Andy Hickner's blog

On display until July 30th! Children’s Medical Literature, 1950s-1990s

24 July 2015 - 2:00pm by Andy Hickner

Children's book image
Image from Nada Iveljić, We go to the doctor. Zagreb, 1974.

This exhibit, on display for a final week in the Medical Historical Library, features books and other publications written for children about medical topics. Story books, pamphlets, coloring books, and comic books are published by various groups as a way to teach children about illness, medical care, and health topics at an age-appropriate level.  The exhibit was organized by Charlotte Abney, graduate student in the Program in the History of Science and Medicine.

For young children, picture books introduce the ideas of doctors, dentists, and appointments by telling gentle stories of normal or routine treatment by medical professionals. This collection includes picture books from a number of different countries. Each of these books tells a reassuring story of a young child or cartoon protagonist who needs to visit a doctor, hospital, or dentist and is well cared for by medical professionals.

Children's book image
Image from Helen Oxenbury, La visite chez le docteur. Paris, 1983. 

Books and comics for older children, often published by health care companies and government agencies, teach lessons in staying healthy, personal hygiene, and the use of medical devices. This display includes a coloring book about pharmacies published by a pharmaceutical company; books about drug abuse by a doctor and the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, respectively; and two comic books, one in which Dennis the Menace learns about household poisons and one in which superheroes save the planet while teaching kids how to avoid asthma attacks.

The materials on display here are part of a collection of printed material in the history of medicine recently donated by William Helfand.

Children's book image
Children’s books from a recent donation by William Helfand

Helfand has been a collector of prints since the 1950s, and medical ephemera since 1969. In 1983, Helfand exhibited materials related to the “American Medical Show” in the rotunda of the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library. He has given multiple gifts of posters, prints, books, and patent medicine advertising in the past fifteen years, and he continues to support the library through scholarship, helping to identify medical bookplates in the collection.

Over the past fifteen years, Yale libraries have received over a thousand titles and numerous other items in donations from from Helfand, his daughter, Jessica Helfand ’82, ’89 MFA, Senior Critic in Graphic Design at the Yale School of Art, and her late husband William Drenttel, Senior Faculty Fellow and Social Enterprise Fellow at the Yale School of Management.

Requesting Medical Historical rare books and materials online

24 July 2015 - 11:48am by Andy Hickner

(By Melissa Grafe)

You can now request locked Medical Historical Library books through Orbis, instead of emailing staff at the Historical Library.  Please do this when you want access to our locked stacks materials, for use in our Historical Library Office/reading room, or any events, sessions, or classes that you may be holding.  For classes or other events, please email Melissa Grafe at melissa.grafe@yale.edu to discuss scheduling and support.

From Orbis, in the Holdings area:

Orbis screenshot

The first time you “Request for Use in the Medical Historical Library,”  you will be prompted to register, unless you’ve already registered as a patron at Beinecke or Manuscripts and Archives.  After that, the information will automatically populate in the form. Just put in what date you are planning to come to the Medical Historical Office to view the materials, and Submit the request!  

We may have to take your photograph and check your Yale ID, even if we know you, as part of joining this system with Beinecke/Manuscripts and Archives and updated security protocols.

Within the next few months we will expand the ability to request materials from the Medical Historical Library’s finding aids, which you can discover in the Yale Finding Aid database. The finding aids are lists, usually down to the folder level, from our archival collections, including the papers of doctors, our medically themed sheet music collection, and the William Van Duyn tobacco advertising collection.

If there are materials that are not in Orbis, you can still fill out a request manually, filling in as many details as you know concerning the object you want.  Many of the materials featured in our digitized collections fall in this category.

New point of care tool: DynaMed Plus

9 July 2015 - 10:38am by Andy Hickner

Yale University and Yale-New Haven Hospital now have access to DynaMed Plus, which allows you to get answers to your clinical questions fast.  This clinical information resource is written by physicians, and features a rigorous evidence-based editorial process which provides synthesized information and objective analysis to answer your clinical questions quickly and easily.

DynaMed Plus features: 

  • Overviews and recommendations
  • Thousands of graphics and images
  • Precise search results
  • Expert reviewers
  • Specialty content
  • Mobile access
  • Micromedex Clinical Knowledge Suite drug content 

For questions about this new product, please contact your librarian or visit our documentation about DynaMed Plus on mobile devices

Ovid Personal and proxy server accounts briefly unavailable tomorrow, June 22

16 June 2015 - 9:18am by Andy Hickner

The Ovid Personal Edition System and the Proxy server account pages will be down tomorrow morning (Tuesday, June 22)  at 7:15 and will be unavailable until 7:45.  During this time, users will be temporarily unable to request a proxy account or password reminder.  Access to Ovid Personal login will also be unavailable.  

Medical Historical Librarian profiled in Yale Medicine

5 June 2015 - 1:26pm by Andy Hickner

Medical Historical Librarian Melissa Grafe is featured in the latest issue of Yale Medicine

Now, Grafe pursues her interests in medical education and the history of medicine at work every day. As director of the Medical Historical Library, she helps students and scholars navigate its collections, housed within the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library. She curates exhibits that showcase materials from the library’s more than 140,000 volumes, as well as thousands of manuscripts, drawings, prints, incunabula, and other items spanning every era of medical history. Recent exhibits range from the 16th-century anatomical drawings of Vesalius, some of which incorporate an ingenious lift-the-flap design not unlike what we see in children’s books today, to 1970s-era Technicolor posters highlighting the dangers of excessive drinking.

Read more here

Cushing Center featured in Atlas Obscura

18 May 2015 - 5:20pm by Andy Hickner

On May 30, the Cushing Center will be one of the destinations for Obscura Day.  Obscura Day will include "more than 150 events in 39 states and 25 countries, all on a single day, and all designed to celebrate the world's most curious and awe-inspiring places."  Other Obscura Day destinations will include the ghost towns of Chernobyl, Mayan ruins in Mexico, and Pasadena's Bunny Museum, to name just a few.

A recent article published by Atlas Obscura features some newly digitized images from the Cushing Tumor Registry: 

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/cushing-tumor-registry-cushing-whitney-medical-library

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