Brought to Light Blog
From 1912-1913, UC surgeon Saxton T. Pope kept a notebook detailing his laboratory research. Throughout the record, he included drawings of the experimental medical instruments and procedures he was developing.
Two of the more elaborate illustrations in the notebook detail his work with ether administration. Ether was commonly used in the 19th and early 20th century as an anesthetic during surgical procedures.
To see more from the notebook and learn about Pope and his work, make an appointment to see the Saxton Temple Pope papers, MSS 26-3.
Country Joe McDonald, singer, songwriter, and social advocate, co-founder of the Country Joe & the Fish rock band remembered for his performance in Woodstock, recently donated his Florence Nightingale collection to the UCSF archives. This International Nurses Day, May 12th, we asked Joe several questions about his unusual archive that contains 7 oversize boxes of printed materials, ephemera, and books as well as a website “Country Joe McDonald’s Tribute to Florence Nightingale.”
1. What got you interested in the life of Florence Nightingale?
I heard Lynda Van Devanter, an Army Vietnam War nurse speak in 1981 at a symposium on the problems of Vietnam veterans. She challenged other veterans, saying we ignored the needs and service of women in the military. I took it to heart and promised her I would write a song for her. But I knew nothing of nursing except the name Florence Nightingale. I looked in the encyclopedia and it said Florence Nightingale had gone to nurse English soldiers at the request of the English government during the Crimean War in 1854. That she was an upper class woman and she suffered a nervous disorder for the rest of her life. Vietnam veterans were suffering from PTSD as a result of their experiences. I found this similarity very interesting and wanted to know more. I went to a well known used book store in Oakland and found two books on her life. One was Sir Edward Cook’s book. The other, Cecil Woodham-Smith’s book. I read them both. And that was the beginning of my journey.
2. For how long have you been documenting her story?
It was 1981 when I first heard Lynda speak, so it is over thirty years.
3. How do you select materials to add to your collection?
At first it was not a collection. But I needed to learn about England and the Victorian Era in order to understand what I was reading. So one thing led to another. Then I decided to visit the places important to her life. Wherever I went I would pick up stuff about the place I visited and her. She was such a huge social phenomena, such a famous person after the war, that lots of stuff was created about her and using her name. Since she was a recluse lots of it was just made up to satisfy the desire of the public to have a bit of her. She was famous on the level of Kim Kardashian or Princess Kate. I found this very interesting. So there was stuff that was intelligent and accurate and stuff that was pure fantasy and frivolous.
I tried to get it all. I trolled Amazon and Internet book sites grabbing whatever I found that was not too expensive. Since I had a web person who was building my professional home page for me I decided to create a home page for her. Using the facts and stuff I found out about her. We started with a time line of her life. It just grew and grew. It seemed to me to be endlessly interesting. I was amazed at the diversity of her life and nursing. I found it very hard to stop adding things.
4. What is your favorite item in this collection?
It is difficult to pick one item. But I will mention a copy I made of many of the pages of her third edition of Notes On Hospitals. I got an original through interlibrary loan from a library in Pasadena. Such a thing could never happen today. There are three editions of Notes On Hospitals. I have a facsimile of the original which is part of the collection. But the one always mentioned in writings about her is the third edition.
Much to my amazement the copy I got from inter library loan had a signature of Adelaide Nutting the famous nurse historian on the cover page. I felt like an archaeologist making a discovery. I guess the copy the library had once belonged to Adelaide Nutting. I probably could have just kept the copy and no one would have cared much. Such is the treatment Florence Nightingale is often given. She even predicted this. When the Edison Company recorded her voice she said that “some day when I am no longer a memory, just a name.” And today that is seems the case. Everyone knows her name but very little about her except the common folklore. I could not in good conscience keep the original. So I made copies of many of the pages. Even that would not be allowed today. And those pages are part of the collection. Looking at those pages one sees what a theoretician, innovator and statistician she was.
