McGoogan News

Exhibit on display: From DNA to Beer

The McGoogan Library of Medicine will be hosting From DNA to Beer: Harnessing Nature in Medicine and Industry, on the 6th floor of Wittson Hall from November 12th to December 14th.  The traveling exhibit, created by the National Library of Medicine in cooperation with the National Museum of American History, explores some of the processes, problems, and potentials inherent in technologies that use living organisms.

Microbes—tiny organisms too small to be seen with the naked eye—have altered human history. Life forms such as bacteria, yeasts, and molds can cause sickness or restore health, and help produce foods and beverages for our consumption.  Scientists, in partnership with industry, have developed techniques to harness the powers of these microbes. In recent years, headline-grabbing technologies have used genetically modified bacteria to manufacture new medicines. Drawing from the collections of the National Museum of American History and the National Library of Medicine, From DNA to Beer will help to promote public understanding of the dynamic relationship between microbes, technology, and science and medicine.

The six-banner traveling exhibition presents these case studies of major scientific and medical accomplishments in the fields of biotechnology while showcasing the union with industry in how to best market and produce such discoveries to the public at large.

After viewing the exhibit, visitors are encouraged to enter a drawing to win an Amazon gift card.

In the library with an art collection

Haythorn Branding '96

By Dawn Wilson

If you don’t have time to visit the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. or even to take a trip to the Durham Museum, you can still satisfy your creative side by wandering around the McGoogan Library. Many of the same photographs that are on exhibit at the Library of Congress and at the Durham can also be found on permanent display at our Library. Dr. Charles W. Guildner, who graduated from UNMC in 1957, donated photographs from his “Lives of Tradition” collection to the Library. Dr. Guildner took up photography after he retired as an anesthesiologist.

The photographs, focusing on rural Nebraska, ranches in the Midwest, and the people who live and work there, are displayed on walls and in study rooms throughout both the 6th and 7th floors of the Library. Although the photographs are contemporary—they were taken over a seventeen year period, starting in 1990—they have a timeless and almost antiquated feel. The black and white images of unspoilt farming landscapes, showcasing people who still rely on ranching techniques that have changed little over the past two centuries, show little of the bustle of modern life and technological dependency found in the city. Instead, you will see timeless blizzards, farming using “six-abreast” horse teams, and men and women working at the hand-hewn ranch buildings built generations ago by their families.

On his website (, Dr. Guildner says he focused on “finding and recording people who are living and working in characteristic ways that have changed little since the settling of the heartland of this country.”

Each of the photographs on display in the Library are accompanied by an interpretive plaque where Dr. Guildner explains the scenes, the humble people, and his impetus for taking the photographs.

If the photographs on display in the Library whet your appetite to see more, you can visit the Durham Museum in downtown Omaha. There, you will find more photographs in the South Gallery, as well as donated camera equipment. Just take your UNMC ID card with you, as admittance for UNMC students, staff, and faculty is free thanks to a partnership between UNMC and the Museum.


Harry Potter’s World exhibit

In 1997, British author J. K. Rowling introduced the world to Harry Potter and a literary phenomenon was born. Millions of readers have followed Harry to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where he discovers his heritage, encounters new plants and animals, and perfects his magical abilities. Although a fantasy story, the magic in the Harry Potter books is partially based on Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science, including alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy. Incorporating the work of several 15th- and 16th-century thinkers, the seven-part series examines important ethical topics such as the desire for knowledge, the effects of prejudice, and the responsibility that comes with power.

This exhibition, using materials from the National Library of Medicine, explores Harry Potter’s world, its roots in Renaissance science, and the ethical questions that affected not only the wizards of Harry Potter, but also the historical thinkers featured in the series.

Visit Harry Potter’s World in the McGoogan Library of Medicine, August 4 – September 13.

You can visit the online exhibit at

This exhibition is brought to you by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and was curated by Elizabeth J. Bland.

New exhibit: Medieval Medical Illustrations

View the latest panel exhibit in the library’s Linder Lounge: Though a Mirror Darkly: The Art of Medieval Medical Illustrations.

The artists and draftsmen of medical books in the Middle Ages appreciated just as much as we do today the value of pictures in the conveying of certain kinds of information. Pictures could be used to illustrate case histories, to demonstrate techniques, to make instruments for diagnosis and prognosis, to reveal structures and functions within the body and to depict the substances needed to make medicine.

Endowment funds buy books

Thanks to the following endowment funds, the library has added, to date, 71 titles to the book collection. Some of these books are now displayed inside the library’s entrance on the 6th floor.

  • Edgar Adler
  • Alice Buffett
  • George Hays
  • Morris Margolin
  • Paul Marx
  • COM Class of 1977 in honoring Drs. W.K. and Norah Metcalf
  • Howard Mitchell
  • Melvin L. Sommer
  • Chester Q. Thompson

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