Tribute to Dr. Schull

Jack Schull in the Special Projects Building mid 1960s [MS 170 Schull Photo Collection, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

McGovern Historical Center Staff

The McGovern Historical Center has lost a dear friend and staunchest advocate this week, Dr. William “Jack” Schull. He died Tuesday morning at his home.

Dr. William "Jack" Schull in archive of the McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.

Dr. William “Jack” Schull in archive of the McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.

Dr. Schull was the guiding force behind our extensive Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) collection. Using the many contacts that he cultivated during his work in Japan for ABCC and in the Texas Medical Center, he was able to preserve the personal papers of many physicians and scientists in the areas of radiation research and genetics. He promoted multicultural projects between archivists in Japan and the United States. (You can read about the ceremony that marked the culmination of a 4-year international project at the TMC News.) Most recently, he strongly endorsed the Radiation Effects & Events Archive Project, which is an expansion of the ABCC project.

Left to right, William J. Schull, Ph.D., professor emeritus of genetics and epidemiology at the School of Public Health at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Masahito Ando, Ph.D., a professor of archival science at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, Japan; Philip Montgomery, MLIS, CA, head of the TMC Library's McGovern Historical Center; and archivist and historian Kaori Maekawa. (Credit: Maggie Galehouse, TMC News)

At the project closing ceremony, Left to right, William J. Schull, Ph.D., professor emeritus of genetics and epidemiology at the School of Public Health at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Masahito Ando, Ph.D., a professor of archival science at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, Japan; Philip Montgomery, MLIS, CA, head of the TMC Library’s McGovern Historical Center; and archivist and historian Kaori Maekawa. (Credit: Maggie Galehouse, TMC News)

In addition to many of his ABCC colleagues, he has two personal collections preserved in the McGovern Historical Center:

We had an ongoing collaborative project with him to utilize facial recognition tools to identify thousands of people in his photograph collection. He was always seeking newer and better tools to collect information. In fact, he provided the archive with a couple of Mac computers to facilitate these projects. If you love pilot project documentation, you’ll find the facial recognition project report by our former Metadata Intern and Project Archivist, Kiersten Bryant, very fascinating! The project speaks volumes about Dr. Schull’s commitment to the archive.

Screenshot of Dr. Schull's Photoshop Elements catalog where he tagged as many people as he could remember. Dr. Schull appears in the center of the screen. He identified 140 people in 5400 images.

Screenshot of Dr. Schull’s Photoshop Elements catalog where he tagged as many people as he could remember. Dr. Schull appears in the center of the screen. He identified 140 people in 5400 images.

Dr. Schull will be greatly missed at the archive, but his life, legacy, and influence lives on in every collection he helped preserve.

Learn more about Dr. Schull, and we invite you to leave a thought or memory about Dr. Schull in the comments below.

Posted in ABCC, Dr. Schull, Japan, Manuscript Collection, Radiation Effects and Events

Mad for Mading: A Glimpse Into the Past of Public Health

Snapshot of books on shelf from Mading Collection

Keya Gokhale
Special Collections Intern

Are you a current public health student or researcher? Do you just love old books? Come check out the Mading collection at the McGovern Historical Center! It is a one-stop shop for information regarding the worldwide history of public health. It has works dating back as far as 1767, all the way up to the mid 20th century. Topics covered include yellow fever, cholera, public sanitation, typhoid, epidemics, typhus, sex education, and infant nutrition. It is fascinating to see how attitudes and information regarding these topics have changed over the last couple of hundred years. Notable authors include Daniel Defoe, Absalom Jones, and Benjamin Rush.

Titles available include:

Dreadful Visitation: in a Short Account of the Progress and Effects of the Plague, the Last Time it Spread in the City of London, in the Year 1665. By Daniel Defoe. | This pamphlet is the oldest work in the collection, being published in 1767. Its author, Daniel Defoe, is best known for his book Robinson Crusoe.

 

Town and Country Friend and Physician : or, An Affectionate Address on the Preservation of Health, and the Removal of Disease on its First Appearance. By James Parkinson. | Dr. Parkinson left this small handbook to his community upon his retirement. It was meant to serve as a reference guide to treating life’s ailments in his absence.

