Windows into the McGovern Historical Center

by Matt Richardson, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

October is Archives Month! The TMC Library is celebrating with a special opportunity to support the McGovern Historical Center. Help us secure the history of the Texas Medical Center. https://library.tmc.edu/mcgovern/2022/09/28/give-2-history-secure-the-past/

Since the McGovern Historical Center is headquartered a couple miles south of the main TMC Library, visibility doesn’t always come easy. Sometimes archivists make special appearances at the Library, like setting up a table to feature archival materials for #AskAnArchivistDay. More often, it means crafting exhibits to highlight some of the stories found in our collections. In doing so, archivists hope to share TMC and medical history and, in doing so, also aim to raise awareness of the archive itself.

Fortunately, the MHC also has a venerable anchor in the main Library—the Rare Books Room. In addition to being a place to store collections and host researchers, the Rare Books Room trumpets the existence of the TMC Library’s historical collections, simply by being there. Though the doors are usually closed (visits are by appointment only), visitors can peer inside their glass windows. And these doors—along with the “John P. McGovern Rare Book Collections” sign—invite the passerby’s musing: “I wonder what’s in there?”

A new exhibit installed in the public corridor leading to the Rare Books Room seizes upon the opportunity to answer that question (or at least begin to). The two exhibit cases embedded in the walls of the corridor now feature highlights from MHC collections and brief overviews of major collecting areas.

There won’t be much new here for longtime MHC diehards—though hopefully you’ll still enjoy the pretty pictures. But for students, faculty, and others visiting the Library, the goal of these displays is to raise the profile of the archives and rare books collections and begin to convey a sense of what’s behind those doors—and down the road.

One case highlights the primary areas that comprise the MHC’s rare books collections: the McGovern Collection on the History of Medicine; Burbank-Fraser Collection on Arthritis, Rheumatism, and Gout; Detering Collection on Psychiatry and Photography; Dow Collection on Dentistry; Mading Collection on Public Health; and Menninger Collection on Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis.

The other half of the exhibit focuses on the MHC’s archival collections. Featuring archival materials in a variety of formats—photos, films, drawings, and more—this case illustrates how the MHC’s collections document the stories of TMC people and institutions. At the same time, it highlights collection strengths beyond Houston, like the original photographs from Medical World News and papers from the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission.

Next time you’re in the TMC Library, take a look! Better yet, plan a visit to the McGovern Historical Center to see even more.

Rare Books Room Corridor at the TMC Library with New Exhibit Featuring McGovern Historical Center Collections
Rare Books Room Corridor at the TMC Library with New Exhibit Featuring McGovern Historical Center Collections
TMC Library Exhibit Featuring McGovern Historical Center Rare Books Collections
TMC Library Exhibit Featuring McGovern Historical Center Rare Books Collections
TMC Library Exhibit Featuring McGovern Historical Center Archival Collections
TMC Library Exhibit Featuring McGovern Historical Center Archival Collections
Rare Books Room in the TMC Library
Rare Books Room in the TMC Library
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Give 2 History: Secure the Past. Help the McGovern Historical Center secure the history of the Texas Medical Center. Give Today!
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Posted in Exhibits, Images, Institutional Collection, Manuscript Collection, Medical Archives

Thanks to SCAMeL, TMC Library’s A/V History is Getting New Life

by Matt Richardson, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

October is Archives Month! The TMC Library is celebrating with a special opportunity to support the McGovern Historical Center. Help us secure the history of the Texas Medical Center. https://library.tmc.edu/mcgovern/2022/09/28/give-2-history-secure-the-past/

For those of you who’ve been following the McGovern Historical Center for a while, you know our audiovisual collections are among our most distinctive holdings. For example, we have hundreds of films (many available online!) illustrating heart surgery techniques by Denton Cooley and his associates at the Texas Heart Institute. Recently we’ve also written about sound recordings of Nobel Prize winner Philip Hench, as well as interviews with leading figures from the TMC Historical Resources Project.

Audiovisual materials are especially high preservation priorities, as their formats make them especially susceptible to degradation. Besides the fact that magnetic tape deteriorates at a concerning rate, when was the last time you saw a U-matic tape deck in working order?

