What connection could there be between Austin Flint, M.D., one of the founders of the University at Buffalo’s Medical School, and Elbert G. Hubbard, founder of the Roycroft arts and crafts movement in East Aurora, New York? Recently re-discovered in the Brown History of Medicine Collection were eight volumes of a publication called Flint’s Journal dating from1848 to 1855. While the title on the spine of the original binding may not be familiar, the journal inside is actually the Buffalo Medical Journal and Monthly Review of Medical and Surgical Science, established in 1846 by Dr. Austin Flint and Dr. Sanford Hunt. What makes this particular iteration of the journal even more interesting is who actually owned it. Inside several of the volumes were letters, newspaper clippings and hand written notes relating to Dr. Silas Hubbard, father of Elbert. What a find! Dr. Hubbard, born in Mayville, New York in 1821, moved to Buffalo when he was ten. At age eighteen he began the study of medicine with Dr. William Butler in Lima, New York after which he attended a course of medical lectures at the Medical College in Castleton, Vermont. In the fall of 1840 Dr. Hubbard returned to Buffalo and continued his studies with Dr. Noah Warner followed by another course of medical lectures in Vermont where he received his degree in 1842. He practiced medicine in Buffalo and also lectured on phrenology in various other states. Dr. Hubbard moved with his family to Illinois where he continued the practice of medicine. He eventually moved to East Aurora, New York before returning to Buffalo where he died in 1917. Elbert Hubbard, the third of eight children born to Dr. Hubbard and his wife, promulgated the English Arts and Crafts movement personified by William Morris and others that stressed hand craftsmanship as an “antidote to the unhealthy character of industrial society.” (1) Elbert and his second wife were killed in May, 1915 when the ship they were on, the RMS Lusitania, was torpedoed by the Germans. On a page inside Volume X of Flint’s Journal a devastated Dr. Hubbard wrote the following in his frail handwriting: “E.G Hubbard [son] was 59 years old when he was murdered by the Germans last [m]ay 1915.”
Dr. Homer T. Jackson, MD, an 1881 graduate of UB’s Medical School, practiced medicine in the rural town of Verona, NY at the turn of the 19th century. When leaving for house calls, Dr. Jackson would don his top hat, grab his pocket watch and his case of instruments. He would also bring along a pistol.
Those days were different. Doctors such as Dr. Jackson had to be prepared for anything, including wandering highwaymen who looked to take advantage of travelers on lonely country roads. They also had to be prepared to accept chickens and veggies in lieu of coin.
Today, we can get a glimpse into the professional life of Dr. Jackson thanks to the generosity of Dr. Kenneth Felch, MD (UB Med 1961). The grandson of Dr. Jackson, Dr. Felch has donated several important pieces to the R. L. Brown History of Medicine Collection. Along with his personal collection of diagnostic and surgical instruments, several of Dr. Jackson’s handwritten notebooks were also donated. Through these wonderful manuscripts, we can look back upon Dr. Jackson’s methods of diagnosis, treatment, and his creation of medicinal preparations.
The Dr. H.T. Jackson Collection has been reassembled and is currently on display in the Buffalo Academy Room, located within the History of Medicine Collection. Please feel free to stop by and enjoy this truly unique glimpse into medicine’s past.
On July 26th, 50 enthusiastic and engaging medical students from Italy toured the Health Sciences Library and the History of Medicine Collection. The students are from medical schools in Bologna, Florence, Pisa, Milan and Salerno and are participating in the Fourth Annual Professor Giovanni Mazzotti Italian-American Conference on Human Anatomy, Research and Healthcare Professions at D’Youville College. They are spending 4 weeks completing the Gross Anatomy component of their medical education which is not currently offered in Italian medical universities. Italian medical students only learn gross anatomy and dissection from books, models and demonstrations, as there is not an established donor program in their country. We wish all of them the best in their future careers!