Town and country friend and physician : or, An affectionate address on the preservation of health, and the removal of disease on its first appearance. By James Parkinson-1803. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Town and Country Friend and Physician : or, An Affectionate Address on the Preservation of Health, and the Removal of Disease on its First Appearance. James Parkinson. 1803. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Account of the Bilious Remitting Yellow Fever : as it Appeared in the City of Philadelphia, in the Year 1793. By Benjamin Rush. | Benjamin Rush was a physician and one of the founding fathers of the United States.

 

Chemical and Physical Analysis of Milk, Condensed Milk, and Infants’ Milk-Foods, with Special Regard to Hygiene and Sanitary Milk Inspection : a Labor. By Nicholas Gerber. | This book provides an interesting look at different types of milk and infant feeding options in 1882. Written by the founder of the Gerber Method. 

Chemical and Physical Analysis of Milk, Condensed Milk, and infants' milk-foods, with special regard to hygiene and sanitary milk inspection : a labor. Nicholas Gerber. 1882. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Chemical and Physical Analysis of Milk, Condensed Milk, and Infants’ Milk-Foods, With Special Regard to Hygiene and Sanitary Milk Inspection : a Labor. Nicholas Gerber. 1882. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Narrative of the Proceedings of the Black People : During the Late Awful Calamity in Philadelphia, in the Year 1793: and a refutation of some censures. By Absalom Jones. | Absalom Jones was the first African American ordained priest in the United States.

 

New York (N.Y.). Mayor’s Committee on Public Baths and Public Comfort Stations. Report by the Mayor’s Committee of New York. | Believe it or not, public baths were still popular in New York City in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This book, published in 1897, examines ways to improve the city’s baths and make them more sanitary.

New York (N.Y.). Mayor's Committee on Public Baths and Public Comfort Stations. Report by the Mayor’s Committee of New York-1897. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

New York (N.Y.). Mayor’s Committee on Public Baths and Public Comfort Stations. Report by the Mayor’s Committee of New York. 1897. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Sex Instruction in Public Schools. By Willard Beatty. | This pamphlet from 1936 provides a surprisingly insightful and modern outlook on sex education in schools.

 

Treatise Upon the Causes, Prevention, and Cure of Fever and Ague, and All Forms of Miasmatic Diseases : Sanative Rules for Those Living in Malarious Districts. By W. Griswold. | In the early 1800’s, it was commonly believed that “bad air” or “miasmas” were the means by which infection spread. It was not until later that the germ theory of infection gained popularity.

 

Other items from the collection shown below. Look how unique looking some are!

Map of London from the mid 1800's. From "Snow on Cholera" by John Snow. 1936 edition. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Map of London from the mid 1800’s. From “Snow on Cholera” by John Snow. 1936 edition. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Insanity and Insane Asylums. E.T. Wilkins. 1872. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Insanity and Insane Asylums. E.T. Wilkins. 1872. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Reports from the Massachusetts state board of health. 1897-1915. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Reports from the Massachusetts state board of health. 1897-1915. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Summer and its Diseases. By J. C. Wilson-1879. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Summer and its Diseases. J. C. Wilson. 1879. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

 

Posted in Mading Collection, Public Health, Rare Books, Special Collections

Anniversary of the Accident at Chernobyl

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

Sandra Yates
Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

Thirty-one years ago today on April 26, 1986, the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant occurred. It is considered one of the most catastrophic nuclear accidents in history.

To recognize the anniversary of this event, I’d like to share an item from the Armin Weinberg, PhD papers (MS211). “Accident at Chernobyl NPS and Its Lessons” is a booklet of twenty-four 35mm slides that outlines the events and actions taken after the Chernobyl accident. The booklet was provided to Dr. Weinberg and other international scientists studying the event and the effects of low-dose radiation in the region.

Accident at Chernobyl NPS and Its Lessons, 1990

View item at the Internet Archive

This is an exciting time at the McGovern Historical Center as we begin the Radiation Effects & Events Archive Project. Working with Dr. Weinberg at Baylor College of Medicine and Dr. William “Jack” Schull, Professor Emeritus of Human Genetics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, we are expanding on our Atomic Bomb Causality Commission collections to encompass other areas where ionized radiation has affected the world.

