Sunday, February 28, 2010

Exhibition of Drawings at Health Sciences Library

The Health Sciences Library (HSL) will be hosting an exhibition of former Associate Provost Ned Brook’s drawings featuring UNC-CH campus buildings and Franklin Street townscapes. The collection will be displayed from Feb. 21, 2010 through June 30, 2010.

"A few of these pieces reflect where I've lived,” said Brooks. “One of them is from New England where I grew up. A couple are from Alaska where I spent three years in the late 1960s as a hospital administrator with the Alaska Native Health Service. The vast majority, though, are from [Chapel Hill] where I've lived since 1972."

The exhibit will display 20 original drawings featuring poignant portraits, Franklin Street townscapes, UNC-CH buildings, and rural and coastal scenes. The drawings will be displayed in several prominent locations on the first and second floors of the HSL. Read more . . .

UNC University Libraries and Health Sciences Library to Consolidate

The University Gazette on February 24, 2010 reported that: "Beginning April 1, the Health Sciences Library and the University Libraries will be combined under University Librarian Sarah Michalak. Currently the two library systems are separate. Consolidating the collaborative but separate structures of both libraries is intended to help improve the efficiency of overall library operations in meeting the University's teaching, service, and research missions, Bruce Carney, interim executive vice chancellor and provost, said in announcing the change on Feb. 12." Read more on page 6 of the Gazette.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Digital Resources at UNC University Libraries

:: Digital Southern Historical Collection
The Southern Historical Collection (SHC) at the University of North Carolina (UNC) has developed a large-scale digitization program that is designed to provide online access to entire manuscript collections or to substantial portions of collections. Thirty-five collections have so far been digitized in whole or in part under this program. Clicking on a collection name will take you to the collection's finding aid (a descriptive guide to the collection's contents). To search for other SHC collections or other digitized collections in UNC University Libraries, please use the online catalog, the finding aids search page, or browse an online listing of digital collections. (UNC Health Sciences Library Digital Collections can also be accessed online; information on the North Carolina History of Health Digital Collection grant project is available here). Read more . . .

:: Digital UNC Student Yearbooks
A slice of UNC history is now online with digitized student yearbooks from 1890 through 1966 and early issues of the Carolina Alumni Review. The Hellenian and Yackety Yack yearbooks provide a rich resource for learning about student life in the past, said Nick Graham, program coordinator of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center based at UNC's Wilson Special Collections Library. Read more . . .

National Library of Medicine to End Go Local Program

Since 2001, the National Library of Medicine has supported Go Local web sites across the United States. The goal of Go Local was to connect users to health services in their local communities. This seemed like a natural extension to MedlinePlus, which provides health information. In 2001, Go Local was a unique service.

Over the past nine years, the Internet has evolved. Search engines that people use daily, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, bring health services listings to users. These sites include provider-level directory information and can collect user reviews that Go Local cannot. Health insurance sites give insured users local practice details, such as hours, fees, parking, and quality ratings based on provider or facility performance measures. To include this granularity in Go Local would not be feasible.

The changed Internet environment, coupled with declining use, has led to a decision by NLM to phase down and end its support for the MedlinePlus Go Local program. Resources are tight throughout our profession and as the internet has moved forward, it no longer makes sense to use scarce resources to compete with machine-based indexing used by the search engines.
NLM is grateful to the hundreds of people whose time, labor, ideas and patience went into creating Go Local. For many years we could proudly point to Go Local as a unique and valuable service to so many people in this country. We will be working with our partners around the country as they make decisions about what to do in their local areas.

Source: Newsletter of the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic Region.

Note: In North Carolina, Go Local online resources have been provided by NC Health Info, a service of the UNC Health Sciences Library and collaborators.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Symposium on 100th Anniversary of Flexner Report

The University of Louisville School of Medicine and Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare will host a symposium in honor of the 100th anniversary of the publication of the Flexner Report on May 4, 2010. Abraham Flexner was born and grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and we are pleased to host this symposium in honor of one of the city’s distinguished citizens. We invite interested persons to send proposals for papers concerning any aspect of the life and work of Abraham Flexner and his Report on Medical Education in the United States and Canada.

Proposals for either a 15-minute platform presentation or poster should be described in one page and submitted to the symposium chairman by March 1, 2010:

M.S. Seyal, M.D.
207 Sparks Avenue, Suite 104
Jeffersonville, IN 47130

The symposium will include keynote addresses by Dr. Kenneth Ludmerer (Washington University – St. Louis), Dr. Todd Savitt (East Carolina University), and Senior Officials of the Association of the American Medical Colleges and the Association of American Colleges of Nursing.

