Archival Relationships

by Matt Richardson, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

The McGovern Historical Center of the Texas Medical Center Library has been busy updating our collection records with information about related materials at neighboring archives. While different archives have different missions and collecting scopes, it’s not unusual for related or even overlapping collections to end up in two different places.

Reading Rooms at University of Houston Libraries Special Collections, TMC Library’s McGovern Historical Center, and University of Texas Medical Branch’s Blocker History of Medicine Collections.

For example, with our focus on the history of healthcare in Houston, the MHC naturally collected records from The Women’s Fund for Health, Education, and Research (now the Women’s Fund for Health Education and Resiliency). But the same organization is also a natural fit for the Carey Shuart Women’s Research Collection in the University of Houston Libraries’ Special Collections. A researcher interested in this organization and its work would be wise to consult both MHC’s IC 074 and UH’s 2000-002.

Similarly, both the McGovern Historical Center and the University of Texas Medical Branch’s Truman G. Blocker, Jr. History of Medicine Collections in the Moody Medical Library hold papers from Dr. William D. Seybold—MHC’s MS 004 and UTMB’s MS 37, respectively. Much of the material in UTMB’s collection relates to Dr. Seybold’s association with UTMB, as well as the Mayo Clinic. Meanwhile, the collection at the MHC spans Dr. Seybold’s career, including his work in the Texas Medical Center and Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

Of course, it could get frustrating to think you’ve found a person or organization’s archives, only to later discover you had in fact only found some of them. Generally, archival repositories try to complement one another, and avoid scattering sets of manuscripts or records too widely. But, acknowledging that these things happen, we can at least try to help researchers navigate this landscape. To this end, we at the MHC have been updating our finding aids with links to related archival collections maintained elsewhere. It’s our hope that this will help researchers discover more resources and likewise help them plan ahead as they delve into research.

Screenshot from IC 074 finding aid in the McGovern Historical Center’s archival management system

Aside from the occasional instance where original archival papers have ended up in two different places, there are also a number of cases where the MHC has an archival collection that is complemented by an oral history collected by another institution. The Houston Public Library’s Houston Metropolitan Research Center has oral histories with Dr. Mavis P. Kelsey (whose papers make up the MHC’s MS 050), Dr. Denton A. Cooley (MHC’s MS 043), and Dr. Russell J. Blattner (MHC’s MS 016). Likewise, they have oral histories with past Texas Children’s Hospital leaders Leopold Meyer and Dr. Ralph D. Feigin (the Texas Children’s Hospital Historical Archives are the MHC’s IC 042). In addition, the Houston History Project at UH has an interview with former TMC head Richard Wainerdi (MHC’s MS 202).

And, of course, no mention of resources spread across multiple Texas archives would be complete without an acknowledgement of our statewide portal, Texas Archival Resources Online. There researchers can search these and other archives across the state and discover a rich variety of holdings—in Texas medical history, or virtually any other topic. And, closer to home, the Archivists of the Houston Area maintain a Guide to Local Repositories.

Hopefully the updates to our finding aids will help researchers better navigate the rich array of archival resources located across the Houston/Galveston region.

Do you know of other people or organizations whose archives appear at both the MHC and elsewhere? Let us know!

Image Credits

Posted in Medical Archives

Films on Mental Health Services in Houston

Members of the Junior League of Houston. [Screenshot from "Help Wanted" (1958), AVF.MS238.001, MS 238 Films on Mental Health provided by Bill Schnapp, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

by Kelly Strickland, Archives Intern

The Texas Medical Center Library, McGovern Historical Center recently processed and put on our website two historical films on the mental health services in Houston, Texas. The films which range from 1958 to 1998 were donated by Dr. William Schnapp.

The first film, called “Help Wanted,” was created 1958 by the Junior League of Houston to give an overview of the various mental health facilities and services in Houston.

