Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dr Francis Medical Museum news

State commission to consider handing over ownership of Jacksonville museum
Officials of the Alabama Historical Commission will meet Tuesday to discuss the possibility of handing over the Dr. Francis Medical Museum — the ...

Monday, October 6, 2014

Medical Heritage Library User Survey

The Medical Heritage Library is looking to gain first-hand information from our users. We've designed a very short – really! – survey that you can find here: It should only take about ten minutes at most to complete.


We want to know how people are finding our collection and what they're using in it – or what they're not using in it because it isn't there. Please help us get to know our users better and plan more intelligently for the future of our collaboration.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

VOA looks at the Mutter Museum

Get 'Disturbingly Informed' at Museum of Medical Monstrosities
Mega Colon, or Hirschprung's Disease, occurs when the muscles receive no signals to contract and move waste through the system, causing chronic ...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sept 23: The Visual Culture of Medicine & Its Objects


The Visual Culture of Medicine & Its Objects

September 23, 2014

Riggs Library, Georgetown University

Organizers: Keren Hammerschlag (Georgetown University),

Michael Sappol (National Library of Medicine)









The Department of Art & Art History at Georgetown University, in collaboration with the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health), presents an interdisciplinary symposium dedicated to critically and creatively examining medical objects, broadly conceived. Presenters from diverse scholarly and professional backgrounds will undertake close readings of medical objects in a variety of media and genres—book illustrations, paintings, sculptures, pamphlets, photographs, instruments, motion pictures and more—from the collections of the National Library of Medicine, Georgetown University, and other repositories. Our aim is to encourage new ways of engaging with objects that sit at the intersection between art and medicine. The outcome, we hope, will be a broadened conception of how the visual and notions of visuality function or falter in medical practice past and present.  The program can be found online at

All welcome but numbers are limited. Please register by emailing:


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sept 2: NLM History of Medicine Lecture

Dear Colleagues,
You are cordially invited to the next NLM History of Medicine lecture, to be held on Tuesday, September2, from 2pm to 3pm in the Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD. Dr. Julia Hallam, University of Liverpool, will help celebrate the opening of NLM's newest exhibition, Pictures of Nursing: the Zwerdling Postcard Collection. The project encompasses a special display, future traveling banner exhibition, an online presence with education resources, and a digital gallery highlighting 585 postcards from the Zwerdling collection of postcards about nurses and nursing. Dr. Hallam will discuss her work with the collection and the exhibit.
All are welcome.
Sign language interpretation is provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate may contact Kenneth Koyle at 301-496-5407, e-mail, or 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:
Sponsored by:
NLM's History of Medicine Division
Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, Chief
Event contact:
Kenneth M. Koyle
Deputy Chief
History of Medicine Division
National Library of Medicine, NIH

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

Two Army Medical Museum letters from J.J. Woodward

Today, I ran across a photocopy from some old research I'd done, and experimented with putting it online at the Medical Heritage Library. If there's interest, I can scan more.

Letter from J. J. Woodward to Bowditch on Army Medical Museum - Army Medical Museum
Dr. Joseph Woodward writes to Dr. Bowditch expressing his opinion on the use of the medical museum in determining the causes of disease. He also expresses appreciation for the Surgeon General's Library. Original in National Museum of Health and Medicine's OHA 28: Curatorial Records: Woodward Letterbooks.

Letter from J.J. Woodward To Joseph Henry On Comparative Anatomy Books - Army Medical Museum
Dr. Joseph Woodward writes to Joseph Henry of the Smithsonian Institution asking for books on animals for the Museum's comparative anatomy collection with the books to be added to the Surgeon General's Library. Original in National Museum of Health and Medicine's OHA 28: Curatorial Records: Woodward Letterbooks.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Johns Hopkins considering a history of medicine certificate

from Christine Ruggere, Associate Director, Institute of the History of Medicine & Curator, Historical Collection ​ at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine:​

