Monday, March 31, 2008

History of medicine? Viagra 10 years down the road

From the Times' Opinion section for some reason or other:

Word for Word | Viagra
Recalling the Madness
Published: March 30, 2008
Ten years after Viagra hit the market, revisiting some of The Times’s reporting on the drug’s first months.

Personally I think it needs a few more years before it's really history though...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

New Mary Roach book

Mary Roach has stopped by the Museum and written about it iirc, in Stiff. She's got a new book out, Bonk, on sex which the New York Times reviewed and she can be heard on the Times' podcast too.

Library of Congress' new AV facility

This article, "Projecting the Future Needs of Preservation," By Adam Bernstein, Washington Post Staff Writer, Sunday, March 30, 2008; Page M14, is an interesting look at the Library of Congress' new AV facility. Of course, there are millions of films and records (I'd guess) that the LoC doesn't have and that the rest of us don't have the time nor money to preserve. At the Museum, we transferred our World War 2 propaganda films to the Library about a decade and a half ago - they weren't medical, and people would get better use of them at the Library. However, we kept a couple of thousand medical ones, which were reinforced by a couple of thousand videotapes from Walter Reed's tv branch (aka WRAMC-TV), and then with another 4000 from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research's (WRAIR) collection. The ones from WRAIR are particularly interesting as they had teams of sixty people in Vietnam during the war. So now the Museum's sitting on about 8000 films and videos. We mounted a partial-finding aid on the web earlier this year which ended up being fifteen pages anyway, but can't play most of this material so users have to pay for duplication at the beginning.

the week in flickr

Last week's pictures posted on flickr -

March 28th:

SP32 small"Shell Wound of Face." Pvt. William H. Nims, Co. D, 61st New York Volunteers, wounded at Petersburg, VA.

sp18 small"Penetrating gunshot would of the thorax and abdomen. A round musket ball having entered the left pleural cavity, passed through the diaphragm, and thence into some part of the intestinal canal. Recovery." Capt. Robert Stolpe, Co. A, 29th New York, wounded at battle of Chancellorsville, May 2, 1863. Artwork by E. Stauch.

AMM 464"Doing Cure in Kiosk, 16* below Zero." A free tuberculosis clinic in White Haven, Pennsylvania. Probably early 20th century.

March 27th:
WRAIR-KW240Unloading wounded from helicopter. Attendant holds IV [intravenous therapy] for patients. [First aid. Stretchers. Transfusions. Transport of sick and wounded.] Korean War. Photo from Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

sc355450The operation of a new litter designed to be attached to Bell helicopters used in air evacuation of the wounded from the front lines. The litter was designed by Captain Sebourn. [Transport of sick and wounded. Evacuations. Aircraft.] Korean War.

CP 1563"Army Medical Wagon"

CP 1043 - Field Day"Field Day". Amputations at Harewood Hospital in Washington, DC. Photograph from Reed Bontecou.

March 25th:

CP 0907 150dpi"Amputation of Forearm". Pvt. John Murphy, Co. K, 37 Massachusetts Volunteers. Wounded at Battle of Harper's Farm, VA on April 6, 1865. Treated by Dr. Reed Bontecou at Harewood Hospital, Washington, DC who had the photograph taken.

MAMAS E44-78-35"This is no horror picture for these are Good Japs, sinister minions of Tojo who were caught in a murderous cross fire of machine guns and rifle bullets as they attempted to make one last [fanatical] break through [our] lines at Tanapag Harbor, Saipan Island, on July 7th. This picture will supply the warlords of Japan a rough idea of what lies ahead and serve to remind them that the road to Tokyo is becoming a pretty un-healthy place for Tojo-san and his warriors." W-CPA-44-6755 July Laudansky. World War 2. 10/1/1944.

See a discussion of this picture and caption.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Netherlands health museum amusement park

Check it out at "Bounce across a rubber tongue at Corpus," Associated Press March 27 2008. There have been similar places in the US over the years, including a walk-through heart at the Franklin Museum in Philadelphia. I'm sure more suggestions can be gathered in the comments.

Our latest upload to the Internet Archive

This week we scanned and uploaded another item to the Internet Archive. It's a small booklet published during World War 1 by the War Department, Commission on Training Camp Activities and is called When You Go Home - take this book with you. It advises the troops against risky behavior with loose women and thereby avoiding venereal diseases that puts their country at risk and takes them away from the fight.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pushing our pictures

Here's some stats from the morning for our ongoing Flickr experiment in Otis Historical Archives - we've got 3 free accounts -

1 - 40831
2 - 20428
3 - 8657


The web is working for us in getting our material out to new viewers. We've asked to join Flickr's Commons, but haven't heard back yet, but stay tuned for more Flickr news.

Leprosy exhibit opens at museum...

...In coordination with the new PBS film Triumph at Carville (which I saw an earlier preview of and enjoyed a lot). John Wilhelm and Sally Squires did a good job telling the history of Hansen's Disease (the now-preferred term) sufferers and the isolation they were forced into in Carville, Louisiana. Information specifically on the exhibit should eventually be on the Museum's website.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Women's History Month Program at NMHM

Today Tom Goehner, Manager of Historical Outreach at the American Red Cross Headquarters gave a slide presentation about the role of women in the ARC--Clara Barton, Jane Delano, Minnie Pearle, Marlee Matlin, Liddy Dole, etc. The program included some great images including this one of the ARC Gray Ladies at Walter Reed Hospital (ca. 1918). The Gray Lady service began at Walter Reed in 1918. Their uniform consisted of a gray dress and veil. They served as hostesses and provided recreational services for the recovering wounded at Walter Reed. The soldiers affectionately called them "Gray Ladies" and the name stuck. The Gray Lady service continued to serve hospital patients until the 1960s.

Evidently the ARC Archives has some 30,000 images in its collections.

Get Your Links Here

A few links that have been piling up the last few days:
  • DC Confidential posted another blog about the Museum! Read it. (Thanks, DC Confidential!)
  • Medgadget posted on two interesting topics: Using Mirrors to Treat Phantom Pain, and Accu-Circ for a Safer, Happier Bris. The latter is linked to, well, because I couldn't resist. The image of the device and its intended use... The first link seemed relevant as Museum staff often get a chance to interact with wounded and recovering servicemembers in and around the Museum on the campus at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
  • Street Anatomy links to a new blog called Revealed, about scientific and medical illustration.
  • Information technology challenges are part of the price of doing business in today's rapidly evolving tech environment, and we're certainly not unused to dealing with those sorts of challenges on a daily basis. Musematic posted a few bullets from a Wall Street Journal story that illustrated some interesting parallels.
  • And PreservationNation, a blog from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, offers an update on the Army's progress with repairing, or not, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Graduate Student Symposium 2 May 2008

LIVE FROM THE Washington Society for the History of Medicine, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, and the Office of NIH History, National Institutes of Health:

Graduate Student Symposium 2 May 2008
8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Lister Hill Visitors Center
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike, Bldg. 38A
Lunch, refreshments, snacks provided.
Registration: email Judy Chelnick
NIH directions, access:

Plenary speaker
Angela N.H. Creager
Department of History
Program in the History of Science
Princeton University

8.30-9.00 Coffee

9.00 -9.15 Introductions
David Cantor, President, Washington Society for the History of Medicine.
Elizabeth Fee, Chief, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine.
Robert Martensen, Chief, Office of NIH History, National Institutes of Health.