Members of the Junior League of Houston. [Screenshot from "Help Wanted" (1958), AVF.MS238.001, MS 238 Films on Mental Health provided by Bill Schnapp, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]
Members of the Junior League of Houston. [Screenshot from “Help Wanted” (1958), AVF.MS238.001, MS 238 Films on Mental Health provided by Bill Schnapp, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

Methodist Hospital and Jefferson Davis Hospital were both places that cared for mental health patients. The film shows images of Methodist Hospital from the 1950s! It also covers the education opportunities for psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers at the University of Houston and Baylor College of Medicine at the time.

The Methodist Hospital. [Screenshot from "Help Wanted" (1958), AVF.MS238.001, MS 238 Films on Mental Health provided by Bill Schnapp, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]
The Methodist Hospital. [Screenshot from “Help Wanted” (1958), AVF.MS238.001, MS 238 Films on Mental Health provided by Bill Schnapp, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]
Mental health professionals going over patient information. [Screenshot from "Help Wanted" (1958), AVF.MS238.001, MS 238 Films on Mental Health provided by Bill Schnapp, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]
Mental health professionals going over patient information. [Screenshot from “Help Wanted” (1958), AVF.MS238.001, MS 238 Films on Mental Health provided by Bill Schnapp, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]
Technology used to assess mental health patients. [Screenshot from "Help Wanted" (1958), AVF.MS238.001, MS 238 Films on Mental Health provided by Bill Schnapp, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]
Technology used to assess mental health patients. [Screenshot from “Help Wanted” (1958), AVF.MS238.001, MS 238 Films on Mental Health provided by Bill Schnapp, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

“Help Wanted” was narrated by Esme Patterson Gunn, former president of the Junior League of Houston, 1946-1947. We suspect her husband Ralph Gunn was the famous landscape architect behind the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Rienzi building. 

The second film, “In Their Shoes,” is a more recent look at mental health services in Houston. It was produced by Dr. Schnapp, psychiatrist Dr. Spencer Bayles, and the Mental Health Needs Council of Houston in 1998. It gives first hand accounts of mental illness as well as explanations of these illnesses by doctors from the UT Mental Sciences Institute, the Harris County Psychiatric Center, and other Houston-based organizations.

Despite the four decades in between the films, they both speak to similar themes: lack of funding for mental health services and the need to improve the services. 

The films are also interesting because they show different scenes from around Houston. The pictures here show downtown, a neighborhood, and a church.

Downtown Houston. [Screenshot from "Help Wanted" (1958), AVF.MS238.001, MS 238 Films on Mental Health provided by Bill Schnapp, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]
Downtown Houston. [Screenshot from “Help Wanted” (1958), AVF.MS238.001, MS 238 Films on Mental Health provided by Bill Schnapp, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]
Neighborhood block in Houston. [Screenshot from "Help Wanted" (1958), AVF.MS238.001, MS 238 Films on Mental Health provided by Bill Schnapp, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]
Neighborhood block in Houston. [Screenshot from “Help Wanted” (1958), AVF.MS238.001, MS 238 Films on Mental Health provided by Bill Schnapp, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]
St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Houston. [Screenshot from "In Their Shoes" (1998), AVV.MS238.001, MS 238 Films on Mental Health provided by Bill Schnapp, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Houston. [Screenshot from “In Their Shoes” (1998), AVV.MS238.001, MS 238 Films on Mental Health provided by Bill Schnapp, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

The collection also includes a transcript of “Help Wanted” and a written list of credits for both movies.

If anyone has any more information on these films or notice any other Houston-related details, please click on the Help Describe This Item link under the Notes section for either “Help Wanted” or “In Their Shoes.”

Posted in Audiovisual, Digital Collection

Graphic works sub-inventory for R. Lee Clark, MD papers

R. Lee Clark (1906-1994) was a founder of the Medical Center and specifically of UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. His collection, MS 070, is filled with valuable information and is one of our most heavily-used assets.