 The Department of the History of Medicine of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is currently developing a set of online courses in the history of medicine in order to provide greater access to the study of that subject.  Mapped out over time, the courses will also be part of a larger project creating an online certificate program and an online Masters' degree in the history of medicine.   One of our main goals is to provide graduate-level teaching in the field to interested health care students/professionals and others who are otherwise unable to take a year or two away from their work to pursue a degree in person or who wish to take just a few courses at their own convenience.  In order to have our degree programs certified by the state of Maryland, we are required to submit results from a survey indicating any interest in these programs.   It is a very short, quick survey:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Thai medical museum in the news

Bangkok Post
'Dark tourism' creeps out Thailand
Originally established as a teaching venue for the school's medical students, Siriraj Medical Museum today is increasingly better known as a tourist ...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A new book on World War II VD posters is out


The National Museum of Health and Medicine has a large collection of b&w copy photographs of these type of posters.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Grog, A Journal of Navy Medical History and Culture (Issue 40)

It is with great pleasure that we present to you the latest "ration" of The
Grog, a Journal of Navy Medical History and Culture.  In this edition, we
offer you original stories about: Navy Medicine's forgotten hero of the
Second Battle of Fort Fisher; a Navy nurse who was awarded the prestigious
St. Anne Medal in 1919; Navy's World War II hospital on the Emerald Isle;
Navy Medicine's role with the Marine Corps in World War I; a medical
entomologist's tale of hope after suffering great loss; and a Navy
physiologist-turned dentist's incredible mission to locate a missing
aircraft with the aid of a Deep Submersible Vehicle. We bolster this
literary line-up with the usual assortment of historical sidebars, trivia as
well as a book review by our own Col. Ginn.

The Grog is accessible through the links below.

As always we hope you enjoy this tour on the high seas of Navy Medicine's past!

André B. Sobocinski
Communications Directorate (M09B7)
Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED)

19th century publication on teeth in the Army Medical Museum

A critical examination of the teeth of several races, including one hundred and fifty moundbuilders, selected from the collection of the Army Medical Museum at Washington, D. C

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 15: NLM History of Medicine Lecture

You are cordially invited to the next NLM History of Medicine lecture, to be held on Tuesday, July 15, from 2pm to 3pm in the Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD.  As its Annual James H. Cassedy Memorial Lecture, we are proud to present Dale Smith, PhD, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, who will speak on "Anatomy Acts and the Shaping of the American Medical Profession's Social Contract."
Since the time of the Hippocratics, physicians had been offering society a community of practitioners committed to patient care, high moral values, and lifelong learning, but societies across the ancient world and early modern Europe were reluctant to set physicians apart.  In the early United States, the exceptionalism of physicians was less widely acknowledged because of the Jacksonian emphasis on self-sufficiency.  Colonial licensure laws which tried to register qualified practitioners were repealed. Medical education was voluntary, variable, and completely self-funded; schools were owned by the faculty and operated as proprietary ventures.  The medical sects – botanic, hydropathic, homeopathic – were often accepted but had little in the way of professional discipline.  Physicians wanted to be set apart as a profession, but American society did not accept the offer of professionalization until after the Civil War, when 'regular' physicians reaped the benefits of their wartime service. Ultimately the American system of licensure based on examination was instituted by states and affirmed by the courts. In return for the promise of good medicine today and better medicine tomorrow, the profession of medicine obtained legal protection, subsidized education, and socially supported and separately financed practice venues. As part of this transformation, anatomy acts were passed by the individual states: they were, in many cases, the first move to affirm a "social contract" between physicians and the communities they served.
All are welcome.
Sign language interpretation is provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate may contact Stephen Greenberg at 301-435-4995, e-mail, or 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:
Sponsored by:
NLM's History of Medicine Division
Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, Chief
Event contact:
Stephen J. Greenberg, MSLS, PhD
Coordinator of Public Services
History of Medicine Division
National Library of Medicine, NIH

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

NLM Planning Blog launches

The U.S. National Library of Medicine will soon be initiating development of its next long-range plan and, in so doing, welcomes public feedback through its recently-launched "Voyaging to the Future" blog, located at:


Thank you for your feedback, and for sharing this information with interested colleagues and friends.




