Friday, July 16, 2010

An Odyssey of Knowledge: A New Online Exhibition from the National Library of Medicine

"An Odyssey of Knowledge: Medieval Manuscripts and Early Printed Books from the National Library of Medicine," is a new online exhibition at the National Library of Medicine by visiting curator Dr. Alain Touwaide of the Smithsonian Institution. As described on the exhibition web site:
Medicine in the Old World arose from many components: the classical Greek tradition, its Christian re-elaboration, the contributions of the Arabic World, and the unique medieval synthesis of them all. By examining significant pages and illuminations from manuscripts and early printed books of the National Library of Medicine, one can see how these cultures contributed to the creation of medical knowledge in Europe.
The exhibition is organized by the following sections: Greek Medicine and Science in the Early Middle Ages; The Arabic Contribution; A Crossroad of Knowledge: Southern Italy; The Spread of Translation; From Translation To Teaching; Diffusion; The Return of Greek; and The Many Uses of Books and Texts.

The collections of the National Library of Medicine include 90 Western manuscripts written before 1601. Many of the Library's manuscripts are recorded in Dorothy M. Schullian and Francis E. Sommer, A Catalogue of Incunabula and Manuscripts in the Army Medical Library (1950), and Seymour De Ricci and W.J. Wilson, Census of Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in the United States and Canada (1935–1940), with a supplement by C.U. Faye and W.H. Bond in 1962.

Note: The image above depicts an illuminated manuscript initial with two physicians in conversation (Paris, 13th century); it is from the National Library of Medicine's Manuscript E 78, folio 35 recto.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Future of the History of Medicine Conference

The Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine is hosting a three-day international conference on The Future of the History of Medicine from July 15-17, 2010. The scope, breadth, and viability of the field as a whole in the 21st Century will be discussed in Panel Sessions on The Neurological Turn, The Cultures of Food, The Place of Non-Humans in the Project of Medical Humanism, Asian Medicine, and Global Health. The list of speakers as well as the final program are available online.

As reported in several earlier posts, the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine is slated for closure. An online petition to "Save History of Medicine at UCL" recently concluded with over 4,100 supporters. Details on the petition are being collated and a summary of the main points is being prepared for submission to both the Wellcome Trust and University College London.

Call for Papers: Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science

The Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science (SAHMS) invites paper proposals for its thirteenth annual meeting on March 4-5, 2011, at the famous Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, sponsored by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Library.

SAHMS welcomes papers on the history of medicine and science, broadly construed to encompass historical, literary, anthropological, philosophical and sociological approaches to health care and science including race, disabilities and gender studies. Participants may propose individual papers of panels of several papers on a particular theme.

Each presenter is limited to 20 minutes, with additional time for questions and discussion. Please do not submit papers that have already been published, presented or scheduled for presentation at another meeting. All participants are responsible for their own travel expenses and must pay registration costs in advance of the meeting. Student travel awards are available each year; for more information, contact SAHMS President Michael Flannery at

To submit proposals, please visit the online submission site. The deadline is September 30, 2010. Required elements for the online proposals include Title, Purpose Statement, Rationale and Significance, Methodology, Sources, Findings & Conclusions, and Three Learning Objectives. For questions or problems with the submission site, contact Richard Nollan ( or Lisa Pruitt (

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Call for Papers: American Association for the History of Medicine

The American Association for the History of Medicine invites submissions in any area of medical history for its 84th annual meeting, to be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania April 28 through May 1, 2011. The Association welcomes submissions on the history of health and healing; history of medical ideas, practices, and institutions; and histories of illness, disease, and public health. Submissions from all eras and regions of the world are welcome. In addition to single-paper proposals, the Program Committee accepts abstracts for sessions and for luncheon workshops. Please alert the Program Committee Chair if you are planning a session proposal. Individual papers for these submissions will be judged on their own merits.

Presentations are limited to 20 minutes. Individuals wishing to present a paper must attend the meeting. All papers must represent original work not already published or in press. Because the Bulletin of the History of Medicine is the official journal of the AAHM, the Association encourages speakers to make their manuscripts available for consideration by the Bulletin.

The AAHM uses an online abstract submissions system. We encourage all applicants to use this convenient software. A link for submissions will be posted to the AAHM website. Abstracts must be received by September 15, 2010.

If you are unable to submit proposals online, send eight copies of a one-page abstract (350 words maximum) to the Program Committee Chair, Susan E. Lederer (; tel: 608.262.4195), Dept. of Medical History and Bioethics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, 1300 University Ave. Madison, WI 53706.

When proposing a historical argument, state the major claim, summarize the evidence supporting the claim, and state the major conclusion(s). When proposing a narrative, summarize the story, identify the major agents, and specify the conflict. Please provide the following information on the same sheet as the abstract: name, preferred mailing address, work and home telephone numbers, e-mail address, present institutional affiliation, and academic degrees.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Guide to the History of Medicine and the Health Sciences

A guide to selected resources in the history of medicine and the health sciences is available at the Special Collections web site at UNC Health Sciences Library; a PDF version is also available for download. While not a comprehensive compendium, the guide contains links to scores of useful tools and research materials at UNC and at other institutions around the United States and abroad. Organized by section, it covers the following areas of interest:

— Professional & Scholarly Associations
— Libraries
— Online & Print Catalogs
— Classification Schemes & Catalog Searching
— Digital Collections
— Online Exhibitions
— Aggregator Sites
— Listservs & Blogs
— Bookdealers, Antiquarians & Auction Houses
— Dissertations
— Oral Histories
— Museums
— Archives & Manuscripts
— UNC Special Collections
— UNC Online Resources & Guides
— Online Journals
— Selected Books & References
— Digitization
— Preservation & Conservation
— Book Collecting
— Information Management
— Funding & Opportunities

A guide to researching Public Health at UNC is available online as well.