Blogs

Picturing Medical History: the Hansen gift

5 October 2015 - 4:03pm by Andy Hickner

Bert Hansen(Post authored by Melissa Grafe)

The Medical Historical Library announces a new gift encompassing visual materials depicting medical practice, public health, disease, and more from the collection of Bert Hansen, Ph.D.

Over a period of thirty years, Bert Hansen actively collected original materials to document and exhibit the visual record of public health and medical practice and research in America, primarily in graphics published in popular media.  Hansen has been teaching history at Baruch College of CUNY since 1994. He holds degrees in chemistry (Columbia) and history of science (Princeton).  Prof. Hansen has written on obstetrics teaching in the 1860s, the new medical categorization of homosexuals in the 1890s, the advocacy for public health and sanitation in political cartoons from 1860 to 1900, and the popularity of medical history heroes in children’s comic books.  His book, Picturing Medical Progress from Pasteur to Polio: A History of Mass Media Images and Popular Attitudes in America (Rutgers University Press, 2009), was honored with an award from the Popular Culture Association and named to the “2010 Best of the Best” for Public and Secondary School Libraries by the American Library Association.

Recently, Hansen began transferring his collection to the Medical Historical Library.  The library was given over 600 prints, including chromolithographs and wood engravings from 19th-century magazines like Harper’s Weekly, Frank Leslie’s, Puck, and Judge.  Hansen also donated 20th-century popular magazines such as Life and Time, which reported on medical issues.  LIFE magazine published serious photographic essays about medical subjects on a regular basis, at least 1100 of them in its 1900 weekly issues.  Because few libraries have preserved this magazine, Hansen collected several hundred issues with medical stories to document the way the mid-20th century public was taken into operating room, the laboratory, and the mental asylum.

For Hansen, the central research question animating the collection was:  Just what did medicine look like to the average person (not to the insiders within the profession)?  All the images were collected to answer that question.  In addition to news sketches in magazines like Harper’s Weekly, political cartoons turned out to be a remarkable source of visual evidence.  Medicine itself was rarely the object of the caricature, but when a president is shown as a doctor looking through a microscope or amputating a limb, or portrayed as a midwife with forceps or a nurse tending to a patient in bed, we get a sense of stereotypes and popular expectations.  Despite comic exaggerations, these images had to be sufficiently true-to-life for the political message to be understood.

Life magazine from Hansen collectionHansen has also donated a small collection of manuscripts, which includes diaries, notebooks, casebooks, and scrapbooks by medical practitioners or on medical themes.  Future parts of the gift will include hundreds of examples of ephemera, from agencies such as health departments and corporations like Met Life, all of which used graphics to convey their messages to the public.  There will also be publicity materials for radio broadcasts and Hollywood films about physicians.  The collection also includes about two dozen highly illustrated juvenile biographies of physicians, and over 100 medically themed comic books.  In addition to the unique original materials, Hansen’s collection contains about ninety 3-ring binders containing photocopies of relevant images (both those in the collection and others that are not).  All the items in the binders and in the collection of originals are recorded in a database with over 4500 entries, which can be searched by keyword, publication, genre, medium, artist, date, etc., and will be made available at a future date.

For questions concerning the collection, please contact Melissa Grafe, Ph.D, John R. Bumstead Librarian for Medical History: melissa.grafe@yale.edu

October is National Medical Librarians Month!

5 October 2015 - 2:19pm by Andy Hickner

National Medical Librarians month

(Written by John Gallagher, Interim Director)

October is National Medical Librarians Month, a month to both celebrate and raise awareness of the important role of the health information professional. Indeed, medical librarians are an integral part of the healthcare team, and research demonstrates that librarian-led information services and resources improve clinical decision making and patient-care outcomes. Librarians also have a direct impact on the quality of research conducted, by helping users stay current about advances in their specialty areas. Librarians teach students and healthcare providers how to find and evaluate information.

 The Cushing/Whitney Medical Library has a wonderful team of librarians and staff. While their individual responsibilities and topics of expertise can vary widely, all sincerely share the utmost commitment to helping you save time, and succeed in your patient-care, research, or educational goals.

Do you know your Medical Librarian?

Founder's Day activities at the Medical Library

5 October 2015 - 11:49am by Andy Hickner

The Medical Library is hosting 2 events for Founder's Day, this Wednesday, Otober 7.  

From 11-3 we will offer tours featuring the Cushing Center and our current exhibit, Historical Illustrations of Skin Disease.

We will also have a visit from our therapy dog, Finn, from 11am-noon.

For more info visit http://foundersday.yale.edu/events.

