There are plenty of treasures scattered throughout our rare book holdings, but we’re currently enamored with Leonhard Thurneisser zum Thurm’s Quinta Essentia, a wonderfully illustrated alchemical poem that’s a definite highlight of the Robert E. Schlueter Paracelsus Collection. Like Paracelsus himself, Thurnheisser led an itinerant life. Born in 1531 in Basel, he learned the craft [Read more]
One of the joys of reading primary sources is that it can provide us with a direct window into the past—browsing through an old distillation manual can lead down the path of researching medicinal cannibalism, or mentions of moon phases can provoke a segue into medical astrology. But it isn’t just the words that can [Read more]
On March 18, sixteen intrepid Phase I medical students headed to Italy to spend spring break exploring the connections between anatomy and art in Renaissance Italy. Spending three nights in Venice and three nights in Florence, they went on a whirlwind tour of some of the most important sites in the history of medicine and [Read more]
When you think of fortunetelling, what comes to mind? Tarot cards? Horoscopes? Chances are you’ve come across palmistry at some point, but what about metoposcopy?
Since June is Cataract Awareness Month, we’ll be taking a closer look at one of the most common surgical operations of the early modern period: couching a cataract.
The portrayal of anatomy is not necessarily objective. Anatomical atlases are products of both the individuals and the culture that produced them, and this is reflected in their pages. In some instances, anatomical texts show an association with eroticism, particularly regarding the female form. One of the most well-known instances of this is Charles Estienne’s [Read more]
Do you leave marks on your books? Maybe underline a few key words, put an asterisk next to an important passage, or jot down a quick summary of a point you want to remember? If you do, no worries – people have been writing in their books for centuries! Today, we’re going to look at [Read more]
Becker Medical Library is delighted to share our most recent addition to the rare book collections! A copy of the Edo-period ophthalmologist Dojun Nakanome’s text Ganmoku Shinron; Kokon seisen mokubyo shinron, or Selected True Ophthalmology of All Times, printed in 1850.
Throughout the medieval and early modern periods, medical practice was based on the theory of the four humors. The humors—blood, black bile, yellow bile and phlegm—were fluids that moved through the body and needed to remain in balance in order to maintain health. There were a number of things that could disrupt this balance, including [Read more]
These are unprecedented times. For many, if not most of us, the past several weeks have been marked by anxiety and uncertainty. While this experience is far from pleasant, it is also deeply human. The course of human history has never run smoothly, and each century has seen its share of disasters. The 16th century [Read more]