by memory on that) to the Museum last year.

***** 2nd Notice *****


Indiana University School of Medicine-Northwest Dunes Medical
Professional Building 3400 Broadway Gary, Indiana University


PROGRAM SPONSOR: ZIMMER, Inc. (Zimmer Orthopedics)

**** Human Cadaver Dissection **** **** Radiology **** **** Orthopedic Surgery Demonstrations ****

Applications for the July 2008, NATIONAL Human Cadaver Prosection Program at the Indiana University School of Medicine-Northwest (IUSM-NW) are now being accepted. The application form is available online at the IUSM-NW Web Site (URL:
The Cadaver Prosection page is linked to the IUSM-NW front page. [Click on "IUSM-Northwest Educational Programs, and then "Cadaver Prosection"]

The Cadaver Prosection will be held on Wednesday, July 30 and Thursday, July 31, 2008, from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., and will include 2 evenings of preparatory work in late June.

Selected participants who complete the program will receive a certificate of completion, honorarium and certification for work with biohazards and blood-borne pathogens. All will have extensive hands-on experience professionally dissecting human cadavers, and will receive intensive exposure to human gross anatomy and radiology.

Zimmer Orthopedics will conduct a special lecture presentation and accepted applicants will participate in a hands-on orthopedic workshop.
CME Credit is offered for the NATIONAL Human Cadaver Prosection Program.

You need not be a medical professional or pre-medical student to participate. All are encouraged to apply. Prior participants have included pre-med and pre-vet, nursing, radiological technology, mortuary science students, other undergraduate and graduate students, teachers,
attorneys, lab technicians, etc.

For further information go to the Cadaver Prosection Page, or contact the program director:

Ernest F. Talarico, Jr., Ph.D.
TEL: 219-981-4356

Send (ordinary mail or email) your application materials to:
Ernest F. Talarico, Jr., Ph.D.
Assistant Director of Medical Education
Indiana University School of Medicine - Northwest Campus Dunes Medical
Professional Building Room 3028A 3400 Broadway Gary, IN 46408


New Exhibition Opens at NLM... "MOST HORRIBLE & SHOCKING MURDERS!"

True crime murder pamphlets in the collection of the National Library of Medicine

The History of Medicine Division (HMD) of the National Library of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit, "MOST HORRIBLE & SHOCKING MURDERS: True crime murder pamphlets in the collection of the National Library of Medicine." It is located in display cases in the HMD Reading Room, on the first floor of the National Library of Medicine, Building 38, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. The exhibit is open Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm, and Saturday 8:30am to 2:30pm, through June 15, 2008.

Ever since the mid-1400s, the public's appetite for tales of shocking murders-"true crime"-has been one of the most durable facts of the market for printed material. Murder pamphlets were hawked on street corners, taverns, coffeehouses, newsstands, and bookshops. Typically, the pamphlets claimed to be true accounts of a murder, consisting of a narrative, trial transcript, or written confession of the murderer
before his or her execution. Sometimes they featured medical commentary. The pamphlets on display in "MOST HORRIBLE & SHOCKING MURDERS" were printed between 1692 and 1881. Some deal with cases of interest to the emerging field of forensic medicine. Others deal with cases in which doctors were accused of-or were victims of-heinous crimes. Still others have no medical connection whatsoever. Today, murder pamphlets are a rich source for historians and crime novelists, who mine them to study the history of medicine, class, gender, the law, the city, religion and
other topics.

The exhibit was curated by Michael Sappol, PhD. For further information on the exhibit, contact Stephen Greenberg, e-mail , phone 301-435-4995. Due to current security measures at NIH, off-campus visitors are advised to consult the NIH Visitors and Security website at:

The library is purported to have a large pornography collection as well. Seriously.

Last of Civil War volumes and another World War 1 book online

The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 11: Surgery; Part Two (1924)

The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. (1861-1865.) Part II. Volume II. (2nd Surgical volume) (1876)

Collect them all!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

More bits from the papers

A few articles relating to the history of medicine in today's papers. All 3 of these articles have in common a condition or diagnosis that's perceived to be increasing, without any good epidemiological work being done:

The Washington Post has its medical mysteries column (as does the NY Times in its Sunday magazine) which looks at the growing diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. See "A Suspect Diagnosis: The Doctors Agreed. So Why Did He Doubt Them?" By Sandra G. Boodman, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, March 4, 2008; Page HE01. Read to the end to see what the amazingly common diagnosis should have been.

