McGoogan News

From the archives: 19th century pocket guide

By John Schleicher

“The anatomical remembrancer; or, complete pocket anatomist: containing a concise description of the bones, ligaments, muscles, and viscera; the distribution of the nerves, blood-vessels, and absorbents; the arrangement of the several fasciae; the organs of generation in the male and female, and the organs of the senses.”Anatomical Remembrancer

This is the title of a little book from the rare book collections of the library. It is the eighth edition of a work published by William Wood & Company in New York in 1877. This little book, not much bigger or thicker than a cell phone (it is 3½ by 5 inches and is about ¾ of an inch thick, with 297 pages), contains easily usable information, with a description in the preface saying it will “make it calculated to assist alike the practitioner and the student.”

The book belonged to and was used by Edgar C. Swift, M.D. (1857-1927), while a student at Syracuse Medical School in New York state. He received his M.D. in 1881. Some of his descendants later came to Omaha.

So, next time you pull your smart phone out of your pocket to access online resources from the McGoogan Library of Medicine, remember Dr. Swift’s little anatomical book.

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