Spotlight on the Humanities in Medicine Collection

14 July 2016 - 6:31pm by Alyssa Grimshaw

Spotlight on the Humanities in Medicine Collection


Check out the newest book in the Humanities in Medicine Collection, Aliceheimer’s Alzheimer’s Through the Looking Glass.

Image of the cover of Aliceheimer's Alzheimer's Through the Looking Glass

Excerpt from the book cover:

“Alice was always beautiful—Armenian immigrant beautiful, with thick, curly black hair, olive skin, and big dark eyes,” writes Dana Walrath. Alice also has Alzheimer’s, and while she can remember all the songs from The Music Man, she can no longer attend to the basics of caring for herself. Alice moves to live with her daughter, Dana, in Vermont, and the story begins.

Aliceheimer’s is a series of illustrated vignettes, daily glimpses into their world with Alzheimer’s. Walrath’s time with her mother was marked by humor and clarity: “With a community of help that included pirates, good neighbors, a cast of characters from space-time travel, and my dead father hovering in the branches of the maple trees that surround our Vermont farmhouse,Aliceheimer’s let us write our own story daily—a story that, in turn, helps rewrite the dominant medical narrative of aging.”

In drawing Alice, Walrath literally enrobes her with cut-up pages from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. She weaves elements from Lewis Carroll’s classic throughout her text, using evocative phrases from the novel to introduce the vignettes, such as “Disappearing Alice,” “Missing Pieces,” “Falling Slowly,” “Curiouser and Curiouser,” and “A Mad Tea Party.”

Walrath writes that creating this book allowed her not only to process her grief over her mother’s dementia, but also “to remember the magic laughter of that time.” Graphic medicine, she writes, “lets us better understand those who are hurting, feel their stories, and redraw and renegotiate those social boundaries. Most of all, it gives us a way to heal and to fly over the world as Alice does.” In the end, Aliceheimer’s is indeed strangely and utterly uplifting.

Want to know more about this book? Here is the link to the New York Times blog post by Nancy Stearns Bercaw: 

Humanities in Medicine Collection is located across from the Circulation Desk.

Access to Partek Flow for the analysis of NGS data available to Yale biomedical researchers

8 July 2016 - 2:11pm by Rolando Garcia-Milian

The Yale Medical Library is providing access to Partek Flow, a Graphical User Interface and user-friendly software for the analysis of RNA, SmallRNA, and DNA sequencing experiments. A webinar showing how to use this software will take place in SHM C-103 on August 4, 2016 (see details below).

Webinar: NGS Data Analysis in Partek Software

Registration here

Description: Why have over 5,000 scientific articles cited Partek software for turning their data into discovery? Because it empowers scientists to perform sophisticated statistical analyses with intuitive point-and-click actions, no command-line knowledge needed.

 Join us for a complimentary webinar to see how Partek Flow software can be used to analyze your RNA, SmallRNA, and DNA sequencing experiments. Using an RNA-Seq data set, we’ll demonstrate how to check read quality, align reads against a reference genome, quantify RNA transcript levels, and identify differentially expressed genes. We’ll show you how to save your analysis steps and parameters in your own start-to-finish, repeatable and shareable pipeline.

The webinar will conclude with a live Q&A session.

Flow that aligns RNA-Seq reads to a reference genome using the STAR aligner followed by quantification of reads to a transcriptome (from

Date & Time:      9:30am - 11:00am, Thursday, August 4, 2016

Location:              C-103 - SHM 333 Cedar St, New Haven CT 06520

Campus:              Medical School

Presenter:          Eric Seiser, PhD, Field Application Scientist, Partek Inc.

YaleNews article on the Library's 75th anniversary

24 June 2016 - 9:11am by Andy Hickner

We enjoyed the YaleNews' story on the Library this week in commemoration of our 75th anniversary.  In addition to outlining the history of the Library's founding, author Mike Cummings interviewed faculty members and Library Director John Gallagher to highlight some of our current priorities and activities:

“We see ourselves as partners in research,” Gallagher said, adding that the library not only assists researchers in accessing information and data but also in advising them on how to manage both — which is important because funding organizations increasingly require making the findings of sponsored research available for use by others.

(Dr Paul) Barash, who uses the library several times a week, praised the library’s willingness and ability to adapt and tailor its service to meet the needs of researchers and clinicians.

“They’ve kept up,” he said.  “You can’t necessarily say that about every institution at Yale, but the library has done a great job of adapting its resources and services.”

Check out the full article here.

2016 Journal Citation Reports released

23 June 2016 - 4:20pm by Andy Hickner

The 2016 update of the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is now available. The JCR provide annual metrics for peer-reviewed journals, including Journal Impact Factors (JIF) and other data that can be used to evaluate a journal's impact on its field.  Click here for the full press release from JCR publisher Thomson Reuters and click here to access the JCR (you must be on the Yale network).  You can learn more about the JCR and other journal-level metrics of research impact by watching our video tutorial on the topic. 

