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Exhibits and Events

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Staff at the Center for the History of Medicine highlight library collections through a program of rotating exhibits. The exhibits are mounted in the lobby display area on the LL2 level, adjoining the Center, and are open to the public Monday through Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm. Those wishing to see the current exhibit need only present a valid photo-ID at the front desk of the Countway and sign the guest register. Special tours of the exhibits may be arranged by calling 617.432.2170.


OnView

Visit OnView, our online collections site, to browse digital exhibits, documents, photographs, museum objects, and more.


News

Body of Knowledge curators on History of Science panel
Body of Knowledge exhibition, Samantha Van Gerbig, photographer, Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments

Body of Knowledge exhibition, Samantha Van Gerbig, photographer, Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments

Four of the nine members of the Body of Knowledge curatorial team sat on an April 1st History of Science panel hosted by Harvard University’s Department of the History of Science and department chair Janet Browne (Armont Professor of the History of Science). David Jones (A. Bernard Ackerman Professor of the Culture of Medicine & Chair, Center for the History of Medicine advisory committee), Scott Podolsky (Director, Center for the History of Medicine), Sara Schechner, David P. Wheatland Curator, Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments) and Dominic Hall (Warren Anatomical Museum curator, Center for the History of Medicine) reflected on their experiences designing the exhibition and selecting the anatomical preparations and artifacts used to communicate its narrative.

After the panel discussion, Cara Kiernan Fallon, Lisa Haushofer and Paolo Savoia, three more of the exhibit’s curators, led the attendees on a guided tour of the exhibit. The exhibit’s full curatorial team can be found in the Body of Knowledge Gallery Guide.

Body of Knowledge will be on display until December 5, 2014. More information can be found on the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments’ website. 

 

May 7, 2014: “Irish, pauper patients and the American maternity hospital, 1860-1913″

The Archives for Women in Medicine, Countway Library of Medicine is pleased to co-sponsor with the Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine:

Dr. Ciara Breathnach, 2013-2014 Women in Medicine Fellow

Dr. Ciara Breathnach, 2013-2014 Women in Medicine Fellow

Irish, pauper patients and the American maternity hospital, 1860-1913

featuring Ciara Breathnach, Ph.D.
Lecturer in History, University of Limerick, Ireland
2013-2014 Women in Medicine Fellow

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
4:00 P.M. – 5:30 P.M., refreshments provided.

Lahey Room, Countway Library of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
10 Shattuck Street, Boston, MA

All are welcome.
Please RSVP to ContactCHoM@hms.harvard.edu

ABOUT THIS LECTURE: Women in Medicine Fellow, Dr. Ciara Breathnach, will discuss her research using the archives of the New England Hospital for Women and Children (established 1862), held at the Countway Library’s Center for the History of Medicine.

Dr. Breathnach is a Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Limerick, Ireland, and has published on Irish socio-economic and health histories in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Breathnach’s research focuses on how the poor experienced, engaged with and negotiated medical services in Ireland and in North America from 1860-1912. It builds on her wider studies on the family unit and the social history of medicine in Ireland and will help to advance her hypothesis that the rural Irish female was slow to medicalize, not only for socio-economic reasons, but also for reasons of personal agency. Using evidence from archival records, her research aims to show that Irish women continued to present as a problematic group long after the ethnic associations with cholera and typhoid outbreaks of earlier decades had dissipated.

Download the flier: Breathnach_Irish_Maternity.pdf

Questions? Contact Carolyn Hayes or call 617-432-1324.

May 21: Charles Rosenberg on The Efficacy of Placebos: A Historian’s Perspective

RWJ_Placebo_Efficacy_v4

For information
617.945.7827
programinplacebostudies.org

Download the flier:RWJ_Placebo_Efficacy_v4

April 10: Was the Civil War a Health Disaster?