For meeting registration and hotel accommodations, please contact: Carmel Mackin at:

2010 Virginia and Derrick Sherman Emerging Scholar Lecture

The University of North Carolina Wilmington Department of History invites applications and nominations for the 2010 Virginia and Derrick Sherman Emerging Scholar Lecture. This year's topic is: Plagues and Pandemics: Contagion and Epidemic in Global Historical Perspective.

Proposals may address, but are not limited to, histories of the spread of infectious disease, disease and war, disease and commerce, efforts to eradicate disease, public health policy, and programs to promote public hygiene. Applicants are encouraged to explore the social, cultural, political, gendered and/or economic histories of their topics. Submissions concerning all time periods and all geographic regions are welcome.

The Sherman Lecture provides a forum for an outstanding junior scholar (untenured assistant professor or researcher) to offer his or her perspective on a selected topic. The Sherman Scholar will meet with undergraduate and graduate students, share his or her expertise with faculty members in history and related fields, and be available to the local media. The centerpiece of the scholar's visit will be the presentation of a major public address, which the university will subsequently publish.

Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of scholarly accomplishment, relevance of the proposed talk to the year's theme, and evidence of ability in speaking before a diverse audience. The scholar will receive an honorarium of $5,000. The lectureship will take place on the UNCW campus October 20-22, 2010.

Applicants should provide a title and brief description of the lecture they propose to deliver. Please send a letter of interest, current c.v., the names and e-mail addresses of three references, and a recent scholarly publication to Dr. Taylor Fain, Department of History, UNC Wilmington, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403-5957. We also welcome nominations that are accompanied by contact information.

The deadline for submission is March 31, 2010. Finalists must be available for telephone interviews before May 31, 2010.

Any additional questions can be directed toward Taylor Fain at:

Call for Papers: Joint Atlantic Seminar for the History of Medicine

The 8th Annual Joint Atlantic Seminar for the History of Medicine, will be held the weekend of October 8-9, 2010, and hosted by the Department of History and program on the History of Science, Technology, Environment and Health at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. The seminar is organized and coordinated by graduate students across North America working in fields related to the history of medicine.

Our mission is to foster a sense of community and provide a forum for sharing and critiquing graduate research by peers from a variety of institutions and backgrounds. For more information, including previous years’ programs, please visit the organization's web site.

Graduate students are encouraged to submit abstracts for research presentations on topics related to the history of health and healing; of medical ideas, practices, and institutions; and of illness, disease, and public health, from all eras and regions of the world. Abstracts should be no more than 350 words and should clearly state the purpose, thesis, methodology, and principal findings of the paper to be presented. Please note that abstracts more than 350 words in length will not be reviewed.

Speakers must be enrolled as graduate students at the time of the conference. Successful proposals will engage with relevant historiographic issues and the potential contribution to scholarship on the history of medicine and health. A panel of graduate students and faculty members from several different institutions will review the abstracts.

All abstracts should be submitted electronically (either as a MS Word document or as text in the body of an e-mail) to Bridget Gurtler and Dora Vargha, Co-Program Chairs, at

The deadline for abstracts is May 16, 2010.

It is not clear at this time whether or not we will be able to provide financial support for travel to participants. However, we will make every effort to provide free accommodation for presenters. We urge students whose papers are accepted to seek financial support from their home institutions to participate in the seminar. Registration for the conference is free.

Bridget Gurtler and Dora Vargha
PhD Candidates
Department of History
Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Duke Program on Health, Social Justice, and the Civil Rights Movement

Health, Social Justice, and the Civil Rights Movement
in American Medicine: A Series of Interdisciplinary Programs at Duke University, March 3-4, 2010

With award-winning scholar John Dittmer, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of History, Depauw University, author of The Good Doctors: The Medical Committee for Human Rights and the Struggle for Social Justice in Health Care (2009) and Local People: the Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi (1994)

:: The Civil Rights Roots of Healthcare Activism
Wednesday, March 3, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
John Hope Franklin Center, 2204 Erwin Road, Room 240

A panel discussion with:
John Dittmer, PhD
Sharon Elliott-Bynum, RN, BSN, MA, PhD, Co-Founder & Clinical Director of CAARE, Inc.
Open to the public. Lunch will be served.

