Posts tagged: Warren Anatomical Museum

Center Receives S.T. Lee Innovation Grant

By , July 10, 2018

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce that it has received S.T. Lee Innovation Grant funding for its 2018 proposal, “Beyond the Beyond Box.” The application was one of nineteen proposals to bring together Harvard faculty members and library staff; of the nineteen, only six projects were funded. Dominic Hall, Curator, Warren Anatomical Museum, will be spearheading the initiative in partnership with Professor Anne Harrington, Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science.

Plaster head cast made of Phineas Gage by Henry Jacob Bigelow at Harvard Medical School in 1850 to substantiate the specifics of Gage’s neurotrauma

“Beyond the Bone Box” was inspired by Harvard Medical School’s retired bone box program, which enabled medical students to borrow sets of human bones for home study, and developed in partnership with Harvard faculty, curators, archivists, and librarians, this project will develop three circulating resources that contain 3D-printed copies of Warren Anatomical Museum specimens highly contextualized by surrogates of special collections materials. Through this project, the Center seeks to democratize access to unique and sensitive collections through quality fungible surrogates and engender new forms of engagement with Harvard’s special collections across its library system.

The first circulating resource will be a teaching kit built around the case of Phineas Gage, the 19th century railroad foreman whose prefrontal cortex injury has been used to academically and popularly illustrate post-traumatic social disinhibition for the last 150 years.

Project work will begin in September. For the complete list of Lee Innovation Grant award recipients, click here.

Staff Finds: Richard Warren in the Warren Museum

By , March 22, 2018
Richard Warren

Richard Warren

While processing the records from the Office of the Dean from the tenure of George Packer Berry, Center staff came across images, below, of Richard Warren in the Warren Anatomical Museum. The images were taken as a part of the Program for Harvard Medicine, a fundraising initiative undertaken in the early 1960s. Given this time period, the images show the Warren Museum both as it was nearing the end of its primarily exhibition function at Harvard Medical School, and before repeated reductions in space allotment narrowed the museum from its original space in the top three floors of Building A (now Gordon Hall).

Richard Warren (1907-1999), M.D., 1934, Harvard Medical School, was a Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, specializing in cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disorders. He was a nephew of John Warren (1874-1928), a professor in the Anatomy Department at Harvard Medical School. Other ancestors include John Warren (1753-1815), Revolutionary War surgeon and a founder of Harvard Medical School, and John Collins Warren (1778-1856), Hersey Professor of Anatomy and Surgery and Dean of Harvard Medical School, whose personal collection of anatomical specimens, along with an endowment of $5,000 in railroad stock, helped establish the Warren Anatomical Museum. Richard Warren donated books, manuscripts, and artifacts from his family to the Boston Medical Library and Harvard Medical School. After retiring from medicine, Warren pursued the study of conifers at Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum, which houses records related to his work.

The finding aid for the Office of the Dean of Harvard Medical School can be found here.

The finding aid for the Warren Anatomical Museum records can be found here.

The Center for the History of Medicine also holds the Richard Warren papers.

For information regarding access to these collections, please contact the Public Services staff.

Staff Finds: Hertig, the Pathology Lab, and the Warren Museum

By , January 2, 2018

While processing the Arthur Tremain Hertig papers, Center staff discovered images of Hertig instructing Harvard Medical School students in the Pathology laboratory. Included are two images (first two below) that show Hertig using Warren Anatomical Museum specimens as part of the instruction, as the Pathology Department utilized the collection for teaching purposes. The Warren Anatomical Museum was established at Harvard Medical School in 1847 through a gift from John Collins Warren (1778-1856), and from the time of its founding until the late 1960s, the museum served a significant role as a resource for the teaching of medicine.

Arthur Hertig (1904-1990) was a pathologist, human embryo researcher, and professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School. He joined the Department of Pathology in 1931, was promoted to Professor of Pathology in 1948, and in 1952 was named Shattuck Professor of Pathological Anatomy and Chairman of the Department of Pathology. As chairman, teaching was a priority for Hertig:

His own lectures were clear and laced with a sense of humor … His regard for his students was manifested by his practice of having every one of them attend a tea in small groups in his office, although this consumed a great deal of time. The students awarded him two prizes for excellence in teaching and made him an honorary member of one of the graduating classes.

The finding aid for the Hertig papers can be found here.

