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History of the Health Sciences
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History of the
Health Sciences Section

Tripler General Hospital, Honolulu, Hawaii. : Nurses and enlisted men.

Abstracts for the 2009 MLA Annual
Meeting Program, Honolulu HI

Program: History of the Health Sciences Section, Public Services Section, Libraries in Curriculum SIG

Infusing History into the Curriculum

Patricia L. Thibodeau, FMLA; Richard A. Peterson, AHIP; Suzanne Porter, AHIP
Fusing the Old and New: Integrating the Library's History of Medicine Program into the Revised Curriculum

Background: Duke University Medical Center Library and Archives' History of Medicine program has been integrated into medical school curriculum, and we will discuss the keys to success and the challenges faced. As a requirement of the school of medicine’s first-year "Gross Anatomy" class, medical students compare images from the library’s collection of classic atlases such as Vesalius to what they see in the dissection lab. Support for a number of other courses is provided by developing reading lists, posting links on Blackboard, and providing orientations to selected resources. The curator was directly involved in using newly endowed funds to establish an essay prize, a scholarship, and a general education fund for activities related to history of medicine and continues to oversee the process for judging applications. One of the most successful programs has been the "History of Medicine Lecture" series, which is the result of collaboration with another nearby academic health sciences library. Conclusions: Integrating the library’s history of medicine program into a variety of curriculum related activities has greatly increased the visibility and appreciation of the history of medicine’s collection and services, while exposing students to the rich history behind current knowledge and practices in medicine. The library has also been able to build stronger relationships with the clinical and history faculty teaching in the curriculum.

James Shedlock, AHIP; Ron Sims; Ramune Kubilius, AHIP
Promoting and Teaching the History of Medicine in an Undergraduate Medical Curriculum

Objective: This paper describes the development of a history seminar for a medical school’s course on "Physician, Patient and Society." The genesis of the seminar responds to the librarians’ desire to promote the use of the library’s special collections, especially rare books, among students in the undergraduate MD curriculum. The medical school, its library, and the MD curriculum are described. Methods: The MD course is "Patient, Physician and Society" and is included in both year 1 and year 2 curricula. The history seminar is an option among 20+ humanities seminars offered to students; students are required to choose one seminar. The history seminar is 5 sessions long and is limited to 6 students; the seminar is offered in successive weeks to year 1 and then year 2 students each January and February. Students choose a disease or health condition and trace its history back in time, using the rare books as supporting evidence. A PowerPoint presentation is required at the last session to reinforce the use of technology as a teaching tool and to promote teaching skills among students.

Patricia E. Gallagher, AHIP; Sejal Gandhi; Winifred S. King
Teaching the Next Generation: Introducing Health Research to Middle and High School Students

Objectives: The Juniors Fellows Program, a collaborative project of The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) Office of School Health Programs and its Library, seeks to build the capacity of middle and high school students to conduct health research, to help prepare them to seek careers in the health sciences. Methods: Several sessions of the program are devoted to instructing students in appropriate methods to conducting health sciences research. Librarians from the NYAM Library have been instructors in the program since 1996. Students are introduced to basic library research, the use of books and journals to answer health-oriented theses, and to the appropriate use of the internet as a research tool. Students also participate in orientations on historical research in the NYAM Malloch Rare Book Room and the Gladys Brooks Paper and Conservation Laboratory. The project culminates in poster presentations by the students, based on their research theses. Results: The Junior Fellows Program has continued for 12 years. Several middle schools have replicated components of the program as part of their school curriculum. Students from the program continue participation in The Scholars Program, an initiative for alumni of The Junior Fellows Program as they move into high school and beyond, and have continued to college and entered health-related fields. Conclusions: Teaching children appropriate research techniques can assist them with pursuing health sciences careers.

Michael A. Flannery
Utilizing the Past in the Present Curriculum: Vesalius and Beyond

Description: This paper shows collaborative techniques for utilizing rare book collections for curricular support.

Program: History of the Health Sciences Section, Veterinary Medical Libraries Section, Mental Health SIG

Promotion and Development Fusions for Special Collections

Maureen M. Knapp, AHIP
Distributing a Newspaper Clippings Collection

Objective: Since 1933, the library has collected newspaper clippings from local and regional sources related to the history and accomplishments of our health sciences institution. For years, they sat in a filing cabinet, accessible only through a card-catalog in technical services. In 2006, collaboration with the state library consortium enabled digital production of the print clippings, opening access to the collection beyond our institution. This paper will describe: the process of digitizing over four decades worth of paper materials (including image processing, managing digital collections with OCLC’s CONTENTdm software, and the creation of a institutional controlled vocabulary utilizing Medical Subject Headings); the considerations, challenges, and opportunities involved in producing a digital project; and recommendations for creating digital versions of archival materials for small to mid-size libraries with limited budgets and staffing. Methods: Case study. Results: To date, our digital collection of historical newspaper clippings has elicited inquiries from researchers across the nation, created a new opportunities for library promotion via "Glimpse of the Past" blog posts, encouraged our satellite dental library to create their own digital collections, and most importantly, created a framework and workflow for other digitization projects at our institution. Conclusion: The lessons learned from our ongoing experience with digital projects are of value to any health sciences library interested in digitization and of special interest to smaller institutions who often face barriers in staffing and funds.

