Category: Current Exhibits and Events

Announcing a new exhibit on the history of women at Harvard Medical School

By , March 7, 2017

A Brief History of Women at Harvard Medical School

“A Brief History of Women at Harvard Medical School” is now on display on Countway Library’s 2nd floor next to the Joint Committee on the Status of Women library collection.

The exhibit, curated by Joan Ilacqua, Project Archivist for the Archives for Women in Medicine, explores the history of women in medicine at Harvard Medical School. It begins with the story of Harriot Kezia Hunt, Harvard’s first woman applicant, and follows the struggles and triumphs of Harvard Medical School’s first women instructors, researchers, professors, and students, as well as the creation of the Joint Committee on the Status of Women and the Archives for Women in Medicine.

An extended digital version of the exhibit is available via OnView.


The Archives for Women in Medicine is a program of the Countway Library’s Center for the History of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. The Archives for Women in Medicine actively acquires, processes, preserves, provides access to, and publicizes the papers of women physicians, researchers, and medical administrators. Interested in learning more? Visit countway.harvard.edu/awm or contact Project Archivist Joan Ilacqua.

 

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New Exhibit at the Countway Library Commemorates Harvard Medical School’s Relief Efforts during World War I

By , February 15, 2017

Soldiers Wounded at the Battle of the Somme Arriving at No. 22 General Hospital, 1916 [0004184]

Soldiers Wounded at the Battle of the Somme Arriving at No. 22 General Hospital, 1916 [0004184]

Although the United States did not enter World War I until April 1917, American medical personnel were active in war relief efforts from nearly the beginning of the conflict. Harvard Medical School—its faculty and its graduates—played a key role in this relief work by providing staff for French and English hospitals and military units, and these early endeavors provided invaluable experience once America came into the war and the need to organize and staff base and mobile hospitals for the U.S. Army became critical to the war effort.

Noble Work for a Worthy End, a new exhibit at the Countway’s Center for the History of Medicine, charts Harvard’s participation in this medical relief work and experiences in military medicine and surgery through the wealth of first-hand documentation preserved by the men and women who volunteered their time and labor, sometimes at great sacrifice, to helping the sick and wounded of the First World War. Highlights of the display include records of the Harvard University Service organized by Harvey Cushing at the American Ambulance Hospital in Paris.  This unit’s brief sojourn in the spring of 1915 is documented through photographs and postcards, publications, and a copy of Elliott Carr Cutler’s daily journal of his experiences.

The Medical School’s most enduring contribution to the war effort was the Harvard Surgical Unit, which first arrived in Europe in July 1915.  Inspired by Sir William Osler, the unit provided physicians, surgeons, dentists, and nurses to staff the British Expeditionary Force’s No. 22 General Hospital at Camiers, France. The exhibit includes photograph albums, letters, drawings, newsclippings, Paul Dudley White’s diary account of a case of shell shock, medical field cards and case notes, and unusual ephemera, including an armband worn by members of the Unit and an enamel pin presented by the Harvard Corporation to the unit’s nurses, along with a testimonial of gratitude from King George V.

Final Inspection of Harvard Unit at Fort Totten, N.Y., May 11, 1917 [0003947]

Final Inspection of the Harvard Unit at Fort Totten, N.Y., May 11, 1917 [0003947]

Once the United States entered the European conflict, Harvard faculty and students became involved with staffing base hospitals for the Army. The exhibit also chronicles the work and experiences at Base Hospital No. 5, a unit formed from Harvard and Peter Bent Brigham Hospital personnel.  Base Hospital No. 5, one of the first units to reach France, remained on loan to the British Expeditionary Force for the duration of the war, at which point it had treated some 45,000 soldiers, and, notably, sustained casualties from an air raid bombing on September 4, 1917. Photographs, a letter from Harvey Cushing describing the air raid, and records of Walter B. Cannon’s research on surgical shock are all included.

