University of Nebraska Medical Center

Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War: Exhibit and instructional session

The traveling exhibition, Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War, will be available for viewing on Level 8 of the McGoogan Health Sciences Library from September 25 to November 4, 2023. 

This exhibit explores experiences of men whose lives were saved by sacrificing limbs during the war and disabled veterans in the post-war period. Over three million soldiers fought in the American Civil War. More than half a million died and almost as many were wounded. Hundreds of thousands were permanently disabled by battlefield injuries, or surgeries that saved lives while sacrificing limbs. These men remained a stark reminder of the costs of the conflict for long after the war, becoming symbols of the fractured nation.  

In conjunction with the visiting exhibit, a McGoogan Session will be held on October 10 from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm on Zoom. Learn about Civil War-era medical artifacts housed in the special collections at the McGoogan Health Sciences Library from Darby Kurtz, Archivist and Public Historian. Kurtz will present highlights from the collection and share a history of battlefield medicine in the 1860s. Registration for the Zoom link is required.  

The National Library of Medicine-produced exhibit is curated by historian and educator Manon Parry, PhD (University of Amsterdam). The exhibit is also available online.   

The library’s instruction series, McGoogan Sessions, offers unique topics highlighting resources available for research, implementing best practices in information literacy and academic medicine, and inspiring innovation through instruction in advancements in healthcare history. Archived recordings are available on demand. 


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