By John Schleicher
Bibliophile and faculty member Dr. Alfred Brown was commissioned by the University of Nebraska to design a bookplate for the College of Medicine library in 1920. He completed a copper plate etching, incorporating the seal of the University at the top, a view of the front of University Hospital as it then appeared in the center, and the medical symbol of the caduceus at the bottom. Because of the fine details of the design, Dr. Brown had to do much of the etching under a microscope. The resulting bookplate received much critical praise and was still in use by the library until the late 1960s.
Alfred Jerome Brown, M.D. (1878-1960), was a graduate of Yale and of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. He served in the U.S. armed forces during World War I, from 1917 to 1919, in New York and later in France. He moved to Omaha in 1919, and joined the faculty of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine,
where he was a professor of surgery from 1920 to 1943. He had an extensive personal collection of rare surgical books.
In 1978, the library was named for Omaha obstetrician Leon Steiner McGoogan, M.D. (1900-1993), and the library’s bookplate was updated to reflect the new name and, since 1970, the then-new library, located on the top three floors of Wittson Hall.