Friday, April 26, 2013

New medical museums article out

Stephen C. Kenny. "The Development of Medical Museums in the Antebellum American South: Slave Bodies in Networks of Anatomical Exchange." Bulletin of the History of Medicine 87.1 (2013): 32-62.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

New article on Body Worlds and the tradition of displaying human remains

"Skinless Wonders": Body Worlds and the Victorian Freak Show
Nadja Durbach
J Hist Med Allied Sci (2012)
This was an overview article - interesting, but not too theoretical.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New article on Body Worlds and Victorian freak shows

  1. J Hist Med Allied Sci (2012) doi: 10.1093/jhmas/jrs035

"Skinless Wonders": Body Worlds and the Victorian Freak Show

  1. Nadja Durbach

+ Author Affiliations

  1. Department of History, University of Utah, Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building, 215 South Central Campus Drive, Room 310, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112.
  1. Email:


In 2002, Gunther von Hagens's display of plastinated corpses opened in London. Although the public was fascinated by Body Worlds, the media largely castigated the exhibition by dismissing it as a resuscitated Victorian freak show. By using the freak show analogy, the British press expressed their moral objection to this type of bodily display. But Body Worlds and nineteenth-century displays of human anomalies were linked in more complex and telling ways as both attempted to be simultaneously entertaining and educational. This essay argues that these forms of corporeal exhibitionism are both examples of the dynamic relationship between the popular and professional cultures of the body that we often erroneously think of as separate and discrete. By reading Body Worlds against the Victorian freak show, I seek to generate a fuller understanding of the historical and enduring relationship between exhibitionary culture and the discourses of science, and thus to argue that the scientific and the spectacular have been, and clearly continue to be, symbiotic modes of generating bodily knowledge.

'Medical museum' auction in Canada

Odd sale catalogue rattles a few bones
The Age
The skeletons are among 3000 items from the former medical museum at Kryal Castle theme park, being sold in 291 lots. The skeletons are listed as Lot 285 ...

NLM History of Medicine Lecture: Influenza epidemic

Following on the National Library of Medicine's participation in the recent symposium Shared Horizons: Data, Biomedicine, and the Digital Humanities, and as part of its ongoing cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities, you are cordially invited to the next NLM History of Medicine lecture, to be held on Tuesday, April 30, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., in the NLM Visitor Center, Building 38A on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD.

The speaker will be Dr. E. Thomas Ewing, from Virginia Tech, who will speak on
"'Scourge on Wane; Fatalities Fewer': Interpreting Newspaper Coverage of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic."


Please note that this lecture was announced earlier under a somewhat different title.


This lecture will describe how a team of researchers is harnessing the power of data mining techniques with the interpretive analytics of the humanities and social sciences to understand how newspapers shaped public opinion and represented authoritative knowledge during the deadly pandemic that struck the United States in 1918. The research methods developed through this project promise new insights into understanding the spread of information and the flow of disease in other societies facing the threat of pandemics.

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,

National Institutes of Health

Bethesda, MD


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

George Marshall Medical Museum in UK profiled

TV antiques show to highlight macabre museum
Evesham Journal
A MEDICAL museum based at a Worcester hospital and known for its ghoulish ... The George Marshall Medical Museum, based at the Charles Hastings Education ...

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bontecou's Civil War medical photographs

Yale's Cushing-Whitney Library has a collection of RB Bontecou's Civil War photographs that is similar to part of the NMHM's one. You can see scans at


Some are new to me - especially this one with this neat human artifact

Friday, April 5, 2013

Metropolitan Museum of Art's Civil War exhibit

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Civil War exhibit includes photographs of wounded soldiers by Dr. Reed Bontecou that are now owned by Dr. Stanley Burns. Bontecou also sent copies of his photographs to the Medical Museum. Dr. Burns recently wrote a book on Bontecou's pictures.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New art exhibit at National Museum of Health and Medicine

Brain-injury survivors, including war and sports victims, are ...
Washington Post
Portraits Exhibit honors brain-injury survivors 'Whack'ed,' National Museum of Health and Medicine Hemorrhages, blunt-force trauma and bullet wounds don't ...