The Center for the History of Medicine, Countway Library of Medicine, is pleased to co-sponsor with the Office for Diversity Inclusion & Community Partnership; Harvard Catalyst Program for Faculty Development and Diversity Inclusion; and Mongan Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Policy, the Medicine and the Civil War Series:


Was the Civil War a Health Disaster?

featuring Andrew Delbanco, PhD
Mendelson Family Chair of American Studies and Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University, New York

Thursday, April 10, 2014
3:30 – 4:30 pm, reception to follow

Minot Room, Countway Library of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
10 Shattuck Street, Boston, MA

Print and share the flier here: Andrew Delbanco_Lecture

ABOUT THIS LECTURE:  In this third lecture in the Medicine and the Civil War Series, Professor Delbanco will speak about the political and cultural situations leading up to the war between the states, and public health organizations that arose as a direct result of the need to care for the wounded and sick.

delbancoAndrew Delbanco, PhD is Mendelson Family Chair of American Studies and Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. He was awarded the 2011 National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama “for his writing that spans the literature of Melville and Emerson to contemporary issues in higher education.” In 2001, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and named by Time Magazine as “America’s Best Social Critic.” In 2003, he was named New York State Scholar of the Year by the New York Council for the Humanities, in 2006, he received the “Great Teacher Award” from the Society of Columbia Graduates, and in 2013 he was elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society.

Professor Delbanco is the author of many publications, including College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be (2012), which is required reading on many campuses, and Melville: His World and Work (2005), which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography, and appeared on “best books” lists in the Washington Post, Independent (London), and TLS, and was awarded the Lionel Trilling Award by Columbia University. He has edited Writing New England (2001), The Portable Abraham Lincoln (1992, 2009), volume two of The Sermons of Ralph Waldo Emerson (with Teresa Toulouse), and, with Alan Heimert, The Puritans in America (1985). His essays, ranging on topics from American literary and religious history to contemporary issues in higher education, regularly appear in journals such as The New York Review of Books and The New Republic.  His most recent book is The Abolitionist Imagination (2012).

Professor Delbanco has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was a member of the inaugural class of fellows at the New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.  He is a trustee of the Library of America, and the Teagle Foundation, and trustee emeritus of the National Humanities Center. He has also served as Vice President of PEN American Center, and as a trustee of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Space is limited. RSVP online by Wednesday, April 2, 2014:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/627QY5J

Questions?  Contact: Terésa Carter via email (teresa_carter@hms.harvard.edu) or phone (617-432-4697).

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Center objects featured in newly opened “Body of Knowledge” exhibit
Paolo Mascagni, Anatomia universa (1823-1832), Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Paolo Mascagni, Anatomia universa (1823-1832), Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Forty-five artifacts, anatomical preparations, rare books, manuscripts, and art works from the Center of the History of Medicine’s Warren Anatomical Museum, Harvard Medical Library and Boston Medical Library collections are now on display in a new exhibit at Harvard’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments.

The new exhibit, entitled Body of Knowledge: A History of Anatomy (in 3 parts), opened on March 6th and will run until December 5th. The exhibit’s narrative covers approximately 500 years of anatomical history and was the result of a special curatorial collaboration by the Center for the History of Medicine, Harvard University’s Department of the History of Science, the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Harvard Medical School’s Program in Medical Education, and Harvard Museums of Science and Culture. It was sponsored by the David P. Wheatland Charitable Trust, the Ackerman Program on Medicine & Culture, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Harvard Museums of Science and Culture.

The thirty objects from the Warren Anatomical Museum include wax injected teaching preparations by Oliver Wendell Holmes and Richard Hodges, osteological preparations made by Thomas Dwight, Jr., postmortem and dissection kits, and enlarged teaching models of the skull and foot by artist J. H. Emerton. The Center’s Harvard Medical Library and Boston Medical Library loaned a diverse wealth of rare anatomy books and manuscripts, ranging from Andreas Vesalius’s 1543 De humani corporis fabrica to Henry Gray’s 1858 eponymous Anatomy.

The exhibit was featured in a recent Wired.Com article and in the Harvard Crimson.

The Center for the History of Medicine will be launching a companion exhibit this spring at the Countway Library focused on the history of anatomical teaching at Harvard Medical School.

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