If you ever stop by to visit the Becker Library archives – and as the archives are open to the public you’re more than welcome to do so – you’ll be asked to follow a few rules. Sign into our ledger book, only look at one folder of archival material at a time, and, please, no food or drinks near the historical documents. Despite this last policy, food often does show up in the archives – in the form of various menus, which are scattered throughout the archival collections.
Marian Sizelove and Joyce Gibbons, dieticians at Barnes Hospital, wrote in 1949 that “One of the age old complaints of hospital patients is that the hot foods [they are served] are not hot and that the cold foods are not cold.” Frank Bradley, director of Barnes Hospital from 1939-1962, worked with the hospital dieticians to [Read more]
Over 100 years of history are now on display on the seventh floor of Bernard Becker Medical Library. The exhibit “‘Skill, tenderly applied, works wonders’ – A History of The Jewish Hospital of St. Louis” is open now through August 31* in the library’s Glaser Gallery. Founded in 1902, the Jewish Hospital of St. Louis [Read more]
One of my favorite parts of my job as a project archivist at Becker Medical Library is discovering individuals’ stories from the past.
A fairyland with hundreds of pale pink blossoms and twinkling lights,” raved the St. Louis Globe-Democrat in January 1962, describing the transformation of the Hotel Chase’s Khorassan Room for the first Jewish Hospital Auxiliary Clover Ball.
In 1880, a year after St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s opening; the newly minted hospital published its first annual report. In addition to a list of hospital officers and a report of the hospital Board of Managers, the 1879-1880 annual report included a list of the various donors and donations given to the new hospital. Monetary donations are listed alongside gifts of items such as blankets, pillows, and cribs. These usual donations are interspaced with eclectic items that the people of St. Louis gifted to their new children’s hospital.
In the months leading up to Barnes Hospital’s opening, L.C. Smith, the hospital superintendent, was kept busy fielding letters from job seekers. People throughout the region had heard of the “great institution” that had been built on Kingshighway, and knew that the large, new hospital would soon be in need of housekeepers, laundry workers, stenographers, and orderlies to keep it running. Amidst the pile of applications, the letters of two men offering their credentials for the position of hospital chef stand out from the others.
This article continues the Becker Brief of March 17, 2016 on the events surrounding the 1931 kidnapping of Dr. Isaac Kelley, a St. Louis area physician. During the trials of his kidnappers three years later, a St. Louis socialite was implicated in the plot to abduct Dr. Kelley. Her trail for the kidnapping was followed by accusations of illegal baby purchasing and blackmail.
April 20, 1931, a night which would eventually set into motion a kidnapping, a murder, the theft of a baby, and multiple trials, was appropriately dark and stormy.
Beginning in 1942, the staff of the Jewish Hospital of St. Louis created and mailed “The Green Sheet,” a monthly newsletter which earned its nicknamed from the colored paper it was printed on. Officially named “216 South Kingshighway,” the missive was sent to members of Jewish Hospital serving in the military during World War II, and contained both news of the staff left at home, as well as excerpts from deployed staff members’ letters. The 31 issues held in the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives provide an intimate glimpse into the global experiences of St. Louis servicemembers during the Second World War.