Becker Blog

Archives and Rare Books

Part Medical Text, Part Work of Art

The Becker Library Rare Book Collections include approximately 23,000 volumes chronicling the history of medicine. The books and journals are organized within nine distinct collections that primarily document western medical history, and are typically written in Latin, German, French and English. There are, however, many medical texts among the rare book collections that are not  [Read more]

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]

Announcements, 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]

Mastering Information

What is Grey Literature?

The definition of grey literature is: “That which is produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats, but which is not controlled by commercial publishers1.” Some reasons to search for grey literature are: Minimizing publication bias when conducting a systematic review Finding studies that have not yet been  [Read more]

Staff News

Becker senior support scientist presents at NISO virtual conference

This week, Becker Library Senior Support Scientist Marcy Vana was featured as a speaker at the virtual conference of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO). Her presentation, “A Collaborative Approach to Supporting Research and High Performance Computing,” showcased an innovative and ongoing partnership she has helped to create between Becker Library and the Center for  [Read more]


‘Frankenstein’ and medical research, practice and ethics today

Becker Library is co-sponsoring The Curren(t)cy of Frankenstein forum to be held on Sept. 28-30 in Clopton Auditorium as part of Washington University’s year-long celebration of the novel’s 200th anniversary. Space is limited and RSVPs are required (click here to register). Each day of the forum will begin with a 30-minute reception prior to the 7 p.m.  [Read more]

Scholarly Publishing

Spotlight on Washington University in St. Louis: 2015-2017 Publications

As follows is a brief overview of the 2015-2017 publications produced by authors from Washington University in St. Louis using Elsevier Scopus and SciVal. Scopus is a large database of peer-reviewed literature that contains 69 million publication records representing 25,000 journals and other sources worldwide covering the Sciences, Social Sciences and Arts & Humanities. SciVal  [Read more]

Announcements, Archives and Rare Books

Read along with the Special Collections Book Club

After a great start with Nina Siegal’s “The Anatomy Lesson,” we’re excited to announce that our next book selection will be “Year of Wonders” by Geraldine Brooks. Published in 2001, the novel was inspired by the true story of Eyam, England. “When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

The Anti-vaccination Movement: History, satire, and body politics

Vaccination. The word, coined by Edward Jenner (1749 – 1823) as a combination of the Latin word for cow, “vacca,” and the Latin word for cowpox, “vaccinia,” has carried emotional weight from its inception as a scientific endeavor to control smallpox, an infectious disease. Today, the word “vaccine” likely provokes immediate, charged associations with other words  [Read more]

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