Get help with data from the Research Data Consultation Group

30 September 2015 - 10:57am by Andy Hickner

The Research Data Consultation Group is a collaborative, university-wide group created to provide consultation on data management best practices, implement data management services, and help link users to resources. The RDCG’s membership includes experts in data management, metadata, information technology, and preservation as well as domain expertise in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

RDCG can, for example:

  • assist in the creation and implementation of federally mandated data management plans as well as data management plans created outside of federal mandate requirements
  • assist researchers in finding, acquiring, and using research data for research and teaching purposes
  • consult on best practices and implementation services for: metadata, data collection, study design, information security, data analysis, research computing, and long term preservation and access

Visit the Research Data Consultation Group website to learn more and to request a consultation.

Fall exhibit: "Historical Illustrations of Skin Disease: Selections from the New Sydenham Society Atlas 1860-1884," opening September 17

10 September 2015 - 12:04pm by Susan Wheeler

Historical Illustrations of Skin Disease:  Selections from the New Sydenham Society Atlas 1860-1884

image from the exhibitThe Atlas of Skin Diseases was among the first publications undertaken, in 1859, by the New Sydenham Society. 

Time-consuming and costly to produce, it was issued in seventeen parts over a period of twenty-four years. 

In this exhibit, Yale dermatologists Jean Bolognia and Irwin Braverman present the celebrated nineteenth century illustrations to a current clinical audience, making a relevant teaching point with each plate.  Twenty-five of the Atlas’ forty-nine plates are selected for display.  They depict cutaneous diseases ranging from the common, e.g. psoriasis and eczema, to the rare, e.g. iododerma and systematized epidermal nevi.  Examples of skin signs of systemic disease, including Addison’s disease, neurofibromatosis, and lupus erythematosus, are also shown.  The emotional toll which these chronic diseases inflicted upon patients is a striking feature of the many portraits on view. 

The exhibit is curated by Drs. Jean Bolognia and Irwin Braverman, Professors of Dermatology at the School of Medicine, and Susan Wheeler, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Library.

On view:  September 17, 2015-January 10, 2016

Statistical Consultants Schedule for Fall 2015

8 September 2015 - 9:20am by Andy Hickner

(by Mark Gentry)

The Medical Library will once again host Statistical Consultants for the fall semester.  Consultants are scheduled to be in the Medical Library on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between 5pm to 9pm for most weeks during the term.   Be aware that schedules may change and shifts may be canceled for a variety of reasons, so it is always good to verify the shift immediately before you come to the Library.  Check here for the full CSSSI Statistical Consultants Schedule.

For assistance when there is no consultant at the Medical Library, contact the consultants at 203-432-3278, or visit the Consultant's Desk at the Center for Science and Social Science Information (CSSSI) in the Kline Biology Tower, 219 Prospect Street.

More information on GIS and Statistical Consultants at the Medical Library and elsewhere at Yale is available at this link: http://library.medicine.yale.edu/services/crs/gis-statlab.  Fall classes on GIS, methods, and statistical packages at CSSSI begin September 17. 

Fall Semester GIS support

8 September 2015 - 9:02am by Andy Hickner

(Authored in collaboration with Kelly Barrick, Center for Science and Social Science Information)

There has been significant change with GIS support recently at Yale.  First, the Libraries are currently in the process of filling the GIS Librarian vacancy. This position will be instrumental in supporting the suite of geospatial services and resources that Yale has to offer. The library is also working with faculty and departments to find additional ways of managing multiple tiers of GIS assistance across campus.

Any questions related GIS, ESRI licensing and installation, workshops and instruction can be addressed to gis_reference@yale.edu. The StatLab will continue to provide GIS and spatial statistics workshops alongside its research and data analysis offerings. For the schedule see http://csssi.yale.edu/instruction/workshop-and-instruction-calendar.

Online tutorials based on earlier workshops are available from the GIS Libguide (http://guides.library.yale.edu/gisworkshops). In addition, members of the Yale community can take advantage of online offerings directly from ESRI (http://training.esri.com/gateway/index.cfm?fa=aul.premiumCourses) and http://lynda.com. To request ESRI Virtual Campus Access Codes, email the gis_reference@yale.edu with a list of up to three (3) course titles. Codes are only valid for Yale University (yale.edu) email addresses.

Researchers who require assistance with items in the Map Department collection may contact the department directly at mapsreference@mailman.yale.edu or 203-432-1867.

For assistance with finding data or data management, please contact Michelle Hudson, Data Librarian, at michelle.hudson@yale.edu.

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