For more information about the Radiation Effects & Events Archive Project, please visit the Radiation Effects & Events Archive Project page on our website.

Image of flyer that provides an overview and images fro the Radiation Effects & Events Archive Project of the Texas Medical Center Library, McGovern Historical Center.

Download the Radiation Effects & Events Archive Project Flyer (PDF).

Posted in ABCC, Radiation Effects and Events

Scholar-in-Residence

By Philip Montgomery
Head of the McGovern Historical Center

Sophia Hsu, a doctoral candidate at Rice University, is the first Scholar-in-Residence at the McGovern Historical Center.

The Scholar-in-Residence program is designed to allow researchers access to the McGovern Historical Center archives and special collections. The program encourages scholarly research and collaboration, teaching, and the use of social media.

The scholar-in-residence program allows a scholar with an interest in historical healthcare to embed themselves in the archive for one semester. During that time, the scholars can work in the stacks, which are usual off-limits to researchers, consult with archivists, acquire some hands-on archival experience, use the archive for their own classes and teaching, and explore.

Eventually, two to three scholars-in-residence will be able to work each semester at the McGovern Historical Center.

Hsu is a doctoral candidate in English at Rice University. With support from the Public Humanities Initiative Fellowship from Rice’s Humanities Research Center, she is currently finishing her dissertation, “Genres of Population: Biopolitics and the Victorian Novel,” which she will defend in March 2017. While this project examines how nineteenth-century British literature helped to shape ideas about the population and population health, her research and teaching interests expand beyond this focus to include first-year writing, gender and sexuality, literature and medicine, and postcolonial theory. Her work has appeared in English Language Notes and is forthcoming in Victorian Review.

As part of her work at the archive, Hsu will write one scholarly blog about her experience at the archive or a blog using materials in the archive related to her ongoing research.

Posted in Medical Archives, Outreach, Rare Books, Special Collections

E-Vesalius comes to TMC Library

 

By Philip Montgomery
Head of the McGovern Historical Center

The Electronic Vesalius project has come to the TMC Library. The e-Vesalius is a digital facsimile of Andreas Vesalius’ De Humani Corporis Fabrica, a landmark text of Renaissance anatomy that has been credited with inaugurating Western internal medicine.

The e-Vesalius is touch sensitive. Touching the symbols on the body brings up anatomical images and text from assorted historical anatomical texts.

ben-rasich

Rice Engineering student Ben Rasich poses next to the E-Vesalius he helped to create. The interactive “muscle man” shows historical views of anatomy.

This is a joint project, almost one year in the making, between the TMC Library’s McGovern Historical Center and various departments at Rice University, including the Humanities Research Center, Fondren Library’s Digital Scholarship Services, and the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen.  The project included humanities scholars, rare book librarians, and engineering students.

The e-Vesalius will be on display in the library until at least May 30, 2017. Faculty, students, staff and visitors are encouraged to explore the interactive e-Vesalius.

This life-size model is reproduced from a 1934 reprint of the book, made with the original 1543 woodcuts, except for the label “s” on the neck, which comes from the 1543 edition. The 1934 reprint has crisper images, which created a higher-quality scan suitable for this project. This is a one-of-a-kind project depicting one of the 14 anatomical views of the human body. Plans are being considered to develop a larger project with all 14 of Vesalius’ “muscle men.”

Collaborative projects are an important part of the work of the McGovern Historical Center. Using rare books in innovative ways inspires and challenges our understanding of the history of medicine.

Everyone at the McGovern Historical Center sincerely thanks the Rice team including faculty and staff John Mulligan, Matthew Wettergreen, and Ying Jin, as well Rice engineering students Benjamin Rasich and Isaac Philips. Their work was funded by a grant from the Rice Humanities Research Center’s public humanities initiative, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Posted in Anatomy, Archives, Medical Archives, Rare Books, Special Collections, Vesalius

How Dr. Cooley Changed Heart Surgery

Sandra Yates
Archivist & Special Collections Librarian

On November 18, 2016 the Texas Medical Center lost one of its most renowned pioneers in medicine. Dr. Denton A. Cooley revolutionized cardiovascular surgery, transforming open heart surgery from one of the most high-risk and high-mortality medical procedures to a low-risk and common life-saving procedure.

