Archives and Rare Books

Online puzzles from the Archives and Rare Books Division

As part of our ongoing effort to bring our collections to you virtually as we all practice social distancing, we’ve created a series of online puzzles featuring images from Becker Library’s archival and rare book collections. See the images and links to their puzzles below. Helpful tips: Select your puzzle from the options below –  [Read more]

Announcements, Archives and Rare Books

Introducing #FridaysWithBecker

For more than a year now, Becker Library has hosted First Fridays @ Becker, a monthly Archives and Rare Books Division open house featuring items from its amazing collections. This has allowed our staff to do one of their favorite things – show people neat stuff.    While in-person First Friday monthly events are canceled  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Introducing the new Becker Archives Database

Becker Medical Library has released an enhanced database to help users explore and discover our archival collections. The new Becker Archives Database includes over 18,000 digital images from our visual collections. The new database allows users to browse and keyword search across all of our archival collections, then filter search results by date, subject, language,  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Thomas Jefferson’s Lenses

The Becker Archives holds a letter written by President Thomas Jefferson. This handwritten letter concerning Jefferson’s spectacles was given to Dr. Eugene Opie, dean of Washington University School of Medicine, in 1915. The letter was generously donated by William K. Bixby, was a frequent benefactor and long-time supporter of Washington University. Jefferson’s letter, dated Dec.  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Robert E. Shank Papers available online via Industry Documents Library partnership

Becker Library is pleased to announce a partnership with the University of California San Francisco’s Industry Documents Library to provide online access to the Robert E. Shank Papers. Over 100,000 pages from Becker Library Archives’ Robert E. Shank Papers were digitized for this project. The files are included as part of the Food Industry Documents  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

The ‘New’ Medical Center

In the early 20th century, a “new” medical center was created for Washington University largely due to the efforts of two men: Abraham Flexner and Robert Brookings. With funding from the Carnegie Foundation, Flexner traveled to 155 medical schools throughout the United States and Canada between 1908 and 1910. His goal was to assess each institution  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Bernie’s ‘other’ library

Washington University’s medical library is named after Bernard Becker, MD (1920-2013), who served as head of the university’s Department of Ophthalmology from 1953 to 1988.  During his remarkable 35-year tenure as department chair, Becker established one of the most outstanding academic ophthalmology departments and residency programs in the country and became a world-renowned expert on  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Russian refugee doctor becomes WashU cancer researcher

This story is summarized from Valentina Suntzeff’s unpublished autobiography, which can be found in the Valentina Suntzeff Papers in the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives. Early Life Valentina Davidovna was born in Kazan, Russia on February 28, 1891. Her father was a physician, and he encouraged Valentina to pursue medicine at a young age. When she entered  [Read more]

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