Noble Work for a Worthy End: Harvard Medical School in the First World War is on display on the first floor of the Countway Library of Medicine and open to the public, Monday through Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm. A companion online exhibit is also available here .

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December 15: “From Attendants to Nurses: Philanthropy, Psychiatry and American Nursing 1940-1955”

By , October 12, 2016

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

Colloquium on the History of Psychiatry and Medicine

“From Attendants to Nurses: Philanthropy, Psychiatry and American Nursing 1940-1955”

6d822a15c164b94c14ec3be06c7001ceKylie M. Smith BA (Hons), PhD: Assistant Professor, Andrew W Mellon Faculty Fellow for Nursing and the Humanities, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University

The third in a series of three lectures given as the 2016 Colloquium on the History of Psychiatry and Medicine. The Colloquium offers an opportunity to clinicians, researchers, and historians interested in a historical perspective on their fields to discuss informally historical studies in progress.

Thursday, December 15, 2016
4:00-5:30 PM

Minot Room, fifth floor
Countway Library of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
10 Shattuck Street, Boston MA 02115

Free and open to the public.

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

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November 17: “Madness, Politics, and Society: Toptasi Mental Asylum”

By , October 12, 2016

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

Colloquium on the History of Psychiatry and Medicine

“Madness, Politics, and Society: Toptasi Mental Asylum”

insane-patients-in-the-toptascca7c4b1-mental-asylumFatih Artvinli, Ph.D.: Assistant Professor of the History of Medicine and Ethics, Acibadem University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey

The second in a series of three lectures given as the 2016 Colloquium on the History of Psychiatry and Medicine. The Colloquium offers an opportunity to clinicians, researchers, and historians interested in a historical perspective on their fields to discuss informally historical studies in progress.

Thursday, November 17, 2016
4:00-5:30 PM

Minot Room, fifth floor
Countway Library of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
10 Shattuck Street, Boston MA 02115

Free and open to the public.

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

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October 18: “The Great Moment and the Advent of Anesthesia”

By , October 12, 2016

Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Center for the History of Medicine at the Countway Library present:

Movie Night: The Great Moment and the Advent of Anesthesia

On the heels of the 170th anniversary of the first successful public demonstration of anesthesia at MGH, join us for two cinematic interpretations of that fateful day. We will screen “The Great Moment,” a 1944 film directed by Preston Sturges, which focuses on dentist William T.G. Morton; and “The Advent of Anesthesia,” a short, silent 1936 film in which contemporary MGH staff reenacted the events of October 16, 1846. (Hint: One of these films is pretty true to history, and the other is … not.)

 

Movie Night poster3_trimmed

 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016
6:00-8:00pm

Light refreshments will be served.

Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation
Massachusetts General Hospital
2 North Grove Street, Boston MA 02114

To register, email mghhistory@partners.org or call 617.724.2755.

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October 21: HMS LXX: 70 Years of Women at HMS

By , September 21, 2016

HMS LXX

70 Years of Women at HMS

Sponsored by The Archives for Women in Medicine, Harvard Medical Alumni Association, Joint Committee on the Status of Women, Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, The Center for the History of Medicine, Office for Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Partnership, and the Office of Faculty Affairs

 

HMSLXX_Banner

 

Join us for this celebration recognizing important milestones for women at HMS over the past 70 years, including the admittance of women students, creation of The Archives for Women in Medicine, appointment of the 250th woman as a full professor, and more.

 

October 21, 2016

Tosteson Medical Education Center
Harvard Medical School
260 Longwood Avenue, Boston MA 02115

 

Seating is limited. Registration is first come, first served.
Tickets are $75 per person and include symposia, reception, and seated dinner.

For more information and for registration, visit the official event page.