5. You wrote several songs about nurses, where can we listen to them?
I have had several ideas about how to tell the story of her life. I thought of a documentary called “On The Trail Of Miss Nightingale” where a host visited and talked about all the locations important to her life. Then, because I am a songwriter a few songs about her and nursing just came to me. Then I got the idea to write an opera about her life and wrote some more songs. Then I got the idea of a spoken word and song one man show about her life and nursing complete with projected slides. Then I tried to write a film treatment. A couple of the songs made it onto CD’s. I made a CD of four nurse songs called “Thank The Nurse” and still have a few of those around. I am currently working on a new album and it will include several new songs about her and her sister. Over the years I have performed and talked about Florence Nightingale only a dozen times. I am amazed at the lack of song and film and about Florence Nightingale and nursing. Even though she is probably the most written about woman in history. She is never named as one of the famous and important women in the 20th century.
I think her image is tangled up in the convoluted thoughts and disinformation about women in general and nurses in particular. In today’s world there seems to be a lack of interest in history and an emphasis on the present and making a living. Perhaps that makes good common sense in today’s market place. But I still believe that her story is exciting, important and should be told.
6. Why did you decide to build a website telling the story of Florence Nightingale, what else does it include?
It started as a simple idea. I wanted to show how interesting her life was and how important a person she was. We started with a timeline containing important events in her life from before her birth to her death. Each time I learned or discovered something new we added it. It is the only such site in the world. That just happened one thing at a time over a period of almost twenty years. It is impossible for me to say what it includes. I will just say it includes everything I think is important to her life. You will not find some of that information any place else. I hope that UCSF Nursing School will continue to add to the site now that it is archived by the university.
7. Do you know how many visitors it attracts?
It is hard to interpret visitors to a site. But I will guess several hundred a month. Many of them are school children doing studies on famous women. I would be interested to know who uses the site. It was built for my own entertainment so I never had in mind visitors really.
8. Now that your collection and website are preserved at the UCSF Archives will you continue adding materials and updating the site?
I doubt that I will add much more to the site. But you never know. It would be wonderful if UCSF students doing nurse history would add to the site. There is now a new generation growing up with the internet and computers and they certainly could expand the site.
9. For many years you have being performing a show based on the story of Florence Nightingale and other war nurses, where can our readers view it?
There really is no where to view it. I thought over the years that there should be some film or video made so that it could perhaps be used as an educational tool but that never happened. I do not perform much any more. I did do a short performance of spoken word and song in a Berkeley book store a few months ago around the subject of War Nursing. That was the first time I did that. I used material from the Crimean War, World War I and the Vietnam War with a subject theme of “burn out.”
10. Do you have any nurses in your family?
My wife is a Labor and Delivery nurse and RN midwife. My brother retired after 37 years as a nurse and then nurse practitioner. My daughter just graduated and received her RN license. My niece is a nurse at UCSF Hospital and her husband is an RN. As an aside, my mother’s name was Florence. It is said that most of the women of the 19th and 20th century named Florence were named after her. She was named Florence after the Italian city of her birth, Florence .
11. What do you want to wish the nurses around the world on this International Nurses Day that is celebrated on the birthday of Florence Nightingale?
I hope that nurses are able to appreciate the great sacrifices that those early pioneers made creating the wonderful profession of nursing. I hope that they are able to be proud of the work they do. I want them to know that we appreciate what they do daily often saving lives and allowing us all to lead happy and healthy lives. And I hope that they are able to take the day off and treat themselves to some well earned R&R.
This is the second year we’ll be participating in this event to celebrate local audiovisual treasures. The breadth of last year’s showing was immense– so many facets of Bay Area history were represented. This year we’re contributing a couple of clips from the UCSF School of Pharmacy of the 1960s.
Join Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) Preservation program staff for an evening of audiovisual preservation revelry. Anchored by recent selections from BAVC’s Preservation Access Program* (PAP), tonight’s program includes archivist favorites, unexpected gems, and rarely seen treats from artist-and arts organization-participants in PAP, as well as from other Bay Area preservation organizations— including Stanford Media Preservation Lab, Internet Archive, Oddball Films, UCSF Archives, the GLBT Historical Society and California Audiovisual Preservation Project. We look forward to sharing recent and prized preservation work for what is sure to be a congenial celebration of archival craft and our media legacy.