And it's page A1 news that "Immune Systems Increasingly On Attack" By Rob Stein, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, March 4, 2008; Page A01. Actually, like the MS article above, I have doubts about this, which a doctor from Johns Hopkins also has although we're about 20 paragraphs in before he's quoted. But how many articles do you see recommending dosing one with parasitic worms? Now that's heroic medicine.

And finally this article in the NY Times business section discusses a test for MRSA although one doctor they interviewed suggests that patients would be better off if everyone in the hospital just washed their hands -
A Bug Rises, and With It a Company By ANDREW POLLACK, Published: March 4, 2008.
Patients might not like the new admission procedure at a growing number of hospitals: having an elongated Q-Tip stuck up their noses. But it smells great to Cepheid.

Note the VA is planning on using this test. Is the test a bad idea? Probably not, but one wonders if the money could be spent more wisely.

And without even trying hard, we started every post title with "More" this evening.

Mo' participants

Tim Clarke Jr, the Museum's Public Affairs Officer (aka flack, see also spin doctor) made his first post tonight. That brings the total to four of us blogging - Andrea of Public Programs, Assistant Archivist Kathleen Stocker and Archivist Mike Rhode (aka me). I noticed on one of the blogs Tim linked to in the preceding post that I was given all the credit, but this is a group effort.

More Link Craziness

Links happen, and they make for a safe first post, right? So, click away, but come back. Please.

  • We're getting ready for Brain Awareness Week, in case you didn't notice, and so is SharpBrains.
  • Morbid Anatomy pointed out Mutter's new photo exhibition.
  • People at work will be surprised to learn that I am a bit of disaster preparation fanatic - seriously, I've read too much about this for my own good - so when I saw a post about a museum doing due-diligence crisis planning, I was actually pretty excited. Anyway, now that I've outed my fascination with disasters, I'll link to Musematic's discussion on the topic, with the awesome post title The Big One. (And I'll admit that I too am often excited by the 'prospect of digital disaster' as the post goes on to discuss.)
  • I am still learning a lot about museums but I read this very educational blog, and while some of it still blows past me, it's worthwhile reading.
  • The Museum itself (notice, I capitalize 'Museum' when I refer to the institution; I do that because we're awesome and the capital letter is just one way to characterize that, at least in my own mind) was the beneficiary of some link love recently, so please consider clicking over and checking these blogs out.
  • All good link posts need to come to an end, but not without the capstone link for tonight: Check out 'Photography in the O.R.' over at Medgadget, courtesy of Boing Boing.

More downloadable books on Internet Archive

Two from the Civil War and one from World War 1.

The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. Part III, Volume I. (3rd Medical volume) (1888)

The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. (1861-1865.) Part I, Volume II. (1st Surgical volume) (1870)

The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 11: Surgery; Part One, General Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Neurosurgery (1927)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Book review on Italian syphilis lawsuit

See "In the 1890s, a wet nurse contracted syphilis from a baby -- and sued."
By Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World Sunday, March 2, 2008; Page BW15.

He reviews:

An Impoverished Peasant Woman, an Ambitious Attorney, and a Fight for Justice
By David I. Kertzer
Houghton Mifflin. 237 pp. $24

which is an interesting bit of history of medicine that I hadn't heard of before.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Our (possibly) most viewed Flickr image

We've had almost 1200 views on this photo, which may be the most-viewed of our 500 or so.
cp 1855
CP1855. The caption is: "Amputation of left thigh. [Image is reversed.] CPL Edward Scott, 10th U.S. Calvary. Injured May 3, 1886 at the Battle of Sierra Pinita, Mexico and treated by Dr. Paul R. Brown. Baker & Johnson Photos studio. "

Friday, February 29, 2008

New finding aid for Haymaker collection

Dr. Webb Haymaker was a neuropathologist at AFIP. We have a small collection of his papers and just put online a finding aid for them.

Medical trade literature finding aid online

We've finally had our database of medical trade literature (ie advertisements) converted to html and you can see a listing of items for this collection at the following URL. It's already obsolete as we continue to add material on a weekly basis. This isn't the best solution, but it will give a researcher a rough idea of what type of material we have and it's certainly more up-to-date than the 20-year old book that listed them, The Finest Instruments Ever Made. As we scan more of these catalogues, links to the scans will be added too.

OHA 168

General Medical Products Information Collection, ca. 1815-present
90 cubic feet, 144 boxes.
Finding aid available, arranged, active, unrestricted.
Artificial collection of product information, primarily advertisements and trade literature, on medical equipment, prosthetics, and pharmaceuticals. Arranged by manufacturer. Item-level finding aid.