Thursday, November 29, 2012

Einstein's brain samples

Einstein's brain: Even on the surface, extraordinary -
Los Angeles Times
One hundred sixty of the slides, made from 240 "blocks" of Einstein's brain, are at Princeton's University Medical Center, and an additional 560 slides are housed at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, until recently on the grounds of Walter ...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Voice of America visits medical museum

Visit to a Medical Museum; Plastic Surgeon Makes Healing Trips to ...
Voice of America
The museum also has anatomical collections of bones and preserved human organs. The National Museum of Health and Medicine opened as the Army Medical Museum ...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

VOA on National Museum of Health and Medicine

US Museum Showcases National Medical Collection
Voice of America
The National Museum of Health and Medicine originally opened as the Army Medical Museum during the Civil War. It's celebrating its 150th anniversary with a ...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Google Alert - "National Museum of Health and Medicine"

Web 2 new results for "National Museum of Health and Medicine"
The National Museum of Health and Medicine: America's hidden ...
The National Museum of Health and Medicine. It's not large like Mount Rushmore , iconic like the Statue of Liberty, or symbolic like The White House. It's small ... NMHM Holds 25th Annual Forensic Anthropology ...
bySubmitted by: National Museum of Health and Medicine. Franklin Damann, Anatomical Collections Curator at the National Museum of Health and Medicine ...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Museum-related publication is notable.

The Government Printing Office has put up a blog post at noting that the Library Journal has listed its 2011-2012 Notable Government Documents at
Included is Legacy of Excellence: The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, 1862–2011 which the Museum archives significantly contributed to. You can read the book here -

AFIP swan song book picked as notable

New post on Government Book Talk

Librarians Pick Notable Federal Books- 2012 Edition

by GPOBookstore

It's that exciting time of year again if you're a publisher of Federal publications. It's the equivalent of the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards or the Grammy Awards… Well, maybe that's pushing it, but when the American Library Association's (ALA) Government Documents Round Table or GODORT convenes the Notable Documents Panel of its Publications Committee to choose the top government-produced publications of the previous year, we can't help but get caught up in the excitement.

Each year, this ALA GODORT's Notable Documents Panel selects what it considers to be the most "Notable Government Documents" published during the previous year by Federal, state, and local governments and includes the list of winners in its prestigious Library Journal (LJ).

According to its website, Library Journal is "the most trusted and respected publication for the library community. LJ provides groundbreaking features and analytical news reports covering technology, management, policy and other professional concerns to public, academic and institutional libraries. Its hefty reviews sections evaluate 8000+ reviews annually of books, ebooks, audiobooks, videos/DVDs, databases, systems and websites."

This year, as usual, many of the Federal publications the panel selected are available through the Government Printing Office's Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) libraries and GPO's Sales Program.

Out of all of the Federal Government documents LJ looked at in the past year, here are some of those it found most notable:

  Keeping America Informed: The United States Government Printing Office 150 Years of Service to the NationPublisher: Government Printing Office (GPO)GPO's own role in producing excellent Government publications in its 150 years of history gained it a place on the GODORT list for the past year:

"Liberally illustrated with historical photographs and facsimiles of famous government documents, this volume will appeal to a wider audience than depository librarians. Historians and history buffs who have an interest in government and how it interacts with both the private sector and public employee unions will find a compelling story that focuses on the federal government's obligation to keep citizens informed about its activities." - LJ

  Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012 (Hardcover)Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012 (Paperback)

Publisher: Commerce Department, U.S. Census Bureau

The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878, is the standard summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. It is designed to serve as a convenient volume for statistical reference and as a guide to other statistical publications and sources. The latter function is served by the introductory text to each section, the source note appearing below each table, and Appendix I, which comprises the Guide to Sources of Statistics, the Guide to State Statistical Abstracts, and the Guide to Foreign Statistical Abstracts.