Recently the Robert Brown History of Medicine Collection was visited by students from the Summer Component of UB’s Medical STEP (Science and Technology Entry Program) and their mentor, Zohra Hasham, a student at UB’s School of Dental Medicine. The Medical STEP Program at the University at Buffalo is designed to acquaint and academically prepare high school students for admission in one of many health-related professions (medicine, medical technology, nursing, dentistry, etc.). The six-week Summer Component allows students to continue exploring their career interests by working or conducting research at UB-affiliated hospitals or clinics four days a week and includes classroom instruction and college admissions preparatory sessions.
Students learning the history of the Medical School Mace
I was pleased to give the group a tour of the Collection including the stacks where the rare books are kept, the McGuire Medical Instrument Collection and other artifacts such as the Medical School mace and death masks. It was a delight to meet these engaged students and to emphasize to them the need to be familiar with the past in order to understand the present and the future. The students asked very insightful questions seemed to enjoy the time they spent in the Collection. Good luck in to them in their future careers!
Cover page for “Some Account of the Pennsylvania Hospital”, as featured in Circulating Now.
Earlier this month, the Historical Collections of the National Library of Medicine officially entered the blogosphere with the launch of Circulating Now (http://circulatingnow.nlm.nih.gov/about/), a new blog that “conveys the vitality of medical history in our 21st-century world” while highlighting the world-class holdings of the NLM’s history division. Early entries have explored such diverse topics as President Garfield’s assassination, the establishment of the nation’s first hospital, and the evolution and persistence of “how to” books. Lovers of medical history, get excited; the eye catching layout combined with intriguing stories promises many enjoyable, upcoming intellectual experiences!
In May 2013, the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection added a 19th century portable pedal driven dental drill to the Edgar R. McGuire Historical Medical Instrument Collection. Part of the Elli Buk Collection that was auctioned in Dedham, MA, the drill came with its original case containing the handpiece, drill bits and the cords used to operate the mechanism. Elli Buk was a self-made, prolific collector and curator whose collection contained over 2,000 pieces in 30 collecting categories including medicine and science
The New York Heritage Digital Collections highlighting our Dr. Austin Flint Collection
This month, the R.L. Brown History of Medicine Collection is proud to have our Dr. Austin Flint Collection designated as a “Featured Collection” on the New York Heritage Digital Collections website! If you haven’t had the chance to visit the NY Heritage Digital Collections, overall a fantastic historical resource, please take a moment to do so at http://www.newyorkheritage.org/. Dedicated to the people, places and institutions of New York State, the site provides free access to more than 170 distinct digital collections, representing a wide range of historical materials.
Our particular Dr. Austin Flint Collection features an assortment of print materials, photographs, ephemera, & medical artifacts all representative of Flint’s professional activities as a local, yet nationally prominent physician and as founding member of the University at Buffalo’s Medical School. Flint was particularly well known for his work regarding the 1843 typhoid fever epidemic in Boston, NY, and for his skills as a diagnostician. Indeed, due to his skill at diagnosis, he was the first to isolate a heart condition resulting from aortic insufficiency, now known as “Flint’s murmur”.
The digitization of this collection was spearheaded by graduate students of UB’s Digital Libraries class (LIS 563) of Spring 2012, led by Timothy Binga, Instructor in UB’s Library and Information Sciences department and the Director of the Center for Inquiry Libraries. If not for their hard work, and the guidance of Professor Binga, this fascinating Collection would have remained much less visible. We would also like to wholeheartedly thank Karlen Chase, WNYLRC Digital Services/Circuit Librarian, for all of her hard work in getting the Flint Collection uploaded to the New York Heritage’s site. We are certainly proud to be a part of it!
Did you know? We are in the midst of a fundraising activity to support the growth of the Edgar R. McGuire Historical Medical Instrument Collection. The collection was established in 1985 by Mrs. Annette Cravens in memory of her father, Dr. Edgar R. McGuire, Professor and Chair of surgery at UB from 1915 to 1931. There are currently over 200 medical and health sciences instruments and artifacts dating from the Roman Period to the 20th century. Inquires about donations or the collection in general may be directed to:
Linda Lohr, Manager
Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection,
Health Sciences Library, University at Buffalo,
B5 Abbott Hall, Buffalo, NY 14214.