:: Health & Social Justice: Practice and Research -- A Forum for Graduate and Professional Students
Wednesday, March 3, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

For readings and location information, contact Abby Goldman,

:: Justice in Healthcare, Today and in the Past: A Conversation with John Dittmer
Thursday, March 4, 5:30 pm -7:00 pm
John Hope Franklin Center, 2204 Erwin Road, Room 240

Panelists will include:
Onye Akwari, MD, Surgery
William Chafe, PhD, History
Dennis Clements, MD, Infectious Disease, Pediatrics, Global Health Institute
Sherman A. James, PhD, Public Policy, Community & Family Medicine, African & African American Studies
Evelyn Schmidt, MD, Director, Lincoln Community Health Center
Open to the public. Wine and cheese reception will follow.

For more information: Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine 919.668-9000 or For additional events, see the Trent Center's online calendar.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Biography on Hugh Williamson, Physician and Patriot

Dr. George Sheldon, Professor of Surgery and Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has just completed the first full-length biography of Hugh Williamson [1735-1819], an illustrious figure in both American and North Carolina history. Hugh Williamson: Physician, Patriot, and Founding Father recounts the remarkable life of Williamson, who not only was a signer of the US Constitution, but also a polymath who was a member of the University of Pennsylvania's first graduating class, and later studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and trained with the renowned surgeon, John Hunter.

A member of the American Philosophical Society, Williamson was politically engaged as well. He was among the planners of the Boston Tea Party, and later became the surgeon general of the North Carolina Revolutionary War Militia. In 1782, Williamson was elected to the North Carolina legislature, and was chosen to serve in the Continental Congress, where he advocated for federalism; on September 17, 1787, he was one of the signers of the Constitution. Later he served in the first US House of Representatives, and was one of the original trustees of the University of North Carolina, the oldest public university in the country.

Published by Humanity Books, an imprint of Prometheus Books, Hugh Williamson has already garnered praise from reviewers:

No longer can we claim that Dr. Hugh Williamson, a signer of the Constitution, is one of our least known Founding Fathers. Dr. Sheldon's wide-ranging biography clearly reveals the political, educational, and philanthropic activities in which this typical Enlightenment figure played significant roles.

-- Gert H. Brieger, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Physician, surgeon, scientist, rebel, sometime spy, politician, and distinguished Founding Father--Hugh Williamson was all these and more. In this fascinating account of Williamson's multifaceted career, Dr. Sheldon . . . has brought a great American patriot to life, and made him unforgettable.

-- Sherwin Nuland, MD, FACS, Yale University School of Medicine

. . . Sheldon has provided [his readers] with a complete, informative, and satisfying "dissection" of a unique, multifaceted life. There is a parallelism between the author and Williamson in that both are recognized, particularly, for their contributions to their adopted state of North Carolina.

-- Seymour I. Schwartz, MD, University of Rochester School of Medicine

Dr. Sheldon is the Zack D. Owens Distinguished Professor of Surgery and Professor of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also the Director of the Health Policy Research Institute of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and Editor-in-Chief of, the web portal of ACS. From 1984-2001 he served as Chair of the Department of Surgery at UNC.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mobile Options for the National Library of Medicine

The National Library of Medicine now offers mobile options for such resources as PubMed, MedlinePlus, NCBI Bookshelf, AIDSinfo, Wireless System for Emergency Responders (WISER), and Radiation Event Medical Management (REMM).

Mobile options for the UNC Campus and UNC Libraries are also available. Chad Haefele, the developer of the UNC Libraries mobile site, was recently mentioned in the American Library Associations's Perpetual Beta blog for his Mobile Site Generator, which is described in detail on his own blog, Hidden Peanuts.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

National Archives Solicits Input on Open Government Plan

The Open Government Directive of December 8, 2009 was issued to promote new lines of communication and cooperation between the Federal government and the American people. To meet the goals of Open Government, each Federal agency is creating an Open Government Plan. The National Records and Archives Administration (NARA) is soliciting public input on how it can promote transparency, participation, and collaboration.