It is also one of our biggest–the record tells me it’s 420 cubic feet, or 816 boxes. If you’re wondering what that looks like, it is a literal wall of boxes.

Also, it’s still organized in our older system of Collection > Series > Box > Folder, which can lead to some confusion in inventories of very large collections because if what you want is in box 28, you have to scroll back to see if it’s Series III, Box 28 or Series VIII, Box 28 or Series X, Box 28.

To make specialized searching a little easier we’ve created a sub-inventory that lists graphic works: Photographs, articles with illustrations, artwork, and charts.

The Clark graphic works sub-inventory can be viewed here on our website.

Since we spent all that time searching the finding aid for graphic works, confirming that there were, in fact, graphic works in the folders listed, and updating format and descriptive information, we thought we deserved to have a little fun by scanning a few of them to share on the blog.

Here is Dr. Clark with interviewer N. Don Macon (MS070 Series III, Box 112, folder 6):

Macon did extensive interviews on lots of Texas Medical Center personnel. The McGovern Historical Center has both recordings and transcripts of a lot of his TMC work. Thank you for Dr. Bryant Boutwell for bringing this image to our attention.

Army Hospital Tent, 1945 (MS070 Series II, Box 9, folder 17):

Dr. Clark was in the US Army Medical Corps during World War II. This image, which I assume is staged since it’s pristine and carefully-lit, but is still interesting, is of a well-equipped Army medical tent.

Clark and someone else on the grounds of the Baker Estate, circa 1949 (MS070 Series VIII, Box 58, folder 1):

The Baker Estate was the first home of MD Anderson Cancer Hospital. Clark is here in front of the laboratory building with the house in the background.

What is now UT MD Anderson Cancer Center is Institutional Collection 014 at the McGovern Historical Center.

Captain James A. Baker (1857-1941) was an attorney and banker and an associate of William Marsh Rice. He left “The Oaks” to Rice University, which sold it to the Cancer Hospital. He was credited with solving Rice’s 1900 murder and defending his will against a forgery. His papers are held by the Woodson Research Center at Rice University.

Baker Estate, before (MS070 Series X, Box 29, folder 6):

The stables-turned-laboratory from the previous image under reconstruction, circa 1948.

Baker Estate, after (MS070 Series X, Box 29, folder 6):

. . . and that’s what the laboratory building looked like when it was completed. There are also a few shots of the interior, which was extremely plain and painted white.

MD Anderson Cancer Hospital, circa 1958 (MS070 Series VIII, Box 188, folder 3):

This is the hospital’s second home–it’s still there, buried under decades of additions. It opened in 1954 but you can tell from the cars that this is a few years later. The big dark-colored car to the left of the no-parking sign is a 1958 Buick.

Check out this sweet little 1950 Studebaker Champion.

Patients being wheeled into the new hospital, 1954 (MS070 Series VIII, Box 185, folder 5):

Patients being wheeled on gurneys into the new Cancer Hospital. Note the distinctive swirly stone on the exterior walls.

“First cobalt unit”, circa 1954 (MS070 Series VIII, Box 185, folder 7):

If you want more information on the particulars of cobalt-60-based gamma ray therapy you’ll need to ask someone else, but this was apparently the Cancer Hospital’s first cobalt unit. This is part of a large series of images that we think might have been a tour when the 1954 building first opened.

The Cancer Hospital’s inner workings, circa 1954 (MS070 Series VIII, Box 58, folder 6):

There are a lot of slides of what might be described as the bowels of the hospital, but unfortunately little to no documentation of what they are. This might be part of the laundry?

Nurse paging a patient (MS070 Series VIII, Box 188, folder 4):

It’s fun to see pictures of little everyday things. This collection suffered some water damage during Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, when the Texas Medical Center Library archives were stored in the street level, which is about half underground, of the Jesse Jones library building. The archives have been in a warehouse near the South Loop, well above ground, since 2002. This photo was apparently housed next to something blue.

