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About Access Restrictions to Electronic Resources

Access and use of electronic resources made available by the Becker Medical Library are governed by license agreements between the School of Medicine and publishers or third parties. Several of the electronic resources carry some restriction on their use. Access may be restricted by user location, number of concurrent users, and/or password.

In short, most people experience access limitations based on the network to which their computer is connected. Below is a quick breakdown of what can be accessed from various networks.

BJH (Limited to) SLCH (Limited to) Proxy (Remote Access) WUSM Off Campus
UpToDate Online
American Academy of Pediatrics Journals
Applied Clinical Informatics
Harriet Lane Handbook
Red Book Online
UpToDate Online
Unrestricted Access to All Becker Resources Unrestricted Access to All Becker Resources No Access without Proxy

The Central Institute for the Deaf - Max A. Goldstein Historic Devices for Hearing Collection

The Central Institute for the Deaf-Max A. Goldstein Historic Devices for Hearing Collection at Washington University Bernard Becker Medical Library was started by Max A. Goldstein (1870-1941), a St. Louis otologist and founder of Central Institute for the Deaf (CID). The collection contains over 400 hearing devices dating from 1796 and represents one of the largest collections in the world. Associated with the collection is archival material dating from the 19th century including photographic prints, catalog illustrations, advertisements, patents and related ephemera.

“The idea . . . to collect these various devices from different parts of the world, trace and describe the use of each item, and attempt, as far as possible, to analyze the purpose and design of the inventors intrigued me . . . I felt it would create a new angle to the study of deafness . . .”  — Max A. Goldstein

The hearing devices in the collection range from small hand-held trumpet type devices; long rubber conversation tubes that allow for the user to hold one end to their ear and the other end directly to the speaker’s mouth; large London-dome shaped devices; animal horns; acoustic fans; walking sticks; a leather and metal device manufactured to resemble a water canteen; telescopic devices that could be discreetly folded within a pocket; headpieces for women; beard receptacles for men; the first electronic hearing device model; devices that resemble radios or cameras; devices hidden within barrettes and eyeglasses; early cochlear implant models, and many more. There are very few duplicate devices with many representing the only known extant models in existence.

In 2003 ownership of the Central Institute for the Deaf-Max A. Goldstein Historic Devices for Hearing Collection was transferred to Washington University Bernard Becker Medical Library, effective with the merger between CID and Washington University School of Medicine.

At present the collection is housed at the Bernard Becker Medical Library. For more information on the collection please contact Cathy Sarli, or Philip Skroska,

Digital Exhibits

Deafness in Disguise: 19th and 20th Century Concealed Hearing Devices

In 2002 Central Institute for the Deaf and Washington University Bernard Becker Medical Library collaborated to produce a digital exhibit that showcases hearing devices from the 19th and 20th centuries that were designed to be concealed or camouflaged within everyday items or worn on the person. Created for viewers of all ages and backgrounds – from the layperson to the scholar – this exhibit combines over 500 images of hearing devices, rare books, photographs, illustrations, advertising literature and patents to provide a unique glimpse into the evolution of hearing devices over the past two hundred years.

Deafness in Disguise was inspired by Max Goldstein’s handwritten notes in describing his intent for the collection, “. . . such a collection should serve a more dignified and useful purpose than simply that of an exhibit of the many curious forms and devices created to exemplify the ideas of inventors.”

The Image Gallery in Deafness in Disguise contains digital images of the bulk of the hearing device collection and includes all types of hearing devices, both mechanical and electronic, and can be searched via keyword or by type of device. A drop-down menu of device types is available for the user to select from.

Exploring Object Virtual Reality: A Manual for Libraries and Museums

Select mechanical and electronic hearing devices from the collection are the focus of Exploring Object VR which features interactive, three-dimensional “movies” of 20 hearing devices including zoom capability.


Koelkebeck, Marylou, Colleen Detjen and Donald Calvert. Historic Devices for Hearing: The CID-Goldstein Collection. St. Louis, Missouri: Central Institute for the Deaf, 1984.

Sarli, C.C., et. al. “19th-Century Camouflaged Mechanical Hearing Devices,” Otology and Neurotology, 2003 Jul; 24 (4): 691-8).


International Society for Historic Hearing Devices

In order to facilitate a greater understanding of hearing devices and to identify similar collections worldwide, the International Society for Historic Hearing Devices (ISHHD) was created in 1999. ISHHD is an informal consortium of organizations and private collectors with hearing device collections. The goals of the Society are to increase awareness of hearing devices, mechanical and electronic; to identify organizations and collectors with hearing device collections; and to share knowledge and resources related to hearing devices. To date, there are 23 members, worldwide, with Washington University Bernard Becker Medical Library acting as the host. For more information please contact Cathy Sarli, or 314-362-7865 at Becker Library.