Last spring we were excited to learn that we’d been awarded “Speedy Startup funds” from the South Central Academic Medical Libraries Consortium (SCAMeL) to further support our audiovisual collections. Knowing that foundational archival collections like the TMC Library records (IC 001) and the Texas Medical Center records (IC 002) contained unique and at-risk audiovisual recordings, the MHC and TMC Library team put together a proposal to have these materials digitized for preservation and access. We selected 52 videos, films and sound recordings—including a range of educational lectures, TV news coverage, and promotional segments—all focused on the history of the TMC and the Library. We also jumped at the opportunity to finish digitizing the remaining twenty-five interviews from the TMC Historical Resources Project.

While we can handle some things like VHS and compact cassette tapes in house, sometimes securing a vendor is the best way to get this sort of thing done, especially in large numbers. We recently got the digital files back, and they look great! Besides offering valuable historical content, the videos also transport viewers back in time through a mix of color bars, tracking, and other reminders of their analog heritage. Archivists are currently viewing the finished products and creating additional descriptions so that they can be searched and navigated online. We’ll be adding these to our online collections system over the coming months. Stay tuned!

We’d like to thank our friends at SCAMeL for making this project possible. And if anyone out there is on the fence about giving to our Give 2 History: Secure the Past fundraiser, let’s just say we’ve got plenty more files and tapes to preserve and digitize!

Dedication of the Jesse Jones Library Expansion, May 25, 1973. Single frame from film reel, AVF.IC002.005_0003667, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library
[“Dedication of the Jesse Jones Library Expansion” (May 25, 1973). Single frame from film reel, AVF.IC002.005_0003667, IC 002 Texas Medical Center Records, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]
[Conversations with the Past: "Sir William Osler: On the Student Teacher Libraries and Medicine" by John P. McGovern, MD, (May 14, 1980. AVV-IC007-005, IC 007 University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from “Conversations with the Past: “Sir William Osler: On the Student Teacher Libraries and Medicine” by John P. McGovern, MD, (May 14, 1980). AVV-IC007-005, IC 007 University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
["Channel 10 Midday Stories: Jones Library Features, Rare Book Collection," (approximately 1984). AVV-IC001-002, TMC Library Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from “Channel 10 Midday Stories: Jones Library Features, Rare Book Collection,” (approximately 1984). AVV-IC001-002, IC 001 TMC Library Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from "The Houston Academy of Medicine - Texas Medical Center Library Meeting the Challenge," (1997). AVV_IC001_001, IC 001 TMC Library Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from “The Houston Academy of Medicine – Texas Medical Center Library Meeting the Challenge,” (1997). AVV_IC001_001, IC 001 TMC Library Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from "The Houston Academy of Medicine - Texas Medical Center Library Meeting the Challenge," (1997). AVV_IC001_001, IC 001 TMC Library Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from “The Houston Academy of Medicine – Texas Medical Center Library Meeting the Challenge,” (1997). AVV_IC001_001, IC 001 TMC Library Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from "Interview with Josie M. Roberts," (1974). AVV-IC084-080, IC 084 TMC Historical Resources Project Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from “Interview with Josie M. Roberts,” (1974). AVV-IC084-080, IC 084 TMC Historical Resources Project Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from "Interview with Leopold L. Meyer," (1973). AVV-IC084-071, IC 084 TMC Historical Resources Project Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from “Interview with Leopold L. Meyer,” (1973). AVV-IC084-071, IC 084 TMC Historical Resources Project Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from "Interview with Richard S. Ruiz, MD," (1991). AVV-IC084-083, IC 084 TMC Historical Resources Project Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from “Interview with Richard S. Ruiz, MD,” (1991). AVV-IC084-083, IC 084 TMC Historical Resources Project Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
Social media graphic about Give 2 History: Secure the Past. Help the McGovern Historical Center secure the history of the Texas Medical Center. Give Today!
Give 2 History: Secure the Past. Help the McGovern Historical Center secure the history of the Texas Medical Center. Give Today!
Posted in Audiovisual, Digital Collection, Institutional Collection, Medical Archives, Texas Medical Center Library, TMC Leaders

