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This story is summarized from Valentina Suntzeff’s unpublished autobiography, which can be found in the Valentina Suntzeff Papers in the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives.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]

Archives and Rare Books

1914 Rare Book Donation Tied to Influential Doc

William Osler (1849-1919) is one of the most influential figures in North American medicine. After earning his MD from McGill University in 1872, he spent two years studying abroad in London, Berlin and Vienna before returning to McGill to teach. He remained at McGill until 1884, when he accepted the chair of clinical medicine at  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Applying to Washington University School of Medicine in 1891

Applying to medical school today is widely known to be an intensive and rigorous process. In 1891, the year Washington University first offered medical education, an applicant to the university’s medical school only needed to satisfy any one of the four admission requirements listed below: A college degree A high school diploma A certificate denoting  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

2017 Rare Books Highlights

Becker Library’s rare book collections have had an excellent year! Richard Chole, MD, donated his fantastic collection of rare otolaryngology texts earlier this year, and we’ve recently managed to acquire two more noteworthy monographs to complement our existing collections. The first of these monographs is Guillaume van de Bossche’s “Historia medica, in qua libris IV.  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

The Great American Smokeout

Every year on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society encourages all smokers to avoid using cigarettes for 24 hours for the Great American Smokeout event. The hope is that by refraining from smoking for one single day, and instead learning more about the many health benefits of quitting for good, smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.

Archives and Rare Books

November 1917 at Base Hospital 21

By November of 1917, the original members of Base Hospital 21 were six months into their deployment to Rouen, France. Recruited from the Washington University Medical Center, the doctors, nurses and enlisted personnel who had left St. Louis in May with great fanfare were now settling into a routine that included being severely overworked. When the unit arrived in France to assume control of a British army hospital, it became obvious they were seriously understaffed.

Archives and Rare Books

New Exhibit: “Introducing the Book – The Title Page from 1500-1900”

How many of you take the time to look at a title page when you buy a new book? Most of the time there’s no real need to do so – we can read the book’s title and author right on the front cover. Hundreds of years ago, however, the title page played a much more important role. During the early modern period, when printed books were first becoming popular, books were usually either sold unbound or with simple paper wrappers. Therefore, the title page was responsible for both providing information about a work and luring prospective buyers.

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