“… I think a major contribution that I made with my team here, that surgery could be done in a very practical and reproducible way…
~ Dr. Denton A. Cooley

Dr. Cooley, the founder of the Texas Heart Institute, attended the University of Texas and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he graduated in 1944. After serving in the Army Medical Corps and studying with Lord Russell Brock in London, he returned to his hometown of Houston, Texas to teach surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in the 1950s. The Texas Heart Institute was founded on August 3, 1962 in order to research and treat cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Among many innovations developed by Cooley and his colleagues at the Institute are the first implantation of an artificial heart, the first successful heart transplant in the United States, advances in treatment of congenital defects, and a number of prostheses and implants.

The McGovern Historical Center houses the IC043 Texas Heart Institute Film Collection which contains 277 reels of 16mm film and 86 videotapes. This collection contains films related to heart surgery at the Texas Medical Center, primarily during the 1960s and 1970s. Films are typically instructional with brief surgical and case histories at the beginning. The films follow the surgery step-by-step with voice over narration and diagrams inserted to illustrate the process and techniques used. Below is an example of one of these instructional films, many of which distributed by the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Cooley appears on camera to introduce each procedure.

Surgical Treatment of Ventricular Septal Defects: Technique & Results in 292 Cases, 1961

Dr. Cooley made heart surgery accessible to more patients, and he often took on cases that other doctors would not. He developed new techniques to reduce dependency on blood transfusions, making open heart surgery available to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

“In the early 1960s, I was able to show that we did not need to have a lot of blood to prime the system that was used. I showed that we could use what we called an electrolyte solution, a glucose solution, so you were not as dependent upon the blood bank to collect 8-10 units of blood on the day of surgery and then do the surgery that day. But after we showed that you could do it with this glucose solution, we would be able to operate on Jehovah’s Witnesses that would not even permit any kind of blood transfusion.” ~Dr. Denton A. Cooley

Open Heart Surgery in a Jehovah’s Witness: Repair Mitral Regurgitation, 1962

While the first artificial heart was one of his most notable achievements, Dr. Cooley developed prostheses and implants that repaired nearly every section of the heart, from arteries to heart valves. Below is a film demonstrating the Cooley-Meadox Double Velour Grafts. You will notice the product packaging, which exemplifies what Dr. Cooley expressed as his greatest contribution to medicine — practical and reproducible products for heart surgery.

Cooley-Meadox Double Velour Grafts in Vascular Surgery, circa 1976

In 2014 the McGovern Historical Center had 68 films from the Texas Heart Institute Film Collection digitized by the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI), and they are available for viewing on the 1st Floor of The TMC Library as well as in the Reading Room of the McGovern Historical Center.


[Sources: Texas Heart Institute website; The Houston Review of Houston History and Culture, vol. 2, no. 1, p.16-19; IC043 Texas Heart Institute Film Collection, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

Posted in Audiovisual, Cooley, Medical Archives, Texas Heart Institute

Dr. Bertner’s Tuxedo

Sandra Yates
Archivist & Special Collections Librarian

File this under “Not Your Typical Day in the Archive.” We are currently standardizing how materials are stored in the archive, which means rehousing materials in standard document boxes or relocating oversize materials to the oversize section. Our intern, Albert Duran, began rehousing a few oversize boxes in the MS 050 Mavis Kelsey collection this morning, and he made an amazing discovery — Dr. Bertner’s Tuxedo! We had no idea the archive had the white tie and tails tuxedo of one of the most influential personalities in the history of the Texas Medical Center! I should also mention that we have his summer dinner jacket as well.