Comments can be made via the following forums by March 19, 2010:

:: Open Government Idea Forum
:: NARAtions Blog
:: E-mail:

NARA's Open Government Plan will be released on April 6, 2010 and made available online.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

North Carolina's Smoke-Free Restaurants and Bars Law

As of January 2, 2010, North Carolina's Smoke-Free Restaurants and Bars Law (S.L. 2009-27 (G.S. 130A-496)) requires restaurants, bars, and many lodging establishments to be smoke-free. The web site provides information on the law and rules for enforcement; frequently asked questions; tools for businesses; educational materials; secondhand smoke; quitting tobacco use; contact information for local health departments; complaint forms for reporting violations and a complaint log; and a form for submitting thank you's.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

North Carolina Newspapers Digitization Project

The North Carolina State Archives has recently completed the North Carolina Newspaper Digitization Project, which now makes available papers that were previously only available on microfilm. The online collection can be browsed or searched by keyword, year, or newspaper title; an advanced search is also available. Several lesson plans for teachers have been provided through a collaboration with Learn NC. The newspapers in the collection range from the earliest paper published in North Carolina, the North Carolina Gazette in 1751, to the 1890s, and includes titles from the following cities: Edenton (1787-1801), Fayetteville (1798-1795), Hillsboro (1786), New Bern (1751-1804), Salisbury (1799-1898), and Wilmington (1765-1816).

Newspapers document a wide range of social, political, and cultural events, and the North Carolina collection is no exception. Among the 23,483 images currently digitized can be found many topics related to medicine and the history of health. For example, a search on malaria yields 438 items; cancer, 295 items; consumption, 1283 items; syphilis, 119 items; mesmerism, 15 items; and headache, 943 items.

The project was funded by an LSTA grant provided by the State Library of North Carolina, and provides a valuable historical resource for the state.

Note: The newspaper pictured above is the Wilmington Gazette, from November 6, 1800.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fine Books & Collections Returning to Print

February 1, 2010, Durham, NC. Fine Books & Collections magazine, which targets collectors of rare and collectible books, will return to a regular print schedule in April 2010.

The magazine had suspended its bi-monthly publication schedule in November 2008, but published an edition in Fall 2009. Based on very positive results, the publishers will return the magazine to print on a quarterly basis. The annual subscription price will be $25.

In announcing its plans, the magazine said it would continue its monthly e-letter online and its very popular blog. According to associate publisher Kim Draper, the web site has grown tremendously in the past year, having just topped 50,000 monthly visitors.

"We don't hope to achieve as much readership in print, but we do think print has a certain charm and value that is impossible to obtain online," says Draper. "It remains a conundrum why collectors of print love reading online, but we are delighted to be able to serve both needs."

The online editor, Rebecca Rego Barry, will also serve as editor of the print edition. According to Barry, the content of the magazine will be a collection of some material used online as well as new features, columns, and resources that will not appear online. "We are intrigued with the idea of archiving some of our best online stories in a print format, but we will also be offering readers new content in each issue. It was a formula that worked very well for us with the edition we published last fall."

The magazine said that it plans some operational changes to make publishing more affordable, most notably that it will not process any subscription without a valid email address. According to Draper, "When we looked at our operation, we realized that contacting people via the postal service was just too expensive. We plan to handle all renewals and communication efforts via email, so there's really no point in having a subscriber with whom we can't communicate."

Writers in the upcoming print edition will include Nicholas Basbanes and Joel Silver, two stalwarts of the book collecting world. The magazine will continue its annual directory of booksellers started last fall that featured more than 700 book-related businesses, and it will add a feature called Biblio/360, an annual guide to classes, societies, fairs, and symposiums related to book collecting.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bullitt Club Lecture on John Collins Warren: "Gentlemen, This Is No Humbug"

The Bullitt History of Medicine Club will be meeting Thursday, February 18, 2010 at the UNC Health Sciences Library in the 5th Floor Conference Room (527). Please join us from 12 to 1pm for light refreshments and lecture. Meetings are free and open to the public.

Dr. Alexander Toledo, Assistant Professor of Surgery at UNC, will be speaking on: "John Collins Warren: 'Gentlemen, This Is No Humbug.'"

Dr. Warren was one of the great figures of American surgery of the nineteenth century. This lecture will focus on the pedigree, career, and contributions of Warren, with special consideration for the birth of anesthesia.

Dr. Toledo works in the Division of Abdominal Transplant Surgery in the UNC Department of Surgery. He received his undergraduate and medical education at the University of Michigan, followed by a residency in general surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center and a fellowship in transplant at Northwestern University. Among his specialties are solid organ transplant, pediatric transplant, living-related organ donation, and adult and pediatric intestinal transplant.

For further information about the Bullitt Club, including the schedule for 2009-10 and mp3 recordings of past lectures, please visit the organization's web site.

Image source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Scene above is believed to be a re-enactment of the demonstration of ether anesthesia by W.T.G. Morton on October 16, 1846. Mr. Holman with surgeons: John Mason Warren, George Hayward, Solomon D. Townsend, John Collins Warren and James Johnson around man on operating table.