Steve Greenberg


Stephen J. Greenberg, MSLS, PhD

Coordinator of Public Services

History of Medicine Division

National Library of Medicine

National Institutes of Health

Department of Health and Human Services

Bethesda, MD




Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Monday, June 9, 2014

Burns Archive in New York Magazine 6/9/14

From: Stanley Burns:

Thought you would like to know that I and The Burns Archive have been showcased in the Best Doctors of New York, - Health Issue June 9th of New York Magazine. It's on the newsstands now.
I have enclosed the link to the site. Amazingly --historic medical photographs are highlighted in four full pages.

Its the first time a Medical Humanities topic makes the Best Doctors issue.

To see the article--

New York Magazine:

All 6 "Navy Medicine at War" World War II films are online

The US Bureau of Medicine and Surgery's history office produced 6 films about the history of Navy Medicine in World War II. They're all online again at

Navy Medicine at War: Trial by Fire (2010 version)

This installment recounts the "day that will live in infamy" through the stories of Navy medical personnel who witnessed the tragic events at Pearl Harbor.

Navy Medicine at War: Guests Of The Emperor

Pearl Harbor was just the beginning of a Japanese rampage throughout the Pacific.  With nothing to stop their expanding empire, the enemy rolled through the Pacific conquering at will.  This installment of the film series tells the tragic story of those who fought to defend Guam, Bataan, and Corregidor against the Japanese invasion.  Their heroism throughout the following years in brutal captivity, under extremely trying conditions exemplifies the enduring values of Navy Medicine.

Navy Medicine at War: Battle Station Sick Bay

After the battle of Midway, even though the pendulum had swung in favor of the United States, final victory was many campaigns and many, many lives away.  Throughout the next three years, Navy medicine would accompany the carriers, battleships, cruisers, destroyers, submarines, and thousands of other vessels on the long bloody road to Tokyo.  As crewman aboard these ships, physicians, dentists, and hospital corpsmen would man battle stations and sick bays during the battle—and the lulls in between.  And they would do what Navy medical personnel had always done—treating torn, burned, and bleeding bodies, and returning men to duty.

Navy Medicine at War: Navy Medicine At Normandy, D-Day June 6, 1944

Although less well known, Navy medicine made important contributions in the Atlantic, most notably in the Normandy campaign.  The physicians and hospital corpsmen of the 6th Naval Beach Battalion are highlighted in this installment. 

Navy Medicine at War: Stepping Stones To Tokyo

The fifth installment in the six-part Navy Medicine at War film series chronicles the Navy medical experience with the Marine Corps' island-hopping campaign during the first three years of the war.

Navy Medicine at War: Final Victory

"Final Victory" is the last installment of the six-part World War II film series, "Navy Medicine at War." The film tells the story of the war's final campaign and aftermath - the bloody fight to take Okinawa, the dress rehearsal for the invasion of the Japanese home islands, the dropping of the two atomic bombs, Japan's surrender, and the liberation of the prisoners of war.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Clyster found in maritime archeology

Urethral syringe used in 19th century venereal treatment declared best archaeological find
Alan Humphries, the Librarian of the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds, identified this as a urethral syringe used to treat ailments in men by injecting ...

Monday, May 19, 2014

BUMED's historians upload 2000th item to Medical Heritage Library

May 19, 2014

After slightly more than a year of uploading material to the Medical
Heritage Library, the US Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery's 2000th
item appeared online today. "A Series of Reports to the Nursing Division
of the activities of the Nurse Corps Officers serving aboard the U.S.
Naval Hospital in the Repose"* is now easily available for research. The
reports from CDRs Angelica Vitillo and M.T. Kovacevich back to Captain
Ruth Erickson, Director of the Navy Nurse Corps, and her successor CAPT
Veronica Bulshefski date from 8 November 1965 to 2 December 1966. They
are in turns informative, chatty and sad.