What is the name of this instrument and what was it used for?
Hints given in the video:
It was designed by Dr. Carter Moffet in the 19th century
It was designed in London England by the Medical Battery Company
It was used to produce artificial Italian air by pressing the switches on either end, and twisting a rod in the center
Please submit your answers to Linda Lohr at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 31, 2013.
Prizes will be drawn from all correct answers received by October 31st. First prize is a copy of “Stolen Glory: the McKinley Assassination”, 2nd prize is “Medical History in Buffalo, 1846-1996″, third prize is a set of our beautiful Botanical Notecards — Happy Guessing!
The magic in J. K. Rowling’s series of Harry Potter novels is partially based on Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science, including alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy. Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance, Science, Magic, and Medicine explores the intersection of these worlds, featuring highlights from the collections of the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine.
The links at the NLM exhibits pages offer a rare opp0rtunity for delving into the history of the occult sciences (see especially educational unit 2 and unit 3). However, the UB Libraries and the History of Medicine collection have great resources to study as well.
The UB Libraries also have many of the books referred to in the exhibit, available through our electronic subscription to Early English Books Online (UB Only).
Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance, Science, Magic, and Medicine is on display through March 26th in the lobby of HSL. However, the magic and marvel of Harry Potter’s world, and its connection to the history of medicine and science, remain for the reader to discover in the many resources available in the UB Libraries.
The Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection was established in 1972. The collection was named in 1985 for Robert L. Brown, MD, former Associate Dean of the School of Medicine, in recognition of his strong support of the Health Sciences Library for more than twenty-five years.
The collection includes historical materials in all areas of the health sciences, including dentistry, medicine nursing, pharmacy, & public health.
The mission of the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection is to educate and inform members of the University and global communities about the history of medicine and the health sciences, with a particular focus on Buffalo and Western New York. Founded as a medical school, the importance of medicine as part of the University at Buffalo’s heritage is central toward understanding the development of the University itself. In general, the goal of the Collection is to open a gateway to the history of medicine and the health sciences by acquiring, collecting, preserving, interpreting and exhibiting books, tools and other resources from the past.
Some of the specific goals of the History of Medicine’s mission are to:
Educate and encourage young people pursuing, or interested in pursuing, careers in medicine and the health sciences by fostering in them an appreciation of how history is interwoven with the present and the future.
Demonstrate the value of the Collection as an important teaching and learning resource that supports the missions of the Health Sciences Library, the University Libraries and the University through programs and events within the Collection and through outreach activities.in the community.
Initiate interdisciplinary endeavors between the History of Medicine other health sciences special collections and other University departments such as History in order to show how medicine and the health sciences play a role in so many aspects of society and everyday life.
The guiding principle of the mission of the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection can be found in its motto: Chart the future by exploring the past.
History is on the lower level of UB's Health Sciences Library in Abbott Hall on the South Campus. Users enjoy our main reading area, which includes a History Reference section & tables for using our materials, as well as our climate controlled Rare Book Room which contains all of our monographs as well as interesting artifacts.
Materials in Our Collection
The print portion of the History collection includes:
Nineteeth century monographs with particular strengths in surgery, dentistry, obstetrics/gynecology, pharmacology, & oncology
Pre-nineteenth century titles dating back to 1493
Historical journal volumes
Materials that document the history of the Medical and other Health Sciences Schools
Historical artifacts from the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Other non-book materials
The Bonnie and Vern Bullough History of Nursing Collection
Non-print materials, artifacts, and instruments in the History collection include:
The Edgar R. McGuire Historical Medical Instrument Collection
Death masks of Dr. Edgar R. McGuire and Dr. Roswell Park
The official mace and staff carried in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences graduation procession
Visiting and Using Our Collection
Visitors to the History Collection are always welcome! Normal hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
It is best to schedule an appointment to use the collection and/or for a consultation so we can help you locate exactly what you need. Our materials do not circulate, so must be used on site. However, photocopies of pages in good condition are offered free of charge.
