McGoogan News

Vesalius exhibit now on display

By John SchleicherVesalius skeleton

A new display, featuring Andreas Vesalius, is now available on the 8th floor of the library.  Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564), was born on December 31, 1514.  He was the leading anatomist of his day, professor at the University of Padua in Italy, and he corrected some anatomical misinformation from the ancients such as Hippocrates and Galen.  See a story on him here.

Vesalius’ landmark work was De corporis humani fabrica libri septem (Seven books on the fabric of the human body), first published in 1543, with a second edition published in 1555.  The McGoogan Library owns a second edition, donated in 1959 by the estate of Goldie (Goddin) Potts, widow of John B. Potts, M.D, (1876-1948), Professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine from 1912 to 1937. He received his M.D. in 1907 from the College of Medicine.  According to a recent census in which we participated, there are 58 copies of the 1555 edition in 49 university and institutional libraries across the U.S.

Also on display on the 6th floor, behind the former reference desk area, is a two volume set, The fabric of the human body: an annotated translation of the 1543 and 1555 editions, by Daniel H. Garrison and Malcolm H. Hast, published in 2014.  This is a complete translation from the Latin, and facsimile of both the first and second editions which patrons can look through at their leisure.

From the archives: Notes on nursing history

Engraving of Florence Nightingale (from a portrait), cover of the Trained Nurse and Hospital Review, Vol. LXX, No. 4, April 1923.
Engraving of Florence Nightingale (from a portrait), cover of the Trained Nurse and Hospital Review, Vol. LXX, No. 4, April 1923.

By John Schleicher

When we consider nursing history, most of us know the name Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). The library’s rare books collection includes the first British (1859) and the first American (1860) editions of Nightingale’s landmark work Notes on Nursing: What it is, and what it is Not.

Following Nightingale’s work in the 19th century, a number of other nursing innovators and educators, in the United States and other countries, wrote works dealing with the history and professionalization of nursing. Among these important works are:

  • Nursing: its Principles and Practice: for Hospital and Private Use (1893), by Isabel Hampton Robb (1859-1910)
  • A History of Nursing: the Evolution of Nursing Systems from the Earliest Times to the Foundation of the first English and American Training Schools for Nurses (four volumes, 1907-1912), by Mary Adelaide Nutting (1858-1948)
  • A Short History of Nursing: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day (1920), by Lavinia Dock (1858-1956).

Obvious from these titles, the history of nursing and evolution into a profession are very important to these authors.

To see more works on the history of nursing visit the library’s rare book rooms and history of medicine collection. Contact the Special Collections Department to schedule an appointment or inquire at the AskUs desk on the 6th floor of Wittson Hall.

From the archives: Historical Nebraska pharmacy resources

Omaha Druggist, April 1900
Omaha Druggist, April 1900

By John Schleicher

The archives hold historic resources in all areas of the health professions, including pharmacy. These include various periodical materials such as pharmacists’ scientific and trade publications, from national, regional, state and local publishers and organizations.

The Omaha Druggist: a Monthly Journal of Pharmacy (see image), was published in the city from 1888-1927. The Nebraska collection holds issues from 1900-1927. This journal contains advertisements for various sideline products, such as candy, cigars, hair tonic and snuff, which might be featured in the traditional drug store setting. The publication also has news of the profession across Nebraska and the upper Midwest region, including drug stores for sale, and a section of news about individual pharmacists called “Personal Mention.”

Other titles in the library’s collection include: Nebraska Mortar & Pestle (from the Nebraska Pharmacists’ Association, still in publication, issues from 1938-2015) and the Midwestern Druggist (issues from 1925-1972), among others.

To visit the archives and the Nebraska collection, contact the Special Collections Department at 402-559-7094 to schedule an appointment or inquire at the AskUs desk on the 6th floor of Wittson Hall.

From the Archives: Did grandpa go to school here?

Three generations of Karrer family medical graduates in the Library of Medicine, 1979.
Three generations of Karrer family medical graduates in the Library of Medicine, 1979.

By John Schleicher

Or great-grandma? Or Uncle Charlie or Cousin Kate? A number of Nebraska families have several generations of graduates and/or faculty members of the various health sciences colleges at UNMC. Karrer, Gentry, Wigton, Cloyd — just to name a few of those families.

The archives has various research resources available if you are interested in finding out more about a relative or ancestor who graduated from UNMC, was a faculty member here, or a health professional in Nebraska, from the late 19th through the 20th century.

To visit the UNMC archives, contact the Special Collections Department at 402-559-7094 to schedule an appointment or inquire at the AskUs desk on the 6th floor of Wittson Hall.

From the archives: A man-mid-wife?

Man midwife

By John Schleicher

At the end of the 18th century, some male doctors began to build their medical practices by assisting normal births, previously the exclusive sphere of women. A controversy raged in Britain and America about these new man-midwives. The controversy over doctors assisting with childbirth continued throughout the 19th century and into the early 20th, as home births were decreasing and hospital births were on the rise.

The illustration is from Man-midwifery dissected: or, the obstetric family-instructor; for the use of married couples, and single adults of both sexes, by Samuel William Fores, published in London in 1793. The man-mid-wife cartoon depicts one view of the controversy in the form of a “Monster,” a half-male, half-female midwife. The text below the illustration, an advertisement for the book, says:

“A Man-Mid-Wife: or a newly discovered animal . . . for a more full description of this Monster, see an ingenious book, lately published . . . ‘Man-Midwifery dissected, containing a variety of well authenticated cases elucidating this animal’s propensities to cruelty & indecency, sold by the publisher of this print, who has presented the author with the above for a Frontispiece to his book.”

To see more works on obstetrics visit the library’s rare book rooms. Contact the Special Collections Department at 402-559-7094 to set up a tour or inquire at the AskUs desk.