Archives and Rare Books

Descartes’ ‘Treatise of Man’

Rene Descartes’ “Treatise of Man” is my favorite work of the 35 in “Brain Localization: Images and ideas through 500 years, an exhibit of rare books” currently on display in the library’s Glaser Gallery. According to “Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine, #627,” “it was the first European textbook on physiology” and noteworthy  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

From the Rare Book Collections: Aldrovandi, Ulisse. 1642. “Monstrorum Historia”

“Monstrorum Historia” is a visually stunning book on the history of monsters. It is part of a larger work, an enormous 13-volume encyclopedia on natural history. The author, Ulisse Aldrovandi, wrote parts of the encyclopedia using the raw material in his museum and the botanical garden in Bologna in Italy. He collected not only specimens  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Moratorium, 1969 and St. Louis Doctors for Peace

With “The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick” airing this week on PBS, it is a good time to examine the oral history of David Kennell, MD, and his archives on St. Louis Doctors for Peace. Kennell’s oral history and papers contain documentation of the 1969 Moratorium, an event to promote peace  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

In his own words: Philip M. Stimson, MD Assistant Resident at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, 1916-1917

This week, as we welcomed new residents to the Medical Center, we discovered a letter in the Archives and Rare Books Division that was written by a resident 101 years ago. The resident, Philip Moen Stimson, MD, went on to a distinguished career as a pediatrician renowned for his research in infectious disease. Becker Library has three  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

An Army Nurse Sounds Off on Basic Training and the OR, 1944

Lola Mae Baird Mathews was an operating room supervisor at Barnes Hospital from 1939-1943. In 1943, her last summer at Barnes Hospital, she worked hard at a course in chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis, because she wanted to earn a degree. Still, it seems her considerable knowledge failed to earn her the respect  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Phrenology exemplified and illustrated or Scraps no. 7 by D.C. Johnston, Boston, 1837

Phrenology has many definitions in the Oxford English Dictionary.  My favorite is:

The theory that the mental powers or characteristics of an individual consist of separate faculties, each of which has its location in an organ found in a definite region of the surface of the brain, the size or development of which is commensurate with the development of the particular faculty; the study of the external conformation of the cranium as an index to the position and degree of development of the various faculties. (Phrenology, Oxford English Dictionary c 2016)

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