Thursday, December 11, 2008

Six-Millionth Volume at UNC University Libraries

This year the UNC University Libraries (University Library, Law Library, and Health Sciences Library) acquired its six-millionth volume, John Keats' Poems, published in 1817. A celebratory program to commemorate the milestone was held on November 20, 2008, and an accompanying exhibit, Presenting John Keats, is on view in the Rare Book Collection of the Wilson Library until March 15, 2009.

The John Wesley and Anna Hodgin Hanes Foundation of Winston-Salem supported the purchase of a 500-item Keats collection that included the above first edition of Keats' Poems, and through its foundation, the Hanes family has also contributed to the acquisition of each previous millionth-volume at the university. With the most recent such acquisition, UNC has become the 19th university library in North America to attain the 6-million-volume mark.

Known mainly for his brilliant literary output in a foreshortened life, John Keats [1795-1821] also underwent extensive medical training. He served a five-year apprenticeship to a surgeon-apothecary in Edmonton from 1811-15, followed by two semesters at the Borough Medical School of the United Hospitals of Guy's and St. Thomas', where he also attended the wards for eight months. He subsequently was appointed as a surgeon's dresser, or assistant, and did service for twelve months. On July 21, 1816, Keats passed the certifying exam of the Society of Apothecaries, which licensed him as an apothecary and general practitioner. (For further information on the relationship between Keats' experience in medicine and his writing, see Romantic Medicine and John Keats).

UNC Millionth-Book Milestones:

2008: 6 Million -- Poems, by John Keats, first edition published in 1817, part of a collection of 500 items.

2000: 5 Million -- Poems, by William Butler Yeats, first edition published in 1895 by T. Fisher Unwin, part of a collection of 1,200 items (see Celebrating Five Million Volumes).

1992: 4 Million -- Several Poems by Anne Bradstreet, printed by John Foster in 1678, first book of poetry by a woman published in America.

1984: 3 Million -- A collection of 300 books printed by the Estiennes, a famous French family of scholar-printers, known for their splendid typography.

1974: 2 Million -- Book of Hawking, Hunting, and Heraldry, by Dame Juliana Berners, printed in 1486, the first English book with color printing.

1960: 1 Million -- Confessio Amantis, by John Gower, printed in 1483 by William Caxton, England's first printer.

House Party at UNC Undergraduate Library

UNC students staged a spontaneous, albeit unsanctioned, gathering at the Robert B. House Undergraduate Library during the recent reading period for exam week. The following video was produced by participants, with soundtrack added; other videos have also been posted on YouTube. The event has been noted in blogs of the local press, including the News and Observer and The Daily Tar Heel, the student newspaper.

Bullitt Club Lectures Now Online

The Bullitt History of Medicine Club Lectures for Fall 2008 are all available online as MP3 downloads. Please note that the file sizes are rather large, so may be unwieldy for those without broadband Internet access. Visit the Bullitt Club site for information about upcoming events.

Dr. Vanessa Northrington Gamble, University Professor of Medical Humanities, George Washington University
"Without Health and Long Life All Else Fails": A History of African-American Efforts to Eliminate Racial Disparities in Health and Health Care
:: December 10, 2008

Chris Dibble, MD/PhD Student, UNC School of Medicine; Winner of 2008 McLendon-Thomas Award in the History of Medicine
Edward Livingston Trudeau: The First American Physician-Scientist and the Fight against Tuberculosis
:: November 17, 2008

Dr. Elizabeth Fenn, Associate Professor of History, Duke University
Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82
:: October 21, 2008

Wendy Moore, Freelance Journalist and Author (England)
The Knife Man: The Extraordinary Life and Times of John Hunter, Father of Modern Surgery
:: September 23, 2008

Ansley Herring Wegner, Research Historian, North Carolina Office of Archives and History
Phantom Pain: North Carolina's Artificial Limbs Program for Confederate Amputees
:: September 17, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bullitt Club Lecture on Racial Disparities in Health Care

The next joint meeting of UNC’s Bullitt History of Medicine Club and Duke’s Trent History of Medicine Society will be Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at the UNC Health Sciences Library in the 5th Floor Conference Room (527). Please join us at 5:30pm for light refreshments followed by the lecture at 6pm. Meetings are free and open to the public.

Vanessa Northington Gamble, MD, PhD, will be presenting a lecture entitled, "Without Health and Long Life All Else Fails": A History of African-American Efforts to Eliminate Racial Disparities in Health and Health Care.

Dr. Gamble is University Professor of Medical Humanities at the George Washington University. She is the first woman and African American to hold this prestigious, endowed faculty position and is also member of the University’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences faculty in the Department of History. Prior to her appointment to George Washington, Dr. Gamble was Director of the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care. Throughout her career Dr. Gamble has worked to promote equity and justice in American medicine and public health. A physician, scholar, and activist, she is an internationally recognized expert on the history of American medicine, racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care, cultural competence, and bioethics. She is the author of several widely acclaimed publications on the history of race and racism in American medicine, including the award-winning Making a Place for Ourselves: The Black Hospital Movement: 1920-1945. Public service has been a hallmark of Dr. Gamble’s career. She chaired the committee that took the lead role in the successful campaign to obtain an apology in 1997 from President Clinton for the infamous United States Public Health Syphilis Study at Tuskegee.

For directions to the UNC Health Sciences Library, visit the HSL website. The Robertson Scholars Express Bus travels non-stop between UNC (Morehead Planetarium) and Duke (Chapel Circle).

For more information on the Bullitt Club and a schedule of meetings for 2008-2009, please visit the Bullitt website. Bullitt lectures for 2008-9 are now available as mp3 downloads.

Friday, December 5, 2008