Category: Event Videos

Now online: Video and Exhibit, “Battle-scarred: Death and Disability Since the Civil War”

By , January 22, 2013

"Group of officers who have undergone amputation for gunshot injuries," 1865. From vol. 3, image 1, Photographs of surgical cases and specimens, United States Surgeon-General's Office.

On December 13, 2012, the Center for the History of Medicine held a special program in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Battle-scarred: Death and Disability Since the Civil War featured two eminent scholars:

Drew Gilpin Faust, Lincoln Professor of History and President, Harvard University, who presented “Civil War and the End of Life” and

Jeffrey Reznick, Chief, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, who spoke on “Disability and the Cultural History of Modern War.” Attendees were welcomed by Scott H. Podolsky, Director, Center for the History of Medicine. Harvard Medical School Dean Jeffrey Flier introduced the speakers.

The video of the event can be viewed here.

Also online: the companion exhibit, Battle-scarred: Caring for the Sick and Wounded of the Civil War.

Like the Battle-scarred exhibit, which is on display in the Countway Library (floors 1, L2, and 5) through September 1, this shorter online version draws on the rich library and museum resources of the Countway’s Center for the History of Medicine to examine the experiences of the wounded and the ill and the men and women who cared for them on the battlefield, in hospitals and prison camps, and on the home front.

The online exhibit can be viewed here.


This event was sponsored by the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine’s  McGovern Fund for the History of Medicine. Additional sponsors include the Center for the History of Medicine, Countway Library,  Ackerman Program on Medicine & Culture, and the HMS Office for Diversity and Community Affairs.

Now Online: “Beneath the Surface”

Ronald Eisenberg, M.D., March 1, 2012

“Beneath the Surface: the Development and Cultural Impact of Radiology” can now be viewed online.

Watch the video here

The event explored the history of radiology, including the development of the X-ray, the pioneering “radiology martyrs,” and radiology’s pervasive influence on visual culture. It was held at the Countway Library of Medicine on March 1, 5:00-7:00 pm.

The program featured:

Scott H. Podolsky
Assistant Professor, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Director, Center for the History of Medicine

Ronald Eisenberg
Associate Professor, Department of Radiology
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital and Harvard Medical School
“Early Days of Radiology”

Daniel Goldberg
Assistant Professor, Department of Bioethics & Interdisciplinary Studies
Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University
“Amputation, Sacrifice and Death: X-Rays, Walter James Dodd, and the Power of Remotely Anatomizing the Living Body in Fin-de-Siècle America”

Bettyann Kevles
Senior Lecturer, History of Science and Medicine, History Department
Yale University
“Medical imaging and the Visual Arts in the 20th Century”

The event celebrated the opening of important Center collections in the history of radiology. These include the personal and professional records of Lauriston Taylor, Felix Fleischner, and Morris Simon, and the organizational archives of the Fleischner Society. Processing of these collections was made possible with the support of the Lloyd E. Hawes Fund for Radiology. Additional collections, including the records of Merrill Sosman, will be processed with the Hawes Fund support later in 2012. Online finding aids for these collections are posted as they become available on the website of the Center for the History of Medicine. Additional information about collection openings is reported on the Center’s blog.

The Center wishes to thank all those who contributed to and attended the event, particularly our honorary committee, Drs. Alexander Bankier, Debra Gervais, and Theresa McCloud, and our co-sponsors, Josephine Simon and the New England Roentgen Ray Society.

McGovern Lecture Now Online: “An Anatomy of Addiction”

By , September 29, 2011

**The 2011 McGovern Lecture, “An Anatomy of Addiction,” presented by Howard Markel, M.D., on September 15th is now online. To watch the video, click here. **

2011 McGovern Lecture: An Anatomy of Addiction

Featured Speaker:

Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine and Director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan

September 15, 4 pm
TMEC, Walter Amphitheater
Reception to Follow


Dr. Markel will talk about his new book, An Anatomy of Addiction, “the astonishing account of the years-long cocaine use of Sigmund Freud, young, ambitious neurologist, and William Halsted, the equally young pathfinding surgeon. Markel writes of the physical and emotional damage caused by the then-heralded wonder drug, and how each man ultimately changed the world in spite of it—or because of it. One became the father of psychoanalysis; the other, of modern surgery.”

The New York Times Book Review featured An Anatomy, calling it “Absorbing and thoroughly documented . .  . a tour de force of scientific and social history.” ( New York Times Book Review, 7/24)

Howard Markel holds professorial appointments in Psychiatry, Public Health, History and Pediatrics.  Educated at the University of Michigan (A.B., 1982, summa cum laude; M.D., 1986, cum laude) and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Hospital (Intern, Resident and Fellow in General Pediatrics, 1986-1993 and Ph.D, in the History of Medicine, Science and Technology, 1994), he joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1993. In collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he is editor-in chief of The 1918-1919 American Influenza Pandemic: A Digital Encyclopedia and Archive, now in composition and production at the Center for the History of Medicine and the University of Michigan Scholarly Publications Office and funded with grants and contracts from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the CDC.