1970s Video Interviews from the TMC Historical Resources Project

by Matt Richardson, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

October is Archives Month! The TMC Library is celebrating with a special opportunity to support the McGovern Historical Center. Help us secure the history of the Texas Medical Center. https://library.tmc.edu/mcgovern/2022/09/28/give-2-history-secure-the-past/

In the early 1970s, TMC leaders such as Frederick Elliott, William Seybold, and Grant Taylor recognized the importance of documenting the stories behind the formative years of the Texas Medical Center. In response, the Executive Committee of the Board of the Texas Medical Center, Inc., led by TMC President Richard Eastwood, approved the Texas Medical Center Historical Resources Project. Don Macon served as Project Director, and Diane Romero was Research Associate. With the support of R. Lee Clark and the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center—including use of its television studio—Macon and others began creating a series of video interviews featuring early leaders and other influential figures in the TMC.

Over the years, the project’s focus expanded to “video profiles” that also included significant visitors to the TMC. Given M. D. Anderson’s involvement, it’s no surprise that several of these feature national and international figures in cancer research on their visits to Houston.

From the beginning, copies of the interviews were presented to the TMC Library so they’d be available for research. Later, most of the master tapes (3/4” U-matics, if you were curious), also made their way to the McGovern Historical Center for preservation. The collection of interviews now archived at the MHC includes conversations with thirty-eight different interviewees spread across nearly one hundred tapes (Frederick Elliott set the record, with his interviews spanning five tapes and more than two hours).

Twelve of these interviews had been transferred to DVDs, and we’re now sharing them online for the first time. You can listen to personal histories and stories of the TMC’s early days from Leland Anderson, Hines Baker, William Bates, Frederick Elliot, R. Lee Clark, Jared Clarke, Ella Fondren, John Freeman, Earl Hankamer, William Kirkland, Chauncey Leake, Julia Williams Bertner Naylor.

The discerning scroller might notice that videos aren’t the only files available. Thanks to some enterprising technological forays by one of our archives interns, we’ve now got computer-generated transcriptions for several these. Thanks to Microsoft Word for the assist, and apologies to our human readers for the as-yet-uncorrected nature of these transcripts.

But that’s not all! Thanks to funds from the South Central Academic Medical Libraries Consortium (SCAMeL), the MHC has recently had the rest of these interviews digitized. We’ve got some behind-the-scenes work to do (please, ask us about metadata!), but stay tuned for an announcement in the coming months when interviews with the remaining twenty-six personalities go online.

For now enjoy a look at a few of the folks who sat down with Mr. Macon in 1973.

[Screenshot from "Interview with William Bates," (1973). AVV-IC084-005 , IC 084 TMC Historical Resources Project Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from “Interview with William Bates,” (1973). AVV-IC084-005 , IC 084 TMC Historical Resources Project Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from "Interview with R. Lee Clark," (1973). AVV-IC084-022, IC 084 TMC Historical Resources Project Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from “Interview with R. Lee Clark,” (1973). AVV-IC084-022, IC 084 TMC Historical Resources Project Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from "Interview with Frederick Elliott," (1973). AVV-IC084-038, IC 084 TMC Historical Resources Project Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from “Interview with Frederick Elliott,” (1973). AVV-IC084-038, IC 084 TMC Historical Resources Project Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from "Interview with Ella Fondren," (1973). AVV-IC084-048 , IC 084 TMC Historical Resources Project Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from “Interview with Ella Fondren,” (1973). AVV-IC084-048 , IC 084 TMC Historical Resources Project Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from "Interview with Julia Williams Bertner Naylor," (1973). AVV-IC084-074, IC 084 TMC Historical Resources Project Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
[Screenshot from “Interview with Julia Williams Bertner Naylor,” (1973). AVV-IC084-074, IC 084 TMC Historical Resources Project Records, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
Social media graphic about Give 2 History: Secure the Past. Help the McGovern Historical Center secure the history of the Texas Medical Center. Give Today!
Give 2 History: Secure the Past. Help the McGovern Historical Center secure the history of the Texas Medical Center. Give Today!
Posted in Audiovisual, Digital Collection, Institutional Collection, Medical Archives, TMC Leaders