"Our first direct casualty which arrived Saturday, the nineteenth, was
a nineteen year old bilateral mid-thigh amputee who to date has received
over 45 pints of blood." (28 February 1966)

"The improvements we have initiated in our individual staterooms have
contributed to maintaining a high state of moral among the nurses, One
of the base shops at Hunters Point allowed us to misappropriate an
assortment of very colorful and feminine looking bedspreads for our
rooms." (13 December 1965)

"Death claimed the life of a very young man who had extensive chest
wounds on Monday, the seventh and a thirty three year old arm amputee
with other extensive wounds on Tuesday the eighth. Some of our young
nurses are feeling these losses acutely." (9 March 1966)

These letters join a soon-to-be complete set of over 1000 issues of 70
years of Navy Medicine magazine**; oral histories with veterans of World
War 2, Korea and Vietnam;*** a growing collection of audiovisuals
including one on the Navy's humanitarian efforts after the Vietnam
War****; and many other items.





A small selection of our photographs may  be found on Flickr at

Michael Rhode
Archivist / Curator
US Navy BUMED Office of Medical History

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

ALHHS Publication award goes to NMHM archivist Eric Boyle

The ALHHS awards committee is proud to announce the recipients of
ALHHS awards for 2014. Winners were recognized at the annual ALHHS
business meeting, held on May 8, 2014 at the American College of
Surgeons in Chicago, IL.

The ALHHS Publication award went to Eric W. Boyle for his book, Quack
Medicine: A History of Combating Health Fraud in Twentieth-Century
America (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2013). Throughout the 20th
century, anti-quackery crusaders investigated, exposed, and attempted
to regulate allegedly fraudulent therapeutic approaches to health and
healing under the banner of consumer protection and a commitment to
medical science. Boyle's book reveals how efforts to establish an
exact border between quackery and legitimate therapeutic practices and
medications have largely failed, and details the reasons for this

The AlHHS Online Resource award went to the Waring Historical Library
Curator Susan Hoffius and Digital Archivist Jennifer Welch for their
on-line exhibit of the Porcher Medicinal Garden. The website and its
corresponding physical-location garden serve to increase public
awareness of the holdings of the Earing Historical Library and,
specifically the collection of Dr. F. Peyre Porcher.

The ALHHS Merit Award was given to Dr. and Mrs. Adam G.N. Moore for
their support of the collections of the Center for the History of
Family Medicine (CHFM). In 2012, the Moores donated more than 600
items including rare books, pamphlets, periodicals, and ephemera from
their personal library to create the new Adam G.N. Moore, MD,
collection in the History of Family Medicine at the CHFM.

Please join us in congratulating our award recipients for their
outstanding work.

- The 2014 ALHHS Awards Committee (Eric Luft, Rachel Howell,
and Judith Wiener, chair)

Monday, May 5, 2014

New medical museum in Louisiana

Willis-Knighton unveils WK Innovation Center
The expansion also includes the Talbot Museum, a medical museum that displays the history of the Willis-Knighton system created in 2004. Created ...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Indiana Historical Medical Museum theft

WRTV Indianapolis
Police discover more items in stolen brains investigation
... brains and other artifacts from the Indiana Historical Medical Museum after police recovered several boxes of allegedly stolen surgical instruments.

May 7: Lecture on wounded Civil War soldiers at Smithsonian

Erin Corrales-Diaz, Joe and Wanda Corn Predoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina,
Chapel Hill
"Visualizing 'The Real War': Disabled Civil War Veterans and the U.S. Army Surgeon General's Office" 
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Smithsonian American Art Museum's McEvoy Auditorium, located at 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, D.C.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

NMHM's embryology collection in Bull. of History of Medicine

Ex Utero: Live Human Fetal Research and the Films of Davenport Hooker

From: Bulletin of the History of Medicine 
Volume 88, Number 1, Spring 2014 
pp. 132-160 | 10.1353/bhm.2014.0002



Between 1932 and 1963 University of Pittsburgh anatomist Davenport Hooker, Ph.D., performed and filmed noninvasive studies of reflexive movement on more than 150 surgically aborted human fetuses. The resulting imagery and information would contribute substantially to new visual and biomedical conceptions of fetuses as baby-like, autonomous human entities that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s. Hooker's methods, though broadly conforming to contemporary research practices and views of fetuses, would not have been feasible later. But while Hooker and the 1930s medical and general public viewed live fetuses as acceptable materials for nontherapeutic research, they also shared a regard for fetuses as developing humans with some degree of social value. Hooker's research and the various reactions to his work demonstrate the varied and changing perspectives on fetuses and fetal experimentation, and the influence those views can have on biomedical research.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Army Medical Museum's Shufeldt was an unattractive character

Beyond this article, which has to be read to be believed, he was a fervent racist.

