Brought to Light
The Archives and Special Collections at UCSF Library maintains an extensive collection of rare books in many fields of health sciences. Due to their unique and often fragile nature, rare books are available for use only under supervision. One of the most interesting books in the collection is Liber pestilentialis de venenis epidemie, written in German by Hieronymus Brunschwig and published in Strassburg in 1500. This first edition book was acquired in October 1955 from a rare bookseller in New York City, for a mere $650.00. A transaction note in the book indicates it to be an excessively rare book, especially given its good and complete condition.
This book is an example of incunabula – books printed between the 1450’s and January 1501, using metal type attributable to the transformative printer, Johann Gutenberg. You can note the black and angular gothic print, popular at the time. And as was the convention of the time, the parchment used was known as vellum made from calfskin that is bleached. The book includes 23 large woodcuts, and printed “pointed hand” nota marks in the margins. The book constitutes 40 leaves, or what we would call 80 pages today.
This particular book is considered to be one of the most important documents of its time for the history of contagious diseases, in particular its devotion to means of avoiding and treating the plague. While little is known about the author, army surgeon Hieronymus Brunschwig, he is known to have been a scholar in the field of surgery and credited for having taken advantage of the recently invented printing press to gain influence. He is best known for his first book, Buch der Cirurgia, Hantwirckung der Wundartzny, which served as a guidebook for surgeons and those in training. Also notable for its woodcuts and early specimens of medical illustration, this book draws extensively on Brunschwig’s own experience, and contains the first detailed accounts of gunshot wounds in medical literature.
For more information, please refer to these sources:
Dawn of Western Printing. (2004). Incunabula. http://www.ndl.go.jp/incunabula/e/index.html
Tubbs, R. S., Bosmia, A. N., Mortazavi, M. M., Loukas, M., Shoja, M., & Gadol, A. A. C. (2012). Hieronymus Brunschwig (c. 1450–1513): his life and contributions to surgery. Child’s Nervous System, 28(4), 629-632.
Waife, S. O. (Ed). (1976). Notable medical books. Lilly Research Laboratories.
This season’s issue of UCSF Magazine, Fall 2013, includes a story inspired by a photograph in our collection and features an audio clip from one of our oral histories.
This compelling photograph (which, despite appearances, is not a scene from a sci-fi movie) depicts Dr. Robert Stone with the machine he created, the 70MeV electron synchroton. The synchrotron was a type of particle accelerator used to treat cancer patients with radiation from 1956 to 1964. Stone’s work contributed greatly to the safe clinical use of radiation.
The article in UCSF Magazine goes on to elaborate on Stone’s impact here at UCSF and on the wider medical community. The online version of the article also highlights a clip of Stone’s oral history, OH 23, taken in 1964. Be sure to check it out to hear Stone’s story in his own words!
You can read more about Stone’s role in the history of Radiation Oncology at UCSF from 1928-1962 here.
You may know that the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education here at UCSF is an internationally respected collaborative effort dedicated to reducing deaths associated with tobacco and the tobacco industry, conducting research in the areas of how to treat tobacco addiction, the effects of second hand smoke, and other tobacco-related topics. The Center works closely with the UCSF Library on the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library to collect and preserve documents created by major tobacco companies related to their advertising, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and scientific research activities. Our next activity together? Processing the UCSF Tobacco Control Oral History Collection – interviews with 150 physicians, epidemiologists, public health officials, community-based activists and educators, lobbyists and policy makers – all working in the area of tobacco control.
An interview with Stanton Glantz, Ph.D. Center Director and the American Legacy Foundation Distinguished Professor of Tobacco Control at UCSF revealed that the Oral History project, conducted between 1994-2001, was an integral part of his National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded project to travel to 24 states and complete detailed histories of tobacco control policymaking and efforts by the tobacco industry to thwart these policies. As Dr. Glantz and members of his research group travelled the country, they found key informants and recorded the interviews that would become part of this collection. In part, these interviews helped inform the resulting Reports on State Tobacco Policy Making. And the project goes on. As state reports are continually researched, written and published, more interviews with individuals who can shed particular light on political activities and state tobacco control programs are conducted and recorded.
So, check back here next month to see how you can find out what is available, and how you can access and listen to this collection of cassette tapes!
UCSF Archives intern and student at San José State University, School of Library and Information Science concentrating in Archival Studies and Records Management
Today we would like to officially inaugurate the UCSF Archives and Special Collections audiovisual collection on the Internet Archive.
UCSF has been participating in the California Audiovisual Preservation Program (CAVPP) since its inception in 2010. This innovative program that received funding from the California State Library, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) partners with diverse archives, museums and libraries from around the state to provide “digitization and access services for historic California audiovisual recordings.” The goal of the project is to save the rapidly deteriorating California audiovisual heritage: the majority of the cultural institutions in the state have hundreds of recordings in obsolete formats and poor physical condition.