9.15-10.15 Plenary
Angela N.H. Creager, Dept of History & Program in the History of Science, Princeton University.
Artificial Radioisotopes in Biomedicine, 1935-1955: From Gift Exchange to Commodification in the Atomic Age.

10.15–10.30 Coffee

10.30-12.15 What we’re working on. Why we’re interested. How things have changed since the last Graduate Student Symposium
A chance for all of us, graduate students and historians working in the field, to talk informally about our research projects, interests, theoretical frames, methods, etc.
Format: 5-10 minutes per participant (including discussion).
Up to 3 slides on memory stick allowed.

12.15-1.15 Lunch

1.15-2.45 Publishing Your Research
What do publishers/journals want? What not to do. How to write a good book proposal.
Mary E. Fissell, Editor, Bulletin of the History of Medicine.
Randall M. Packard, Editor, Bulletin of the History of Medicine.
Jacqueline Wehmueller, Executive Editor, the Johns Hopkins University Press.
Robert Martensen, Chief, Office of NIH History, National Institutes of Health.

2.45-3.15 Coffee

3.15-5.00 Archival Research
A discussion about the problems of archival research from the points of view of archivists, curators, and historians.
Paul Theerman, Head, Images and Archives, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine.
Michael Rhode, Chief Archivist, National Museum of Health and Medicine, Washington, DC.
John Swann, Historian, FDA History Office, Rockville, Maryland.

5.00 Retire to the Rock-Bottom Brewery, Bethesda.

Washington Society for the History of Medicine blog

Who knew the Washington Society for the History of Medicine had a blog?

Signs and rumors of signs

I went to the National Zoo on Sunday, a beautiful day to be out. Apparently half of all Washington area residents and their visitors agreed with me because they were there too. I bought a membership while there, more to get free parking than anything else (pay $40 for a membership to save $12 on parking....) and could have gotten a map of the zoo for free with the membership, but decided not to because I was counting on signs. Uh, no. I was there almost 5 hours and didn't see one sign for a restroom. When I was ready to leave I looked for signs that would send me back to parking lot A but they almost nonexistent. Even overview maps of the zoo weren't at every major intersection as I expected and I saw just two of those when I was actively looking. I found my way back only after asking an employee, and finally saw a sign for the lot when I was next to the exit.

This made me think of the New York Historical Society. I posted some pictures I took there on my Flickr page (isn't this shameless self-promotion) and someone commented that she too enjoyed the museum but was frustrated by the lack of labels. I'd noticed the same thing when I was there. Here's a photo I took but I can only guess what some of these things are. There were no labels. It would have been helpful to even have something basic like "Sewing Tools."

So what does this mean for those of us who work in museums/zoos/historical societies? It seems such an elementary idea, but basic labeling is important. How else does a visitor put things in context, understand the significance of the object, or find her way to the loo?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Nationalism, racism or a time that tried men's souls?

Here's a picture from the MAMAS collection that Kathleen ran across today:

Unpleasant, but typical of war photography, right?

Now here's the picture with the caption scanned in:
MAMAS E44-78-35

The caption reads, "This is no horror picture for these are Good Japs, sinister minions of Tojo who were caught in a murderous cross fire of machine guns and rifle bullets as they attempted to make one last [fanatical] break through [our] lines at Tanapag Harbor, Saipan Island, on July 7th. This picture will supply the warlords of Japan a rough idea of what lies ahead and serve to remind them that the road to Tokyo is becoming a pretty un-healthy place for Tojo-san and his warriors." W-CPA-44-6755 July Laudansky. 10/1/1944.

As a policy, we use the caption that the picture comes with, although we'll add additional information in brackets if necessary. This caption? It's unpleasant, but it's probably not propaganda as it was never meant to be seen except by the Museum staff who received it. Unfortunately Mr. Laudansky was almost certainly on Saipan taking photographs when these Japanese soldiers attacked (to the last man), so I think we can understand this caption as an expression of something more than either nationalism or racism too. I'd like to hope that we as a society have moved beyond some things, but if I was in Laudansky's shoes, I have no idea what I'd write. I know I'd have been terrified though.

Although in our numbering series for the Museum & Medical Arts Service, I think this photograph is a re-photograph of by MAMAS staff of Luadansky's picture for the Central Pacific Area Signal Corps group.

Blogging and Museums

As you can tell, we're making this up as we go along, but our colleagues at Medical Museion @ University of Copenhagen have had their blog Biomedicine on Display up for a while and they've got a post up on Museums and Blogging that's worth looking at.

March of Dimes Archives

I picked up a piece of polio history the other day. This printing plate for a comic strip on a fundraising campaign.

I haven't printed it yet although we're trying, but flopping and inverting the picture lets you see it:

When we get it printed, a scan will be available from the Museum. In the meantime, it sparked a letter from the March of Dimes archivist which included this information on their archives. David's given his permission for me to repost the information.

March of Dimes Archives

The March of Dimes Archives is the official repository of non-current records of the March of Dimes. The mission of the Archives is to identify, acquire, preserve, and provide access to records documenting the history of the March of Dimes. The records consist of published and unpublished information in a variety of media created, received, and maintained by the March of Dimes and its predecessor (The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis) in the conduct of business. Our collections include correspondence and other textual holdings, photography, film and videotape, electronic records, medical artifacts, posters, and memorabilia. The March of Dimes archivist oversees the proper organization and storage of its collections and provides both staff and the general public with information about its holdings.

Our archival collections document the history and achievements of one of the most successful voluntary health organizations in history. Highlights include the letters of Franklin Roosevelt and Basil O’Connor (first president of the National Foundation); the medical program to eradicate polio and the Salk vaccine field trial of 1954; fund-raising events such as the Mothers March, Waldorf-Astoria fashion shows, and WalkAmerica; the National Foundation Expanded Program (1958) that launched birth defects prevention as a mission objective; the career of Virginia Apgar, creator of the Apgar Score for evaluating newborns; perinatal health initiatives, including Toward Improving the Outcome of Pregnancy, a plan for the regional development of maternal and perinatal health services. Our archival resources are used by March of Dimes staff at the national office and chapters and by researchers from all walks of life who study, publish, and produce films and exhibits on epidemic disease, the history of medicine and public health, vaccines and vaccination, entertainment and political celebrities, volunteers and volunteerism, American popular culture, women’s history, disability studies, and much more.

March of Dimes archival collections include:

• Salk and Sabin Polio Vaccine Records
• Medical Program Records
• Fund Raising Records
• Film, Video, and Photography Collections
• March of Dimes Publications
• Chapter Organization and Activities Records
• Salk Institute for Biological Studies Records
• Basil O’Connor Papers
• Virginia Apgar Papers

Need assistance with historical questions? For information, please contact:

David W. Rose, Archivist
March of Dimes
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
drose AT

You can also see the polio pictures we do have in the Museum, and we've got the film, Born in the White House, about the March of Dimes.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Telemedicine of the Third Kind

This article talks about another type of telemedicine - one in which patients load their symptoms and treatment into an online database to aid research, and possibly themselves.

