Archives and Rare Books

New Archival Accesssion
Helen Donis-Keller, PhD, and Cindy Helms examine documents from the Human Genome Project from the newly-acquired archival collection.

New archival accession

A large donation from the Department of Genetics included material from the university’s famed participation in the Human Genome Project, including laboratory notebooks, two custom-made gel loaders that were used to transfer DNA sequence materials, and documentation showing how the project was managed on a day-to-day basis.

Pediatric Palliative Care Oral History Project

Becker Library now has the honor of serving as the archival home of the Pediatric Palliative Care Oral History Project. This years-long oral history project was initiated by Dr. Bryan Sisk, Assistant Professor in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Washington University. The transcripts to all 35 interviews with individuals from all over the world who have had notable roles in the development of pediatric palliative care are now available online via the Digital Commons @ Becker. The audio recordings of these interviews are stored in the Becker Archives and can be made available to researchers upon request.

Rare Book Acquisitions

Becker Library follows a three-pronged strategy in seeking to acquire rare books with the following carefully chosen qualities:

  1. Works that support areas of existing strength (i.e. ophthalmology, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry).
  2. Works that fall broadly under the field of “popular medicine,” meaning works in the vernacular that reflect contemporary approaches toward sickness and disease.
  3. Works in non-Western medical history.

We are grateful to the Bernard Becker family and the Philip Seib family, whose donations provide the funds that grow our rare book collections.

Glaser History of Medicine Gallery in Becker Library

Glaser Gallery Exhibit
‘Washington University and the Birth of the Atomic Age’ exhibit on display at Becker Library’s Glaser Gallery.

A new exhibit was installed in the library’s seventh floor Glaser Gallery on Feb. 15, 2021, featuring documents and photographs highlighting the involvement of several Washington University faculty, staff, and graduates in the Manhattan Project during World War 2. The opening of this fantastic exhibit coincided with the library’s 77th Historia Medica Lecture, given by Dr. James L. Nolan on February 24th, 2021 titled, “Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age” in which he related the experiences of his grandfather, James F. Nolan, MD, a 1938 graduate of the Washington University School of Medicine who was an important member of the radiation safety group of the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos during World War II.