The program selects the recordings based on the following criteria:
• statewide and/or local historical significance – (ideally) featuring widely known names and events
• risk of loss due to physical condition and format obsolescence
• never published commercially– must be primary source material
• intellectual property in the public domain, held by the owning library, or secured from the rights holder, when possible
CAVPP pays for digitization of materials according to best practices and standards, copies of digital files, management of metadata, and provides public access via the California Light and Sound online collection on the Internet Archive.
The UCSF collection includes 20 recordings with 11 more currently being digitized. Please take some time to browse these films and audio recordings documenting the development and growth of UCSF. In the next few months we will be showcasing individual items and today we would like to highlight a tape made at the centennial celebration of the School of Medicine on November 20, 1964:
This tape contains almost 4 hours of recordings including addresses and presentations by William O. Reinhardt, Dean, School of Medicine; John B. de C. M. Saunders, Chancellor; Herbert Evans; H. Glenn Bell; William Kerr; Chauncey D. Leake; Peter Forsham; J. Englebert Dunphy; Alexander R. Margulis; Ernest W. Page; Harvey M. Patt; Seymor M. Farber; Henry S. Mass; Samuel Sherman; Alexander Simon; Lloyd H. Smith. To view the centennial program that included photographs by Ansel Adams please click here.
Here is a short excerpt from William O. Reinhardt, M.D. welcome introduction:
“…What are the functions of a school of medicine? The three basic essentials must be teaching, research and community service. The neglect of any one of these spells potential failure of its role. Indeed, the more that these three phases can be melded together, the greater the accomplishment of the institution will be.
Looking back with pride we see new potentials for the future. Therefore, the Centennial Committee has planned a program in which distinguished members of the faculty will survey the past and attempt to project the necessary directions of the future.
But for its greatest usefulness a school of medicine must offer more than narrow disciplines. It must turn our leaders in the community, thoughtful individuals well versed in many fields beyond the confines of the profession itself. Therefore, the celebration of the Centennial closes with a reconsideration of the role of the humanities in the education and profession of the physician.”
To commemorate Veterans’ Day, we bring you a letter from our collections written by Florence Nightingale in 1855 to the family of a solider who passed away in Scutari (now Üsküdar in Istanbul) during the Crimean War. Accompanying the letter is a document that appraises the Nightingale letter and provides a bit more back story written by a rare book dealer, J. W. Todd, Jr. in 1975.
The Florence Nightingale letter was donated to the archives by Zina Mirsky RN, EdD in 2012. One of her former students, Darlene Anderson had given her this letter. Early in her career, Mirsky served on active duty as a Navy Nurse and later spent over 40 years at UCSF.
One of the many volumes in the UCSF Special Collections is a first edition of De Plantis Exoticis, written by Prosper Alpini and first published in 1627. Take a look at the engraved title page below:
De Plantis Exoticis, edited posthumously by Aplini’s son, builds on an earlier work of the author’s, De Plantis Aegypti liber, 1592. Exoticis boasts 145 beautiful, full-page engravings of plants, comprising nearly half of the entire volume.
Alpini was born in the Republic of Venice in 1553 and died at the age of 63 in 1617. During his career he was a personal physician and a professor of botany at Padua. Alpini was the first to publish descriptions of many plants that were unknown to other botanists at the time. Much of this information was gathered during his travels to Crete, other Greek islands, and Egypt.
During 2013 fall semester the UCSF Archives is hosting two interns:
René is a 5th semester student at San José State University, School of Library and Information Science concentrating in Archival Studies and Records Management. She has an A.B. in Political Science from Brown University, and is making a career change after many years of working with low-income children and families in the not-for-profit sector. She also works part-time as the librarian at Escuela Bilingüe Internacional in Oakland, California. While learning archival theory and practice, René will work on processing the Tobacco Control Oral History Collection. She will also help us survey, arrange, and create an inventory for the UCSF Oral History Collection.
Jesse is currently a senior at the University of San Francisco majoring in History with emphasis in Latin America and the United States. He is originally from Los Angeles and has lived there most of his life before coming to school here in the Bay Area. After he graduates from USF, Jesse is planning to apply to either medical school or a master’s program in Public Health, he still hasn’t decided. Jesse selected the UCSF Archives for his USF History Internship. This internship program is designed to be an opportunity for undergraduate history majors to learn about the many ways that history is practiced “in the real world.” Jesse will help us with several projects, including organizing University Relations audio-visual collection and preparing descriptions for the rare books identified for preservation program.
