History of Medicine artifacts collection, 1550-1980s 50 Linear Feet — about 850 items
Collection of historical medical instruments and artifacts, art objects, realia, and other three-dimensional objects, primarily originating from Europe and the United States, but including some artifacts from China and Japan. Ranging in age from the late 16th to the late 20th centuries, objects include physician's medical kits and pharmaceutical items (often in the original cases and bags); clinical equipment used in amputation, obstetrics, opthalmology, surgery, neurology, early electrical therapies, and in research and diagnostic settings; instructional objects such as anatomical models; and art objects such as apothecary jars, a bas-relief memento mori, a marble skull, and fetish figures. There are many models of microscopes, from a small monocular "flea glass" to mid-20th century models. Other early medical instruments and supplies include amputation saws, bleeding bowls, cupping glasses, hypodermic needles, infant and invalid feeders, lancets, opthalmoscopes, pill rollers, stethoscopes, syringes, and other items. A more unusual item - and one of the larger pieces - is an adult walker made of wood, dating perhaps to the 19th century or earlier.
There is also a large collection of early anatomical and diagnostic human models from China and continental Europe, in the shape of small, intricately detailed manikins. Most are made from ivory. Some feature removable anatomical parts, and female figures often include a removable fetus. There is also a model illustrating acupuncture points. Other instructional artifacts include glass slides used in medical school lectures.
Most of these objects were photographed by library staff; at a later time, digital images of almost all of the objects in the collection were added to the online Duke University Historical Images in Medicine database, linked in this collection guide. Many of the original black-and-white photographic prints are filed in the History of Medicine Picture File collection. See the Related Materials section in this collection guide for links to these resources.
Forms part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.
History of Medicine picture file, 1523-2002 and undated 16 Linear Feet — approximately 2400 items
Assembled by the staff of the Duke University Medical Library, the History of Medicine Picture File offers thousands of images of individuals, places, and subjects dating from the 1500s to 2002, with the great majority portraying physicians, scientists, nurses, and other individuals related to the history or practice of medicine. Places featured include hospitals and other institutions of medicine, and scenes related to events in medical history. Subject categories include advertising, anatomy, books, caricature, childbirth, embryology, medical instruments, pediatrics, physicians, and surgery, among many others.
Most of the images measure in size under 10x12 inches, but there are approximately 500 larger pieces. The predominant formats are engravings, lithographs, cartoons, clippings from magazines and newspapers, and modern photographic prints, but there are also albumen photographs and other image formats found throughout the files. Items were acquired by the Duke Medical Library from various sources over many decades and functioned as a vertical file for library students and researchers.
The oversize items range in size from 11x15 to 23x30 inches, and offer a varied assemblage of portraits, caricatures, posters, broadsides, and reproductions of artwork, in black-and-white and in color. Items include portraits and scenes with notable physicians; illustrations of various medical practices, procedures, and instruments; anatomical views, some possibly as early as the 17th century; medical advertisements and promotional literature; depictions of events in medical history in Europe and North America; caricatures; 20th century illustrations for book covers; and many other topics.
Images and prints are often accompanied by reproduction negatives and slides created by Medical Center Library staff. Many of the images in this collection were also scanned by Medical Library staff and are available through the Medical Center Library & Archives Duke Medicine Digital Repository database. For more information, please contact the History of Medicine Curator at the Rubenstein Library.
Acquired as part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.
Silas Weir Mitchell papers, 1809-1915 and undated 1.2 Linear Feet — 2 boxes; 1 oversize folder — 747 Items
The papers of physician and neurologist Silas Weir Mitchell date from 1809-1915 and comprise over 700 documents and correspondence sent to Dr. Mitchell relating to matters both personal and professional. Transcripts are often included. Principal correspondents include his relative Mitchell Henry, his publisher Frank H. Scott, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jeffries Wyman, Charles-Éduoard Brown-Séquard, Louis Agassiz, Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz, Anna Eliot Ticknor, Sir W. T. Gairdner, Louis Lee Lawrence, Charles Leonard Moore, Julian Stafford Corbett, Harrison S. Morris, T. Lauder Brunton, Sir William Osler, and Hideyo Noguchi, among others. A complete list of correspondents is available in the first box of the collection. A set of Mitchell's diplomas is also included.
The Silas Weir Mitchell papers form part of the Trent Manuscripts Collection and were acquired as part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.
"The history of Western medicine" video recording, 1997 0.2 Linear Feet — 1 videocassette
William H. Helfand Collection of Medical Prints and Posters, 1695-1991, bulk 1800-1899 3 Linear Feet — 34 Items
The William H. Helfand Collection of Medical Prints and Posters consists of 34 prints and posters realted to the history of medicine and pharmacology, dating from 1695 to 1991, with the bulk of the prints dating from 19th century. Paris, France is the provenance for many of the posters, but several hail from England and the United States. The posters are represented in two formats: lithographs and engravings, some of which are hand colored. Ranging in size from 5"x8" to 19"x23", the prints include caricatures, political satire, comics and advertisements, dealing with a range of subjects from quacks, alchemy, charlatans and cheats to pastoral and hospital scenes. George Cruikshank and Honoré Daumier are represented amongst the artists. Acquired as part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.