Wednesday, July 16, 2014

End Papers

One of the things I do in my day job is curate our collection of paintings and artifacts, including a stacks library of more than 50,000 books, ranging in age from the early 1600’s to the mid-1980’s. Sadly, there is no longer the need for a librarian, because so much of what we have has either been digitized, or it’s hopelessly out of date. However, I probably get a request every other week to hunt up some esoteric piece of information, like the application to our organization for the doctor who treated Edgar Allen Poe before he died, or some long-forgotten book, like an early 1800’s medical school anatomy text.

In looking through these books, I’ve found that they’re a treasure trove of gorgeous end papers! This is a Spanish moiré patterned end paper. I think it’s one of my favourites!IMG_1119

This week, while I was looking for an original patent that is somewhere in our files, I grabbed my camera to capture some of the different end papers I saw in my search. Who knew that each of the patterns had names?

French Curl

Bouquet or Peacock pattern

Turkish pattern

Schroëtel pattern

Shell pattern

In addition to the marbleized patterns, there were also some lovely printed end papers.

And then there are the book covers!

It’s always such fun to see what I discover when I explore the stacks!  For more information and explanations of the marbling techniques, check out this collection from the University of Washington’s library. Here.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Happy Birthday, Sir William!

On July 12th, we celebrate the 165th anniversary of the birth of Sir William Osler, a man who was elemental in the growth and life of MedChi as it entered its second hundred years. Osler

Dr. Osler arrived in Baltimore in 1889, and stayed for 16 years. During that time, he was responsible for establishing the medical program at the newly formed Johns Hopkins Hospital. But it is what he accomplished at MedChi that we are ever thankful for.

When Osler arrived in Baltimore, MedChi was located at offices on Eutaw Street,Eutaw Street which housed a small library of fewer than 5,000 mostly outdated volumes, and the librarian who lived on site. In short order, he joined MedChi, got involved in the Library and Journal Committees, helped hire a new professional librarian, Marcia Noyes,Marcia-crocker-noyes3 (1) and began donating both books and funds to MedChi. He continued this tradition long after he left Hopkins and Baltimore. He was also responsible for getting MedChi to investigate and then build a purpose-build headquarters building, which we still occupy today. 1211 bldgOur Osler Hall and Osler Hallway are named in his honor.

Osler’s most famous work, The Principles and Practice of Medicine, was published up until 2001 and in many languages. It made him very famous and very wealthy. In fact, he pledged his full salary to Hopkins during his tenure there.image

Osler’s real claim to fame was the way medical education was conducted. He moved it from the academic to the practical. He established the interns/residents system of teaching medicine – a clinical clerkship – where the medical students would learn by doing. He advocated making rounds of the wards and bedside teaching, involving the patient. OSLER2

At age 40, Osler was married to Grace Revere Gross, a widow whom he’d met in Philadelphia, and who was a descendant of Paul Revere. imageThey had two children, one of whom died in infancy, and the other Revere, who was killed during World War One. He died in Oxford, England where he was Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University.

After his death, a book fund was established at MedChi in his name, and hundreds of books were purchased with the funds raised. A special bookplate was created by the medical illustrator and engraver, Max Brödel who was a friend of Osler’s. Osler bookplateGoing through the books in our stacks library, we still find numerous volumes with this bookplate as the front-piece.

MedChi is honored to have been associated with Sir William Osler, M.D. and his influence still echoes through our halls.

For more information, please check out the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine’s Profiles in Science about Sir William. Here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ex Libris: The Bookplate Collection, Part III

I was showing one of our History Committee members some of the bookplates today, and he was fascinated. Of course, this reminded me that I needed to put some more of the bookplates on the blog. I think we stopped at H last time, so we’ll move on from there.

II 27

Dr. Henry Barton Jacobs’ wife endowed Johns Hopkins Medical School, with the proviso that they admit women.JacobsJeffriesLyonMachtMorrisOConnorPariseauParrickPerry

Death rather than disgrace.PotterPowell

Art is long, life is short.PriestlyReisRoberts

Which is your favorite?