In the past year we have revived a long-standing tradition of providing a space to learn new skills and gain professional experience working in established archives to undergraduate and graduate students from the Bay Area colleges. We are excited that these two hard-working interns joined our team, please be on a look out for their dispatches from archives.
The theme of the 2013 Archives Month in California is “Working to Preserve our History.” This month-long celebration helps highlight tireless efforts by archivists, librarians, historians, volunteers, and community members to safeguard the treasures of the past for future generations.
UCSF Archives would like to invite everyone to visit the library to view two exhibits that display materials from our holdings:
- 1st floor gallery: Japanese woodblock prints: Pharmacy and Pharmacists
- 5th floor gallery: School of Pharmacy History: Robert L. Day Collection
If you are not able to travel you can enjoy our numerous digital collections online.
We are extending the invitation to all students, staff, faculty, researchers, and general public to make an appointment and visit the archives reading room to find out how we can help you and learn interesting facts about UCSF history.
Visit the California Archives Month website to learn about state-wide events and view images that were submitted by diverse repositories, including UCSF Archives, for this year’s poster that celebrates California’s workers and California archives’ ability to preserve labor history.
This somewhat rusty, old, copper box is a significant piece of UCSF history. It’s the cornerstone of the first medical school building on the UCSF Parnassus campus.
The “Old Medical School Building,” see photographs here and here, was completed in 1898 and torn down in the spring of 1967. The building was originally erected to both provide more room for and consolidate the dispersed campus of the Affiliated Colleges onto Parnassus Avenue. (Briefly, the Affiliated Colleges were part of the University of California and refer to the Schools of Pharmacy, Medicine, and Dentistry– later known as UCSF.) This new site, overlooking Golden Gate Park where the Parnassus campus of UCSF still is today, was donated by the mayor of San Francisco, Alfred Sutro, in 1895.
The cornerstone of the medical school, laid on March 27, 1897, was comprised of a copper box which functioned as a time capsule. The box was unearthed and cut open in March of 1967 when the building was torn down. Inside the box were well preserved San Francisco newspapers, a copy of the site deed donated by Adolph Sutro, photos of the Affiliated College Buildings, and University announcements of the establishment of the schools of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and law.
Above are the headlines from the San Francisco edition of the Evening Post, dated March 26, 1897– one of several newspapers included in the box. Upon close inspection, you may notice that one of the headlines is particularly interesting, seemingly included nonironically, it reads “Poor Rock is Used – Affiliated College’s Foundation. Scandal That Is Now Cropping Out. An Investigation Is Desired. Material of Such Bad Quality That It Readily Crumbles Away.” The unsubstantiated crumbling rock scandal must have been resolved quickly as the building not only functioned for 70 years but also survived the 1906 earthquake.
The old medical school building was torn down to make room for the newer, up-to-date buildings. Between the 1950s and 1980s much of what we know of today as the Parnassus campus was built and came into shape.
As evidenced by the newspaper, the cornerstone’s contents remain in very good condition. Pictured below are two pages from the Medical Department’s Thirty-fourth Annual Announcement, 1896-1897. The pages detail the basic outline of the program. The curriculum is summarized with the following three components: increase of the time of study to four years, yearly examinations, and graded studies. Furthermore, the subjects to be covered in each year of study are delineated.
The cornerstone provides a fantastic and interesting snapshot of both life in San Francisco at the turn of the century and, even more so, the evolving status of UCSF and it’s curriculum.
Here at the Archives & Special Collections we have, in addition to papers, books, and artifacts, a collection of works of art. This collection is widely unknown on campus due to our limited ability to showcase the pieces. However, this anonymity will come to an end with our new rotating art program. Through this initiative, we will be displaying different pieces of art on the walls of our reading room and changing them approximately every three months.
The larger of the two portraits depicts William John Kerr. Kerr (1889-1965) was a prominent doctor, researcher, and teacher. After his graduation from Harvard Medical School in 1915, he joined the UC faculty and became the first full-time chair of the Division of Medicine in 1927. He pursued a special interest in cardiology for the duration of his involvement with UCSF. The artist Alfred Jonniaux was a Belgian-born, successful portrait painter. He spent the first half of his career mainly in Paris and London. During WWII, Jonniaux fled to the U.S., became an American citizen, and established studios in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco.
The second subject is John Bertrand deCusance Morant Saunders (1903-1991) who was a well-known doctor, researcher, and teacher. He held a number of posts at UCSF including Dean of the School of Medicine, University Librarian, and the first Provost of the Medical Center as well as the first Chancellor from 1964 to 1966. His association with the university was strong beginning in 1931 and lasting until long after his retirement in 1971. The artist, Rosebud Preddy, was a medical illustrator who graduated from Oakland High School and attended the University of California. In the 1930s she began painting in San Francisco as a pupil of Francis Woodcock, a local commercial artist. Preddy was a longtime medical illustrator at Letterman Hospital.