Reference questions on health science history are welcome and may be sent to Linda Lohr, (716) 829-5737.
The Edgar R. McGuire Historical Medical Instrument Collection was established in 1985 by Mrs. Annette Cravens in memory of her father, who was chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Buffalo from 1915 until his death in 1931.
The collection, which contains more than 230 instruments, sets of instruments and artifacts chosen for their illustration of past medical and dental procedures, includes microscopes, surgical instruments, anatomical models, leech jars and bleeding cups, and dental instruments. A number of items from this collection have been digitized and can be viewed on the UB Libraries Digital Collections pages.
The Edgar R. McGuire Historical Medical Instrument Collection is housed within the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection, located in the Health Sciences Library, Abbott Hall, on UB’s South Campus.
Papier Mache Anatomical Models
Louis Auzoux (1797-1880),a French physician, began making anatomical models out of papier mache in 1822. By the time of his death, Dr. Auzoux had perfected his techniques and created a wide range of models for teaching anatomy. The models are accurate in detail, labeled, and painted. They are not easily damaged by use or climatic changes and remain unsurpassed to this day. The McGuire Instrument Collection includes Auzoux models of the ear, eye, and larynx.
Friends of HSL
The Friends of the Health Sciences Library, founded in 1975, support the collections and services of HSL, with a primary focus on the History of Medicine Collection. Past supported programs include the Health Sciences Art and Media Group art initiative and the Buffalo Medical Journal database indexing project. The Friends also sponsor annual meetings and lecture events.
Our annual meeting features the C.K. Huang Memorial Lecture, named for one of HSL's former directors. For example, in June, 2011, Dr. Dale C. Smith, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, gave a compelling presentation on the impact of war on patient care. In addition to the presentations, the evening always includes food, drink, and great company.
Print out our membership form and send it along with your check or credit card information to the address indicated. Or, better yet, stop and visit History and get acquainted with our collection!
History of Health Sciences Exhibits
Art in the Health Sciences Library Exhibit No.3: "The Tools of Medicine"
"The Tools of Medicine" exhibit, which opened on November 19, 2003, features images of selected instruments contained in the the Edgar R. McGuire Historical Medical Instrument Collection. The exhibit features 6 enlarged, framed images mounted in the main staircase area on the first floor of HSL.
Made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Health Sciences Library and the Medical Historical Society, the exhibit is the third of a series developed by the Health Sciences Art and Media Group (HSAMG) which includes staff from HSL and iMedia, a unit of Academic Services at UB.
The Historical Medical Instrument Collection is a remarkable assemblage of instruments and artifacts from medicine, surgery, dentistry, pharmacy, and nursing, dates from the Roman period to the 20th century. Among the items are microscopes, surgical and forensic instruments, anatomical models, a leech jar and cage, bleeding cups, and dental instruments. Established in 1985 by Mrs. Annette Cravens in memory of her father, the prominent surgeon Dr. Edgar Robinson McGuire, the collection vividly brings to life the history and evolution of the health sciences.
Dr. McGuire graduated from the University of Buffalo Medical School in 1900. He succeeded Dr. Roswell Park as chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University in 1917 and held the position until his death in 1931. In 2002, Mrs. Cravens permanently donated the portion of the Collection that had previously been on loan to the University.
The talented iMedia staff (Fred Kwiecien, Donald Trainor, Monica Carter, and Jim Ulrich) selected and photographed 6 instruments from the Historical Medical Instrument Collection to create The Tools of Medicine exhibit. The images were enlarged and framed for display in the natural gallery area of the main staircase between the 1st and 2nd floors.
For more information, please contact Linda Lohr, Manager, at 839-5737.
Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States (Peter Hirtle, Cornell Institute for Digital Collections -- a concise chart of types of works (unpublished, published in the U.S. and published outside the U.S.), the copyright term, and specifics of what was included in the public domain (thus exempt from copyright restrictions) as of 1 January 2007. The chart should be updated each year.