Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2016 Hunt History of Maryland Medicine Lecture on May 26th.

4x6 Postcard front

Please join us for this year's History of Maryland Medicine Lecture will feature Tales from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Maryland presented by Bruce Goldfarb of the OCME.

The Maryland ME's office is the first state-wide medical examiner in the country, established in 1939 at the suggestion of members of MedChi. The ME's office is home to the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, a series of miniature rooms depicting crime scenes used to train detectives in the art of finding evidence. The ME's office also contains Scarpetta House, a crime scene house funded by novelist Patricia Cornwell.

The six-year old, $43 million Forensic Medical Center is the largest free-standing medical examiner's office in the country. imageState-of-the art forensic investigation tools help with the autopsies of more than 8,000 bodies each year and investigations of another 10,000 deaths. The OCME is also equipped with a bio-safety laboratory to handle investigations of infectious agents.

The Hunt Lecture will take place on Thursday, May 26th in MedChi's Osler Hall. A reception will be held at 5:45 and the lecture will begin at 6:30 p.m. The lecture is free but reservations are required. Please RSVP here. There is plenty of free and paid parking in the immediate area.

This promises to be a fascinating evening.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Great News!

As of this writing, Maryland is one of only three states which doesn’t have its medical journals digitized. But that’s all about to change! We are taking part, with the UM School of Medicine’s Health Sciences and Human Services Library, in a project to digitize our Maryland Medical Journal volumes from 1900 to 1960. We stop at 1960 due to some copyright and royalty issues.

Vol 11-1

The name of our publication seems to wander back and forth between the Bulletin, the Maryland Medical Journal and the Journal. Separately, there’s a publication called “Transactions” which is the proceedings of the spring and fall House of Delegates meetings, as well as various academic articles.Session 74

The great news is that we’ve received a donation in support of the archives which we will be using to digitize the pre-1900 Maryland Medical Journal volumes!

In February, I visited Archives.org, which is located at the National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Maryland. I had spoken to them on the advice of the HSHS Library, and found that’s where they’re digitizing the rest of the Journals. They digitized one volume for me as a test, and it was PERFECT! You can look at it here. imageYou can go through it page by page, or search for a specific term or person. It is going to be a massive aid to those doing medical research in the late 19th century and to those searching for their ancestors.

Once the pre-1900 Journals are digitized, they will be uploaded to Archives.org and attributed to MedChi. We can add a page on our website with links to the Journals.

While I love searching for things in our archives, much of the time, I get vague requests, such as “I think it’s sometime in 1945” only to find that it was really an article in 1959. Or the request to find our which medical school Grandpa attended, only to notify the caller that there were about a dozen medical schools in Baltimore in 1900.

I will make a (huge) announcement when everything’s finally on-line!

Friday, April 8, 2016

What I Found: Pressed Flowers

On Friday afternoons, I generally poke around the archives and the stacks. Today, I was searching for something specific, which I didn’t find, to my chagrin.

But I did find an early copy of the Dictionary of Chemicals, published in 1771.  IMG_0110IMG_0111

As I leafed through the book, something caught my eye, and so I flipped through, page by page, until I found it. IMG_0112

It was a petal, pressed between the pages. I tried to see if there was something specific on the page that would explain why the petal was there, but nothing caught my eye.

As I continued turning page, I found more and more petals, some making heart shapes on the pages. IMG_0113IMG_0114IMG_0118

I thought this was so enchanting, and wondered who had put the petals there, and why they were keeping them. IMG_0115IMG_0116IMG_0117

At the end of this volume, I found this wonderful table of chemical characters, IMG_0003

and this note to the book-binder.

I love discovering things like this.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Medical Annals of Maryland

I frequently use The Medical Annals of Maryland in my research, mostly the digital version which is linked here. It’s so much easier to digitally search for a name or date. Actually, it’s nearly impossible to search for a date in the book, although names are in the index.

However, sometimes it’s just simpler to flip from page to page when working on a project, like my current one of listing every President of MedChi, along with a two- or three-sentence biography.*

So, it amazes me that I still have to cut pages of my copy of the Annals, which was published in 1904, and is obviously very well used.image

Luckily, I keep a knife on my desk, just for that job!

*Look for this on the Center’s website within a few weeks. I will let you know when it’s been published.