Coming Attraction: Art and Anatomy Exhibit at CU Boulder

Nine items from the Strauss Health Sciences Library’s Rare Materials Collection will be exhibited at the CU Art Museum in Boulder. The books, published between 1555 and 1867, will supplement materials from the museum’s collections the collections of Norlin Library in an exhibit examining the roles of art and anatomy in the development of medical science, The Art That Made Medicine.

The items on loan include the first two great anatomy texts, the second edition of Andreas Vesalius’ De Humani Corporis Fabrica (1555) and Govard Bidloo’s, Anatomia Humani Corporis (1685), which are arguably the most beautiful items in the library’ collection. Hermann Boerhaave’s Opera Omnia Anatomica et Chirurgica (1725) is based on Vesalius’ works, and features copperplate reproductions of Vesalius’ woodcut illustrations. Charles Bell’s A System of Dissections (1798-1803) and John Bell’s Engravings of the Bones, Muscles, and Joints (1804) are notable because the Bells, both surgeons, not only did the dissections, but drew the images and engraved the plates themselves. Also included is the second American edition of Henry Gray’s Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical (1867), which is still in print in its forty-second edition, and works by American surgeons Samuel Gross and Joseph Pancoast, and British surgeon John Shaw.

Originally slated to open in February 2021, The Art That Made Medicine is now scheduled to run from September 13, 2021 through April 29, 2022.

Unfortunately, rare materials are not currently available. Rare materials will be available for use by individuals or groups by appointment when the library resumes normal operation.

[Emily Epstein, Cataloging Librarian]

Dr. Lawrence Meskin CREEDD Documents

A new document collection has recently been digitized and added to the Strauss Health Sciences Library digital repository featuring donations by Estelle Meskin of items collected and kept by her husband, Dr. Lawrence Meskin.  Dr. Meskin, who died in 2007, was the former Dean of the CU School of Dentistry and was a distinguished academic and advocate for public dentistry and dental education.  The new collection is made of materials from the Center for Research to Evaluate and Eliminate Dental Disparities (CREEDD), an early 21st century Massachusetts research group dedicated to dental health, especially in early childhood.  Dr. Meskin served on CREEDD’s scientific advisory board until around 2005 or 2006. 

CREEDD is inactive as of approximately 2015.

CREEDD focused mainly on early childhood dental health.  During Dr. Meskin’s time with them, four major pilot projects were created, funded, and managed by the center and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).  These pilot projects, the creation of which facilitated the creation of the scientific advisory board on which Dr. Meskin served, focused on quality of life in children regarding dental health and care and early childhood caries or most commonly called cavities.  The center attracted numerous professionals along the east coast and had the support of Boston institutions such as the Boston University School of Dentistry and Boston Medical Center.

The majority of the newly digitized collection features material from CREEDD’s scientific advisory board such as agendas and minutes.  There is also a mix of other items though including several brochures, patient education materials, grant paperwork, and more.  A digital exhibit has been created for quick viewing and the whole collection is now available in Mountain Scholar.  For more from Dr. Lawrence Meskin, there is also the Dr. Lawrence H. Meskin Collection, a special collection of works authored by Dr. Meskin and dentistry books, which one can find by searching the Strauss Health Sciences Library online catalog.

This was written by Rachel, you can contact AskUs with questions.

Dr. Frank Bradway Rogers History of Medicine Exhibits

New to the Strauss Health Sciences Library digital repository is a collection of exhibit materials from a historic series of CU library exhibits.  Dr. Frank Bradway Rogers was Director of the Denison Memorial Library from 1963 to 1975.  Before coming to Denison, Dr. Rogers already had a distinguished and expansive history.  As a young man, he served in the Army Medical Corps and found an intersection between army medicine and librarianship when an opening came at Walter Reed Army Hospital’s Army Medical Library.  Dr. Rogers subsequently earned his master’s in library sciences from Columbia University and cultivated a career of medical librarianship.  He contributed to the creation of the Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (MEDLARS) and served the National Library of Medicine for decades before becoming Denison’s Director.  During the 1970s, Dr. Rogers cultivated an entire series of library exhibits on the history of medicine.

While the actual exhibits and final presentations were not preserved, the detailed work and construction behind them are evident in this new collection.  Dr. Rogers cultivated reading lists, layout designs, biographical passages, portraits, illustrations, and other materials into a monthly series that spanned almost five years.  He chose topics from eras such as Ancient Greece to medical movements such as inoculation and vaccination.  The commitment and passion shown through his exhibit materials is interesting to everyone from the general public to medical students to fellow librarians.

Dr. Roger’s mentee Lucretia W. McClure once said that Dr. Rogers “was not a physician who took on the library, but rather a librarian who had studied medicine”.  His work on these exhibits for Denison Memorial Library strengthens that observation.  A digital exhibit has been created for quick viewing and the whole collection is now available in Mountain Scholar.  We encourage you to take a tour through a blend of medicine and librarianship and to get a behind the scenes look at the creation of a library exhibit.

This was written by Rachel, you can contact AskUs with questions.

Archive Internship but With a Twist

           Hello!  I’m Rachel Sedlacek.  I had the joy of being the Strauss Health Sciences Library archival intern for the past semester and a half.  This blog is a culmination of my musings on everything that happened during the project.

            As the world has moved through the greatest modern pandemic, numerous positions and careers have had to change entirely to meet safety requirements on multiple levels.  Archival internship work is no different in need and, likely, no different in challenges either.  But it has all proven to be a brand new and blatantly needed lesson on what archival practice looks like during world altering events like this.