"Practicing Patients," by THOMAS GOETZ, NY Times Magazine March 23, 2008.
PatientsLikeMe, an Internet start-up, creates information-rich communities for the chronically ill. Is it the next step forward in medical science — or just a MySpace for the afflicted?

Atomic veterans

We're asked fairly regularly for material relating to nuclear explosions, mostly photographs, of either Hiroshima or Nagasaki, or later tests. An article about Canadian veterans and their attempt to get benefits can be seen at "Troops exposed in nukes testing fight for aid," By Barry Brown, Washington Times March 23, 2008.

Another article related to forensic ID exhibit

Here's another article about another country and cultures take on identifying its dead soldiers - "Anonymous Korean War Dead Still Await Trip Home," By CHOE SANG-HUN, NY Times March 23, 2008.
Known as the “enemy cemetery” in South Korea, it contains the remains of communist fighters or infiltrators North Korea has not reclaimed.

I believe our exhibit on identifying US war dead is planned to open in early summer although I'm not involved in it.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

See Inside Beta People

Medgadget linked to it, and since our Museum features actual anatomical specimens, I thought maybe our readers would be interested in this new site BodyMaps: A Human Atlas. The site sometimes took a moment to resolve on the screen after selecting a different system, but that doesn't put a dent though in its coolness factor. Enjoy.

When one site links to another, that's when the magic happens

So for the first draft of this post, as I described to Mike offline the other day, I had thought that I would lace some interesting information about the Museum's web site traffic with some witty commentary, even a few jokes. I get jokes. After torturing that draft for a while longer this afternoon, I'm just going to get to the point. So, if you were looking for some self-deprecating humor or hilarious observations about the state of the PR profession, too bad. Maybe another day.

I thought our eight or nine readers might enjoy this sampler of links gleaned from our Web site statistics:

Among the sites offering links to us with some significant traffic so far this month: a Wikipedia page on hairballs that links to our virtual exhibit; two different but related pages about the Lincoln assassination; a government site about pandemic flu planning; a 2005 Medgadget post about our Human Body Revealed exhibition; a tourist-focused site called Things to Do. To all those sites, and others, we appreciate the business.

If I find any other statistical goodies, I'll be sure to post those, too.

Museum News Hopefully Worth Noting

A few news items from museums near and far:
  • Baghdad's National Museum, a treasure trove of artifacts from the stone age and Babylon to the Assyrians and Islamic art, will not reopen when renovation of two of its galleries is completed in a few months, an official said. (AP)
  • Field Museum exhibit shows that mythical creatures didn't just spring from imagination (Chicago Tribune)

A little Googling led to some other related links: Here is the Wikipedia page on the National Museum, and here is what appears to be a nonprofit group interested in helping the Iraqis. And here is the link to the Field's new exhibit.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Wounded vets rebuilding their lives

Walking around Walter Reed, even when not directly involved in patient care, one sees a lot of people who are working to get their bodies and their lives reconstructed. Here's an article about one of them - "Wounded Vet Again Tackles Basic Training; Swimmer Among Those Trying Out For Paralympics," By Amy Shipley, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, March 21, 2008; Page A01.

Vaccination, herd immunity, and selfishness

Two main papers ran articles on vaccination today. Let's take a look at them. Remember I'm speaking for myself here as our disclaimer notes.

"Vaccine Failure Is Setback in AIDS Fight: Test Subjects May Have Been Put at Extra Risk Of Contracting HIV" by David Brown, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, March 21, 2008; Page A01 talks about the bitter conclusion.

"This is on the same level of catastrophe as the Challenger disaster" that destroyed a NASA space shuttle, said Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, and head of the Institute for Human Virology in Baltimore.

This seems to put off a prevention of AIDS for the foreseeable future, meaning that millions especially in Third World countries will continue to die:

"None of the products currently in the pipeline has any reasonable chance of being effective in field trials," Ronald C. Desrosiers, a molecular geneticist at Harvard University, declared last month at an AIDS conference in Boston. "We simply do not know at the present time how to design a vaccine that will be effective against HIV."

Meanwhile, theoretically well-educated people refuse to vaccinate their children in the US - read "Public Health Risk Seen as Parents Reject Vaccines," By JENNIFER STEINHAUER, New York Times March 21, 2008.

Let's pull out some quotes from this article:

SAN DIEGO — In a highly unusual outbreak of measles here last month, 12 children fell ill; nine of them had not been inoculated against the virus because their parents objected, and the other three were too young to receive vaccines.

Now, let's see what the Centers for Disease Control says about measles - "How serious is the disease? Measles itself is unpleasant, but the complications are dangerous. Six to 20 percent of the people who get the disease will get an ear infection, diarrhea, or even pneumonia. One out of 1000 people with measles will develop inflammation of the brain, and about one out of 1000 will die."

Hmmm. Let's see what a parent in the article has to say:

“I refuse to sacrifice my children for the greater good,” said Sybil Carlson, whose 6-year-old son goes to school with several of the children hit by the measles outbreak here. The boy is immunized against some diseases but not measles, Ms. Carlson said, while his 3-year-old brother has had just one shot, protecting him against meningitis. “When I began to read about vaccines and how they work,” she said, “I saw medical studies, not given to use by the mainstream media, connecting them with neurological disorders, asthma and immunology.”

Nice. So she's willing to risk her children to a 1 in 1000 risk of death because of something she read that the mainstream media (and the FDA and CDC) refuse to believe. So far, nobody has been able to prove that vaccination increases the risk of autism, which is what most people who fear vaccination seem to be most concerned about.

“The very success of immunizations has turned out to be an Achilles’ heel,” said Dr. Mark Sawyer, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. “Most of these parents have never seen measles, and don’t realize it could be a bad disease so they turn their concerns to unfounded risks. They do not perceive risk of the disease but perceive risk of the vaccine.”

So what happens to herd immunity, or the phenomena in which even if an individual's vaccination doesn't take, one's protected by the fact that a virus can't infect anyone around him?

There is substantial evidence that communities with pools of unvaccinated clusters risk infecting a broad community that includes people who have been inoculated. For instance, in a 2006 mumps outbreak in Iowa that infected 219 people, the majority of those sickened had been vaccinated. In a 2005 measles outbreak in Indiana, there were 34 cases, including six people who had been vaccinated. Here in California, six pertussis outbreaks infected 24 people in 2007; only 2 of 24 were documented as having been appropriately immunized. A surveillance program in the mid ’90s in Canada of infants and preschoolers found that cases of Hib fell to between 8 and 10 cases a year from 550 a year after a vaccine program was begun, and roughly half of those cases were among children whose vaccine failed.

The current John Adams miniseries on HBO shows the lengths that Abigail Adams was willing to go to inoculate her children. Here's some pictures of smallpox, which was the first disease prevented by vaccination to show why she, and George Washington who vaccinated the Continental Army, went to such lengths.