Nurse wields a Geiger counter next to transport van (MS070 Series VIII, Box 188, folder 4):

I think this might be part of a series of images of a large, um, apparatus, of some sort being unloaded from a truck. I have to wonder here what the van driver thought of all this.

Unspecified event, possibly the grand opening, circa 1954 (MS070 Series VIII, Box 188, folder 4):

A Red Cross nurse serves drinks to some people with much better fashion sense than mine.

People in costumes (MS070 Series VIII, Box 189, folder 1):

There were apparently plays put on either to entertain patients as the audience, or entertain patients as the actors, or maybe both? Alas, these also have no documentation.

Centurions.

Resisting the devil. This looks like a pretty sophisticated set! The woman’s arm posture makes me wonder if this involved dance.

. . . I’m sure animal costumes seemed like a good idea at the time but this feels a bit ominous.

Cleaning the halls, circa 1950s (MS070 Series VIII, Box 188, folder 3):

This is part of a large set of photos that were rejected for use in a history of the first twenty years of MD Anderson. This one was apparently considered since it’s been edited.

“Volunteer ham radio operator who used to send messages to patients’ home town[s]”, 1950s (MS070 Series VIII, Box 185, folder 7):

Another one that didn’t quite make it into the book. It did not fare well in TS Allison but it’s still a fun bit of history.

Truman Blocker, circa 1980 (MS070 Series XIV, Box 1, folder 23), surgeon and educator for whom UTMB Galveston’s archives and rare book collections at the Moody Medical Library are named.

Franz Enzinger and Wataru Sutow, 1976 (MS070 Series XIV, Box 1, folder 23):

Franz Enzinger was a notable Austrian pathologist and Wataru Sutow was a pediatric oncologist who worked for the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission and then later for MD Anderson Cancer Hospital. Sutow is Manuscript Collection 035 here at the McGovern Research Center. A number of ABCC physicians and researchers also worked for the Cancer Hospital because of their familiarity with the effects of radiation.

One of the funny things about working here–and probably in a lot of other institutions–is that you get really used to seeing pictures of people like Clark, Blocker, and Sutow and they start to seem like distant uncles.

Last but not least . . .

Fluffy contemplates the meaning of life, September 1974 (MS070 Series VIII, Box 409, folder7):

This kitten’s name wasn’t given but “Fluffy” seems appropriate. And she might just have been reconsidering her choice of bed linens. We do know, though, that the world has never been able to resist a cute cat. This is one of many personal and travel photos, but I’m not sure where it was taken.

Also not to be overlooked: This is in box 409. Of a single series. I told you this collection was big.

Posted in Medical Archives

Paul Lensky, MD Photograph Collection

by Matt Richardson, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

The Texas Medical Center Library, McGovern Historical Center is excited to announce the availability of the MS 236 Paul Lensky, MD Photograph Collection. A complete guide to the collection has now been published, and all 27 black and white snapshots have been digitized and posted online.

[?], Weller, Homer Allgood. Jeff Davis, 1947-1948
Fred Weller, Homer Allgood, and another man on the hospital roof. MS236-014, Paul Lensky Photograph Collection, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library

Dr. Paul Lenksy was a pediatrician practicing in Houston. The snapshots in this collection date from 1947-1948, when he was recently out of the University of Texas’ medical school and working at Jefferson Davis Hospital in Houston.

The images depict Dr. Lensky’s friends and colleagues—often hanging out on the Hospital’s rooftop! Dr. Lenksy’s photographs is a glimpse into the lives of a group of young doctors and their colleagues: socializing, sunbathing, and even taking the occasional trip to Mexico.