When: May 14, 2015 | 7PM |
Where: BAVC | 2727 Mariposa St., 2nd Flr. San Francisco, CA 94110
Admission: $10 suggested donation. Let us know you’re coming. RSVP here!
We hope to see you there! And if you’d like to see what we screened last year, click over to the Internet Archive to see UCSF’s moving memento films from the 1930s.
In preparation for UCSF’s 150th anniversary celebration exhibits, we’ve been doing a bit of exploring in the vaults. For the next several months, I’ll be posting some of the treasures we’ve discovered!
Check out the course registration process for UC Medical Department student Felix Bettelheim in 1878 and 1879. Forms included lecture admission tickets to courses in anatomy and surgery. The back of the tickets would be signed by the professor as a way to track attendance.
Note Hugh Toland’s name as instructor of surgery. Toland founded Toland Medical College in 1864 and later deeded the school to the UC. His gift created the UC Medical Department and paved the way for the establishment of UCSF.
Bettelheim received certificates for completing dissection courses. According to a note in the collection, tickets to dissection courses were closely monitored to “prevent the morbidly curious from attending.”
Bettelheim’s tuition included fees for dissection labs. As noted in the receipt, it cost $3 to attend the “right lower” course. Bettelheim graduated in 1880, we hope debt free!
William Fuller Sharp, DMD, DDS, was the first alumni of the Dental Department of the Affiliated Colleges of the University of California (later UCSF School of Dentistry) to be placed on the faculty– where he remained for over fifty years. Sharp joined the school as an instructor in 1894, later becoming Professor of Mechanical Dentistry in 1899, Professor of Prosthetic Dentistry, Professor of Clinical Prosthodontia, and Professor of Prosthodontia, Emeritus in 1921. Sharp served as Acting Dean from 1926-1927 while Guy S. Millberry was on leave.
Above, Sharp with dental prostheses, undated.
WF Sharp’s office, operating room, April 18, 1906.
Sharp in his office, April 18, 1906.
Lecture & Opening Reception
May 28, 2015, 3 – 5 pm
Lecturer: Robert S. Sherins, MD (UCSF, School of Medicine, Class of 1963)
This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.
REGISTRATION REQUIRED: tiny.ucsf.edu/lecture528
Lange Room, 5th Floor, UCSF Library – Parnassus
530 Parnassus Ave, SF, CA 94143
According to the United States Eye Injury Registry, each year there are more than 2.5 million eye injuries, from which 50,000 people permanently lose all or part of their vision, often leaving them severely disfigured. Through the centuries there had been many attempts to create safe, cosmetically pleasing and comfortable ocular prostheses. However, past devices were not designed well enough, fit poorly due to the gross sizing of the prosthetic samples and most of them were certainly irritating due to the use of unsuitable materials that were available at the time.
Often called the “father of ocular prosthesis,” French surgeon Ambroise Paré in 16th century invented a device (Ekblephara) consisting of a leather-covered metal base with a painted eye, lid and lashes that was worn over the eyelid. Later on, Paré developed a metal accessory (Hypoblephara eye) that was inserted under the eyelid into the socket over the remaining atrophic eye.
Modern methods of creating ocular prostheses can be traced to the ingenuity of Ludwig Müller-Uri, a Glasbläser (glassblower) from Lauscha, Province of Thuringia, Germany. The town’s craftsmen also were known for their Christmas glass decorations, glass marbles, utilitarian housewares and doll’s eyes. After training with Prof. Heinrich Adelmann, an ophthalmologist in Würzburg, Müller-Uri became an “Augenprothetik” (prosthetic eye-maker) or ocularist. He improved the artificial eyes by individually fitting each prosthetic. Müller-Uri created the iris details using special tools to apply the pigments he blended to most realistically resemble the natural eye. By 1835, he began using a better quality glass from the local factory. It was not until 1885 that the best cryolite glass became available, which was crucial for the patient’s tolerance of the prosthesis since they became lightweight, corrosion-resistant and more lifelike. It became the standard material for making ocular prosthetics and is still used in Germany, whereas acrylic plastic has replaced cryolite glass in the U.S.
The Müller-Uri family working with the ophthalmologist from the Netherlands, Hermann Snellen designed the “Snellen eye” or “Reform-Auge” (“reform eye”) – prosthesis that consists of two connected shells with a hollow space between them and that can be worn by a patient with the enucleated eye.