Woman with smallpox with vaccinated infant (the opposite of the situation in the NY Times article in which the parent is protected, but the child is not).

You can live in a former Army base

Years and years ago, the Army expanded Walter Reed Army Medical Center by purchasing a former girls school known as the National Park Seminary. Parts of the school buildings were whimsical recreations of European architecture. You can buy a couple of books about the site, or you can just buy a home there. I'm not thrilled that these are becoming condos, but the Army didn't maintain them. In the late 1980s, I mounted a rescue operation of a large painting of psychiatric patients during World War 2. The painting hung on the ground floor of that building you see in their ad, but water leaking from three stories up had damaged it. The Borden Institute paid to have it restored to use in their Textbook of Military Medicine on psychiatry, and it hangs in the Museum now.

Medical museum links on Morbid Anatomy

Morbid Anatomy's got a list of links to medical museum's running down the left side of the blog. That should be useful feature. The new thing they've added is a list of museums on flickr, running down the right side.

A Civil War plastic surgery article I helped on

I just ran across this - "The first civil war photographs of soldiers with facial wounds," Journal of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Springer New York, ISSN 0364-216X (Print) 1432-5241 (Online), Volume 19, Number 3 / May, 1995. This was largely written by my late friend Dr. Blair Rogers, although I can still pick out the parts I wrote - mostly the photo history. They've even put up the full text as a pdf that can be downloaded. Blair really pushed me into writing about the Civil War photographs, and I appreciate his efforts (perhaps more now than I did in the early 1990s.)

Confederate Manual of Military Surgery online

This 1863 manual wasn't scanned by us, but by Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. They've got three books in total available for download:

# A manual of military surgery, [Confederate States Army], 1863

# A manual of military surgery, by S.D. Gross, MD, 1861

# On the anatomy of the breast, by Sir Astley Paston Cooper, 1840

William Hunter and the Art and Science of Eighteenth-Century Collecting

William Hunter and the Art and Science of Eighteenth-Century Collecting Conference
3-5 September 2008

A conference organised by the Hunterian and the University of Glasgow History of Art Department which will explore Dr William Hunter's role and place as a collector in eighteenth-century Europe.

Wednesday 3 September - Hunterian Art Gallery 4.00. Registration/coffee/tea; 4.30- 5.30 Keynote speaker: t.b.c.
5.45-7.00 Reception, Hunterian Art Gallery. Curators Peter Black and Anne Dulau give tours of exhibitions.

Thursday 4 September- Hunterian Museum. Session 1: European private collections.
Speakers include: Mikael Ahlund (Nationalmuseum, Stockholm); Heiner Krellig (Berliner Schlosser); Guillaume Faroult (Louvre); Kim Sloan (Francis Finlay Curator of the Enlightenment Gallery, British Museum)

Session 2: Medical 'men' as collectors and medical collections.
Stuart McDonald (IBLS - Neuroscience & Biomedical Systems, University of Glasgow); Peter Black (Curator, Hunterian Art Gallery); Starr Douglas (Leverhulme Scholar, University of Glasgow); Simon Chaplin (Director of the Museum and Special Collections at the Royal College of Surgeons)

Friday 5 September - Hunterian Museum. Session 3: 18th Century museums and collections.
Architecture, Interiors and Display; Helen McCormack (David Carritt Scholar, University of Glasgow); Clare Haynes (School of World Art Studies and Museology, University of East Anglia); Geoff Hancock (Curator of Entomology, Hunterian Museum); Tom Tolley (History of Art Department, University of Edinburgh).

Session 4: 'A centre of instruction and enlightenment'.
Hunter and his collections: David Weston (Keeper, Glasgow University Library Special Collections) Hunter's library 2.30 Donal Bateson (Curator of Coins & Medals, Hunterian Museum); Nick Pearce (History of Art Department, University of Glasgow); John Faithfull (Curator of Mineralogy, Hunterian Museum)

For further information contact Geoff Hancock
Telephone: 0141 330 2194

Pharmacology as a technology

Coincidentally the NY Times reported on the deaths of two men who developed drugs for treating mental states.

The articles are:"Frank Ayd, 87, Who Advanced Thorazine Use, Is Dead,", by DOUGLAS MARTIN, March 21, 2008.
Dr. Ayd studied his patients’ responses to early antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs, helping to give birth to the field of psychopharmacology.

and: "Frank Berger, 94, Miltown Creator, Dies," By BENEDICT CAREY, March 21, 2008.
Dr. Berger helped start the modern era of drug development with his invention of Miltown, the first mass-market psychiatric drug and a forerunner of Valium and Prozac.

These two obituaries show what a short time has passed since mind and mood altering drugs, besides alcohol, were developed and have become common, helping millions of people, but leading to many debates over the proper use of them. For thousands of years, medicine used some basic drugs and these didn't change much. In the 19th and 20th century, that was no longer true, and a new branch of the history of medicine opened up.

Anatomical brushes for Photoshop

I'm a struggling Photoshop Elements 6 learner. I'm always on the prowl for ways to level the learning curve so I subscribed to several Photoshop blogs. One that popped up today offers brushes (which I'm not really sure what they are but think they're something like virtual rubber stamps) of "... a mix of drawings (apparently drawn by Leonardo da Vinci...) and photos of 18th century wax anatomy sculptures (from Florence's Museo La Specola). Perhaps not for the very faint hearted, but interesting nonetheless."

I saw them mentioned on The Photoshop Blog. The brushes are being offered by a designer in France, who asks only that you link back to her when you use her brushes. In addition to these she also has a couple sets of skulls and bones, and a lot of non-anatomical sets too.

If only I could figure out how to show those brushes in this post.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Woolly Skeletons

Awesome blog Street Anatomy, which I will admit, I've taken a liking to in recent days, links to some cool anatomical constructs made of felted wool! (Worth the exclamation point? Don't know. Left it in anyway.)

Some Blog Coverage Today

A blog post about prosthetics, with just a twinge of commentary thrown in, mentions the Museum with several choice photographs, apparently taken with a keen eye by the blog's author. Thanks, DC Confidential, for the nice write-up and link. And we'll look out for those future posts the author mentions.

This week's flickr pictures

Kathleen and I have been putting up a few pics this week as the fancy has struck us. Check these out:

March 17th:

Retractors made from scrap metal. 44th Field Hospital, 8th Detachment. World War 2. 09/23/1945.

March 18:

cp 944 small
"Gunshot fracture of left superior maxilla." Private Henry Morgan, Co. D, 77th New York Volunteers, wounded at Petersburgh, VA on April 2, 1865. Treated at Harewood Hospital, Washington DC, by Dr. Reed B. Bontecou who also had the photograph made.

SP79 small
"Shell Wound of the face, with great destruction of the soft parts." Private Joseph Harvey, Co. C, 149th New York Volunteers. Wounded at Chancellorsville, Virginia on May 3 1863.

sp58 small
"Case of Corporal Bemis, Thrice Severely Wounded in Three Battles." Cpl. Edson D. Bemis, Co. K, 12th Massachussetts, wounded at Battles of Hatcher's Run, the Wilderness and Antietam.

MAMAS CA44-373-2
Mobile Optical Unit. 4th Medical Depot, Italy. 06/07/1944.

