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New Gift: Waltham Hospital medical records

January 3, 2022 - 11:16am by Melissa Grafe

   The Medical Historical Library is pleased to announce a new gift of patient records from Boston’s Waltham Hospital (which closed in 2003) dating from 1889 to 1897. Within 7 bound volumes are what are now called progress notes, operative reports, pathology reports, and medication records written by attending physicians. The volumes provide a snapshot of patient care, disease, and medicine in late 19th century Massachusetts. The collection is a generous gift of Alan M. Engler, M.D.; Yale College, Class of 1976.  The Waltham Hospital medical records (Ms Coll 82) are now available for researchers to view in the Medical Historical Library. Included in the volumes are notes documenting surgery in 1894 for a perforated appendix, in which Dr. Alfred Worcester operated and saved a patient’s life – under ether, and 50 years before antibiotics became widely available. Worcester was the founder of the Waltham Hospital and was known for advocating for early surgical intervention in the treatment of appendicitis and for the use of Caesarean section in difficult births. In the 1880s, appendicitis was treated by waiting for an abscess to form and was often fatal. Worcester found that he could usually operate before the appendix had ruptured by entering the peritoneum (the membrane lining the cavity of the abdomen) and greatly reduce morbidity and mortality. The reports of his cases and the controversy between him and the surgeons of Boston demonstrate the evolution of medical and surgical practice. The volumes also document trauma (gunshot wounds, people kicked by horses, occupational injuries), cancer, birth injuries, rheumatic fever, scarlet fever, diphtheria, and suicide attempts.

Welcome New Staff!

December 13, 2021 - 10:26am by Dana Haugh

The Cushing/Whitney Medical Library is delighted to welcome three new staff members to our team: Megan Nance, Kaitlin Throgmorton, and Laura Juliano. Megan Nance joined the Access and Delivery Services team as the Evening/Weekend Access Services Librarian. Previously, Megan was at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida where she was Acting Head of Access Services and Archives.   Kaitlin Throgmorton joined the Technology and Innovation team as the Data Librarian for the Health Sciences. Kaitlin came to us from Sage Bionetworks, a nonprofit health research organization, where she was the Bioinformatics Analyst and Data Curator.   Laura Juliano joined the Medical Historical Library team as a Term Archivist. Laura will be processing the Gary Burget papers, a large collection of plastic surgery records and materials. Laura most recently interned at the American Civil Liberties Union, and previously worked as a Collections Assistant at the Brooklyn Historical Society.  

Riesman Family Gift of Rare Medical Books and Manuscripts

December 3, 2021 - 9:04am by Melissa Grafe

The Medical Historical Library is pleased to announce a gift of approximately 230 books and manuscripts from the libraries of David Riesman, M.D. and John P. Riesman, M.D.  The books range over a wide variety of topics and time periods, with the earliest texts dating from the 16th century. While volumes containing the works from highly influential medical authors such as Florence Nightingale, Herman Boerhaave, and Thomas Willis are part of the gift, other books in the collection provide medical advice and science fun for more popular audiences. Examples include a 1774 copy of William Buchan’s Domestic Medicine and John Willison’s The Afflicted Man’s Companion (1794) , as well as “Tom Telescope’s” The Newtonian system of philosophy… for the use of young ladies and gentlemen, (1803), an introductory text to Newton’s scientific principles. David Riesman (1867-1940) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1892 and was Professor of Clinical Medicine there from 1912 to 1933 and, after introducing the study of the history of medicine to the medical school curriculum, became the first Professor of the History of Medicine at Penn from 1933 until his death in 1940. He was the author of many books including Medicine in Modern Society, The Story of Medicine in the Middle Ages, and High Blood Pressure and Longevity. His collection of books was bequeathed to his son, John P. Riesman, M.D., a 1938 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School who became a surgeon at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, CT and was affiliated with Yale Medical School. He was an active member of the Associates of the Medical Library at the Yale and the Beaumont Medical Club. Discover the collection, which is still being cataloged, in Quicksearch or Orbis.  Images from some of the books are highlighted in the Medical Historical Library’s Instagram account.

New Gift: The Wilfrid Rall Computational Neuroscience Research Collection

December 1, 2021 - 2:00pm by Melissa Grafe

The Medical Historical Library announces that the Wilfrid Rall computational neuroscience research collection (Ms Coll 83) is now open for researchers. The collection is a gift of Gordon Shepherd, MD, DPhil, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Neuroscience at Yale, and the family of Wilfrid Rall. Rall (1922-2018) was a neuroscientist whose work focused on the electrical properties of neurons and the functions of neuronal dendrites. His development of cable theory and the compartmental modeling approach for studying dendrites and synaptic integration helped found the discipline of computational neuroscience. The collection documents his research from 1963-1971, particularly his collaborative work with Gordon Shepherd using the compartmental modeling method to study the functional organization of the olfactory bulb. Research notebooks, correspondence, and reprints of Rall’s publications are included in the archive. Rall’s research notebooks are fully digitized and freely available online. The 11 notebooks, dating from 1963-1971, document his research on dendritic function. Shepherd writes, “Rall used to record the day’s computer runs, calculations and discussions, hypotheses, summaries of progress, and plans for the future. The volumes are a running record of his busy life as one of the first neuroscience biophysicists, and his conscientious efforts to keep up with the many projects and thoughts stimulated by his work. They provide unique insights into how Rall in his earliest work brought together several disciplines in creating the computational approach to analyzing the functional organization of neurons and neuronal microcircuits as the basis for the future field of computational neuroscience.”  