During the 1880s, Amandus Müller manufactured approximately 13 eye-kits consisting of ocular pathology specimens – the hand-blown glass eye models depicting diseases. He sold the kits to European medical schools where they were used as teaching aids. Amandus Müller was a grand uncle of Gottlieb Theodore Danz, Sr. In 1915, Gottleib T. Danz, Sr. immigrated with his family to New York and brought one of his uncle’s kits to America. Later on, he moved his office to San Francisco. After the death of Gottlieb T. Danz, Sr., his widow gave that kit to her grandson, Phillip Danz (also an ocularist). In 1963, Phillip donated the kit to Professor Michael Hogan, MD, then Chairman of the UCSF Ophthalmology Department. Eventually the kit was given to the UCSF Archives, where it remains preserved today.
This beautiful collection was exhibited several times during the past 50 years. However, many historic details about this donation were lost. The purpose of the upcoming lecture and comprehensive exhibit is to use this unique artifact to tell the story of family traditions continued through the centuries on two continents. Through partnership with several members of the Danz family – ocularists: Phillip Danz of Sacramento; William Danz of San Francisco; and William Randy Danz of Ridgewood, New Jersey; as well as the author/lecturer, Dr. Robert Sherins, ophthalmologist, UCSF School of Medicine Alumnus Class of 1963; and UCSF archivist, Polina Ilieva, this exhibit will demonstrate the evolution of skillful craftsmanship of Müller-Uri and Danz families, as well as the science and art of ocular prosthetics. The UCSF Library is grateful to the Danz Family and Dr. Sherins for their continuing support.
In observance of this lovely celebratory week, we bring you a few images of UCSF Library staff and librarians in their natural habitat from the 1950s.
Tidying the current periodicals section in the 1950s.
Librarians of the Catalog Department (note card catalogs in the background) in the fall of 1958.
The lecture The Forgotten Epidemic: HIV/AIDS in Women and Children given by Dr. Arthur Ammann in the UCSF Library on February 26th is now available free online.
Beginning in 1981 researchers at UCSF defined some of the most important features of the emerging AIDS epidemic – the cause of AIDS, the clinical features of AIDS, populations at risk for HIV infection, methods to prevent and treat HIV, and discovery of HIV. Working closely with community activists, advocates, scientists and policy makers, UCSF distinguished itself as a model of successful collaboration. The first discovery of AIDS in infants and children and blood transfusion associated AIDS at UCSF were instrumental in defining the extent of the epidemic. The scientific advances in HIV/AIDS that occurred over the next two decades were remarkable resulting in the near eradication of HIV in infants in the US and transforming an acute and fatal infection in adults to a chronic and manageable one. But even as these advances occurred benefiting many millions of people worldwide, women and children were too often excluded, resulting in a global epidemic that is now composed of over 50% women and children and a secondary epidemic of AIDS-related orphans that numbers in the tens of millions.
Please use this link to view Dr. Ammann’s presentation in full.
About the UCSF Archives & Special Collections Lecture Series
UCSF Archives & Special Collections launched this lecture series to introduce a wider community to treasures and collections from its holdings, to provide an opportunity for researchers to discuss how they use this material, and to celebrate clinicians, scientists, and health care professionals who donated their papers to the archives.
Check out the newest line of nursing uniforms from Bob Evans, the “Aristocrat of Uniforms,” circa 1925!
These illustrations come from a catalog created by Bob Evans Uniforms. The catalog was sent to Dr. Hendrik Belgum, founder of the Grande Vista Sanatorium, in 1925. The sanatorium, located near Richmond, California, treated patients with a variety of mental and physical conditions. Belgum regularly received promotional material from pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies like Bob Evans.
Alongside the catalog’s illustrations are claims regarding the company’s quality and craftsmanship. The back cover even notes that the uniforms are made in “sunlit, cheerful and sanitary workrooms by expert sewers.”
Hope you enjoy these uniforms guaranteed to be “the nurses’ pride and pleasure.” To see more material from Dr. Belgum’s sanatorium, take a look at the Grande Vista Sanatorium collection, MSS 2013-4.