March 19:

CP 2452
Detachment of Hospital Corps taking patients over obstacles on the way to the hospital. Illustrating the equipment and operation of the brigade field hospital. Exhibit of the Army Medical Department, Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, New York, 1901.

NCP 15169 Batchelor - Saboteuse small
"Saboteuse" - World War II venereal disease prevention poster by editorial cartoonist C.D. Batchelor for the American Social Hygiene Association.

Reeve 60857 hyacinth
Panama. Dr. H.C. Clark. Gorgas Hospital. Ancon, Canal Zone. Club canoe forcing way through hyacinth beds, Pacora.

March 20:

Reeve 00231 horse
Comparative anatomy, Auzoux model of horse, life size. Specimen no. 2635. [papier mache, on display in Army Medical Museum] (We no longer have the model, although one can be seen in the Science Museum in London. This one's for Morbid Anatomy).

MAMAS G45-50-I
An enlisted technician rides along with patient to ground level to insure safety. from a series: "Air Evacuation from China to India," Patients flown over the 'hump' from China to India to be admitted to the 142nd General Hospital for further disposition.

More information about each picture can be seen on our flickr site. Visit our 3rd flickr page regularly, or sign up to be a contact so you know when new pictures go up.

David Challinor's obituary

I never met, nor to be honest, had heard of Dr. David Challinor of the Smithsonian before reading his obituary yesterday. These sentences caught my eye:

He also wrote more than 200 " Letters from the Desk of David Challinor" that are in the Smithsonian's digital repository and available online. They address issues such as flu pandemics, tree ecology, bird song accents and dialects, the nature of trust, hydrothermal vents and "good smells and bad."

I read the bird flu article today - it's a good summation. As you can see by downloading some of those World War 1 medical histories that have been linked to here previously, the Army Medical Museum was quite concerned with investigating the 'Spanish flu' in 1918, and specimens preserved then were used by AFIP scientists to genotype that flu in the 1990s, demonstrating one value of a museum collection. You can see the Museum's flu pictures on the main website.

And speaking of telemedicine...'s Washington Times had a piece on teleradiology - "Outsourcing images," by Shelley Widhalm (March 20, 2008) that talks about some of the issues, ethical and practical, involved in the practice. It's a bit of a puff piece for an area business, but gets across the points one should think about.

My earlier post on telemedicine is here.

Whatever happened to... J. Carey Crane?

Another alum report - Carey was our exhibits head, but left us to go west. Carey had been the Curator of Exhibits at the Alamagordo Space Museum, but reports the "Latest twist in my checkered career: Senior Exhibits Curator for the City of Las Cruces' Museum system. Las Cruces is creating a complex including art, history, natural history museums. Several historic buildings including a railroad depot are close by."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What is...Street Anatomy, Alex?

For $200: A blog that that features depictions of human anatomy in various outdoor settings.

(I wonder if I would have come across something like this in any of my previous, probably not. Cool, eh?)

Tip: Medgadget

Identifying war dead

The anatomical collections staff of the Museum is working on an exhibit about identifying American military war dead. The New York Times ran an interesting piece about the dead of other nationalities who were buried in Thailand in mass graves when they died during World War II building the 'Death Railway' and 'the bridge over the River Kwai.'

“It is almost forgotten history,” said Sasidaran Sellappah, a retired plantation manager in Malaysia whose father was among 120 Tamil workers from a rubber estate forced to work on the railway. Only 47 survived.

Tuskegee syphilis study - medical history that still has repercussions

This article "Testing after Tuskegee," by Amanda Thomas, Washington Times March 19, 2008, looks at the question of if the Tuskegee syphilis studies, unethical longitudinal studies that withheld treatment for syphilitic patients when an effective one existed, keeps black participation lower in clinical trials today.

Medical book exhibit in Australia

Medical books, with their interesting illustrations, make an easy exhibit subject. Here's an article about one at the University of Melbourne's Medical History Museum. Who knew they had a medical museum? We've got to get better organized.

Indiana Medical History Museum

Ange, a volunteer from the Indiana Medical History Museum, has written in to tell us that she's been posting pictures of their collection on flickr as well. I've been there - it's on the outskirts of Indianapolis - and it's a very cool place. In fact, I've referred film crews there because they still have a Victorian-type operating theatre.

Doctor's Day at the National Museum of Health and Medicine on March

Doctor's Day at the National Museum of Health and Medicine on March 30th!

In honor of Doctor's Day on Sunday, March 30, doctors and their families are invited to visit the National Museum of Health and Medicine for a special docent-led tour of our current exhibitions. A discovery cart activity showcasing plastinated human organs will also be featured. Doctor's Day observances date back to March 30, 1933, and mark the anniversary of the first use of general anesthesia in surgery.

Tours begin at 1:00 p.m. Admission and parking are free! Reservations are strongly recommended; phone (202) 782-2456 or email in advance. Learn more about the Museum online at See you at the Museum!

What: Doctor's Day at the Museum!
Where: National Museum of Health and Medicine/AFIP, Building 54, Walter
Reed Army Medical Center
Date: Sunday, March 30, 2008
Time: 1:00 p.m.

Telemedicine at its most basic

Telemedicine is one of those buzzwords these days, and if you've checked into a hospital for x-rays after say 7 pm, you may very well have participated in it. Radiology is all digital these days - no film anymore - and India with its quotient of well-trained doctors is wide awake at midnight on the US East coast.

But here's another, more personal example from the Washington Times. In The doctor's online 'office' from March 18, 2008 by Karen Goldberg Goff, you can read about Dr. Howard Stark's embrace of the Internet to make life and medicine easier for everyone involved. Up to and including, "I once had a patient who worked for the WorldBank who called me from the airport in Kazakhstan," he says. "He had an abdominal hernia and was
in tremendous pain. I talked him through pushing in his own hernia on the floor of the airport."

Now that's telemedicine.

Women's History Month lecture at the National Museum of Health and Medicine!

Women's History Month at the National Museum of Health and Medicine!

Plan now to enjoy a special lecture on women and the American Red Cross. Thomas B. Goehner, Manager, Historical Outreach American Red Cross National Headquarters, will discuss "American Red Cross Women: Embracing Opportunity," on March 26, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. in Russell Auditorium at the NMHM.

From the time of Clara Barton to the present, the American Red Cross has offered women opportunities for leadership, travel, independence, volunteerism and professional growth. Wherever the Red Cross is serving--either on the battlefront or the home front--women continue to embrace and achieve success with each new challenge. This talk will celebrate the achievements and unique opportunities given to women through the Red Cross, shedding light on the contributions of rank-and-file Red Cross women as well as the pioneers from the past, like Clara Barton and nursing legend Jane Delano.

Admission is free!

What: Women's History Month Lecture: "American Red Cross Women:
Embracing Opportunity"
Where: Russell Auditorium, National Museum of Health and Medicine/AFIP,
Building 54, Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Time: 11:00 a.m.

