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Library staff recognized with Lorimer Award

18 November 2016 - 3:22pm by Andy Hickner

Staff receive Lorimer award
Photo credit: Michael Marsland

Holly Grossetta Nardini, Jan Glover and Lei Wang accept the Linda Lorimer Award for Distinguished Service at the home of Yale University President Peter Salovey on November 10, 2016. The team was recognized for their innovative search tool, the Yale MeSH Analyzer, which streamlines the development of search strategies for the biomedical literature and has now been used 14,383 times since its release in October 2015.

Artist/Activist Sue Coe describes her HIV-AIDS drawings during a visit to Yale University

24 October 2016 - 3:55pm by Andy Hickner

(by Susan Wheeler)

Mary (and Sue) from Cushing/Whitney Medical Library on Vimeo.

Sue Coe came to Yale for the opening of “The AIDS Suite, HIV-Positive Women in Prison and other works by artist/activist Sue Coe” on September 15 and gave an impromptu discussion of her drawings on display at the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library. 

The exhibit, on view through January 18, introduces seven large drawings by Sue Coe selected from among thirteen drawings acquired by the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library in 2015. These new works related to The AIDS Suite, 1994, are exhibited with prints by the artist which were acquired over the last decade.  Previously acquired drawings from the series Through Her Own Eyes on HIV-positive women in prison, 2006, are also on view.  

Sue Coe is considered one of the foremost political artists working today. Her graphic work has been published in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone and is in the permanent collections of major museums such as Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art. 

Watch other excerpts from Coe's talk at the links below:

Reader's Advisory: "Darkness Visible," Depression Screening Month, and the Styron-Yale connection

17 October 2016 - 10:21am by Andy Hickner

Darkness Visible by William Styron"In depression this faith in deliverance, of ultimate restoration, is absent. The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come—not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul." 

-- William Styron

If you're a Yale Health patient, you probably received an email announcing "October is Depression Screening Month."

Many, if not most, of the readers of this post will have either struggled with depression at one point or have helped a loved one battle the disease. When a close family member suffered an episode of major depression a few years ago, I did a lot of reading on the topic.  One of the most vivid and eloquent first-hand accounts of depression is Darkness Visible:  A memoir of madness by the great novelist William Styron. 

Styron and his family lived in Connecticut, and it was to Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) where Styron was admitted, suicidal, at the nadir of his depression in 1985.  In part thanks to the care he received at YNHH, Styron was able to recover and went on to document his experience.  While the story of depression told in Darkness Visible is terrifying, Styron argues that there is hope for the suffering patient:

"To most of those who have experienced it, the horror of depression is so overwhelming as to be quite beyond expression, hence the frustrated sense of inadequacy found in the work of even the greatest artists... If our lives had no other configuration but this, we should want, and perhaps deserve, to perish; if depression had no termination, then suicide would, indeed, be the only remedy. But one need not sound the false or inspirational note to stress the truth that depression is not the soul’s annihilation; men and women who have recovered from the disease—and they are countless—bear witness to what is probably its only saving grace: it is conquerable."

You can borrow a copy of the book from Yale University Libraries using Quicksearch.  

New at Yale: Covidence, a tool for systematic reviewers

3 October 2016 - 4:10pm by Andy Hickner

(by Holly Grossetta Nardini)

Covidence interface

The Library recently licensed a web-based tool to streamline the tedious task of producing systematic reviews. Covidence has an intuitive, easy-to-use interface that makes screening articles faster, while still following the recommended protocols for producing systematic reviews. It even works on mobile devices, allowing you to chip away at screening during small windows of time. To use Covidence, contact your medical librarian to open an account. At least one member of the research team must be based at Yale, but Covidence allows for seamless collaboration across institutions. Including a librarian on the research team will improve the quality of the literature search, which is the foundation for a systematic review. Consult our Systematic Review Service page for details. 

 

’The AIDS Suite,’ HIV-Positive Women in Prison and Other Works by Artist/Activist Sue Coe

12 September 2016 - 12:16pm by Andy Hickner

A drawing from "The AIDS Suite"
A drawing from "'The AIDS Suite,' HIV-Positive Women in Prison and Other Works by Artist/Activist Sue Coe"

YaleNews recently profiled the Library's upcoming exhibition of “’The AIDS Suite,’ HIV-Positive Women in Prison and Other Works by Artist/Activist Sue Coe." As YaleNews' Mike Cummings reports, "The exhibit... features 27 drawings and prints by Coe, whose work has been published in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Rolling Stone":

Coe’s artwork is represented in the collections of major museums, including (the) Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art.

Five of the large-format drawings on display are from “The AIDS Suite,” a series of drawings she made from 1993 to 1994 based on her experiences observing patients of Dr. Eric Avery, an artist, activist, and psychiatrist, on the AIDS ward of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. 

Join us this Thursday, September 15 for a conversation with Coe and Dr Avery at 5pm in the Medical Historical Library.

Mark your calendars: Our 75th Anniversary Celebration, October 5

30 August 2016 - 11:30am by Andy Hickner

The Cushing/Whitney Medical Library is celebrating our 75th anniversary with a special event on Wednesday, October 5, 2016, from 3-5pm in the Medical Historical Library. Stop by "The Medical Library at 75" exhibit, view videos and stories about the library collected this year, and take a selfie with Harvey Cushing. We hope you can join us! 

Starting Wednesday, September 7, we are also launching our weekly "Find Harvey" challenge, with special prizes. Stay tuned for further details by liking our Facebook page, where we are posting a series of facts about the history of the library. 

Find Harvey in the library and return him to the Circulation Desk to win a travel mug prize pack.  Finders will be entered into a Grand Prize Drawing to be held on October 5

Tips for new students: Personal librarians, booking study rooms, and more

10 August 2016 - 4:14pm by Andy Hickner

This week the library welcomes incoming students.  We felt it was a good time to highlight a few links you might find handy as you start your studies at Yale.