We’re proud to tell you about two new documentaries that used material from our collections and are hitting screens big and small near you.
Ken Burns’ new 3-part documentary, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, premieres on PBS tonight, March 30. The film “examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective and a biographer’s passion. The series artfully weaves three different films in one: a riveting historical documentary; an engrossing and intimate vérité film; and a scientific and investigative report.” It’s based on the book written by physician and oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee and published in 2010, described as a “biography of cancer.”
[Note for UCSF Library fans: Mukherjee is married to Sarah Sze, the artist who created the mirror polished stainless steel sculpture in the front stairwell of the Parnassus library.]
The film Merchants of Doubt, by the filmmakers of Food, Inc., is now playing in theaters in San Francisco (and elsewhere). It’s “the troubling story of how a cadre of influential scientists have clouded public understanding of scientific facts to advance a political and economic agenda.” The team was on-site for several days, interviewing UCSF Professor Stan Glantz in our reading room and filming in the vault.
Let us know if you’re able to see either film! What did you think?
And, of course, contact us anytime via our online contact form to submit a question or comment. You can also email us directly at email@example.com.
Continuing our look at talented and trailblazing women, we’re highlighting the work of homeopathic physician Florence Nightingale Saltonstall Ward (1860-1919).
Ward was a prominent San Francisco surgeon, obstetrician, and gynecologist from 1887 to her death in 1919. She dedicated her life to providing safer, more accessible medical care for women and developing techniques that made childbirth less dangerous.
Ward received medical training from a number of hospitals and schools in Europe and the United States, including California’s foremost homeopathic institution, Hahnemann Medical College of the Pacific. She later served as Professor of Obstetrics at Hahnemann and held leadership positions in local and national organizations, including becoming vice president of the American Institute of Homeopathy. In 1915, Ward became the second woman to be elected to the American College of Surgeons, an appointment that recognized her many contributions to the fields of gynecology and surgery.
Ward built her own sanatorium exclusively for women in San Francisco between 1907 and 1910. She employed an all-female staff and provided unique career opportunities for women with professional medical training.
Ward’s practice blended conventional medical techniques with homeopathic remedies and treatments. Homeopathy was developed by Samuel Hahnemann in the early 19th century. His system was based on the theory that a substance that causes certain symptoms in a healthy person will cure those symptoms in a sick person. Ward was likely drawn to homeopathy in part because the field provided more opportunities for women than conventional medical practice. For instance, homeopathy schools regularly accepted female students while medical schools routinely denied women applicants because of their gender. Homeopathic professional organizations also welcomed women’s participation. As women struggled to find a place in the American Medical Association, Ward and other women helped lead the American Institute of Homeopathy and delivered papers at major homeopathy conferences.
At UCSF, we house the Florence Nightingale Ward papers, MSS 2011-08, and a collection of rare homeopathy material. Ward’s papers include homeopathic medicine kits used by her in the late 19th century. Take a look inside one monogrammed kit below. Many of the vials contain substances still used in homeopathic remedies today!
David Krah joins UCSF to work on processing collections in the Tobacco Control Archives. He will work alongside David Uhlich on processing state reports on tobacco control policy as well as the balance of unprocessed collections held in the Tobacco Control Archives.
David has a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University, with a concentration in Archival Studies. He has worked on archival projects with the California Historical Society, the San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Road & Track Magazine collection at Stanford University, and previously worked on the Ira Herskowitz papers and Lawrence Crooks Radiologic Imaging Laboratory records at UCSF.
He is a native Californian with interests in California history and transportation and livability issues. He enjoys composing and performing experimental and song-form music and cycling jauntily. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Nia and newborn daughter Thalia.
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re spotlighting a few of the many talented and trailblazing women who have been important in the history of UCSF and you may not have heard of before.
Today, read a little about the remarkable life and career of Ellen Brown, MD. We are fortunate to have Brown’s manuscript collection, MSS 87-42, and her oral history in the UCSF Archives & Special Collections.