Dr. Bertner gave Dr. Kelsey this suit of white tie and tails in 1949. Dr. Kelsey said it fit him perfectly! [MS 050 Mavis P. Kelsey, MD papers, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

Dr. Bertner gave Dr. Kelsey this suit of white tie and tails in 1949. Dr. Kelsey said it fit him perfectly! [MS 050 Mavis P. Kelsey, MD papers, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

The cuff links were still in the shirt sleeves. [MS 050 Mavis P. Kelsey, MD papers, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

The cuff links were still in the shirt sleeves. [MS 050 Mavis P. Kelsey, MD papers, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

We have found amazing Bertner materials in other collections: MS 004 William Seybold, MS 070 R. Lee Clark, and now MS 050 Mavis Kelsey. He keeps popping up, which says a lot about his influence in the TMC. You might remember that last year, we blogged about hearing his voice!

Very exciting day in the archive. You don't find the tuxedo of the first president of Texas Medical Center everyday! Archives Assistant, Alethea Drexler, tries to document the discovery. [MS 050 Mavis P. Kelsey, MD papers, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

Very exciting day in the archive! You don’t find the tuxedo of the first president of Texas Medical Center everyday. Archives Assistant, Alethea Drexler, tries to document the discovery. [MS 050 Mavis P. Kelsey, MD papers, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

Portrait of Dr. Mavis P. Kelsey, circa 1950s. Dr. Kelsey came to Houston in 1949. He started the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic with Dr. William D. Seybold. [MS 050 Mavis P. Kelsey, MD papers, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

Portrait of Dr. Mavis P. Kelsey, circa 1950s. Dr. Kelsey came to Houston in 1949. He started the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic with Dr. William D. Seybold. [MS 050 Mavis P. Kelsey, MD papers, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

Dr. Kelsey, one of the founders of the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, provided a handwritten account of how he received the tuxedo when he donated his collection. On ten sheets of note paper dated January 20, 1986, he wrote:

[This is] the dress “white tie and tails” and white summer dinner or tux jacket of Dr. E. W. Bertner, the man who conceived the idea of the Texas Medical Center, was the leader in its organization and became its first president. Truly the “Father of the Texas Medical Center.” Dr. Bertner gave me these clothes in 1949 when I came to Houston to practice medicine.

I officed in Dr. Bertner’s office in the Second National Bank downtown. When the Hermann Professional Building opened about May 1949, Dr. Bertner moved to his own offices there and I moved into an office next door.

Dr. Bertner was suffering from cancer and lived at the Rice Hotel. He and Mrs. Bertner belonged to the Assembly, an exclusive social club which still exists. In 1949 he and Mrs. Bertner invited my wife Mary and me to go to the Assembly Ball. He became ill and couldn’t go. He saw that his days were numbered and he asked me to take his white tie and tails and take Mary to the ball, while he and Mrs. Bertner stayed at home. We accepted the invitation. He then gave me his tails, his white dinner jacket and a black tuxedo – all his dress clothes. They all fit me perfectly. I have saved the tails and summer jacket, but somehow have misplaced the black tuxedo.

I always felt that Dr. Bertner’s dress clothes had historic significance for the Texas Medical Center and am very pleased to give them to the archives.

I have known Dr. E. W. Bertner since I was a pre-med student at Texas A&M. Dr. Bertner was the leading alumnus of the Alpha Kappa Kappa medical fraternity in Galveston. I was being rushed for pledge to AKK, and had already decided that I wanted to be an AKK. I had visited the AKK house in Galveston and heard about what a fine man Dr. Bertner was. So, I, along with some other Aggie pre-meds called on him and Dr. Kyle [possibly, J. Allen Kyle], each officed in the Second National Bank building.

We were cordially received and I considered him a friend from then on. He always came to the annual invitation banquet of AKK in Galveston and was “one of the boys.”

Later, while I was a fellow in Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, I served under Dr. Manfred Comfort, a fellow Texan and fellow AKK from Galveston. Dr. Comfort was a close friend of Dr. Bertner and Dr. Bertner came to the Mayo Clinic to see Dr. Comfort as a patient. I assisted in caring for Dr. Bertner while he was a patient.