Give 2 History: Secure the Past

Give 2 History: Secure the Past. Help the McGovern Historical Center secure the history of the Texas Medical Center. October is Archives Month! We’re celebrating with a special opportunity to support the McGovern Historical Center at the Texas Medical Center Library. #Give2History Learn More & Give Today!

by Sandra Yates, Head of McGovern Historical Center

October is Archives Month! The TMC Library is celebrating with a special opportunity to support the McGovern Historical Center. Help the McGovern Historical Center secure the history of the Texas Medical Center.

When you make a tax-deductible gift to the McGovern Historical Center, your money goes a long way. All levels of donation are welcome and support our work. Here are examples of how we utilize financial support:

  • $10 buys an archival box to preserve papers
  • $50 preserves one box of collection materials
  • $250 buys permanent archival labels for boxes
  • $500 purchases film preservation supplies
  • $1,500 supports a year of online access to our collections archives.library.tmc.edu/
  • $2,500 upgrades the camera we use for digitization
  • $5,000 helps us fund a 12-week internship for an archives student

Financial gifts made during October include three levels of special recognition:

  • Donors of $5 or more will receive special thanks
  • Donors of $50 or more will have their name permanently inscribed on an archival box label
  • Donors of $250 or more will be invited to a reception in the McGovern Rare Book Collection early in 2023.

Help the campaign follow and tag #Give2History on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. With your support we hope to surpass our $1,000 goal for the month.

Tell Your Friends

Download our Give2History social media graphics and share on any social platform. You can also print and share the Give2History-flyer (PDF).

Flyer. Give 2 History: Secure the Past. Help the McGovern Historical Center secure the history of the Texas Medical Center. Give Today!
Flyer. Give 2 History: Secure the Past. Help the McGovern Historical Center secure the history of the Texas Medical Center. Give Today!
Posted in Medical Archives

UT x 3

by Matt Richardson, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian 

The University of Texas has played a defining role in the Texas Medical Center ever since its founding. And the modern incarnation of its Houston footprint—the University of Texas Health Science Center, or UTHealth–is celebrating its 50th anniversary, having been formed in 1972.

One of the ways the TMC Library supports UTHealth is by collecting, preserving, and making accessible the archives of its institutions and faculty. The full list is too long to get into here, but the McGovern Historical Center is home to collections from several of these institutions, including the McGovern Medical School, the School of Dentistry, and the UT Health Science Center at Houston itself.

In a push to ensure access to these records, archivists and interns at the MHC have recently processed a handful of small institutional collections from the UTHealth umbrella. Let’s take a moment to highlight three of these.

University of Texas School of Public Health records

The School of Public Health (SPH) welcomed its first class in the fall 1969, and became part of the UT Health Science Center when that organization was created in 1972.

There are three boxes of records at the MHC, and they range in dates from 1967-2008. The collection contains copies of the SPH Catalog (1971-1995) and SPH Calendar (1978-1983), as well as photographic rosters, announcements, and other printed materials. There are also several reports connected to programs, seminars, or research. One VHS Tape—the 2000 James H. Steele Lecture on the topic of “Bioterrorism”—has just been digitized and will be made available soon.

In addition to the records of the school itself, the MHC also maintains the archival collections of faculty members like Dr. James H. Steele, Dr. Lu Ann Aday, and the just-accessioned papers of Dr. Robert J. Emery.

UT School of Public Health Catalogs, 1971-1995, IC 013, box 2, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library
UT School of Public Health Catalogs, 1971-1995, IC 013, box 2, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library

University of Texas School of Nursing records

The University of Texas School of Nursing in Houston—now the Jane and Robert Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth—opened in the Nurses’ Residence at Hermann Hospital in 1972. In 1976 the School of Nursing joined the UT Health Science Center.

This three-box archival collection consists of institutional records including catalogs, brochures, an annual report, a six-year plan, and a 1979 roster. Materials were created between 1978-2006.