Ellen Brown was born in San Francisco in 1912. She and her older brother Fred were raised by her parents, Warner and Jessie Brown, in Berkeley. Jessie was a high school teacher and botanist and Warner was a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley. Fred died at the age of 16 of respiratory complications of polio. His death had a lasting impact on Brown– she dreamed of becoming a doctor as a child.
Brown attended University High School in Oakland and went on to study at the University of California Berkeley, graduating with a bachelors degree in 1934. She continued to the UC Medical School’s San Francisco campus and graduated with her medical degree in 1939. In a class of 63 students, she was one of a handful of women.
Following graduation, Brown became chief resident under William J. Kerr, UC Chair of Medicine, from 1939-1943. The two worked closely for years– prioritizing cardiovascular research at UCSF. Brown helped to found the , which opened in 1958. Kerr was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI), procuring the space on the 13th floor of Moffitt Hospital and funding from both UCSF and the National Heart Institute. The CVRI opened in 1958 with Brown as a co-founder and, later, a senior staff member. (Check out some of the CVRI’s milestones here.)
Brown’s academic appointment at UCSF began with clinical instructor, 1943-1944, moved to associate professor, 1946-1959, and became professor of medicine in 1959. In 1944-1946 she was a Commonwealth Fund fellow in the Department of Physiology at Harvard Medical School (see photo above) and in 1958 she was a Guggenheim Fellow at Oxford University.
Brown operated a lab on campus for peripheral vascular research though the 1960s and 1970s. Concurrently, she worked on improving teaching techniques in predoctoral medical classes, initiating the “Introduction to Clinical Medicine” course and later serving as a residency evaluator for the School of Medicine.
This quote, from Brown’s oral history, demonstrates her zeal for education, enthusiasm for change in curriculum, and sense of humor: “The wonderful thing was how interested all these people in the non-medicine departments were. An ophthalmologist would sit down with a bunch of absolute nerds, and come and do that, four or five times, and teach them. The hardest thing to learn to do is to see in an ophthalmoscope. It is for most doctors. It’s one of the last things you feel comfortable about. That and a pelvic exam, I guess.”
Over the course of her illustrious career, Brown’s research interests included capillary pressure and permeability, blood volume and vascular capacity, cardiac failure, cardiac complications of pregnancy, and peripheral circulation in relation to pain syndromes and vascular diseases.
When Brown officially retired from UCSF in 1979, she became a professor emeritus of medicine. Ten years later, in 1989, Brown received UCSF’s highest honor, the UCSF Medal, for outstanding personal contributions to the University’s health sciences mission.
Brown passed away in October of 2006 at the age of 96. At that time, she gifted over $100,000 to the UCSF School of Medicine for the improvement of teaching for medical students.
Browns’ numerous contributions over the course of fifty plus years can still be felt today– through her impact on cardiovascular research as well as her in her insight and refinement of medical education.
Contact us if you have any questions or would like to learn more. And please don’t hesitate to use the calendar on the right to make an appointment to come in and use the collections!
The UCSF Archives recently received funding from the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education to catalog and process the Tobacco Control Archive collections and in particular the state reports materials that were compiled by Dr. Stanton Glantz’ research group while completing detailed histories of tobacco control policymaking and efforts by the tobacco industry to thwart these policies in 29 states.
Today I would like to introduce David Uhlich who just joined the archives team and will be working on the TCA processing project.
David holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University, and for the past 6 years has worked for the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. At the Bancroft, he was primarily responsible for processing political collections, and most recently led the project to process the papers of Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown.
Prior to this, David worked as an archivist at the Water Recourses Center Archives, the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, and the Tomales Regional History Center. He is a Certified Archivist and active member of the Society of California Archivists, where he currently serves as the Northern California chair of the Site Selection Committee.
David is a lifelong Californian, and for the past 8 years has lived in Marin County with his wife and two very large dogs.
Among the many jewels of our rare book collection is Annibal Barlet’s work of 1657 Le vray et methodique cours de la physique resolutive, vulgairements dite chymie…
The volume has been rebound in vellum. It is 626 pages with a woodcut frontispiece and contains 37 full-page woodcuts illustrating the diverse operations of alchemical processes in detail.
Woodcuts depict various chemical apparatus and operations of a laboratory in the mid 17th century. Barlet gives accounts of instruments, vessels, processes, minerals, and recipes.