I talked to Dr. Bertner about moving to Texas and developing a clinic. He wished me well and said that he had always wanted to build a clinic. After two years on the staff of the Mayo Clinic and after visiting several Texas cities to determine the best place to start a clinic, I decided to try to become part of the Texas Medical Center. I was greatly influenced by Dr. Bertner who encouraged me and offered to let me use his office while one was being built for me in the Hermann Professional Building.

So, I came to Houston, arriving on 15 January 1949. When I got to town I called Dr. Bertner. He told me he had two patients in Hermann Hospital waiting for me.

So that’s how I got to Houston, through the help of Dr. Bertner.

Mavis P. Kelsey, MD

Dr. Kelsey lived to be 101 years old and made significant contributions to Houston and the Texas Medical Center in his own right. You can learn more about his collection in the finding aid for MS 050 Mavis P. Kelsey, MS papers.

Dr. E. W. Bertner (left), President of the Texas Medical Center, receives a certificate from Leland Anderson (center) and Bishop Clinton S. Quinn at the Texas Medical Center Dedication Dinner, February 28, 1946. [IC 098 TMC Library Historical Photograph Collection, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

Possibly the black tuxedo that Dr. Kelsey lost track of! Dr. E. W. Bertner (left), President of the Texas Medical Center, receives a certificate from Leland Anderson (center) and Bishop Clinton S. Quinn at the Texas Medical Center Dedication Dinner, February 28, 1946. [IC 098 TMC Library Historical Photograph Collection, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library]

Posted in Archives, Bertner, Manuscript Collection, Special Collections

Houston and the Fight Against Tuberculosis

This little bungalow at 806 Bagby St first opened in 1913 as the Free Clinic for the Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League. The organization had a clinic or offices there until 1957 when they moved to a new building on Dallas Avenue. [IC 034 San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-921, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

Sandra Yates
Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

I spent the last couple of weeks processing the records of the San Jacinto Lung Association. It’s a small collection, only 12 boxes, that includes correspondence, tuberculosis statistics, scrapbooks, Christmas seals, and photographs of the organization’s history, community services, staff, and administration from 1911 and into the 1980s. Most notably, the collection highlights the organization’s public health programs to prevent and control tuberculosis, the major health crisis of the early 20th Century. The finding aid for the San Jacinto Lung Association is available on our website.

This little bungalow at 806 Bagby St first opened in 1913 as the Free Clinic for the Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League. The organization had a clinic or offices there until 1957 when they moved to a new building on Dallas Avenue. [IC 034 San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-921, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

This little bungalow at 806 Bagby St first opened in 1913 as the Free Clinic for the Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League. The organization had a clinic or offices there until 1957 when they moved to a new building on Dallas Avenue. [IC 034 San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-921, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

Led by Dr. Elva A. Wright, the San Jacinto Lung Association was first established on November 11, 1911 as the Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League. At the time Houston had a higher death rate of tuberculosis than the national average with two in 1000 persons dying from the disease in 1910. The Association was a non-profit, community-driven organization dedicated to engage the people of Houston to control, prevent, and educate the community about tuberculosis. Its primary focus and goals were to:

  • Educate public of cause and symptoms.
  • Promote healthy living.
  • Establish free clinic.
  • Employ visiting public health nurses.
  • Develop sanitariums and hospitals.
  • Advocate for laws to control tuberculosis.
  • Encourage city and county health departments to lead fight.
Children and Nurse outside Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League and Free Clinic, c. 1920. [San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-920, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

Children and Nurse outside Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League and Free Clinic, c. 1920. [San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-920, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

Dr. Elva A. Wright, founder of the Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League, examining children, c. 1930s. [IC 034 San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-736, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

Dr. Elva A. Wright examining children, c. 1930s. She led the effort to establish an anti-tuberculosis association to prevent and treat tuberculosis in Houston. She said, “I’d rather be remembered for the disease I prevented than for the disease I cured.” Dr. Wright was born in Pennsylvania in 1868 and received her medical degree from Northwestern University in 1900. She practiced obstetrics, but her interest turned to tuberculosis and its effect on children during her post-graduate work in Europe and Chicago. She opened her office in Houston within the Temple Building on Main St., and through her practice, she saw how tuberculosis affected children and families throughout the city. She served as president of the Association until her death on July 18 , 1950. [IC 034 San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-736, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League nurse visiting patient, c. 1940. [IC 034 San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-791, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League nurse visiting patient, c. 1940. [IC 034 San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-791, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