For more information, call (202) 782-2456 or email Learn more about the Museum online at

Internet Archive (

As you know, we've been uploading books that we've digitized to the Internet Archive's collection of about 350,000 books. Today had an article about the Archive, describing the page-by-tedious-page scanning that's being done there. It's nice to know that even the Big Boys are doing it a page at a time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Another Veterinary Corps researcher

A short while ago I wrote about Mike Lemish, who's interested in Military Working Dogs used in Vietnam, and said there was another researcher who's found some treasures in our Veterinary Corps collection. Greg Krenzelok's interest lies with the Corps during World War 1, when his grandfather, Sergeant Leonard Patrick Murphy served, and he has a web page where he relates what he's found and solicits information that others are willing to pass along. His particular interest lies with the horses used during the war, and is looking for pictures such as this one showing a horse being prepared for surgery.

Reeve 14727

19th Century French medical equipment

In response to a request from someone interested in our General Medical Products Information (GMPI) collection, we recently scanned two "catalogs" put out by M.G. Trouvé in 1869 and 1872. The person who requested them kindly provided a loose translation that suits both of them: "New apparatus for the use of doctors and surgeons, designed and constructed. Extract from the journal les Mondes, 15 July 1869.... All the apparati were presented at the Academy of Medicine by Mr. Béclard, [at the] session of 10 June 1869 [and May 1872]."

It turns out that these aren't really catalogs, but reprints from the journal mentioned above, les Mondes, that tout Trouvé's products in the guise of a scholarly article. There are some nice illustrations that I haven't yet figured out how to isolate from the PDF to post here.

Friday, March 14, 2008

More medical museum excerpts from the AFIP's annual reports

The rest of the Medical Museum Excerpts from the AFIP Annual Reports:










After 2006, the report went digital.

These are all laid out by the unsung Fran Card. One of them in the oughts got garbled in the printing process, but I don't recall which it is.

Malaysia's opening a medical museum and...

See the story on the new Malaysian museum here.

Meanwhile the University of Copenhagen's Medical Museion scored a cool mechanical heart device, lucky devils.

Another alumnus story

Does my heart proud... Scott was an assistant archivist who was one of our more... agressive... flickr posters. And now he'd putting up favorite pictures at his new job.

The Emilio Segrè Visual Archives has put up an online gallery of some of our favorite images from the collection and we invite everyone to take a look (more info below).

Scott Prouty

Every picture tells a story. We've picked 63 of our favorites.

Visit our new Favorite Photos gallery featuring the most popular and striking selections from our collection of more than 30,000 images of physicists and astronomers.

The Emilio Segrè Visual Archives ( site includes historical photographs, slides, lithographs, engravings, and other visual materials of many of the best known names in physics and astronomy, including Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Marie Curie, Isaac Newton, Richard Feynman and Hans Bethe, along with other lesser known figures. All are available as digital downloads or high-quality print reproductions.

We hope that you'll browse through the site and enjoy the pictures.

About the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives (ESVA) The ESVA is a leading resource of digital and print images of scientists and their work. It is part of the Niels Bohr Library & Archives at the American Institute of Physics ( in College Park, Maryland.

For more information
Call us at (301) 209-3184 or visit online at

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Military Working Dogs again

Today I got an email from Mike Lemish about the post I made yesterday. The Military Working Dog website is not his; he just forwarded an email he received from Debbie Kandoll, whose website it IS. Mike also told me, "Also the MWDs may not be Iraq war veteran's. With over four thousand dogs worldwide it may be a bomb/drug detector dog from anywhere in the world but most likely CONUS [continental United States]." Check it out, folks.

Here's another picture from our collection. This is a shot of elevated kennels in Vietnam.
AVCA box 125

Interesting World War 1 article

Our colleagues at the the Office of the Surgeon General's Historian's office have put an article about volunteer Americans' experiences in the British Army on their website. Click here to download Yanks in King's Forces. For those who want more information, Mitch Yockelson, who co-curated The Cost of a Splendid Little War exhibit with me, has a new book on the topic coming out, Borrowed Soldiers: Americans Under British Command, 1918, and will be speaking at the Museum at some point later this year.

Medical museum excerpts from AFIP annual reports

Reeve 30538
Alright, this isn't exciting, but where else are you going to find them? These are links to scans of the Medical Museum section of the AFIP Annual reports. There's some interesting bits off and on.

Medical Museum Excerpts from the AFIP Annual Reports of 1947-1991.

Medical Museum Excerpts from the AFIP Annual Reports of 1992.

Medical Museum Excerpts from the AFIP Annual Reports of 1993.

Medical Museum Excerpts from the AFIP Annual Reports of 1994.

Medical Museum Excerpts from the AFIP Annual Reports of 1995.

Medical Museum Excerpts from the AFIP Annual Reports of 1997.

World War 1 volume on Gas Warfare finally posted

The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 14: Medical Aspects of Gas Warfare(1926) would discuss the effects of your poison gases like mustard gas. This completes the World War 1 books available for downloading.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Military Working Dogs

We've had a couple of researchers lately who've looked into our large Veterinary Corps collection. One of them is Mike Lemish. Mike's research has to do with Military Working Dogs from the Vietnam war. Recently he sent me an email announcing a website that promotes adoption of working dogs that have been retired from the Iraq war but are great dogs that still have a lot to give. However, too many of them are euthanized because they don't get adopted and have nowhere to go. As of 2000, civilians have been allowed to adopt these animals (H.R. 5314 on 6 Nov 2000) and Mike's website gives information about how to do so.

AVCA box 163

Another collection digitized

The museum photographer just photographed a scrapbook of photos for us because the book was too fragile to lay flat on the scanner. The scrapbook was given to Miss Frances Pleasants by students of hers, from when she taught wounded soldiers during the Civil War in Germantown, Pennsylvania. This photo caught my eye, as well as the caption that was handwritten underneath it:
Pleasants 84

The caption read "Photograph of three children found in the hands of a dead soldier on the battlefield." It took me a couple of reads to see it meant the photo was found in the dead soldier's hands, not the children. Obvious now, but I sure wondered at the time.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New book donation

We're not the Pathology Institute's library and most of what would have been the Museum library left with the National Library of Medicine when it split off from the old Army Medical Museum and Library for good in the 1960s (remind me to post about the split of the photographs and AMML records), but people give us books.

Recently we got 26 books from Dr. Inghram Miller, Newton, Kansas (NMHM Acquisition Number 2007.0038) accompanying a wicker wheelchair. There was also a couple of neat pieces of medical trade literature in the books.