After Dr. Lensky’s time at Jefferson Davis, he went on to practice at Hermann Hospital and Texas Children’s Hospital. For more on Dr. Lensky’s life and career, check out our Biographical Note. We were able to piece together a good chunk of his CV, as well as his social life, by consulting a number of articles available on the Houston Chronicle Historical Archive via the Houston Public Library. The paper reported Dr. Lensky’s medical school graduation, his internship and residency, and his marriage to Eleanor Ruth Waldman–not to mention some of the parties the couple attended!

Thankfully, each photograph has the names of the people pictured written on the back, and this information has been added to our searchable descriptions. There were a couple of instances where we couldn’t quite make out the handwriting, so please send us an email if you recognize someone.

One added bonus of the rooftop perspective is that several photographs also show the surrounding neighborhoods, including Buffalo Drive and the San Felipe Courts in Houston’s Fourth Ward.

View of Houston, 1948
San Felipe Courts in Houston’s Fourth Ward with downtown in the distance, as seen from the hospital. MS236-014, Paul Lensky Photograph Collection, McGovern Historical Center, TMC Library

Since distinguishing between Houston’s two historical Jefferson Davis Hospitals can get a little tricky, views like these–along with the dates on the backs of the photographs–helped us pin down the right location.

Houston’s original Jefferson Davis Hospital was located at 1101 Elder Street in the First Ward. That Hospital operated from 1924-1938, in a four-story brick building designed in Classical-revival style. While the Hospital closed up shop long ago, the building itself still stands. The later Jefferson Davis Hospital—where Dr. Lensky’s photographs are largely set—was located along Buffalo Drive (now Allen Parkway) in the Fourth Ward. The new building was noticeably more modern and more vertical. Designed in Art Deco style, those facilities date from 1937, and were demolished in 1999. To help navigate this bit of historical geography, our descriptions of the photographs include geographic coordinates indicating the Hospital site where most of the shots were taken.

To learn more about the collection and see the rest of the photographs, click on over to https://archives.library.tmc.edu/ms-236.

Posted in Hospitals, Images, Manuscript Collection, Medical Archives

Oral History of Mylie E. Durham, Jr.

Audio Cassette from the Mylie E. Durham, Jr., MD papers. [McGovern Historical Center, MS 079 Mylie Durham papers, AVA.MS079.001]

by Yasmin Ali, Archives Intern

The TMC Library, McGovern Historical Center is proud to announce that the of the Mylie E. Durham oral history audio and typescripts are available online. The interviews were conducted by Ellen Durckel and the Harris County Medical Society in 1985. Topics include Dr. Durham’s childhood, education, personal and professional life, military history, and much more. The documents and audio cover the periods from 1940-1985, mostly centered around Houston and the medical field.

You can explore the collection and listen Dr. Durham on the McGovern collection site, https://archives.library.tmc.edu/ms-079.

Posted in Audiovisual, Digital Collection, Manuscript Collection

Dr. Richard Wainerdi, 1931-2021

Collage of contact sheet frames featuring Dr. Richard E. Wainerdi in his office. [McGovern Historical Center, IC 002 Texas Medical Center records, Box 56]

by Alethea Drexler, Archives Assistant Lead

On March 17, 2021 the Texas Medical Center lost long-time leader Richard E. Wainerdi. 

Dr. Wainerdi had an interesting and diverse career. Following a stint in the Air Force, Dr. Wainerdi earned a Master’s and then a Ph.D. in engineering at Pennsylvania State University.  He began his career in nuclear engineering at Dresser Industries before moving to Texas to teach nuclear and petroleum engineering at Texas A&M University.  In twenty years at TAMU he established TAMU’s Nuclear Science Center and contributed to the foundation of both its Cyclotron Institute and its College of Medicine.  In 1977 he moved on to 3D/International and then, in 1982, to Gulf Oil.

In 1984, Dr. Wainerdi accepted what he expected to be a short-term position as president of the Texas Medical Center (TMC).  He stayed for twenty-eight years. Dr. Wainerdi’s combined experience in academics, research, and business uniquely prepared him to build the TMC into the burgeoning medical complex we know today.  He encouraged institutions to collaborate and complement each other’s expertise.  Even after his retirement as President Emeritus in 2012 he remained a supporter of the TMC as a whole, of individual member institutions, and of numerous charitable organizations.