Expanded Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League and Clinic on Bagby St., c. 1930s. Description reads, "The clinic was hedged in by heavy traffic of the adjoining courthouse, hence the signs 'No Parking - Clinic Zone.' The 6-foot high board fence the Sheriff built alongside the clinic to keep the TB germs from hopping into the Courthouse Square unfortunately does not show in this picture." [San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-775, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

Expanded Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League and Clinic on Bagby St., c. 1930s. Description reads, “The clinic was hedged in by heavy traffic of the adjoining courthouse, hence the signs ‘No Parking – Clinic Zone.’ The 6-foot high board fence the Sheriff built alongside the clinic to keep the TB germs from hopping into the Courthouse Square unfortunately does not show in this picture.” [San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-775, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

The clinic and offices of the Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League on Bagby St., c. 1936. Description reads, "In the rear of the clinic was plagued by Old Man Bayou which relentlessly year after year eroded its bank to beneath the building, requiring all kinds of props like those seen here to keep the structure from toppling into the bayou." [IC 034 San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-775, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

The clinic and offices of the Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League on Bagby St., c. 1936. Description reads, “In the rear of the clinic was plagued by Old Man Bayou which relentlessly year after year eroded its bank to beneath the building, requiring all kinds of props like those seen here to keep the structure from toppling into the bayou.” [IC 034 San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-775, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

The clinic and offices of the Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League on Bagby St. were moved and reinforced away from the eroding banks of the bayou, 1936. Sure, the children can stay inside! [IC 034 San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-727, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

The clinic and offices of the Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League on Bagby St. were moved and reinforced away from the eroding banks of the bayou, 1936. Sure, the children can stay inside! [IC 034 San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-727, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

Christmas Seal campaign of 1940. Description reads, "Little Miss Christmas Seal presents seals for 1940 to Santa Clause." [IC 034 San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-821, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

Christmas Seal campaign of 1940. Description reads, “Little Miss Christmas Seal presents seals for 1940 to Santa Clause.” From the beginning, the Association utilized Christmas Seal sales as its primary source of funding. First used in Denmark in 1904, Christmas Seals were purchased as extra postage for holiday packages, and the proceeds went to hospitals for children. In 1907 the National Anti-Tuberculosis Association began selling Christmas Seals in America as a fundraising campaign to fight tuberculosis. From $263.82 in 1911 to over $150,000 in 1956, the San Jacinto Lung Association funded all of its programs through the annual Christmas Seals campaign. [IC 034 San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-821, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

Through the years the San Jacinto Lung Association operated daily clinics for treatment and diagnosis of tuberculosis as well as conducted mass-screenings using chest X-rays and skin tests. In 1945 the Association started its mobile unit service, which brought screening and X-ray services into neighborhoods around Houston and Harris County. As the the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis became more effective, the Association started to address other respiratory diseases, providing lung performance tests to screen for emphysema and asthma.

The community lined up into the evening to visit the first Mobile Unit (far left of image) of the Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League, 1945. [IC 034 San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-811, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

The community lined up into the evening to visit the first Mobile Unit (far left of image) of the Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League, 1945. [IC 034 San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-811, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

Mobile Unit and crew for the San Jacinto Lung Association, c. 1960s. It's parked in downtown Houston, possibly in front of Foley's Department Store. [San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-813, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

Mobile Unit and crew for the San Jacinto Lung Association, c. 1960s. It’s parked in downtown Houston, possibly in front of Foley’s Department Store. [San Jacinto Lung Association records, Box 5, P-813, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library.]

Posted in Institutional Collection, Medical Archives

Rice Students Tour the Archive

Sandra Yates
Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

Sandra Yates, archivist, shows collection materials to Rice University students at the McGovern Historical Center, pointing to the 1969 film, Staged Cardiac Replacement from the Texas Heart Institute Film Collection (IC043). Along with some of the photos on the table, the film documents the first artificial heart transplant by Dr. Denton Cooley and Dr. Domingo Liotta.