While the collection itself is small, the MHC also has archival collections from prominent School of Nursing figures like Dean Patricia Starck, Dr. Marianne Marcus, and Dr. Dorothy Otto (whose papers just arrived in April), as well as the School of Nursing PARTNERS records.

"Web Site" page from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing Five Year Plan 2001-2006. IC 025, box 1, folder 14, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library
“Web Site” printed, bound page from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing Five Year Plan 2001-2006. IC 025, box 1, folder 14, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library

The University of Texas Speech and Hearing Institute records

The Speech and Hearing Institute was part of the UT Health Science Center at Houston from 1972 to 1992. It had been founded in 1951 as the Houston Speech and Hearing Clinic, and in 1992 its services were taken over by the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast.

The four boxes of records here contain records from approximately 1960 to 1992. There are annual reports, information booklets, catalogs, brochures, reports, budget documents, and advisory board information. There are also three scrapbooks—with contents from 1964-1967, 1973-1974, and 1991-1992, respectively. Finally, the collection includes plaques, paperweights, and two VHS tapes.

Drs. Jack and Tina Bangs, who helped establish the Houston Speech and Hearing Clinic and guided it for many years, also have their professional materials archived at the MHC.

UT Speech and Hearing Institute Brochures, 1972 or later, IC 012, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library
UT Speech and Hearing Institute Brochures, 1972 or later, IC 012, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library
Posted in Institutional Collection, Medical Archives, Nursing, Public Health

IC 058 Exhibit in the TMC Library

by Matt Richardson, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

If you find yourself in the TMC Library (and we hope you will!), you’ll notice a new exhibit showcasing materials from the McGovern Historical Center.

This exhibit highlights our extensive Texas State Board of Medical Examiners records (IC 058). If that sounds familiar, it may be because we’ve written about this collection a few times recently. It keeps getting our attention, and we thought other folks might like a peek at it, too. The current display builds on the research Shannon Wood did while completing her Master of Library Science practicum at the MHC. You may recall she’d researched and written about Drs. Carrie Jane Sutton and Petra Bonilla Toral de Colunga.

In this exhibit we’re featuring them, while also introducing the collection itself, and highlighting two more physicians whose stories stood out. Though they were applying to the Texas State Board back in the 1950s and 1960s, Heisiquio Rodriguez’ and Moore Yen’s stories highlight themes that continue to resonate today.

Hesiquio Rodriguez lived in Rio Grande City, Texas, and letters from his application file stress the “extreme need” for medical practitioners in their underserved area. There’s even a petition signed by dozens of local residents on his behalf. One advocate writes, “With the shortage of Doctors we have in Starr County, Dr. Rodriguez, who is very dedicated to his profession, would be a tremendous asset, and would certainly be of great assistance to the three Doctors that we have in this county, namely; Dr. Mario E. Ramirez, who is also our County Judge, Dr. Rene A. Solis, who is also our Sheriff, and Dr. Ramiro Narro, who is also our County Health Doctor.” This was in 1969.

Dr. Hesiquio Rodriguez’ Texas State Board of Medical Examiners Application, 1969. [IC058-b76f27rFOC-002, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]

Moore Yen was a professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (unfortunately, his file does not contain a photo). He initially came to Texas from China in 1948 for his postgraduate training. However, a recommender notes, “At that time you will recall the whole political situation in China changed violently and this was followed shortly thereafter by the Korean crisis. It was impossible for him to return home, and the State Department allowed him an extension of stay in this country, the same courtesy offered to many others in his dilemma. He was granted permanent immigration papers shortly thereafter and is now a citizen of the United States.”

Galveston's Medical Center, 1952. [IC091-galv_17, IC 091 Texas Healthcare Facilities Postcards, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
Galveston’s Medical Center, 1952. [IC091-galv_17, IC 091 Texas Healthcare Facilities Postcards, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]

Stories like these offer us historical perspectives on timely themes like regional healthcare disparities, migration, and dislocation. The archivists at the MHC have only explored a handful of the 6,000+ doctors’ stories contained with these records. We eagerly await learning what else researchers will uncover–and we hope this new exhibit will help folks come up with new questions to ask!