Johnson, Alexander Bryan. Surgical Diagnosis, volumes I, II, and III, 1910

Kelly, Howard A. Operative Gynecology, Volumes I and II, 1898 and 1899

Deaver, John B. Surgical Anatomy, Volumes I, II, and III, 1904 and 1908

Bryant, Joseph and Albert Buck. American Practice of Surgery, Volumes VII and VIII, 1910 -11

International Clinics Vol II, 2nd and 3rd series, 1892 and 1893

Ashton, Willaim Easterly. A Testbook on the Practice of Gynecology. 1906

Flint, Austin. A Treatise on the Principles and Practice of Medicine. 1881

Bartholow, Roberts. A Practical Treatise on Materia, Medica, and Theraputics. 1889

Wood, George B and Franklin Bache. Dispensatory of the United States, 18th ed. By Wood, Remington and Stadtler. 1899

Osler, William. Principles and Practice of Medicine. 1895

Gould, George M. An Illustrated Dictionary of Medicine, Biology and Allied Sciences, 5th ed. 1903

Holt, L. Emmett. Diseases of Infancy and Childhood. 1897

Da Costa, J. M. Medical Diagnosis, 8th ed. 1895

Gray, Henry. Anatomy Descriptive and Surgical. 8th and enlarged ed. 1881 (1878)

Babcock, W. Wayne. A Textbook of Surgery. 1929

Kaltschmidt, J. H. School Dictionary of the Latin Language, Part 1: Latin-English. 1876

Tillmans, Herman. A Textbook of Surgery, Vol II: Regional Surgery. trans from German. 1899

Mathews, Joseph M. A Treatise on Diseases of the Rectum, Anus and Sigmoid Flexure. 1893

Taylor, Alfred Swain. A Manual on Medical Jurisprudence. 11th American ed by Clark Bell. 1892

Museum Linked on Yahoo! Directory Blog Post

Some PR people call it 'current awareness' or 'reputation management' (easier to overbill for the service when the exaggerated amounts are associated with a fancy term, I guess) but I tend to call it what it is - reading or watching the news. In this case, news about the Museum, either in 'traditional' media or elsewhere in the blogosphere.

Thanks to Google, Yahoo!, Topix and Bloglines, and others, it's easy enough to monitor for mention of the Museum out there on the Internet, and it was one of those engines that led me to this blog post on Yahoo! today.

I'm not sure what to make of the Yahoo! blog post; I don't see an 'about' link to tell readers why the stream of posts is being written or published. That notwithstanding, it's great to see a link to the Museum, and the use of one of the Otis Historical Archives' very cool Flickr posts; in this case, a photo from the collections related to the 1918 influenza pandemic.

There is much more about influenza available on the Museum's Web site.

World War 2 booklet

We were asked for a copy of this recently - it's by a pharmaceutical company, but they didn't put too much advertising on it.

Decorations and Medals of the United States of America (1943),John Wyeth
and Brother; reading copy or broadsheet copy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Batchelor World War 2 venereal disease posters

C.D. Batchelor was a Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist whose career lasted for almost 50 years in New York. One can see similarities in the 1937 Pulitzer winning cartoon and the anti-venereal disease cartoons reproduced below from the collections of the National Museum of Health and Medicine.

"Warning: these enemies are still lurking around. Syphilis.
Gonorrhea." Cartoon by C..D. Batchelor of the New York Daily News for the American Social Hygiene Association, 1790 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Reeve79101-67)

"Two girls I know want to meet you in the worst way." C.D. Batchelor, American Social Hygiene Association. (Reeve79101-62)

"The glory of manhood is strength. Keep clean for the heritage of the cleanly is strength." Cartoon by C..D. Batchelor of the New York Daily News for the American Social Hygiene Association, 1790 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Reeve79101-52)

"Boys your sweetheart, your wife or your parents may never know it if you contract a venereal disease - but I'll know it and I'll suffer from it." Cartoon by C.D. Batchelor of the New York Daily News for the American Social Hygiene Association, 1790 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Reeve79101-11)

"Enemy agent. U.S. War Effort. Venereal Disease." Cartoon by C.D. Batchelor of the New York Daily News for the American Social Hygiene Association, 1790 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Reeve79101-16)

"'My boy was wounded in the African landing.' 'Mine was wounded in this country by a street walker.'" Cartoon by C..D. Batchelor of the New York Daily News for the American Social Hygiene Association, 1790 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Reeve79101-31)

Note the difference in quality between Batchelor's original above, and the Army's copy below:

"My boy was wounded in the African landing. Mine was wounded in this country by a street walker." World War 2. "Cartoon by C.C. Batchelor of the New York Daily News for the American Social Hygene Asociation, 1790 Broadway, New York, N.Y. Reproduced by Div. S.S.C. for distribution by Surgeon 3rd Armored Div." (Reeve74964-6.jpg)

Collections of his papers are in Witchita State University's Library in THE CARTOON COLLECTION OF C. D. BATCHELOR, MS 90-16 and C. D. Batchelor Papers - An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University.

More downloadable books on Internet Archive

The two newest ones are:

Cantor Lectures: The Microscope (1888). Lectures on the history of the microscope by British collector John Mayall, Jr. excerpted from the Journal of the Society of the Arts, 1885-1888.

A History of the United States Army Medical Museum 1862 to 1917 compiled from the Official Records (1917) by Daniel S. Lamb

For those collecting them, here's the complete list although World War 1 #14 isn't actually working at the moment.

Museum history: - The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology - Its First Century(1962) - A History of the United States Army Medical Museum 1862 to 1917 compiled from the Official Records (1917) by Daniel S. Lamb

Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion - The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. (1861-1865) Part I. Volume I. Medical History. (1st Medical volume) (1870) - The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. Part II, Volume I. (2nd Medical volume) (1879) - The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. Part III, Volume I. (3rd Medical volume) (1888)
- The Medical and SurgicalHistory of the War of the Rebellion. (1861-1865.) Part I. Volume II.(1st Surgical volume) (1870) - The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. (1861-1865.) Part II. Volume II.(2nd Surgical volume) (1876) - The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. Part III, Volume II. (3rd Surgical volume)

The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War - The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 1: The Surgeon General's Office (1923)
- The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 2: Administration American Expeditionary Forces (1927) - The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 3: Finance and Supply (1928)
- The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 4: Activities Concerning Mobilization Camps and Ports of Embarkation (1928) - The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 5: Military Hospitals in the United States (1923) - The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 6: Sanitation (1926) - The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 7: Training (1926) - The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 8: Field Operations (1925)
- The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 9: Communicable and Other Diseases (1928) - The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 10: Neuropsychiatry (1929)
- The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 11:Surgery; Part One, General Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Neurosurgery (1927) - The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 11: Surgery; Part Two (1924) - 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) - 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 14: Medical Aspects of Gas Warfare(1926) - The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 15: Statistics; Part One Army Anthropology (1921) - The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War volume 15: Part 2, Medical and Casualty Statistics (1925) - Cantor Lectures: The Microscope (1888). Lectures on the history of the microscope by British collector John Mayall, Jr. excerpted from the Journal of the Society of the Arts, 1885-1888.

Blumberg Collection: - Autopsy of President Kennedy (February 01, 1965) by Pierre Finck, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology

General Medical Products Information (GMPI) Collection: - A Catalogue of Surgeons' Instruments, Air and Water Beds, Pillows, and Cushions, Bandages, Trusses, Elastic Stockings, Inhalers, Galvanic Apparatus, and Other Appliances Used by the Medical Profession, Maw and Son, 1866 - An Illustrated Description of First-Class Achromatic Microscopes, Apparatus, Specimens, etc., Miller Brothers, 1879

Vorwald Collection: - A Medical Survey of the Bituminous-Coal Industry (1947), Coal Mines Administration, US Department of the Interior

the military's medical school

Our colleagues in Bethesda at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences made it into the Post today - see "Today's Lesson: Major Disaster - Military Medical School Simulates Chaotic Situations," By Jackie Spinner, Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 10, 2008; Page B04. Interestingly enough, the moulage techniques being used in this picture were developed by an Army Medical Museum staffer, Sgt. Cortizas. We've got some historical moulage kits as well as photographs and papers on the development of them including this collection:

OHA 334

* Training Aids Section Files, 1955-1963

* 3.5 cubic feet, 7 boxes.
* No finding aid, part arranged, inactive, unrestricted.
* Records of a defunct AFIP division concerned with medical training, which grew out of work done at the Museum. Includes material on films, moulages, manikins, and other training aids. Many of the products are in Historical Collections.