Sandra Yates, archivist, shows collection materials to Rice University students at the McGovern Historical Center, pointing to the 1969 film, Staged Cardiac Replacement from the Texas Heart Institute Film Collection (IC043). Along with some of the photos on the table, the film documents the first artificial heart transplant by Dr. Denton Cooley and Dr. Domingo Liotta.

On Thursday, September 1, 2016, a class from Rice University toured the McGovern Historical Center. The students were from Sophia Hsu’s class, “Literature and Public Health,” which is part of the new medical humanities curriculum out of Rice’s Humanities Research Center. During their visit, the class was introduced to archives with a full tour of the archive from the public reading room to the materials and artifacts stored behind-the-scenes in the archival stacks. At the end of the tour, the students were able to work with selected materials related to their class projects.

Collection materials are laid out for students to examine at the McGovern Historical Center.

Collection materials are laid out for students to examine at the McGovern Historical Center.

The following materials from the McGovern Historical Center were laid out for the students to examine (counter-clockwise from right corner of table):

  • Bartholin, Thomas (1616-1680). Neu-verbesserte künstliche Zerlegung dess menschlichen Leibes. 1677.
  • A.P. Cary. Cary’s Illustrated and Priced Catalogue: Surgical Instruments, Physicians, Hospital Supplies, and Furnishings, Druggist Sundries, Etc. 1894.
  • Sutliff & Case Company. Illustrated Catalogue of Standard Surgical Instruments and Allied Lines. 1924.
  • Surgical Kit, J. H. Gemrig, circa 1850-1880. MS 135 Mann Medical Realia Collection
  • Articles and photos about Dr. Denton Cooley and the artificial heart, 1969. IC 077 Medical World News Photograph Collection
  • 16mm Film (blue film can). Camera Original Footage of Liotta Total Artificial Heart Console and Interview With Haskell Karp 12 Hours After His Artificial Heart Implant, 1969. IC 043 Texas Heart Institute Film Collection
  • 16mm Film. Staged Cardiac Replacement, 1969. IC 043 Texas Heart Institute Film Collection
  • 16mm Film. Transplantation of the Human Heart, 1969. IC 043 Texas Heart Institute Film Collection
  • Photographs and article from Medical World News. “Migrant worker having throat examined by sophomore in New Jersey College,” September 8, 1967. IC 077 Medical World News Photograph Collection
  • Psychiatric Bulletin Issues and Original Artwork, 1951-1958. IC 094 Medical Arts Publishing Foundation
Students from Rice University examine articles and photographs from the Medical World News Photograph Collection (IC 077) at the McGovern Historical Center.

Students from Rice University examine articles and photographs from the Medical World News Photograph Collection (IC094) at the McGovern Historical Center.

Posted in Archives, Medical Archives, Outreach

The TMC Flatiron that was not to be.

1966: “Bonanza” was in color[1], the shift dress was coming into vogue[2], the Beatles were singing improbably about being paperback writers[3], and international outer space law was well on its way to becoming reality[1].

The Library was considering an addition.

The front would remain conventional enough . . .

IC002 TMC 1966 library sketch 01

. . . but the back would be all “Jetsons”:

IC002 TMC 1966 library sketch 02

This included a two-story underground parking area, which I suspect the Library was glad it had not built ten years later when the flooding hit[5].

The addition was actually wedge- shaped:

IC002 TMC 1966 library sketch 03

The open pation on the fourth story between the “base” and the tower was meant to include a small green space:

IC002 TMC 1966 library sketch 07

The proposal even made the cover of that year’s MEDLARS[6] booklet but, alas, was never built.

IC002 TMC 1966 library sketch 09

The Library did build an addition in 1974 but it didn’t have quite the same Midcentury panache as this one would have.

All of the images used in this post are from Institutional Collection #2, the Texas Medical Center, Box 40, folders 3 (proposal booklet) and 4 (MEDLARS).

[1] TV.com

[2] Vintage Fashion Guild.

[3] Billboard

[4] United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (yes, that’s a real thing).

[5] KHOU 11 forum.

[6] National Library of Medicine

Posted in architecture, Institutional Collection
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