Due to the nature of this collection, we tend to have information about the doctors’ background and qualifications up to the point that they apply for Texas licensure. Looking at license renewal cards within these files, we can typically confirm that a doctor’s application was successful and can often establish an approximate date of death. As Shannon’s blog posts demonstrate, further research beyond our collections has the potential to uncover the contributions these Texas doctors made as their careers progressed. In the case of Dr. Yen, we know from his file that he died in 1964. But a quick Google search reveals that his Galveston home continues to attract attention from fans of modern architecture.

One of my favorite things about this collection is way it illuminates people’s travels—the ways their lives and careers evolve over time and move across geographies. Drs. Rodriguez and Yen came to Texas from Mexico and China, respectively. Dr. Toral de Colunga also came from Mexico, but studied in Michigan and Ohio before returning to Mexico, moving to Texas, and eventually heading to Illinois. Dr. Sutton was born in Texas, studied in Washington, D.C, and Pennsylvania, returned to Texas, moved to New Jersey, and then finally returned to Texas to stay. Ledgers from the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners showing where physicians attended medical schools illustrate that these patterns of movement—at least across states, if not internationally—were common among applicants. Broadening our view beyond individual stories, then, this set of records offers a window into the geographical demands of professional training, and likewise offers a way of mapping out migrations across the twentieth century United States—a map in which many roads lead through Texas.

Posted in Education & Outreach, Exhibits, Institutional Collection, International, Medical Archives, Women in Medicine

Listen to the Voice of a Nobel Winner

by Matt Richardson, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

The McGovern Historical Center is proud to announce that audio recordings featuring Nobel Prize winners Philip S. Hench and Edward C. Kendall are now available on our collections site.

In 1950 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine recognized Philip S. Hench, Edward C. Kendall, and Tadeus Reichstein “for their discoveries relating to the hormones of the adrenal cortex, their structure and biological effects.”

Years later, Dr. Hench’s son, Dr. Philip Kahler Hench, donated many of his father’s papers and books to the McGovern Historical Center. Included along with those papers were phonograph records with recordings of speeches, interviews, and events featuring Dr. Hench, his colleagues, and other contemporary figures. While several of these had been transferred to CDs, they are finally getting the treatment they deserve—preservation via the TMC Library’s digital storage and access via the Web. Meanwhile, the dictation disks from Hench’s collection are high on our list of future audio digitization projects.

Among the newly available content:

  • Philip Hench and Edward Kendall speaking on CBS about “compound e,” May 28, 1949
  • A speech by Dr. Hench, likely given at the Seventh International Congress of Rheumatic Diseases in New York City, June 1949
  • The opening ceremony for the Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation’s nationwide campaign, Boston, spring 1950
  • Recordings of the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm, December 10, 1950
  • Dr. Hench and Dr. Kendall discussing cortisone on the Bob Considine Show on WHAM-TV, June 8, 1951
  • And the outlier: a radio broadcast of the American Legion Citation for Distinguished Service presented to the Drs. Mayo, Rochester, Minnesota, August 8, 1934. Featuring President Franklin D. Roosevelt!

We knew we had two Nobel Prize winners on our hands, but we didn’t realize there was going to be a president in the mix. That last recording had only been labeled as “American Legion Citation for Distinguished Service for the Drs. Mayo,” with no indication of who the speakers were. It’s not every day you stumble upon an unknown archival recording of a president (since it was broadcast on the radio, it’s probably not unique, but it’s still pretty exciting).

We hope you’ll take a listen!

Philip Hench and others onstage at a ceremony [MS076_b29f1_stage, MS 076 Philip S. Hench, MD papers, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]

Philip Hench and others onstage at onstage at the Nobel ceremony [MS076-b29f1rCYO, MS 076 Philip S. Hench, MD papers, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]

Philip Hench and family in formal attire. [MS076_b29f1_family_formal, MS 076 Philip S. Hench, MD papers, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]

Philip Hench and family at the Nobel ceremony. [MS076-b29f1rYBE, MS 076 Philip S. Hench, MD papers, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]

Posted in Audiovisual, Digital Collection, Manuscript Collection, Medical Archives

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Posted in Medical Archives

McGovern Medical Medallions Ready for Research

by Matt Richardson, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian.

