Today, our wonderful colleagues on the Libraries’ Staff Recognition Committee brought us (and every library department) a colorful bouquet of balloons. They really liven up the reading room, don’t they?
Along with print items, manuscripts, and artifacts, the History of Medicine Collections include works of art. On Friday, thanks to Peter Geoffrion, three pieces of artwork were hung in the RBMSCL.
In the RBMSCL’s reading room, we now have a portrait of Hans Horst Meyer, a German physician and pioneer in anesthesia. The portrait was a gift from his grandson, Professor J. Horst Meyer, Fritz London Professor Emeritus of Physics here at Duke University.
In the Trent Room (part of the Mary Duke Biddle Rare Book Room), a portrait of Valentine Mott and a framed ivory skeleton sculpture, or Memento Mori, were hung.
The Memento Mori piece is one of the most exquisite items in the History of Medicine Collections. A gift of Mrs. Mary D. B. T. Semans from the collection of her late husband, Dr. Josiah Charles Trent, this sculpture is carved from a single piece of ivory. Reminiscent of the illustrations from the famed Vesalius anatomical work, De Fabrica (1543), Memento Mori displays a variety of material goods splayed at the feet of the skeleton. Looking at this, one is reminded, that in the end, we’re all mere mortals.
Post contributed by Rachel Ingold, Curator for the History of Medicine Collections.
Here at the RBMSCL, we ask our researchers to put everything they won’t need for their research in lockers, and we present them with their very own padlock to use during their visit. (Other special collections libraries do this, too, as it helps to keep our unique materials safe and secure.)
Occasionally, a padlock doesn’t make it back to us at the end of a research visit—and we have extras, so we don’t fret. But a very kind and conscientious patron discovered one of our padlocks at the bottom of her bag upon her return to the United Kingdom and sent it all the way back to us here in Durham. Thanks, lovely patron, and come visit us again soon!
Thanks to Josh Larkin-Rowley, Research Services Assistant, and Rachel Ingold, Curator for the History of Medicine Collections, for suggesting this post and to Beth Doyle, Head of Conservation Services and editor of Preservation Underground, for taking the photograph!
And you thought only children get to go on field trips?
Today, the staff of the Duke University Archives paid a visit to Maplewood Cemetery and the graves of the people whose papers we work with every day. We started with a visit to the Dukes.
It’s very sunny on the steps of the Duke Mausoleum at 9:30 AM! From left to right are Molly Bragg, our outgoing Drill Intern; Mary Samouelian, Doris Duke Collection Archivist; Kim Sims, Technical Services Archivist; and Seth Shaw, Electronic Records Archivist. (I’m taking the photo!)
Here’s Molly at the Teer Family’s mausoleum. During her internship, Molly studied Duke University’s construction, becoming well-acquainted with Nello Teer. She wrote this article about him for Duke Magazine.