McGoogan News

From the archives: early obstetrical work from the rare book collection

By John Schleicher

Eucharius Rösslin (c.1470-1526), was elected as the city physician of Frankfurt on Main in 1506. He also served as physician to the city of Worms, in the service of Katherine, wife of Henry IV, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. While examining and supervising the city’s midwives, he found the prrbr-27-fall-2012actice of their trade to be careless and substandard, leading to high infant mortality rates.

To better educate midwives and improve the infant mortality rate, Rösslin wrote a book on child birth, which was published in 1513, Der swangern Frawen und Hebamme Rosegarten, which included engravings of a birth chair, the lying-in chamber, and positions of the fetus in utero.  These were some of the earliest known published images in obstetrics.  The book was written in German, instead of Latin (the scientific language of the time), so that more people would be able to read and understand it. The work was an immediate success, and it was published in English in 1540 as The Birth of Mankind.  By the mid-16th century, it had been translated into all the major European languages and had gone through many editions. Rösslin dedicated Rosegarten to his patroness the Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg.

Despite his direct observation of midwives working in the city of Worms, Rösslin incorporated obstetrical information gleaned from writers of antiquity, such as Soranus of Ephesus, a Greek physician who lived in the 1st and 2nd C.E. In the introductory prologue in verse to his text, Rösslin emphasized the importance of the role of men in reproduction, and blames midwives who “through neglect and oversight . . . destroy children far and wide.” He threatens midwives with the warning that they will be held to account for their work: “And since no midwife that I’ve asked/Could tell me anything of her task/I’m left to my medical education.”

Study Break Activities at McGoogan Library

If you need a quick break from your studies, come by the McGoogan Library of Medicine in Wittson Hall for some fun and relaxing activities starting December 10th and running through the 16th.

Postcards Home

Send your family or friends a quick message to let them know you are studying hard or have finished all your exams!  We’ll have free postcards with historic images of UNMC available near the Ask Us desk on the 6th floor for you to fill out.  Just drop them in the bin and we’ll get them sent for you.

Magic Sandbox

Get your hands sandy while building mountains and streams and playing with fish in a colorful virtual reality sandbox. Brought to you by the UNMC Makers Club.

Wellness Display

The northwest corner on the 6th floor has become the library’s new wellness and relaxation area.  Enjoy relaxing images, color at our coloring station, download some stress-reduction files or check out wellness-themed books concerning relaxation techniques, yoga, stress and more.

NLM Spotlight: Profiles in Science

Profiles in Science homepage screenshot
Here is a snapshot of some of the people you can learn about through this online archive.

Profiles in Science is an online archive of collections celebrating leaders in biomedical research and public health from the 20th century. The collections include books, journals, pamphlets, diaries, letters, photographs, audio recordings, videos, and more. The collections are organized into three categories:

  • Biomedical Research: materials related to the study of biological processes at the molecular level.
  • Health and Medicine: materials related to scientific discoveries to improve medical treatments and public health.
  • Fostering Science and Health: materials related to the role of politicians, philanthropists, the media and others.

Each digital collection includes introductory narratives on the scientist’s life and work and an exhibit that highlights a selection of the most noteworthy documents (this can be text, audio, videos, or photos).  Additional documents from the scientist’s papers are available through the website’s search engine or browse features.

The newest addition to Profiles in Science is the Louis Sokoloff Papers. Louis Sokoloff was an American physician and neuroscientist whose innovative research methods and tools transformed the study of brain structure and function. This collection features articles, interviews, photos, correspondence with colleagues and students, and experimental brain images.

For more information, visit:


Profiles in Science is maintained by the National Library of Medicine’s Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications and History of Medicine Division.

3D Printing Workshop for High School Students: Registration Open

The UNMC Makers 3D Printing Club, in collaboration with the Omaha Do Space, will provide hands-on instruction in 3D design and printing for local high students to promote innovation and STEM learning. This crash course will cover 3D design, 3D printing, intellectual property and open source.

Who should participate: High school students across the Omaha Metro area. Teachers, please encourage your students to sign up and participate!

Project timeline: Participating students would need to register teams of 3-4 students by December 11. Students will attend a 50 minute introductory seminar on December 12 at 5pm at the Do Space where they will be given project details and an introduction to intellectual property and open source designs. Students will then brainstorm ideas and will return for a second 90 minute seminar (with a break in the middle) during the week of January 8 at Do Space (evening, TBD) for a crash course on 3D design and printing. Students will then have until the end of February 3 to print a functional product. The UNMC Makers will be available to provide hands-on assistance weekly (evening, TBD) during this month-long process.

December 11: Register a team

December 12: Introductory Seminar, 5pm, Do Space

Week of January 8: 3D Design/Printing Seminar, TBD, Do Space

February 3: Final print deadline        


Cost: Students will be able to attend seminars and receive one print per team free of charge. All additional print requests will need to be submitted on a personal or publicly available printer (e.g. Do Space). Students will be responsible for their own transportation.

Registration: Please email with the names and emails of your team members by Dec 11th to reserve your space for the workshop. Please contact with any questions.

Location: All events will take place at Do Space, 7205 Dodge Street, Omaha.

This event is sponsored in part by the McGoogan Library of Medicine.