The Library Journal adds an important update about this: "In addition to being the quintessential statistical resource of all time, Statistical Abstract is a Notable Document for 2011 simply because this edition will be the last produced by the Census Bureau and distributed through FDLP. Future editions will be published commercially, so librarians will still have options for maintaining the continuity of their print collections. A classic reference tool." - LJ

  Macondo: The Gulf Oil Disaster. Chief Counsel's Report 2011Publisher: National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling

"The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill was created by President Obama and charged with investigating the root causes of the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. The committee concluded that the cause of the blowout was not mechanical. Instead, a number of poor management decisions, combined with an inadequate regulatory structure and an indifferent regulatory agency, overwhelmed the safeguards designed to prevent such disasters. Plenty of illustrations and photographs offer a glimpse into the technology of offshore oil rigs." - LJ

  Then Came the Fire: Personal Accounts From the Pentagon, 11 September 2001Publisher: Defense Dept., Army, Center of Military History

"In 2011, there were many publications designed to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. In addition to the 59 people aboard the flight that struck the Pentagon, 125 people in the Pentagon were killed. The editors of this memorial volume have collected the stories of eyewitnesses, including the military and civilian personnel who escaped the burning building and first responders and reporters at the scene. It also includes hundreds of photographs."- LJ

  Freedom by the Sword: The U.S. Colored Troops, 1862-1867Publisher: Defense Dept., Army, Center of Military History"

In what may be the definitive operational history of black troops in action during the Civil War, [author] Dobak describes the differences in how freedmen and runaway slaves were recruited, how they lived, and how they were trained. Most important, it considers how gallantly these men performed in combat at a time when many of their own leaders questioned whether they would be willing to fight for their own freedom and for that of their families. Much of the documentation comes from the 'War of the Rebellion' series." - LJ

  Legacy of Excellence: The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology 1862-2011 Publisher: Defense Dept., Army, US Army Medical Department Center and Schoo1, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Public Affairs Office, Borden Institute

"In 1862, shortly after the Battle of Antietam, army surgeon general Brigadier Gen. William Hammond ordered the establishment of the Army Medical Museum. Surgeons working on Civil War battlefields were encouraged to preserve anatomical specimens, such as severed limbs and diseased organs, and send them to the museum for further research. From the start, the museum made its displays of specimens and instruments, as well as its medical library, available to the general public. Under the leadership of later curators, such as John Billings and Walter Reed, the museum evolved into the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Readers interested in the history of science, especially medical science or in the devastating effects of Civil War weaponry on the human body, will be fascinated by the hundreds of graphic photographs." - LJ

How can you get these publications from this year's Federal Notable Government Documents collection?

  • Buy any of these publications online 24/7 by shopping the Notable Government Documents 2012 collection at GPO's Online Bookstore.
  • Buy them at GPO's retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday-Friday, 9am to 4pm, except Federal holidays, (202) 512-0132.
  • Find these publications in a library near you.

About the Author:  Michele Bartram is Promotions Manager for GPO's Publication and Information Sales Division and is responsible for online and offline marketing of the US Government Online Bookstore ( and promoting Federal government content to the public.

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The tragic death of President James Garfield

The tragic death of President James Garfield

 CBS News' Sunday Morning July 1 2012

In 1881 James A. Garfield became the second U.S. President to be assassinated. As Mo Rocca learns, however, his death could have been avoided.

[Book author Candace Millard did research in the Museum, and former Museum curator Jeff Reznick appears]

Monday, July 2, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

What Would Sickles Do?

When I worked in the Museum for about 25 years, many times we found ourselves asking, "What Would Sickles Do?"* Sickles was a man of action, and took action when he perceived a need. I've noticed that many of the sites for sharing information about the Museum, including this one, are not being maintained, and some (as noted in the rest of the post) are actively being ruined, so I've decided to step back in.

The NMHM's public affairs office has moved the Museum's website and taken down a lot of material the Guide to the Collections (which listed over 500 large groupings of material for researchers), any articles written by staff, all the transcripts of the AFIP Oral histories, the Archives annual reports and probably more.

They did take the time to go through the Archives annual reports, cull all the users of the Archives over 20 years, and put it in one big list. They converted all the finding aids to pdfs, which probably makes them less visible to search engines. The also broke all the links in the History of Medicine Finding Aids Consortium search engine hosted by the National Library of Medicine.

