HomeBlogOverlooked Images of Medicine with Bert Hansen

Overlooked Images of Medicine with Bert Hansen

3 May 2021 - 4:44pm by Melissa Grafe

Explore The Bert Hansen Collection of Medicine and Public Health in Popular Graphic Art which includes over 1200 images and items produced between 1850 and 2010 with additional reference materials. The collection is a gift of historian Bert Hansen, Ph.D., whose goal was to document the visual record of medical practice and research and public health in America.

This video was produced by the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, of which Yale is a member. View the Bert Hansen Study Guide for additional information.

Over a period of thirty years, Hansen selected materials produced for the general public (not medical or public health professionals) that use medical imagery as an accompaniment to news items, for advertisements, for political satire, or for decorative items that celebrate medical history. Items in the collection include magazines, prints, posters, film publicity materials, product brochures, and promotional materials.  Hansen also donated photocopied reference materials, such as newspapers, as part of this gift.

The collection includes over 600 prints, including chromolithographs and wood engravings from 19th-century magazines like Harper’s Weekly, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Puck, Judge, and Scientific American on topics including Pasteur’s treatments for rabies, cholera, diphtheria, polio, tuberculosis, vaccinations, hospitals, mental asylums, unsafe foodstuffs, and public sanitation. There are numerous illustrations using medical imagery in political satire.

All materials are available for use in the Historical Library reading room. Collection items are listed and described, using information from Bert Hansen’s database, in a finding aid available through Archives at Yale.