For information regarding access to this collection, please contact the Public Services staff.

Center hosts Massachusetts high school students for Phineas Gage symposium

By , December 6, 2016
Microsoft Word - Phineas Gage Flyer.docx

Colloquium on Phineas Gage flyer, Courtesy of Nancy Donlon

The Center for the History of Medicine hosted forty students and seven teachers from six area high schools on November 28th for a half-day “Colloquium on Phineas Gage: A Scientific Inquiry.” The AP Psychology and AP Biology students came from schools across eastern Massachusetts and included Medford High SchoolBurlington High SchoolJohn D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and ScienceArlington High SchoolBraintree High School, and Dedham High School. The program was developed and organized by Medford High School AP Psychology teacher Nancy Donlon and was generously supported by the Medford Educational Foundation. Director Scott Podolsky, MD and Warren Museum curator Dominic Hall participated from the Center.

The students were exposed to a panel of Harvard Medical School and independent scholars who presented diverse material on the historical character of Gage and on modern medicine’s

Phineas Gage colloquium t-shirt. Courtesy of Kaitlin Donlon.

Phineas Gage colloquium t-shirt. Courtesy of Kaitlin Donlon.

understanding of the human brain. Harvard Medical School associate professor and Massachusetts General Hospital neurosurgeon Frederick Barker, MD placed the Gage narrative within the 19th-century debates surrounding neuroscience and the rejection and adoption of cerebral localization. Independent scholar Matthew L. Lena discussed the problematic fictions that have been tied to Phineas Gage’s patient history and how one integral case study can inform, support or hinder modern medical practice. The panel concluded with associate director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School assistant professor Steven Schlozman, MD‘s presentation on the modern understanding of how adolescent and teenage minds hold information and processes emotion through the construction of narratives.

The colloquium ended with the students breaking into groups and exploring the content presented from the three panelists and their renewed sense of the Gage narrative.

 

Phineas Gage 3D Print!

By , December 5, 2016
Phineas Gage 3D Print, Courtesy of Graham Holt, Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience, Boston Children’s Hospital

Phineas Gage 3D Print, Courtesy of Graham Holt, Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience, Boston Children’s Hospital

One of the most interesting developments in the renewed teaching capacity and impact of Phineas Gage is the recent establishment of a printable 3D model of well-known patient’s skull. The print file was created by Graham Holt at the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children’s Hospital, and is based on the 2004 thin-slice computed tomography scans of Peter Raitu and Ion-Florin Talos. The file grants a tangible portability to the Gage skull given that the original usually stays safety ensconced in the Warren Museum Exhibit Gallery. Holt’s 3D print had been downloaded 725 times as of October 3rd. The project was featured on the May 5th 3D Printing Today Podcast (segment at 1:02:30). The Warren Anatomical Museum has been using its own version of the Holt print in on-site, hands-on educational programs.

The print file for the Gage skull can be found in the following two places:

The capacity to print a version of Gage’s skull is an exciting addition to the Gage educational experience. More about the original CT scan is discussed in Ratiu, P., Talos, I. F., Haker, S., Lieberman, D., & Everett, P. (2004). “The tale of Phineas Gage, digitally remastered.” Journal of neurotrauma, 21(5), 637-643. More about the Phineas Gage case in general can be found on Malcolm Macmillan’s Phineas Gage Information Page.

 

Phineas Gage Event on June 23rd

By , June 10, 2016
Skull of Phineas Gage, Warren Anatomical Museum in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Skull of Phineas Gage, Warren Anatomical Museum in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

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 Odd Fame of Phineas Gage: How Phineas Got His Groove Back, and Why Getting Gage Right Matters”
    • By Matthew L. Lena, Independent scholar

The evening will also include remarks by Center for the History of Medicine Director Scott Podolsky and Warren Anatomical Museum Curator Dominic Hall. The program will last an hour and fifteen minutes and will conclude with a panel of questions and answers. Refreshments will be served.

 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Reception begins at 5:30pm.

Minot Room, fifth floor

Countway Library of Medicine

Harvard Medical School          

10 Shattuck Street, Boston MA 02115

 

Free and open to the public.

 

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

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.