Winners of the "Happy birthday, Harvey" Instagram contest

20 June 2016 - 9:54am by Andy Hickner

(by Melissa Grafe and Charlotte Abney Solomon)
In celebration of Harvey Cushing's birthday on April 8th and the Medical Library’s 75th Anniversary, the Medical Historical Library invited all Instagram users visiting the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library at Yale to share their best photos taken within our space. Contestants used the hashtag #HappyBirthdayHarvey and tagged our account, @yalemedhistlib. On display are the winners of the Instagram Challenge.
Jon Rolfe's photo
Brainiest Instagram: Best photo taken in the Cushing Center
@rolfoid- Jon Rolfe
Jon commented on his photograph that “The Cushing Center is a fun place for brainy Yale students.”

Anna Ziganshina
Most Studious Instagram: Best photo taken while studying in the library- Honorable mention
@annapziganshina- Anna Ziganshina
Anna tells us that "it is never too early to learn."
Diane DiFazio's photo
Judges’ Favorite Instagram: Best photo overall
@archibrarian- Diane DiFazio
What inspired Diane to take this particular photo: 
“A few things: I expected a beautiful reading space at YMHL, but I'm often drawn to the details, and the metalwork in the Library caught my attention, so I took this photo because it represented medicine (hello, rod of Asclepius!), as well as the distinctive bookcases, other Tudor-style interior details, natural lighting, and bi-level space. My background's in architecture and I'm a librarian, so it was thrilling to be in a space that was both well-designed and inspiring; the Library continues the architectural traditions of great libraries. (And, I love how Harvey Cushing's ideas were realized by his friend and former classmate, architect Grosvenor Atterbury.) I thought the balustrades around the mezzanine (in the rotunda, too) were interesting, but I didn't realize how cool Atterbury's design really was until later! I thought, "Neat, I wonder if that's wrought iron," but later read that the railings are aluminum ... with decorative steel cutouts (!), and that it was all designed to mask lighting fixtures, which is such a fantastic modern way of the architect to handle things! So good.”Kevin Nguyen's photo
Happiest Birthday Instagram: Best selfie or other photo including an image of Harvey Cushing or the words “Happy Birthday Harvey”
@kevin.a.nguyen- Kevin Nguyen
With this selfie, Kevin noted, "Biology gives you a brain, but life transforms it into a mind."
Sona Ghorashi's photo
Most Collectible Instagram: Best photo taken of an image, book, or other item in any CWML current or historical collections
@sona.ghorashi- Sona Ghorashi
Sona accompanied her photograph with this comment: "A path to the light through the shadows, at the Medical library." 
Meg Ritchey's photo
Most Studious Instagram: Best photo taken while studying in the library
@magic_meg- Megan Ritchey
Megan captioned this lovely image of the Medical Historical Library with "The whole place to myself.”

"Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange with Harvey Cushing”: Theresa Barden's National History Day project

17 June 2016 - 4:43pm by Andy Hickner

By Terry Dagradi, Cushing Center Coordinator

Theresa Barden, a 9th grade student at Coventry High School, Rhode Island, visited the Cushing Center last year with her sister Mary Barden, a 4th year Yale medical student, and in her words "was amazed." Theresa decided to participate in this year’s National History Day, with the theme "Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange,” and did her project on Dr. Harvey Cushing. 

As the coordinator of the Cushing Center, I was happy to accept her request for an interview to answer questions regarding Harvey Cushing and the Cushing Tumor Registry. 

The results of her work are in!  See below, the photo of her impressive National History Day project.

Theresa Barden

"Thank you so much for your interview! I ended up placing in 1st for my division. (Senior individual exhibit). In the beginning of June, I'm going to Washington DC to compete in nationals. Thanks again!”  

Theresa Barden  - April 13, 2016

The Cushing Center is open for research!

2016-2017 Gyorgyey Fellows

15 June 2016 - 2:18pm by Andy Hickner

The Medical Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, is pleased to announce the following recipients of the Ferenc Gyorgyey Research Travel Award for 2016-2017:

Whitney Wood, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birbeck, University of London

A New Way to Birth?  Herbert Thoms and the International Natural Childbirth Movement

Whitney Wood’s research explores the natural childbirth movement in Canada.  As part of this research, Wood will be examining the Herbert Thoms papers (, as Thoms was an international leader in the movement and produced quite a bit of material on the topic of natural childbirth. Whitney Wood is planning to come to the Medical Historical Library in Spring 2017.

Erin Travers, Doctoral Candidate, History of Art and Architecture, University of California, Santa Barbara

Boundaries of the Body: The Art of the Anatomy in the Seventeenth-Century Netherlands

Erin Travers will be examining Dutch anatomies, particularly Jacob van der Gracht’s drawing book, Anatomie der wtterlicke deelen van het menschelick lichaem.  These anatomies form the basis of her dissertation.  She will at the Medical Historical Library July 18th-23rd, 2016.