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October 20: “Dr. Saul Hertz Discovers the Medical Uses of Radioiodine”

By , September 21, 2016

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

Colloquium on the History of Psychiatry and Medicine

“Dr Saul Hertz (HMS’29) Discovers The Medical Uses of Radioiodine (RAI): Academic Politics and Prejudice In the Birth of Radionuclide Therapy ”

Lewis E. Braverman, M.D., F.A.C.E.: Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
Frederick H. Fahey, D.Sc.:  Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School
M. Sara Rosenthal, Ph.D.:  Professor of Bioethics, University of Kentucky

 

800px-SaulHertz_PortraitThe first in a series of three lectures given as the 2016 Colloquium on the History of Psychiatry and Medicine. The Colloquium offers an opportunity to clinicians, researchers, and historians interested in a historical perspective on their fields to discuss informally historical studies in progress.

 

Thursday, October 20, 2016
4:00-5:30 PM

Minot Room, fifth floor
Countway Library of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
10 Shattuck Street, Boston MA 02115

Free and open to the public.

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

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Harvard Chan School Archivist Collaborates to Create First Historical Timeline of the Department of Environmental Health

By , August 9, 2016

A brief history of the Department of Environmental Health, displayed as a timeline. Please click the image to enlarge.

Working collaboratively with faculty and staff within the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, public health archivist Heather Mumford created a comprehensive timeline detailing historic names and department chairs. The resulting visual helped convey the complex narrative of the department’s evolution over a 100+ year history.

To complete this research, Heather relied on digitized historic Harvard Chan School catalogs available online and, with the assistance of Reference Archivist Jessica Murphy, consulted other historic administrative records available at the Center for the History of Medicine to confirm their results. Departmental faculty were given the opportunity to weigh in on the timeline, and to give feedback about what types of information (departmental name changes, chairs, etc.) were most interesting or informative to include.

Capture3

Explore the Harvard Chan School’s first catalog (1913).

The history of the department is somewhat difficult to track, as a singular “Department of Environmental Health” was not present in the early school, known as the Harvard-MIT School for Health Officers (1913-1922). In fact, formal departments did not exist at this time. Instead, courses were placed in “groups” with titles such as “Sanitary Biology and Sanitary Chemistry” or “Sanitary Engineering”.

In 1922, after the school received a Rockefeller grant and became the Harvard School of Public Health, the course catalogs began grouping courses by “divisions”. This included the founding of the departments of Physiology, under the leadership of Cecil Drinker (succeeded in 1948 by James Whittenberger), and Industrial Hygiene, which in 1932 came under the leadership of Philip Drinker, followed by Leslie Silverman in 1961. Over time these divisions become known as departments, and at certain points they merged and/or changed names. In 1991, a single “Department of Environmental Health” emerged.

This timeline was created to complement an exhibit on plethysmograph research, located on floor L-1 of the Countway Library and set to open later this summer. It was also used as part of a departmental retreat in May 2016, and has since been professionally printed by the department so that it can be placed on permanent display within their offices.

For more information about the Harvard Chan School Archives at the Center for the History of Medicine, contact Heather Mumford.

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Phineas Gage Event on June 23rd!

By , June 8, 2016

On the evening of June 23rd the Center for the History of Medicine will host a set of lectures on the ever-evolving case of Phineas Gage, highlighting new investigations and revisiting important past scholarship. The event is free and open to the public. The program will last an hour and fifteen minutes and will conclude with a panel of questions and answers. Refreshments will be served.

Skull and life mask of Phineas Gage, Warren Anatomical Museum, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, WAM 00949 & 00950

Skull and life mask of Phineas Gage, Warren Anatomical Museum, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, WAM 00949 & 00950

When: Thursday, June 23, 2016. Reception begins at 5:30pm.

Where: Minot Room, 5th floor, Countway Library of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, 10 Shattuck Street, Boston MA 02115

What: Lecture series on Phineas Gage. Free and open to the public.

 

More details to follow.

 

Registration is required. To register, use our online registration form or email us at ContactChom@hms.harvard.edu.

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