Our copy has been digitized and is available in full via the HathiTrust Digital Library.
As part of UCSF’s 150th anniversary celebration, the university has arranged special public viewing hours for the Zakheim murals through the spring:
Friday, March 13th: 4 – 7 p.m.
Friday, April 17th: 3 – 5 p.m.
Friday, May 22nd: 3 – 5 p.m.
Toland Hall on the UCSF Campus
533 Parnassus Ave., Room U-142
San Francisco, CA
Map of UCSF Parnassus Campus and Directions (printable PDF)
Recent article in San Francisco Chronicle highlights history of the Zakheim murals at UCSF.
Do you have questions or need additional information about public viewing?
Please contact UCSF Public Affairs: 415-476-2557
We’re currently processing the Radiologic Imaging Laboratory records, 1968-2000. The collection contains numerous images of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. The images help document the lab’s achievements in MRI research and illustrate dramatic developments in the technology.
MRI scan images come in several formats in the collection. These include marketing prints and slides, transparent film sheets and negatives, and Polaroid photographs. Lab researchers used Polaroid cameras to capture images on computer screens created by in-development software and hardware.
Several of the laboratory notebooks in the collection contain Polaroid photographs fastened right to the page, with research notes and data surrounding them.
As you move chronologically through the collection, you can see the MRI scans becoming clearer and clearer as lab researchers improved the technology. You can also chart changes in the lab’s research subjects. Image subjects transition from phantom objects (containers often filled with baby oil and water) to lab animals and RIL staff and patients.
Though the images present preservation challenges, they contribute greatly to the research value of the collection. Using the scans, you can witness the lab’s growth through different phases of MRI research and development.
Ever since the Polish-born artist Bernard Zakheim painted a series of murals at UCSF in 1930s they remain the jewel of the University’s Art Collection. These murals include ten panel series in Toland Hall, “History of Medicine in California,” and two panels originally located in the Cole Hall and later moved to the Health Sciences West (HSW) lecture halls – “Modern Medicine” and “Ancient Medicine: Superstition in Medicine.” Zakheim worked with Diego Rivera in Mexico City and is best known for contributing the Library Periodical Room fresco and helping organize the New Deal art project at the Coit Tower in San Francisco. From the time of their unveiling, the archives has been compiling reference materials about these murals and now we are delighted to report that a comprehensive set of materials documenting how these frescoes were created and preserved was donated to UCSF (Bernard Zakheim collection, MSS 2014-15).
Last year I had the privilege to meet one of the sons of the artist who also helped restore the frescoes in 1970s when the wallpaper covering them for almost two decades was removed and the two panels were relocated from the original Cole Hall to HSW.
One of the biggest archives’ advocates, Dr. Robert Sherins (SOM, 1963) introduced me to Nathan Zakheim. Nathan, a talented art conservator based in Los Angeles, is the keeper of his father’s extensive archives and art collection. Last fall we met at his warehouse to review and pack the documents destined for UCSF.
The idea to commission murals was brought by Dr. Isabella Perry, professor of pathology after seeing the frescoes Zakheim painted at the Alemany Public Health Center and then spearheaded by Chauncey D. Leake, professor of pharmacology and medical historian. The university murals undertaking which was partially funded by the WPA Federal Art Project and also sponsored by the university was a true collaborative effort between Zakheim’s team and UCSF faculty (including renowned UCSF doctors, Chauncey D. Leake, George Lyman, Langley Porter, Salvatore P. Lucia, W. E. Carter, and F. W Lynch). The artist was provided unrestricted access to the Crummer Room containing numerous books on the history of medicine, including recently published “California’s Medical Story” by Dr. Henry Harris. Zakheim’s assistant, Phyllis Wrightson did extensive research about California medical history which becomes apparent in the sketchbook that she kept for the project. The instruments depicted by her on these pages are still preserved at the archives’ artifact collection and will be displayed as part of the 150th anniversary exhibit.