September 15: “Sigmund Freud, Free Treatment, and the Viennese Model of Public Mental Health”

By , August 2, 2011

Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education, McLean Hospital and the Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, present:


“Sigmund Freud, Free Treatment, and the Viennese Model of Public Mental Health”

Elizabeth Ann Danto, Ph.D.: Professor of Social Work and Chair, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Hunter College School of Social Work, City University of New York

September 15, 2011 2:30-4:00 PM 

Room 227, Tosteson Medical Education Center, Harvard Medical School

(Please note altered time and place)

For further information contact David G. Satin, M.D., Colloquium Director, phone/fax 617-332-0032, e-mail

Open to students of history and those valuing a historical perspective on their professions.

Dissolving Boundaries Event Video Available

By , February 25, 2011

Dr. Frederick John Stare, "March of Medicine" telecast, 1953. From the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

A lecture and discussion to celebrate the Foundations in Public Health Policy project was held on February 7, 2011 at the Countway Library, 10 Shattuck St., Boston.  “Dissolving Boundaries: Extending the Reach of Medicine and Public Health” was recorded and can be streamed online by clicking the link above.


Allan Brandt, Ph.D., Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Professor of the History of Science; Amalie Moses Kass Professor of the History of Medicine

Julio Frenk, M.D., Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty, Harvard School of Public Health; T & G Angelopoulos Professor of Public Health and International Development, Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Kennedy School

Jeffrey S. Flier, M.D., Dean of the Faculty, Harvard Medical School; Caroline Shields Walker Professor of Medicine

with introductory remarks by Scott H. Podolsky, Director of the Center for the History of Medicine.

Britt lecture video now available online

By , December 15, 2010

Watch online: lecture by L.D. Britt, MD MPH

“American Medicine: The Great Challenges and Dilemmas,” a lecture by Dr. L.D. Britt, Brickhouse Professor and Chair of Surgery, Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Watch the lecture online »

This December 9th talk on access to health care and health literacy in America kicked off the opening of two new exhibits at the Countway Library: Opening Doors: Contemporary African-American Academic Surgeons, a traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine, and a Countway companion exhibit, Bridging the Gap: Contributions of African American Surgeons at Harvard.

Holmes Bicentennial Event Videos Online

By , February 23, 2010

The Oliver Wendell Holmes Bicentennial Symposium was held on November 17, 2009, at the Countway Library, 10 Shattuck St., Boston.  The symposium was recorded and can be streamed online here:

Stream Part 1
Stream Part 2
Stream Part 3


  • Charles S. Bryan: “The Greatest Brahmin: Overview of a Life”
  • Peter Gibian: “Doctor Holmes: The Life in Conversation”
  • Michael A. Weinstein: “Oliver Wendell Holmes’s Depth Psychology: A Reconstruction”
  • John S. Haller, Jr.: “Oliver Wendell Holmes and the Challenge of Homeopathy: A Reappraisal”
  • Amalie M. Kass: “A Private Pestilence: Holmes and Puerperal Fever”
  • Charles E. Rosenberg: “Oliver Wendell Holmes and the Social Logic of Medical Therapeutics”
  • And introductory remarks by Scott H. Podolsky, Director of the Center for the History of Medicine.

“Conceiving the Pill” lecture videos online

By , March 26, 2009

Conceiving the Pill lecture poster

Conceiving the Pill: Modern Contraception in Historical Perspective”

On March 26, 2009, The Center for the History of Medicine at the Countway Library of Medicine hosted a symposium to celebrate the opening of the John C. Rock Papers: “Conceiving the Pill: Modern Contraception in Historical Perspective.”  This program placed the history of contraceptive technology over the past half-century in its social, pharmaceutical and global health contexts.

Watch the lecture online:
Conceiving the Pill Symposium 03_26_09 Part I
Conceiving the Pill Symposium 03_26_09 Part II

Panel speakers included:

  • * Margaret Marsh, PhD, Interim Chancellor and Distinguished Professor of History, Rutgers University-Camden: “The Fertility Doctor Meets the Pill”
  • * Wanda Ronner, M.D., Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine: “The Era of the Pill Begins”
  • * Elizabeth Siegel Watkins, PhD, Professor, Vice Chair and Director of Graduate Studies, History of Health Sciences Program, Department of Anthropology, History, and Social Medicine, University of California, San Francisco: “From Breakthrough to Bust: The Brief Life of Norplant, the Contraceptive Implant”
  • * George Zeidenstein, Visiting Distinguished Fellow, Center for Population and Development Studies, Harvard School of Public Health: “Family Planning and Reproductive Health in Global Perspective”

Sectarian to Unorthodox to Alternative) to Complementary Medicine videos online

By , February 23, 2008

Alternative/Complementary Medicine event flyerOn March 26, 2008, the Center for the History of Medicine Hosted

Sectarian (to Unorthodox to Alternative) to Complementary Medicine:
What Historical Perspectives Can Tell Modern Medicine

Historical perspectives on “unorthodox” medicine and the ongoing evolution of integrative medicine.

Videos of the program available here:
Part 1: Scott H. Podolsky and Ted Kaptchuk
Part 2: Naomi Rogers
Part 3: Anne Kirschman
Part 4: John S. Haller,Jr.
Part 5: Donald B. Levy

Information about speakers:

  • John S. Haller, Jr., Professor of History and Medical Humanities, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
  • Donald B. Levy, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Medical Director, Osher Clinical Center for Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Ted Kaptchuk, Associate Professor of Medicine, Osher Center, Harvard Medical School
  • Anne Kirschmann, Lecturer, Department of History, UMass Dartmouth
  • Naomi Rogers, Associate Professor of History of Medicine and of Women’s and Gender Studies, Yale University

Download bibliography here:

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