The McGovern Historical Center holds two collections that Dr. Wainerdi generously donated.

Richard E. Wainerdi, Ph.D papers: contains Dr. Wainerdi’s personal papers and administrative records related to his work as president of the TMC.

Richard Wainerdi’s Texas Medical Center Memorabilia Collection: contains three-dimensional objects presented to Dr. Wainerdi during his tenure as president of the Texas Medical Center. The collection includes numerous scrolls, fabrics, desktop items such as paper weights, pen sets, commemorative plaques, ceramic, toy-like models and other objects. Many items came from Houston-area institutions and businesses as well as numerous international organizations.

Explore our collection site for other collections that contain materials related to Dr. Wainerdi.

Images of Dr. Wainerdi

Image of Dr. Richard E. Wainerdi at lectern. [McGovern Historical Center, IC 002 Texas Medical Center records, Box 56]
Dr. Richard E. Wainerdi at a lectern. [McGovern Historical Center, IC 002 Texas Medical Center records, Box 56]
Image of Dr. Richard E. Wainerdi with Marvin Zindler at Shriners. [McGovern Historical Center, IC 002 Texas Medical Center records, Box 56]
Dr. Richard E. Wainerdi with Marvin Zindler at Shriners. [McGovern Historical Center, IC 002 Texas Medical Center records, Box 56]
Detail of contact sheet featuring frames of Dr. Richard E. Wainerdi in his office. [McGovern Historical Center, IC 002 Texas Medical Center records, Box 56]
Detail of contact sheet featuring frames of Dr. Richard E. Wainerdi in his office. [McGovern Historical Center, IC 002 Texas Medical Center records, Box 56]
Posted in Institutional Collection, Manuscript Collection, Medical Archives

Hilde Bruch and Harry Stack Sullivan

Photographs of Hilde Bruch taken at a Symposium on Nutrition and Psyche. Photographer: Foto Moraglia Imperia. [McGovern Historical Center, MS 007 Hilde Bruch, MD papers, MS007-P3444-001]

by Hannah Towbin, Student, Medical Humanities, Rice University I had the great opportunity to listen to recordings by Hilde Bruch and Harry Stack Sullivan as part of my Medical Humanities Practicum at Rice University. I had next to no experience dealing with the archival process, but I was interested in the ways in which archivists set out to select what is worthy or archiving, how to organize what is archived, and how to disseminate the information to the public. Though my studies are focused more towards science and medicine, I have acknowledged and appreciated the importance of history and being aware of past events and persons. Thanks to my phenomenal mentor, Phil Montgomery, I was able to interact closely with the materials I studied and garner new appreciation for the work of archivists.

One of my very first assignments under the guidance of Phil Montgomery was to listen and describe recordings from Hilde Bruch and Harry Stack Sullivan, two renowned psychiatrists during the early 20th century. My job was to listen to the recordings, describe the contents of the recordings, and process them by listing important features of the recordings, such as the date, the medium on which they were recorded, the language, keywords, and other important elements. Upon my first run-through of the recordings, I realized that a working knowledge of who these psychiatrists were and what they were passionate about would make the descriptions easier to elucidate. As such, I spent a good deal of time researching both Hilde Bruch and Harry Stack Sullivan, reading about their areas of interest, finding out about their backgrounds and motivations, and even reading through some of their written works. With those elements of their persons in mind, I was able to appreciate what each had to say in their respective recordings much more than I would have without that research.

Harry Stack Sullivan was an influential American psychiatrist in the early 20th Century. He developed the foundations of interpersonal psychoanalysis in which the basis of psychiatric treatment should connect an individual’s personality to the larger context of interpersonal relationships within their life. Hilde Bruch was a German-born American psychiatrist who studied under Sullivan among other leaders in social psychiatry and expanded research into eating disorders.