The name Saunders may ring a bell to many readers. His namesake, Saunders Court, is a popular place on the Parnassus Campus to sit outside and enjoy lunch. It’s located behind Medical Sciences and Clinical Sciences and further bordered by Health Sciences West and the School of Nursing.
This handmade cookbook, from the University Archives collection AR 2012-22, offers a glimpse into UCSF student life 60 years ago. Compiled by the spouses of students in the School of Medicine class of 1953, it includes recipes for main dishes, salads, dressing, desserts, and “specials.”
Need new casserole recipes? Eggplant is season! And, some would argue that pork chops never go out of season…
Curious about other recipes? Always wanted to make a Tomato Mayonnaise Ring? Click on the Table of Contents images above to view them in a larger, more readable size. Then just leave a comment below and let us know what you’d like to see! Perhaps we’ll post it.
UPDATE: We received requests for two recipes (via the comments section and Facebook). Ladies and gentlemen, Radio Hash Casserole and Beef Stroganoff!
Bob Day: An Oral History
When Robert (Bob) Day retired from UCSF in 2012, his legacy could be measured not only in the number of years of service, students taught, and jokes cracked but also in pounds, volume, and linear feet. Readers of this blog know from recent posts that Bob Day was an inveterate collector of material related to the history of pharmacy in general and the UCSF School of Pharmacy in particular, and the material he accumulated over his 50 years with the university was donated to the UCSF Library’s Archives and Special Collections. The materials processed by archivists totaled 40 linear feet, over 45 boxes, and an untold number of individual items. You might be asking yourself, what does all of this material tell us? What is its significance? And what kind of person would be compelled to collect all of these items?
All of those questions were asked – and many of them answered – in a long, detailed, interesting, and rollicking oral history interview I conducted with Bob in the first three months of 2013. In partnership with the UCSF School of Pharmacy and the UCSF Library’s Archives and Special Collections, the Regional Oral History Office of the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley planned and conducted this interview. In all, a little over 12 hours of interviews were committed to videotape, which were then transcribed, edited, and, now, made available to you here: http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/roho/ucb/text/day_bob_public.pdf.
What transpired in those dozen hours?
Well, the transcript contains nothing less than a broad, well-conceived history of pharmacy over the course of the twentieth century. Bob offers insights into the early history of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, drawing on the documents he collected over the years. He discusses the transformation of pharmacy education, including the emergence of PharmD degree in the 1950s—in the process answering why the degree was needed then and thus why it took hold as a professional standard. Some of the most interesting, and important, exchanges addressed the famed “Ninth Floor Project” at UCSF and the birth of clinical pharmacy practice in the United States; Bob’s account is brought alive through his well-drawn portraits of the many young Turks who ventured into the unknown and quite literally changed pharmacy as a result. The overall arc of history portrayed in this interview clearly shows the transformation of a profession from one that sold goods to one that offered services, from one that was stymied by other medical professionals to one that would make important and necessary contributions to medicine, from one that was “product-focused” to one that became firmly “patient-focused” (thanks to Dean Guglielmo for offering up that last formulation). With this interview, we not only have an outline of the history of pharmacy in the twentieth century, we have a pretty good first draft of it too.
Along with the detailed institutional story and the history of the profession, the interview offers great insight into the question, what kind of person would collect so much material about the history of pharmacy? Bob reveals a bit about his upbringing in Sacramento and his brief flirtation with enrolling in Catholic seminary school. He discusses his interest in chemistry but also a frustrating incident at UC Berkeley which sent him in a previously unforeseen direction: pharmacy school. A spirit of generosity is laid bare when he discusses the Ninth Floor Project—always giving credit to his colleagues and usually decentering his own role in the process: rarely have I conducted an interview in which the names of colleagues appear so regularly and with such appreciation. Bob’s ability to change comes forth in the interview as well. Not only is he ready to move with (and himself push) changes in the profession, but he tells how the events of the 1960s, particularly the Kent State shootings, profoundly affected him and thus sent him in a different direction personally: gone were suits and ties, new were jeans, a long beard, and a sense of connection with what was happening down the street in the Haight-Ashbury. The connections between his own life and the changes happening in the profession of pharmacy are readily apparent in the transcript, but I’ll hold off on pointing them out here for that might ruin some of the pleasure in reading this remarkable story, told so well.
The two-hundred and thirty seven pages of this interview transcript offer much more too, more than even can be alluded to in this short blog. I encourage you to read the transcript, and I want thank the many people who made this undertaking possible, including Dean Joseph Guglielmo, University Librarian Karen Butter, Archivist Polina Ilieva, and, of course, Bob Day himself.
Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library