You can still find the Guide to the Collections at the Internet Archive or buy a print copy at cost from Lulu. Fortunately Internet Archive had crawled the site and you can find all the useful missing material here. However, search engines will no longer pull this up for you apparently, based on a quick test for the Foreword to Photographic Atlas of Civil War Injuries (which you can still read here).

*Actually we didn't because he was a bit of a loon - see Gettysburg, battle of or, Key, Philip Barton, murder of.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Walt Whitman in the Civil War article online

Here's an article by my former colleagues about Whitman and the Army Medical Museum:

Remains of War : Walt Whitman, Civil War Soldiers, and the Legacy of Medical Collections
Lenore Barbian, Paul S. Sledzik, Jeffrey S. Reznick

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nov 10: Cancer Education Film at the National Academy of Sciences

This is presented by friends of mine who really know their stuff and should be excellent. I'm planning on seeing it.

The Reward of Courage
Thursday, Nov. 10, 6 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Keck Center, 500 Fifth St., N.W., Room 100

Join us for a screening of The Reward of Courage , the first public education film about cancer. Released 90 years ago this fall, the film introduced many ideas about cancer that are familiar today. A copy of this hitherto lost silent film was recently discovered, and in excellent
condition. A specially commissioned musical score, performed live by the
Snark Ensemble, will accompany the film.

More Information & RSVP


David Cantor PhD
Deputy Director
Office of History
National Institutes of Health
Bldg 45, Room 3AN38, MSC 6330
Bethesda, MD 20892-6330
Phone: 301-402-8915 (Direct)
301-496-6610 (Office)
Fax: 301-402-1434

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dr. William Gardner's death notice

Today's Post ran a death notice for Dr. William Gardner, the head of the American Registry of Pathology which supported the AFIP's missions and thus the Museum as well.

Dr. Gardener was the ultimate supervisor of over 200 people, and a busy man. I personally got along well with him, and enjoyed it when we talked history together. My condolences to his family.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Navy history of medicine blog sneak peak

It's not quite ready for prime time (as they used to say), but stop by and check out it -

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Museum reopens to public

since nobody who still works there posted this...


Exhibits will focus on human anatomy/pathology, Civil War medicine

September 15, 2011, Silver Spring, Md.: After more than 30 years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District of Columbia, the National Museum of Health and Medicine has completed its relocation to its new home at the Fort Detrick -- Forest Glen Annex in Silver Spring, Md. The Museum will open its initial temporary exhibitions to the public on September 15, 2011.

Initial exhibits available to the public at the Museum's new location will feature artifacts and specimens related to Civil War medicine and human anatomy/pathology. "To Bind Up the Nation's Wounds" offers an in-depth view of military medicine at the time of the Civil War, and features the amputated leg of Union Maj. General Daniel E. Sickles. "Visibly Human: Health and Disease in the Human Body" features natural human specimens as well as plastinated artifacts, displaying normal and abnormal body functions. "Visibly Human" includes specimens such as a leg affected by a parasitic infection known as elephantiasis, a human trichobezoar, and more—including some of the "most requested" items from the collections.

The new building, located at 2500 Linden Lane in the Forest Glen section of Silver Spring, features a state-of-the-art collections management facility to house NMHM's 25-million-object National Historic Landmark collection.

The Forest Glen Annex is overseen by Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md. The new Museum was built under a design-build contract awarded to Costello Construction of Columbia, Md. and managed by the Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The new NMHM offers a designated visitor parking lot and visitors will need to present photo identification upon entry to the Museum.

Exhibits available this fall are the first step in an ongoing exhibition development program that will culminate on May 21, 2012, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Army Medical Museum (today's NMHM). Stay tuned in coming months for a more revealing look at what is yet to come.

Visit the Museum's website,, and Facebook page, for details.

About the National Museum of Health and Medicine

The National Museum of Health and Medicine, established in 1862, inspires interest in and promotes the understanding of medicine -- past, present, and future -- with a special emphasis on tri-service American military medicine. As a National Historic Landmark recognized for its ongoing value to the health of the military and to the nation, the Museum identifies, collects, and preserves important and unique resources to support a broad agenda of innovative exhibits, educational programs, and scientific, historical, and medical research. The Museum has relocated to 2500 Linden Lane, Silver Spring, Md., 20910. Visit the Museum website at or call (301) 319-3300.