Attention numismatists, exonumists, historians of medicine, and lovers of all things McGovern! Your friendly neighborhood archivists are proud to announce the availability of the MS 200 John P. McGovern Medical Medallions Collection.

This collection consists of medallions commemorating people, conferences, and other events in the history of medicine.  While many of the these were produced as commemorative items in the 1960s and 1970s, others date back as far as the late 1700s. Collected by John P. McGovern, these medallions came to us by way of the McGovern Foundation.

More than half of the collection consists of medallions from the Great Men of Medicine Art Medals series. The collection has two complete sets—50 in silver and 50 in bronze. These were sculpted by Abram Belskie and distributed by Presidential Art Medals, Inc. of Vandalia, Ohio, from 1969 to 1974. This commemorative series also includes pamphlets describing the medallions and the accomplishments of the figures portrayed.

The big names presented in this series range from Hippocrates of Cos to Ivan Pavlov. We have to break it to you that Marie Curie is the lone woman represented in the series. While no TMC figures made the cut (surely if there’s a second edition!), there are several names that we’re used to hearing around here. William Osler has his own section within our McGovern Rare Book Collection on the History of Medicine. The McGovern Collection also features first editions of Andres Veaslius’ Anatomica and Edward Jenner’s 1798 treatise on smallpox inoculation. Meanwhile, there are plenty of Sigmund Freud’s works in the Menninger Rare Book Collection on Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis.

Medallions #16-3, Great Men of Medicine Series, newly rehoused. William Osler is featured on the medallion in the lower righthand corner. [IC200 Tray 2, John P. McGovern Medical Medallions, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
Medallions #16-30, Great Men of Medicine Series, newly rehoused. William Osler is featured on the medallion in the lower righthand corner. [MS 200 Tray 2, John P. McGovern Medical Medallions, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]

Other modern medallions come from the Hall of Fame for Great Americans at New York University, and include physicians such as Walter Reed, William Thomas Green Morton, and Oliver Wendell Holmes (whose bookshelves adorn our reading room!). There are also medals issued for the Medical Library Association’s Seventy-fifth Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota in June of 1976.

Oliver Wendell Holmes. [Medallion #108, MS 200, John P. McGovern Medical Medallions, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
Oliver Wendell Holmes. [Medallion #108, MS 200, John P. McGovern Medical Medallions, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
Bookshelves in the MHC Reading Room "From the Library of Oliver Wendell Holmes, M.D., 296 Beacon Street, Boston, Massachusetts."
Bookshelves in the MHC Reading Room “From the Library of Oliver Wendell Holmes, M.D., 296 Beacon Street, Boston, Massachusetts.”

Then there are the historical medallions. These range in dates from at least 1773 to 1971, though many of them are undated. While many of these also recognize physicians or scientists, there are also others dedicated to various milestones in medicine. For example, several recognize hospitals supported by Queen Victoria and Price Albert, whereas others were coined for particular medical associations or conferences.  

Medallions #136-150, historical medallions, newly rehoused. Featuring Charing Cross Hospital, London; Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (1846), Johns Hopkins Hospital 50th Anniversary (1939), the 2nd Pan-American Scientific Congress in Washington, D.C. (1915-1916), and others. [MS 200 Tray 13, John P. McGovern Medical Medallions, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
Medallions #136-150, historical medallions, newly rehoused. Featuring Charing Cross Hospital, London; Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (1846); Johns Hopkins Hospital 50th Anniversary (1939); the 2nd Pan-American Scientific Congress in Washington, D.C. (1915-1916); and others. [MS 200 Tray 13, John P. McGovern Medical Medallions, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]

Changing up our usual paper, photograph, and digital processing routine, finding appropriate housing for these three-dimensional objects (ok, just barely three-dimensional) required ordering special trays, and carefully ensconcing each coin in tissue paper. This approach gives us just the right mix of preservation and readiness for display.