Center for the History of Medicine collections in Autumn 2015 Harvard Medicine Magazine

By , December 7, 2015
Cast of John Thelwall, Warren Anatomical Museum, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Cast of John Thelwall, Warren Anatomical Museum, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Artifacts, artwork and ephemera from the Center for the History of Medicine’s Boston Medical Library and Warren Anatomical Museum collections highlight the “Backstory” section of the Autumn 2015 Harvard Medicine, entitled Voices. Complementing the magazine’s central theme, each historic piece focuses on aspects of human speech and the history of vocal health.

Ephraim Cutter Laryngoscope,  Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Ephraim Cutter Laryngoscope, Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Featured from the Warren Anatomical Museum is a phrenological cast of the head of John Thelwall (1764-1834). Thelwall was an English professor of the science of elocution and a prominent member of the London Corresponding Society, which advocated for voting rights and government reform. In 1814, Thelwall published Results of experience in the treatment of cases of defective utterance, from deficiencies in the roof of the mouth, and other imperfections and mal-conformations of the organs of speech : with observations on cases of amentia, and tardy and imperfect developments of the faculties. The cast is part of the Warren Museum’s Boston Phrenological Society collection. In the Society’s  A Catalogue of Phrenological Specimens Belonging to the Boston Phrenological Society (1835), the Thelwall cast was categorized under the faculty of “Language.”

Johann Nepomuk Czermak Laryngoscope, Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Johann Nepomuk Czermak Laryngoscope, Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

The “Backstory” spotlights four historic items from the Boston Medical Library collection. Ephraim Cutter, Harvard Medical School Class of 1856, designed his own laryngoscope, based on the demonstrations of laryngoscopy pioneers Manuel Garcia and Johann Nepomuk Czermak. The device was manufactured by Cambridge, Massachusetts telescope lens maker Alvan Clark & Sons in 1859. The Library collection also includes a laryngoscope mirror designed by Czermak, who took the first endoscopic photograph. The article displays a drawing of the vocal tract by Medical School instructor in laryngology Franklin Henry Hooper, Class of 1877.

Franklin Henry Hooper vocal tract drawing, Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Franklin Henry Hooper vocal tract drawing, Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Also from the Boston Medical Library collection, the piece features the business card of Sarah Fuller, a noted 19th-century speech therapist. Fuller trained at the Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts and was the long-term principal of the Boston School of Deaf-Mutes. In 1890 Fuller gave Helen Keller her first speech lessons, using techniques she learned from Alexander Graham Bell. All four items were photographed for the Magazine, and the Hooper drawing is digitally displayed in the online version of the “Backstory.”

Artifact Photographs by John Soares.

Sarah Fuller business card, Harvard Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Sarah Fuller business card, Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

WAM Curator Presents at University of Texas Medical Branch

By , October 9, 2015
Ashbel Smith Building ("Old Red"), University of Texas Medical Branch, October 5, 2015

Ashbel Smith Building (“Old Red”), University of Texas Medical Branch, October 5, 2015

Dominic Hall, the Curator of the Warren Anatomical Museum, spoke in the historical lecture hall of the Ashbel Smith Building, affectionately known as “Old Red,” at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) on October 5, 2015. Hall was invited by Paula Summerly, Research Project Manager for the John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine, and the members of the “Old Red” Medical Museum Task Force and Heritage Committee to discuss the history of the Warren Anatomical Museum and the Museum’s evolution over its approximately 160-year history.

University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), like Harvard Medical School, has a surviving historical anatomical and pathological collection. In his 1910 Medical Education in the United States and Canada: A Report to the Carnegie Institution for the Advancement of Teaching, Abraham Flexner said of the UTMB collections, “There is a large pathological museum, beautifully kept, every specimen classified, labeled, each indexed; and a notable anatomical museum in which special preparations are most advantageously arranged for teaching use.” Of the approximate 45 museums or specimen collections mentioned by Flexner, he was conservative in such praise. In addition to the UTMB medical museums, Flexner thought very favorably of the collections at McGill, the Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital, the University of Toronto, the Army Medical School, the Iowa Medical College, and the University of Pennsylvania.

UTMB’s “Old Red” Medical Museum Task Force and Heritage Committee has been working since 2009 to revitalize the UTMB pathological and anatomical museums. The Warren Anatomical Museum underwent a similar transformation in 1999 when it was transferred into the Center for the History of Medicine in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. At the time of Hall’s visit, UTMB was launching its 125th anniversary celebration. The school is the oldest medical college in Texas.

 

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