Chamya Kincy
"A Condom a Day Keeps the Doctor Away": Organizational Fusions for Digitizing AIDS Awareness Posters

Description: In 2005, the biomedical library’s history and special collections division collected and curated 625 posters on AIDS awareness and prevention. The posters were published between 1985 and 2006 and were collected from various institutions in 44 countries. The history and special collections division later collaborated with the digital library program, who arranged for on-site digitization of the posters and provided programming for an in-house database to provide access to a wider audience. Descriptive metadata was supplied by the cataloging and metadata center and copyright metadata was supplied by digital rights management staff. The first phase of the project culminated in the public debut of the digitized posters on World AIDS Day (December 1) in 2006. The second phase of the project is underway and is projected to add over 600 more digitized posters to the database. This paper will detail the evolution of the project, focusing on the collaborations among various library units and the issues and challenges faced by each participant in collecting and digitizing the posters, programming the database, clearing copyright, and applying metadata.

Elaine Skopelja, AHIP
Health 'Cranks' in the Early 20th Century or Why the Public Health Past is Prologue to the Future

Description: Digitizing early public health bulletins from the Indiana State Department of Health created a database of resources that contained both historical information and important statistical data that would be useful to multiple audiences. This pilot project involved the creation of a unique metadata schema for historical public health materials, the conversion of data from statistical tables into a data mineable resource, and the extraction of images for an image library.

Stephen J. Greenberg
Old Wine in New Bottles: Digital Projects from NLM's History of Medicine Division

Description: This paper will show and discuss samples of four National Library of Medicine digital historical projects: Profiles in Science (digital manuscripts), Medicine in the Americas (digitized classics), Cholera Online (digitized pamphlets), and Turning the Pages (digital rare books). The discussion will center on the role of digitization as an access technology, not a preservation tool, and the conviction that such projects are not a replacement for providing access to the original materials on site.

Program: Relevant Issues, History of the Health Sciences Section,

Threatening Fusions: When Ideologies and Demagogues Meet Ideas and Libraries

Ruth Knuth
Threatening Fusions: When Ideologues and Demagogues Meet Ideas and Libraries

Dr. Knuth's research is focused on international, interdisciplinary and comparative inquiry into intellectual freedom (access to information as a human right), international librarianship, literacy, the history of books and libraries, book burning, genocide, and the link between extremism and cultural destruction.

Poster Sessions

Joan Stoddart, AHIP & Diane McKenzie, FMLA
Connecting Library Directors and the History of Medicine

Question: How do academic health sciences library directors view history of medicine collections and how can the MLA History of the Health Sciences Section help them to support these collections? Methods and Brief Description: At one time, the historical collection was the heart of an academic medical library; most of the great library directors had an active, personal interest in the history collections. Today, historical collections often compete with new technologies, serials, and other electronic resources for collection budgets, staff, and space. Using a survey of academic health sciences library directors who are members of MLA, we will look at what priorities are assigned to the historical collections by library directors and what part these collections play in their institutions' missions, especially those without separately endowed history collections. The survey will try to elicit not only institutional priorities, but the library directors' personal interest in historical collections, their ideas for working with history collections in the future, and what help directors would like from the History of the Health Sciences Section in addressing the issues facing them as they try to support historical collections.

Colleen Weum
The Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition of 1909; A Centennial Look at Why a Fusion of the Past and Present will Shape Our Future

Objectives and Methods: Objective: Can the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition (AYPE) be a source of heath care information today? Do centennials provide an opportunity, give us permission, to reflect on our past in order to apply it to our future? Methods: A famous quote about history is, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." This poster will remind us of what was occurring in public health and medicine during the time of the exposition. One example is the typhoid outbreak on the exposition grounds and how to relate this to current and future public health scenarios. Another example will look at the public's introduction to infant incubators. The exposition had its own hospital building, fully staffed by physicians and nurses. Were the incubators included in the hospital facility? No. Infant incubators were a part of the freak side show portion of the exposition known as "Pay Streak." The poster will show why this, in the long run, made sense and how to apply this situation to health care today. Is it a fusion of the past with the present that will bring about improvements in the future? This poster will remind us to always remember our past. Results and Conclusions: Results: You can see a transition occurring in the practice of medicine when researching health care issues at the AYPE. Modern medicine was emerging in the United States. But errors in public health and health care were still being made. For example, the public as well as health professionals were often ignorant on the causes and prevention of many diseases, typhoid being a case in 1909 at the exposition. Another transition was demonstrated at the AYPE with the public display of infant incubators. By taking the mystery out of such medical equipment, it may have helped the public better understand and accept emerging medical practices. To conclude, are we able and willing to look at the historical record? Have we learned from public health and medical mistakes made a century ago? Will looking back provide us a means to a better future in health care?

2009 Program