The Hilde Bruch, MD papers at the McGovern Historical Center contain correspondence, research, published works, and patient records. Perhaps, most interesting, the collection contains wire recordings of Harry Stack Sullivan talking to Hilde Bruch about child anxiety, social behaviors, interpersonal experience and the “self system,” and personality. During his lifetime, Sullivan did not publish many books, so these recordings are very unique, providing lectures on his studies in his own words. Other recordings feature more personal content, like Hilde Bruch dictating letters to various colleagues and family, or what might be Sullivan and Bruch discussing different people as well as directions to certain locations and scheduling for future meetings.

The entire collection of Hilde Bruch, MD papers is searchable to the folder-level on our collection, https://archives.library.tmc.edu/ms-007

Materials related to Harry Stack Sullivan including wire recordings: https://archives.library.tmc.edu/ms007-s10

Interview with Harry Stack Sullivan, part 1 of 6. Recording contains a lecture on infants evoking the “good mother” in order to survive in the early stages of life. [McGovern Historical Center, MS 007 Hilde Bruch, MD papers, AVA.MS007.012]

Images of Hilde Bruch

Photograph. Schilder Society, Annual Dinner, 1949. Dr. Hilde Bruch is pictured third on the right along the wall. [McGovern Historical Center, MS 007 Hilde Bruch, MD papers, MS007-OV225-003]
Photograph. Schilder Society, Annual Dinner, 1949. Dr. Hilde Bruch is pictured third on the right along the wall. [McGovern Historical Center, MS 007 Hilde Bruch, MD papers, MS007-OV225-003]
Photographs of Hilde Bruch taken at a Symposium on Nutrition and Psyche. Photographer: Foto Moraglia Imperia. [McGovern Historical Center, MS 007 Hilde Bruch, MD papers, MS007-P3444-001]
Photographs of Hilde Bruch taken at a Symposium on Nutrition and Psyche. Photographer: Foto Moraglia Imperia. [McGovern Historical Center, MS 007 Hilde Bruch, MD papers, MS007-P3444-001]
Portrait of Hilde Bruch with her book Eating Disorders. [McGovern Historical Center, MS 007 Hilde Bruch, MD papers, MS007-P3706-001]
Portrait of Hilde Bruch with her book Eating Disorders. [McGovern Historical Center, MS 007 Hilde Bruch, MD papers, MS007-P3706-001]
Drs. Robert P. Williams, Hilde Bruch and Michael E. DeBakey. [McGovern Historical Center, MS 007 Hilde Bruch, MD papers, MS007-P3402-001]
Drs. Robert P. Williams, Hilde Bruch and Michael E. DeBakey. [McGovern Historical Center, MS 007 Hilde Bruch, MD papers, MS007-P3402-001]
Posted in Audiovisual, Digital Collection, Manuscript Collection

An Initial Overview of Radiation Effects

Screenshot of project site for An Initial Overview of Radiation Effects created by Sachi Khemka

by Sachi Khemka, Student, Medical Humanities, Rice University

During the Fall of 2020, I worked with the Dr. Armin Weinberg and the McGovern Historical Center on a practicum project, An Initial Overview of Radiation Effects. You can view the project site at https://digitalprojects.rice.edu/radiationeffects/.

The utility of radiation is vast and complex as it can be used for cancer treatment, medical diagnostic tests, environmental sustainability, and space exploration; however, at the same time, large-scale radiation events such as the Chernobyl explosion, a disaster that affected more than 3.5 million people, can induce public anxiety and result in adverse health effects such as certain cancers and acute radiation syndrome. The project includes a series of interviews discussing not only the health effects of radiation but also the cultural, social, and political effects that radiation exposure and disasters can have on the public. Common themes seen across the series of interviews are the use of outdated treatments, the differences in treatment between countries, the necessity for effective communication with the public, and more. Personally, through these interviews, I was able to gain a more comprehensive overview of the effects of radiation as well as its utility outside of a medicinal context. I learned that some radiation events have captured the public’s attention, like the Chernobyl disaster, while others have not, such as the nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands. By learning about some of these unspoken radiation events, I was able to better understand the role of ethics and the importance of transparency in the context of radiation events and nuclear testing.