Posted in Artifacts, Medical Archives, Rare Books

ABCC Photographs and Texas Healthcare Postcards Online

by Matt Richardson, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

Recently, we wrote about efforts here at the MHC to get more historical photographs online. In February, we posted more than 100 images from the IC 104 Texas Medical Center (TMC) Photograph Collection. Since then, our digital collections have continued to grow.

The latest addition is a group of nearly 150 images from the IC 099 Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission Photograph Collection. Mostly taken between 1948 and 1960, these images range from shots of examination rooms and laboratories to pictures of ABCC staff and friends out foraging mushrooms for a picnic. The photographs offer a window into the lives of the doctors, nurses, scientists, and others who worked as part of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission. Many of them feature the families and friends of both American and Japanese ABCC personnel. And did we mention Eleanor Roosevelt’s visit to Japan is included?

Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission Histology staff at work in a laboratory with microscopes and other equipment, 1960, Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission Photograph Collection, IC099-p5063-001b, McGovern Historical Center
Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission Histology staff at work in a laboratory with microscopes and other equipment, 1960. [IC099-p5063-001b, IC 099 Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission Photograph Collection, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]

Louise Cavagnaro, Zoe Green, Paul Fillmore, Pat Fillmore, Dr. Breeden, and others sit and eat at the matsutake hunt at George Sakoda's uncle's place, Hiroshima., 1949. Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission Photograph Collection, IC099-p5187-024, McGovern Historical Center
Louise Cavagnaro, Zoe Green, Paul Fillmore, Pat Fillmore, Dr. Breeden, and others sit and eat at the matsutake hunt at George Sakoda’s uncle’s place, Hiroshima, 1949. [IC099-p5187-024, IC 099 Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission Photograph Collection, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]

Visiting the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, Eleanor Roosevelt sits in the front row of an assembly. She and Grant Taylor, who is standing at the head of the room, lean in towards on another. [IC099-p5009-001, IC 099 Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission Photograph Collection, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
Visiting the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, Eleanor Roosevelt sits in the front row of an assembly. She and Grant Taylor, who is standing at the head of the room, lean in towards on another. [IC099-p5009-001, IC 099 Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission Photograph Collection, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]

But wait, there’s more! What’s really blowing up the digital collection numbers (and the pageviews!) is our IC 091 Texas Healthcare Facilities Postcard Collection. We’re proud to report that more than 750 postcards (front and back) are newly shared on our archival collections site. Since these went up, postcards featuring places like The Beach at Mineral Wells, Texas, and the Temple Sanitarium in Temple, Texas, have been among the most popular pages on our collections site (Note: the author wholly approves of the idea of “the beach” as a place for improving one’s wellbeing). We have to admit we’re a little disappointed that San Antonio and Dallas postcards outnumber the Houston ones in this collection. But considering that a good portion of these images pre-date the Texas Medical Center, we can’t complain too much. Enjoy!

The Beach, Mineral Wells, Texas, 1911. IC 091 Texas Healthcare Facilities Postcard Collection, IC091-miwe_04, McGovern Historical Center
The Beach, Mineral Wells, Texas, 1911. [IC091-miwe_04, IC 091 Texas Healthcare Facilities Postcard Collection, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]

Temple Sanitarium and Accessory Buildings, Temple, Texas, 1900. Texas Healthcare Facilities Postcard Collection, IC091-temp_40, McGovern Historical Center
Temple Sanitarium and Accessory Buildings, Temple, Texas, 1900. [IC091-temp_40, IC 091 Texas Healthcare Facilities Postcard Collection, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]

Texas Medical Center, Houston, 1960. Texas Healthcare Facilities Postcard Collection, IC091-hous_28, McGovern Historical Center
Texas Medical Center, Houston, 1960. [IC091-hous_28, IC 091 Texas Healthcare Facilities Postcard Collection, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library]
Posted in ABCC, Digital Collection, Images, Institutional Collection, International, Medical Archives
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