Archives and Rare Books

Medicine and literature: Using medical humanities to enrich our professional lives

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the eighth year of the reading group ‘Medicine and literature: Using medical humanities to enrich our professional lives’. This free program is open to the faculty and staff of Washington University, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and the Goldfarb School of Nursing.

Archives and Rare Books

Travel Scholarships Available for Archives and Rare Books Collections Use

Bernard Becker Medical Library is fortunate to have robust collections in archives and rare books that document the history of medicine from the late 15th century up to the present. Subjects in which the library’s holdings are particularly strong include ophthalmology and optics, neurology, deaf education, and the history of dentistry. In order to encourage  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Patent medicine advertising: The questionable claims and contents of ‘Sapanule’

The @BeckerLibrary Archives and Rare Books team have been providing a liberal dose of quirky quackery with our new weekly Instagram hashtag #MedicalAdMonday. It’s a showcase of salves, tonics, balsams, and bitters that claim to cure all manner of maladies, from chilblains to catarrh, boils to biliousness. But what was in these patent medicines and  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Louise Bourgeois and the first obstetrics book published by a woman

Although the medical field and publications were dominated by men during the European pre-modern period, Louise Bourgeois made a name for herself as both a medical professional and the author of numerous medical texts. To celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting a woman author from our collections! Louise Bourgeois (also known as Boursier) (1563-1636) was a  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Joseph Nash McDowell, the St. Louis legend

Dr. Joseph Nash McDowell, featured in the portrait below, was born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1805 and he received a medical degree from Transylvania University in 1825. Prior to moving to St. Louis in 1839 with the intention of founding his own medical school, McDowell served as an anatomy professor at the Jefferson Medical College in  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Thomsonian Medicine: Herbalism, Home Remedies, and Popular Distrust of Professional Medical Training in 19th-Century America

Be sure to bundle up well this winter to avoid getting sick and catching a cold! While this common ailment has no cure, that hasn’t stopped people throughout history from coming up with ways to alleviate their sniffles, coughs and all other cold-related discomforts. In his work The book of health, Dr. Silas Wilcox described  [Read more]

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