One of the sketches portrays fur trader James Ohio Pattie who was captured for illegal trapping in California and earned his release from Mexican imprisonment in San Diego by using the smallpox vaccine to curtail the epidemic spreading among Californians (that story based on the Pattie’s “Personal Narrative” was later proved to be inaccurate as it was measles epidemic* that occurred in Alta California at that time).
Bernard Zakheim and his team interviewed numerous faculty members who are depicted in the panel “Rational Medicine,” including Robert Stone, professor of radiology, Francis S. Smith, pediatrician and dean of the School of Medicine, Karl F. Meyer, director of the Hooper Foundation, anesthesiologist Arthur Guedel and Isabella Perry to name just a few.
We are grateful to the Zakheim family and in particular to Nathan Zakheim for donating this unique collection to the University. It will be organized and described in the next few months, selected slides and documents will be digitized and uploaded to the library website.
Are you interested in viewing the murals, but unable to visit San Francisco? Please check these two video recordings from the UCSF archives:
Dr. Robert Schindler (Chair emeritus of the UCSF Department of Otolaryngology) presents a video tour of the murals painted by Bernard Zakheim in Toland Hall at UCSF, 1996: https://archive.org/details/cum_00001
Toland Hall murals tour by Dr. Chauncey Leake, 1976: https://archive.org/details/cum_000015
We would also like to bring to your attention a manuscript put together by Dr. Sherins chronicling the life story and work of Bernard Zakheim that can be accessed on the Alumni Association website.
* Valle, Rosemary K. “James Ohio Pattie and the 1827-1828 Alta California Measles Epidemic.” California Historical Quarterly, Vol. 52, No. 1 (Spring, 1973), pp. 28-36, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25157415.
In preparation for UCSF’s 150th anniversary celebration exhibits, we’ve been doing a bit of exploring in the vaults. For the next several months, I’ll be posting some of the treasures we’ve discovered!
In honor of Black History Month, we’re highlighting UCSF’s Black Caucus, 1968-1982. The Black Caucus was formed at UCSF in May 1968, a month after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. As stated in the organization’s bylaws, the caucus was “a forum open to all black men and women on [UCSF’s] campus. Here they may openly express themselves regarding matters of race as they affect life on the campus and the community.”
The caucus engaged in a variety of civil rights initiatives and social justice projects. Members fought to increase minority student admissions, supported custodial and technical staff in labor disputes, and campaigned for more diverse hiring at all levels of the university. They shared personal stories, event updates, and project achievements in a newsletter named the Black Bulletin.
Notable UCSF figures helped found and lead the Black Caucus. For instance, UCSF Medal winner Joanne Lewis served as one of the organization’s first chairpersons and organized the publication of the Black Bulletin. Lewis became the first Affirmative Action Coordinator at UCSF and was later named Assistant Vice Chancellor for Capital Projects and Facilities Management. Lewis mentored students throughout her career and advocated for the advancement of women of color at UCSF.
Black Caucus efforts supported a legacy of public service and community involvement at the university. For example, following the death of civil rights activist and UCSF pharmacology professor Dr. Thomas Burbridge in 1972, the caucus proposed that one of the Chancellor’s Public Service Awards be named in his honor. Chancellor Philip Lee approved the proposal and today the Burbridge Award recognizes university individuals whose activities promote social justice and enable equal access to education and employment.
The passion and dedication of Black Caucus members helped shape UCSF’s commitment to diversity and equal opportunity. To learn more about the organization, register to see the Black Caucus records, MSS 85-38. You can also check out the papers of Dr. Thomas Burbridge, MSS 79-4.
In recent weeks measles again became one of the main topics covered in the news stories. Not that long ago, before the advent of the vaccines, measles epidemics were a common occurrence around the globe. Back in the nineteenth century numerous hashika-e (measles pictures) from the UCSF Japanese Woodblock print collection served as guides to combat this disease. Many of them include a holly leaf (tarayō) believed to contain protective powers as well as recommendations for auspicious diet and and explanations how to persuade the measles kami (“Shinto term for god, divinity”*) to leave.
These charms when attached to a door or screen were supposed to protect the house and its inhabitants against measles:
Another print depicts three “mighty men” conquering measles.
And the battle to eradicate measles continues…
*Japanese popular prints: from votive slips to playing cards. Rebecca Salter, 2006.