Creativity, music and neurology article

Museum alum Jenn Heilman passed along this article as being appropriate as the Museum sponsors Brain Awareness Week - "Creativity Jazzes Your Brain," By LAURAN NEERGAARD
The Associated Press, Monday, March 10, 2008.

Jen's now Director of Communications for the non-profit group Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington.

Another museum alum sighting

Jeff Reznick has a book review of Meade and Serlin's edited volume Radical History Review 94: Disability and History in the new issue of the Bulletin of the History of Medicine, v. 82.

European Association of Museums in the History of the Health Sciences meeting announcement

14th Congress of the European Association of Museums of the History of Medical Sciences, Edinburgh, Scotland
17 - 21 September 2008

The Body: Simulacra and Simulation - models, prosthetics and interventions

Models in wax or plastic, wood or metal, plaster or papier- mache are held in almost every medical museum in the world; while the development of surgical interventions and prosthetics has also led to a range of materials being used to replicate and imitate external and internal parts and movements of the body. Congress 2008 will explore aspects of the use, culture, history, art and manufacture of models, prosthetics and surgical interventions. It is hoped that the conference will be the catalyst for the development of a European-wide electronic database of models and prosthetics held in medical collections.

Call for Abstract Submissions
Curators, scholars and collectors in any relevant discipline are invited to submit abstracts that explore the following strands:
Deadline: 15 April 2008 (approx. 250 words and 150 word biog).

* Models
* Prosthetics
* Interventions
* Medical Museums for the 21st Century
Special session Friday 19th September:Invited speakers include, Ken Arnold (Head of Public Programmes, Wellcome Trust) and Thomas Soderqvist (Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen)

Submission Guidelines:

There will be 4 sessions on the main Simulacra and Simulation, topics. Each session will have a moderated discussion.
An abstract (250 words max) and a short bio (150 words max) should be submitted by 15 April 2008, via email to Papers should be 20 minutes long.

Due to limited speaker slots, a poster session will also take place during the Congress. Please indicate on your application if a poster presentation is acceptable.

Submissions accepted and presented at the conference may be published, subject to copyright, in a publication of EAMHMS Congress proceedings, the EAMHMS website and/or the Scotland & Medicine website - www.scotland& . Please indicate if you do not want your presentation to be published in this way.

Tel contact, Dawn Kemp: +44 (0)131 527 1649

Congress Delegate and Accompanying Guest Fees:
The number of delegate places is limited to 150, a waiting list will be drawn up if the Congress sessions are oversubscribed.
Delegates may bring a guest to take part in all social aspects of the programme but please note, guests will not be able to attend sessions unless there is available space on the day.

Congress Fees, include the social and tour programme as detailed (the programme may be subject to change, if necessary) EAMHMS Congress rates:

Before 16 May 2008
Delegate Member 270 Euro
Guest of Member (social and tour programme only) 240 Euro
Non Member 300 Euro

After 16 May 2008
Delegate Member 300 Euro
Guest of Member (social and tour programme only) 270 Euro
Non Member 300 Euro

Congress Accommodation in Edinburgh:

Delegates must make their own accommodation arrangements but group arrangements have been made with the following hotels and guest houses, all within walking distance of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and in the heart of historic Edinburgh. Breakfast is included in the price of the hotels:

MacDonald Holyrood Hotel ****
Situated next to the Scottish Parliament and the historic royal residence, Holyrood Palace this hotel is less than a 10 minute walk from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. We recommend you book early to secure a room.

Price per night, bed and breakfast, Congress rate: £99single/£109double
Tel: +44 (131) 5288281
quote group code: EURO170908

10 Hill Square ***

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh's very own lodge style hotel, situated next to Surgeons' Hall. There are a number of rooms reserved for Congress delegates and guests. We recommend you book early to secure a room.
Price per night, bed and breakfast, Congress rate: £77single/£95 double
Tel: +44 (131) 662 2080
quote group code: M091029

Edinburgh Best Western ***
A ten minute walk from Surgeons' Hall, situated in an area steeped in Edinburgh's medical heritage, the hotel was formerly the Simpson Memorial Hospital, first opened in the 1860s. The hotel is also close to Edinburgh's Old Royal Infirmary and the Edinburgh College of Art.

Price per night, bed and breakfast: £85single/ £95 double
Tel: +44 (131) 6227979
quote group code: 410200/Royal College of Surgeons

Salisbury Green Hotel
University of Edinburgh Hotel

In the spectacular surroundings of the Royal Park in the shadow of Arthurs Seat, the imposing volcanic plug which dominates Edinburgh's skyline there is a range of accommodation available in this hotel and residency complex.

Price per night, bed and breakfast: £94 or 104 single/£109 or 119 double
Tel: +44 (131) 662 2000
These rooms can not be held under a group booking and your are advised to reserve a room as soon as possible.

Minto House Hotel

Less than five minutes walk from Surgeons' Hall close to the beautiful Royal Park and Arthurs Seat.

Price per night, bed and breakfast: £69/74 single /£109/120 double
Tel: +44 (131) 668 1234

Guest Houses/economy accommodation:
Thrums Hotel, Minto Street

Less than five minutes walk from Surgeons' Hall close to the beautiful Royal Park and Arthurs Seat

Price per night, bed and breakfast, Congress rate: £34.5 per person
Tel: +44 (131) 677 5545
quote group: Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

These are just some of the hotels and guest houses close to Surgeons' Hall, they are all situated in central Edinburgh, close to the historic Royal Mile in the Old Town of Edinburgh information about other hotels in the area is available from:

Please note that many of these hotels work with web agents and you may be able to book directly through general hotel accommodation websites.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

"So big and exciting and new and scary..."

Musematic's author wrote at length today about an interesting topic, something I've heard once or twice around the table at meetings but not in such detail as presented here. The topic is serious and wide-ranging, and almost always a moving target: how to interact and engage with the public, or how to allow our audiences to engage with our collections: clearly, not a new topic for museums but with the rapid changes in technology, something that is increasingly on everyone's minds.

I think about this all the time: it's the job of any marketing or communications professional to engage an institutions' audiences, and the change in the public's attention span in recent years, coupled with the myriad of ways that audiences want to be engaged, has made this task so much more complicated and challenging (and fun, honestly.)

I don't have any silver bullet answers at the moment, though you never know where inspiration lies or where providence leads us next, but I thought the post was an interesting examination by someone clearly very enmeshed in this debate personally. Read on.