            Things got off to an apprehensive start.  Ironically, I had begun to properly plan my internship back in March 2020 with the intention of doing it over the summer semester.  But like with many major life events and important decisions, the start just kept being pushed back.  Those early days were so difficult to see beyond.  The future was all just a “maybe”.

Rachel's Remote Workstation
Rachel’s Remote Workstation

           In reality, nothing could truly start until August and even then, the entire internship process had to be reworked so it could function remotely instead of in-person.  The first challenge was creating a workstation in my apartment.  Archive items must be kept in certain environments so that preservation standards are upheld.  I spent about an hour circling my apartment and investigating hopeful places to store materials as well as to process them.  In the end, it was the easiest solution that proved the best.  I had already had a crafting table set up in our living room, beside which was a massive wardrobe that was half rolling drawers and half open space.  The wardrobe would keep materials out of direct sunlight in a cool, dry place and the table had enough space to accommodate a flatbed scanner and my laptop along with stacks of folders and papers.  One particular concern that I knew I had to address as well was the presence of glitter and possibly other crafting remnants though.  As other crafters very well know, glitter gets everywhere.  My table was black and I could dust and clean both at the start of and throughout my internship work.  But that nagging fear was still there.  Again, the solution was easy though.  I had a thin foam mat that had come with my laptop case.  This became my actual work surface.  It was solely for archive items and then, when I finished for the day, it was rolled up and stored in the wardrobe as well.  Having that additional layer meant that nothing transferred to the items.  And it honestly helped my focus as I worked.  Lifestyle bloggers and reporters have made multiple articles and comments about how it’s important to separate home life from work life while doing remote work.  This foam mate, which was a bright teal, was a perfect visual cue.  When it was out, I was working.  I was focused.  When I put it away, I could walk away that much easier and worry less about the pressure of having work so close at hand.

            I ended up only spending a few hours actually in the library during this whole process.  It was just long enough to get my chosen collections, new archival grade housing in the form of better boxes and folders, the flatbed scanner, and general office supplies like a staple remover.  It was a bit of whirlwind day going in and out of the library and then in and out of my apartment.  But with my set up plans already made, in the end everything fit as I imagined.

Rachel's Processed Folders
Rachel’s Processed Folders

           The actual archival work of my internship was mostly straight forward.  I had already completed most of my graduate education so I had a lead on metadata, material processing, and organization. Yet, doing an internship, especially in a field like library sciences, really is a necessity.  I relished the opportunity to hear about actual decisions and workflow during meetings and to act as a functional part of the team, even if I wasn’t permanent.  It helped immensely to be able to check my own judgement or thoughts against those of an experienced archivist.  Thus, I got a good balance of strengthening what I had already learned and learning exactly how theoretical lessons such as repository management apply to an actual archive.

           The true challenge of my internship, and likely the challenge that millions of people have faced this year, was IT problems though.  Taking everything out of the library and into my apartment meant that there was quite a bit of IT set up involved.  VPN. Server access.  Scanning software.  Accessibility software.  It felt like as I went through every step, there was another one waiting right beyond it.  The roughest parts were when something would finally get set up and I’d start on the applicable part of my work only to have a new error message or problem pop up.  It was so frustrating!  Some times, I would be ahead of the game and on top of the world and other times, I feared I wouldn’t finish anything in time or have anything to actually contribute to the collection.  In terms of timing, I probably spent an equal amount on IT meetings and my own troubleshooting than I did on actually processing the collections and fulfilling my internship objectives.  That really was life in 2020 though.  The whole year was about changing and figuring out what could be done and what needed to be done overlapped successfully.

           Archives in the future may either continue remote work because of crises like this or may very well utilize remote work to create new opportunities for staffing.  I got a glimpse at what may be the future of archive work in some regards.  It was more of a loss than I realized to miss out on the ease of working in-person, of being able to pop my head into an office door to ask a quick question or to stand behind an IT staff member as they fix something directly.  But, in exchange, I got a crash course on adapting to major changes and on creating an archive workstation from scratch.  I feel ready to move into the workforce and even feel like I have an advantage because I’ve gone through a major learning opportunity during unusual times.  Now that everything is settled, all the challenges are behind me so things could only go up from here and I wish I could just continue working and progressing.  On the other hand, this ended up being the last piece of my graduate work and I am so excited to finally be done with school!

Rachel has completed processing two archival collections, the Frank B. Rogers History of Medicine Exhibits and the Dr. Lawrence Meskin and CREEDD documents. Please check out the digital exhibits on the library’s website!

This was written by Rachel, you can contact AskUs with questions.

Braddock Donation Exhibit

Dr. David Braddock Disabilities Studies Collection

There’s a new exhibit in the main entryway of the library! Debra and Jessica put together a new display of some of the titles and images from the recent Braddock donation.

The titles are part of the donation of the Dr. David Braddock Disabilities Studies Collection from The Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities.

The donation came to the library last summer, and the collection is being processed by the library staff. Books are added to the library’s collection, with the Braddock bookplate and a blue label.

The archival parts of the collection are also being processed, and digitized for the library’s digital repository, Mountain Scholar. You can see the items currently in the collection here, and check back as we add more!

Please take the brochures featured outside the exhibit for more information, and look forward as we continue to process this new collection about the history of disabilities and disabled persons.

This was written by Jessica, you can contact AskUs with questions.