Thanksgiving Hours

November 22, 2021 - 9:14am by Dana Haugh

Hours for the upcoming 2021 Thanksgiving holiday will be: Wednesday, November 24: 7:30am - 5pm Thursday, November 25: Closed Friday, November 26: Closed The 24/7 room will remain open and accessible via the stairwell to the left of the Medical Library entrance. Normal hours will resume Saturday, November 27. Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy Thanksgiving!

Melanie Norton Recognized for "Outstanding Leadership"

November 18, 2021 - 2:41pm by Dana Haugh

Melanie Norton, Head of Access and Delivery Services, was recognized for her outstanding leadership of the DiversAbility at Yale (DAY) affinity group. Throughout her career Melanie has been passionate and responsive to the needs of individuals impacted by disability, and in particular with the challenges students with disabilities encounter when trying to use public spaces and academic libraries. As the co-chair of the DAY from 2019 to 2021, Melanie championed the causes of faculty, staff, and students with disabilities (either visible or invisible) so as to improve their sense of belonging at Yale.  DAY's mission is to create a personal and professional network for all Yale employees impacted by disability, identify opportunities to promote recruitment, retention and advancement of people with disabilities, support and collaborate with other Yale affinity groups and efforts to create an inclusive Yale community, and increase awareness of issues related to disability through learning opportunities, social activities, and participation in outreach activities. Deborah Stanley-McAuley, Associate Vice President for Employee Engagement and Workplace Culture, presented Melanie with the award and commended her for her committment to accessibility, disability advocacy, and community building at Yale and beyond.   Kudos from DAY colleagues: "Thank you for your dedication, contributions and outstanding service as affinity group leader in making Yale a better place for different staff constituencies across camps." - Henry Kwan, Director for Shared Interest Groups "Thank you so much for everything you've done to make Yale a better place. Your commitment to the Yale community and our well-being is so very appreciated." - Tracy MacMath, Web Application Developer at Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library "Thank you for your leadership of DAY during an extraordinarily challenging time; I'm so grateful for everything you did to maintain and strengthen community during your term as co-chair!" - Julie Linden, Director of Collection Development Scholarly Resources

Open Access Week 2021

October 25, 2021 - 1:10pm by Lindsay Barnett

Welcome to Open Access Week 2021!  Visit this page for daily updates with short activities you can complete to learn more about open access publishing and show you support for greater transparency in the scholarly publishing industry.  From SPARC, “Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment.”  Open access allows researchers around the world to access scholarship with no waiting periods or embargos, allowing research results to be disseminated and built upon more quickly.  Did you know that the Yale Library supports open access publishing?  We fund a number of membership programs that reduce or eliminate article processing charges (APCs) associated with open access articles for Yale authors.  Our membership with PLOS waives all APCs in all PLOS journals for any article with a Yale corresponding author.  Find more information about library support for open access here.  Take our Open Access Week 2021 Quiz for an opportunity to win a prize up to $25 in value from the Yale bookstore!

Happy Peer Review Week!

September 23, 2021 - 1:50pm by Holly Grossetta Nardini

Happy Peer Review week! Despite many criticisms and calls for reform1,2,3 peer review remains an intrinsic part of the academic scholarly lifecycle. Like faculty, librarians are deeply involved in peer review – both receiving peer review on our own scholarship and volunteering our peer review services to journals. In particular, librarians are skilled at reviewing methodologies and search strategies for evidence syntheses papers like scoping and systematic reviews. In evidence synthesis, the quality of the literature search, and the clarity with which it is reported, are foundational! Research from Cushing/Whitney Medical Library librarians has shown that librarians could play a larger role in the peer review process4. If you are a journal editor, you can use the Librarian Peer Reviewer Database to find qualified and available librarians to review aspects of submitted manuscripts. “Segmented peer review” is an excellent way of involving librarians in partial peer review of manuscripts5, as few individual peer reviewers have the knowledge to evaluate all aspects of team science manuscripts. Yale librarians are also available to consult on all aspects of scholarly publishing. References 1. Gerwing TG, Allen Gerwing AM, Avery-Gomm S, Choi C-Y, Clements JC, Rash JA. Quantifying professionalism in peer review. Research Integrity and Peer Review [Internet]. 2020 Jul 24  2. Gerwing TG, Allen Gerwing AM, Choi C-Y, Avery-Gomm S, Clements JC, Rash JA. Re-evaluation of solutions to the problem of unprofessionalism in peer review. Research Integrity and Peer Review [Internet]. 2021 Feb 16 3. Brainard J. The $450 question: Should journals pay peer reviewers? Science [Internet]. 2021 Mar 1  4. Grossetta Nardini HK, Batten J, Funaro MC, Garcia-Milian R, Nyhan K, Spak JM, et al. Librarians as methodological peer reviewers for systematic reviews: results of an online survey. Res Integr Peer Rev. 2019;4:23. 5. Nyhan K, Nardini HKG. Evidence synthesis papers would benefit from segmented peer review. Translational Oncology [Internet]. 2021 May 1

Closed for Labor Day (9/6/21)

September 2, 2021 - 1:53pm by Dana Haugh

The medical library will be closed on Monday, September 6 for Labor Day. As always, the 24/7 room will be open for Yale and YNHH ID holders. To access the 24/7 room when the medical library is closed, use the stairwell to the left of the medical library entrance, go down one set of stairs, and turn right into the corridor. The 24/7 room door is located down the hall on the right side. Please note: there is no elevator access to and from this room when the medical library is closed.
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