Many thanks to the selection committee: John Warner and John Gallagher.

"Harvey Cushing and John Fulton: Two Founders Bonded By Science, Medicine, And Books": Full video of June 3 event now online

9 June 2016 - 9:14am by Andy Hickner

On June 3, 2016 the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library hosted a talk titled "Harvey Cushing and John Fulton: Two Founders Bonded By Science, Medicine, And Books."  The focus of this event was a conversation between Drs. Dennis D. Spencer and Gordon M. Shepherd, moderated by Cynthia Tsay, YSM ’18. The panel spoke about the personal and professional relationship of these men, and touched upon the founding of the Yale Medical Library and how they worked together to make it a reality.  You can now view the full video of the event online. 

At the post-lecture reception, we also took a few photos of attendees with Harvey Cushing himself:

Harvey Cushing

Dr. Cushing's great-grandson, Harvey Cushing

Dr. Frank Lobo and Sharon McManus

Dr. Dennis Spencer and Harvey Cushing

Susan Wheeler

Library Curator of Prints and Drawings Susan Wheeler

L to R: John Gallagher, Cushing's great-great-grandson Kevin Cushing, Dr. Gordon Shepherd, Cushing's granddaughter Kate Whitney, Dr. Dennis Spencer, Cynthia Tsay

Spotlight on Humanities in Medicine Collection

8 June 2016 - 4:39pm by Alyssa Grimshaw

Spotlight on the Humanities in Medicine Collection

Check out the newest book in the Humanities in Medicine Collection, The Gene: An Intimate History.

Excerpt from the book coverThe Gene: An Intimate History Siddhartha Mukherjee Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author of The Emperor of All Maladies:

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies—a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information?

Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

Throughout the narrative, the story of Mukherjee’s own family—with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness—cuts like a bright, red line, reminding us of the many questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In superb prose and with an instinct for the dramatic scene, he describes the centuries of research and experimentation—from Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Morgan to Crick, Watson and Franklin, all the way through the revolutionary twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome.

As The New Yorker said of The Emperor of All Maladies, “It’s hard to think of many books for a general audience that have rendered any area of modern science and technology with such intelligence, accessibility, and compassion…An extraordinary achievement.” Riveting, revelatory, and magisterial history of a scientific idea coming to life, and an essential preparation for the moral complexity introduced by our ability to create or “write” the human genome, The Gene is a must-read for everyone concerned about the definition and future of humanity. This is the most crucial science of our time, intimately explained by a master.

Want to know more about this book? Here is the link to the New York Times Book Review by James Gleick:

Humanities in Medicine Collection is located across from the Circulation Desk.

SCOPA Lunch & Learn, June 8 at 1pm

2 June 2016 - 4:46pm by Andy Hickner

(by Katie Hart)

Librarians attending MLA 2016

Librarians attending the Medical Library Association Annual meeting in May.  Left to right:  Andy Hickner, Denise Hersey, Nathan Rupp, Holly Grossetta Nardini, Rolando Garcia Milian, Mark Gentry. 

You’re invited to a SCOPA sponsored Lunch & Learn at the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library on June 8th at 1pm. Join us to hear recent presentations given at the Medical Library Association annual conference. Please feel free to bring a lunch or perhaps make a stop at the famous medical school carts. The four presentations we will be reprising for you are:

Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Medical Library Program to Support Biomedical Research in the 'Omics Era – Rolando Garcia-Milian (presenting), Janis Glover, and John Gallagher.

This presentation discusses the strategies used to design and implement our end-user bioinformatics support program. It also provides results on training, resources, tools, and services available to Yale biomedical researchers. Access the report here:  and our resources here:

Putting the Pieces Together: Finding a Point-of-Care Solution for an Academic Medical Center – Denise Hersey (presenting), Mark Gentry, Janene Batten, Nathan Rupp, and Holly Grossetta Nardini.

The Cushing/Whitney Medical Library assembled a task force composed of librarians, physicians, nurses, and hospital IT staff to compare and evaluate DynaMed Plus and UpToDate – two resources used at the beside to provide clinical care – and then recommend which product best meets the needs of our associated hospitals, informing the subscription renewal process for 2016-2017.

The Yale Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Analyzer: A New Tool for Search Refinement – Holly Grossetta Nardini and Lei Wang.

The presentation describes our MeSH analysis methodology, a technique that helps craft more comprehensive searches, and the use of a new tool that saves time by doing this analysis automatically. The Yale MeSH Analyzer helps refine searches, particularly those where indexing is challenging, by creating a quick, scannable grid of MeSH terms for easy review.

Using Omeka for Online Exhibits – Andy Hickner (presenting), Melissa Grafe, Kerri Sancomb, and Francesca Livermore (5 minute lightning talk).

Omeka is a web publishing platform for online exhibitions. Andy will describe how Yale University Libraries conducted a pilot of Omeka for the Libraries’ online exhibition needs and share lessons from our experience.

See you there!

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