Museum Files: Audubon legacy outshines scandal
In 1882, Shufeldt was named curator in the Army Medical Museum. He retired in 1891 with a disability for heart disease. Shufeldt had a thirst for ...

Friday, January 24, 2014

Newly-created digital archives from African-American psychiatric hospital

Digital Archive to House 100 Years of Historical Documents from World's First Black Mental Institution; UT Scholar Tells Forgotten Story of African-American Psychiatric Patients

Released: 1/23/2014 12:00 PM EST
Source Newsroom: University of Texas at Austin



Sunday, January 19, 2014

Indiana Medical History Museum profiled after brain thefts

This is a nice little museum with a great operating theater.

Brain thefts boost attendance at tiny museum
USA TODAY - The medical museum had an exhibit in 2010 called "The Resurrectionists: Body Snatching in Indiana," which recalled a string of grave robberies in ...


Friday, January 17, 2014

National Library of Medicine's World War I digitization

National Library of Medicine appears to be scanning World War I books and putting them on the Medical Heritage Library. As of now, 32 are cataloged and tagged. There's some obscure-looking material there.

Newly found dissection photo

My good friend Jim Edmonson put together a book of dissection photographs a couple of years ago. Since then, I've been keeping my eyes open for them. Here's one from a collection recently transferred to BUMED's Office of Medical History. Alexander Lyle, one of the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery graduates won a Medal of Honor in World War I.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Jan 22: Drawing History: Telling the Stories of Science through Comics and Graphic Novels

On January 22 the Chemical Heritage Foundation will present a live webcast exploring how graphic novels, comic books, and animation are used to tell true stories about science. Titled "Drawing History: Telling the Stories of Science through Comics and Graphic Novels," the webcast will feature graphic novelist Jonathan Fetter-Vorm and historian of science Bert Hansen. Our guests will discuss the power of visual media in telling history.

Jonathan Fetter-Vorm is the author of
Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb, which merges text and imagery to vividly detail the race to build and the decision to drop the first atomic bombs.

Bert Hansen is professor of history of science and medicine at Baruch College of The City University of New York. His book,
Picturing Medical Progress from Pasteur to Polio, shows how mass-media images both shaped and reflected popular attitudes to medicine from the late 19th to the mid-20th century. Professor Hansen has also contributed to Chemical Heritage magazine.


You are invited to watch this discussion via webcast. "Drawing History: Telling the Stories of Science through Comics and Graphic Novels" will air at 6:30 p.m. EST at


For further information contact Michal Meyer via e-mail at or call her at 215 873-8217.

Friday, January 10, 2014

West Virginia medical museum proposed

Doctor hopes to bring children's medical museum to the city Huntington Herald Dispatch
Dr. Ali Oliashirazi laid out his plans for the Huntington Children's Medical Museum during his inaugural presidential address at the society's first ...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Turkish medical museum to open

cal museum"
EXHIBITIONS > Seljuk Museum set to open in central Anatolian ... Hurriyet Daily News
Some parts of the museum will focus on the Seljuk civilization and other parts have been organized as a medical museum, which highlights the ...

Friday, January 3, 2014

Brain samples stolen from Indiana medical museum

Brain samples stolen from Indiana medical museum
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities say a man stole brain samples of long-dead mental patients from the Indiana Medical History Museum that were ...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Daily Heller blog on French medical packaging.

More French Medical Fun

By:  | January 2, 2014

Vintage medical and medicinal products in France are designed second to none. The typographic flair and aesthetic joie de vivre are apparent in all the sundries and druggist's wares. Here are a few I just picked up.