Posted in Radiation Effects and Events

COVID-19 Pandemic and Lessons from Chernobyl

Photograph of finished “Shelter” at Chernobyl, Ukraine, c. 1990. MS211 Armin Weinberg, PhD papers, TMC Library, McGovern Historical Center.

by Armin D. Weinberg, PhD

April 26 is the date in 1986 when the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident occurred. April 26 is a day in 2020 that we find the world, our country, our community considering how to move forward with the uncertainty, fear and realities of the COVID-19 Pandemic. There have been those who describe Wuhan as China’s Chernobyl. I believe time, data, scholarly analysis and transparency are the equivalent to our finding effective treatment and a vaccine for the virus itself. As someone who participated in studying the impact of Chernobyl in the initial decade following the accident I have the advantage of looking back and understanding how the intersection of science, public policy and government played out. It made designing studies difficult where even those with data about exposure came to view it as a commodity. I hope the many lessons, such as this, will permit us to manage the current Pandemic better. The advent of social media and the decline in trust of the traditional media may well prove to be a critical variable that frankly didn’t exist in the Chernobyl incident. In short the time for information dissemination, transmission of facts are countered by rumor, intentional misinformation, and there appears no natural buffering of these by time. It now is instantaneous. Ultimately it is my hope that the efforts to share what was learned through our archive’s collections will prove helpful to those now beginning to manage and study this COVID-19 pandemic.

For more details about the McGovern Historical Center’s Radiation Effects & Events, library.tmc.edu/mcgovern/radiation

See a list of collections related to Radiation Effects & Events.

Posted in Radiation Effects and Events

Explore Our Collections in Detail

Image of The TMC Library, McGovern Historical Center’s collection search website.

Finding historical information about the people and institutions in the Texas Medical Center just got easier! We’re excited to launch a web-based tool that simplifies online research of our collections. Researchers can search across all 323 collections and over 53,000 individual item descriptions. The site provides access to more than 1,200 digital images and documents with more to come.

To visit the site go to https://archives.library.tmc.edu/. There are also handy links throughout our main website.

Image of main McGovern Historical Center website homepage highlighting links to collection search site.

Image of main McGovern Historical Center website homepage highlighting links to collection search site.

The platform is an archival management system called Access To Memory (AtoM) that is developed and maintained by Artefactual Systems. AtoM is a web-based, open source application for standards-based archival description and access.

We first learned about AtoM by working with archivists and archival graduate students in Japan on a project to make records from the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) available online. Since the McGovern Historical Center has a large collection of ABCC materials, adopting AtoM for the entire TMC-related collection seemed like a natural evolution. The process of testing and implementing AtoM took more than five years.

“Our decision to use AtoM developed through our international collaborations over the last few years,” said Philip Montgomery, Head of the McGovern Historical Center. “AtoM is based on international standards and facilitates access to materials in several languages. It’s easy to use for everyone — researchers as well as archives staff.”

Check out the images below and start exploring for yourself at https://archives.library.tmc.edu/.

Image of The TMC Library, McGovern Historical Center’s collection search website.

Image of The TMC Library, McGovern Historical Center’s collection search website.

Image of The TMC Library, McGovern Historical Center’s collection search website list of collections.

Image of The TMC Library, McGovern Historical Center’s collection search website list of collections.

Image of The TMC Library, McGovern Historical Center’s collection search website digital objects.

Image of The TMC Library, McGovern Historical Center’s collection search website digital objects.

 

Posted in Archives, Special Collections
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