First, there's our personal librarian program.  Did you know every YSM, YSN, and YSPH student has a personal librarian?  Here's a video about the program that we love, made by YSM students back in 2009:

Here are a few more links you might find useful:

Welcome!  And stay tuned for more helpful tips.

Back to School Supply Drive, August 8-August 22, 2016

9 August 2016 - 12:36pm by Andy Hickner

Yale’s diversity affinity groups are partnering to collect donations of school supplies for elementary students in New Haven’s Brennan-Rogers Magnet School.  Please consider donating new supplies, such as:
  • Binders
  • No. 2 pencils
  • Pens
  • Notebook paper
  • Erasers
  • Rulers
  • Scotch tape
  • Markers
  • Pocket folders
The Library is hosting a drop box in the lobby.  For questions, please contact the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at (203) 432-9667.

Beneath the Surface: Watermarks and Flayed Figures in Cushing’s Manuscript of Jacob van der Gracht

26 July 2016 - 10:31am by Andy Hickner

(by Erin Travers*)

An image from Gracht Anatomie

Drawing after Jacob van der Gracht's Third Figure, Cushing Manuscript, Yale University. Early-18th century. Red and Black Chalk

On the back of a letter from the antiquarian and bookseller Menno Hertzberger, dated 29 March 1927, Harvey Cushing recorded his observations concerning a manuscript of Jacob van der Gracht’s printed drawing book, the Anatomy of the outer parts of the human body (The Hague, 1634; Rotterdam, 1660), which had been sent to Boston from Amsterdam. This text, prepared by the seventeenth-century Dutch painter and engraver for the use of “Painters, Sculptors, Engravers, and also Surgeons,” brought Van der Gracht renown during his life, and continues to be his most well known work today. The manuscript version contains twenty-two pages of text and illustration, including a handwritten version of Van der Gracht’s preface, a section on the bones taken from André du Laurens, fragmented comments on the muscles, and explanatory registers for the accompanying illustrations of skeletal and écorché figures that mimic those published in Andreas Vesalius’s De Humani Corporis Fabrica (Basel, 1543). Hopeful that the drawings may have been preparatory works for the engraved plates, on inspection, Cushing found that the use of red and black chalk to demarcate the flesh and bones of the figures, while visually pleasing, was not conducive to the medium of print. Moreover, he writes that the larger scale of the figures and the presence of the registers on the back of the illustrations, made it unlikely that these were the final cartoons from which Van der Gracht worked, though they may have been an earlier experiment by the seventeenth-century Dutch artist. Contemplating whether a previous owner may have added the text to the illustrations at a later date, Cushing noted, “The paper, however, in the original seven leaves of text bears the same watermarks as that on which the drawings are made. It would be interesting to know the date and place of this paper.”

During my time at the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library at Yale University as a Ferenc Gyorgyey Travel Research Grant recipient, I have pursued Cushing’s curiosity and investigated the watermarks hidden in the paper of the Van der Gracht manuscript to determine the date and location of its production.  Using online databases, including the Memory of Paper, (http://www.memoryofpaper.eu/BernsteinPortal/appl_start.disp) compiled by the Bernstein Consortium, my research makes use of resources that were not available to Cushing in the early twentieth century. Moreover, it is only with the relatively recent publications on Dutch watermarks, such as Theo and Frans Laurentius’s study of the Zeeland archives, or Nancy Ash, Shelley Fletcher, and Erik Hinterding’s works on Rembrandt’s prints, that this type of research is possible. Yet, despite the advances made in this field since the early twentieth century, this method for dating a work on paper should be approached with caution, as the medium is both geographically and temporally transient, and therefore should be considered as a general guide for attribution.

Fleur-de-lys watermark
Fleur-de-lys watermark

"IV" countermark
"IV" countermark

Together, watermark analysis and study of the formal properties of the drawings offers complementary evidence through which we can determine the relation of the manuscript to the published drawing book. The Cushing manuscript offers a clean and consistent watermark of a Strasbourg Bend, a shield with two diagonal bands that is mounted by a fleur-de-lis, and a countermark of the letters “IV."  Indicting the initials of the paper maker Jean Villedary (1668-1758), the countermark, design of the watermark, their size and relation to the vertical chain lines of the paper are consistent with samples dating from Amsterdam and London between 1718 and 1722, making it likely that the manuscript was produced in the first quarter of the eighteenth century (Churchill, no. 437 and Heaward, nos. 73 and 78). Given this date, the possibility that the drawings could have been executed prior to the publication of the printed text is unlikely, and visual analysis of the figures confirms this hypothesis. The process of engraving in the early modern period entailed the incision of a design into a copper plate, which was coated with ink and then pressed onto a piece of paper, transferring the image and resulting in the reversal of the initial example. Essentially, the preparatory work and final print should appear as mirror images of one another. However, in the case of the Cushing manuscript, the figures share the orientation found in the final prints. 

Carefully adhering to the model provided by the prints, the drawn figures that occupy the Cushing manuscript are copies made at a later date, and as such offer information concerning the continued engagement with and changing expectations of these types of illustrations by artists and anatomists. Questions concerning this shift are addressed in my on-going dissertation research, which examines the exchange and adaptation of pictorial knowledge between artists and anatomists in the seventeenth-century Netherlands. I am grateful to the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library for its support of my project, and greatly appreciate the opportunity to investigate an inquiry first raised by Cushing nearly one hundred years ago.

Erin Travers

*Erin Travers is a PhD candidate, history of art and architecture, University of California, Santa Barbara, and a 2016 Ferenc Gyorgyey Fellow

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