Digital Archive

P. I. (Pat Ireland) Nixon, 1883-1965

Pat I. Nixon - picture taken for his 75th birthday.

Pat I. Nixon – picture taken for his 75th birthday.

Dr. P. I. Nixon was a prominent physician in San Antonio and a skillful writer and researcher and is recognized as the preeminent historian of Texas medicine. He was the sole author of three books devoted to Texas medicine and was co-author of a fourth. He was founder of the San Antonio Historical Association and served terms as president of the Bexar County Medical Library Association,  the Texas Surgical Society, the San Antonio Ex-Students Society of Texas, the San Antonio Historical Association, and the Philosophical Society of Texas. In 1957 Nixon received two literary honors, the Summerfield G. Roberts and Clement E. Trout awards. In 1963 Trinity University granted him an honorary doctorate.

Education and Career

Pat Ireland Nixon was born in Old Nixon, Texas on November 29, 1883, to Robert Thomas and Fannie (Andrews) Nixon.  He graduated from Luling High School in 1900 and the Bingham School in Ashville, North Carolina in 1902.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas in 1905 and his medical degree from John Hopkins University School of Medicine, graduating in 1909.

After completing postgraduate studies, Nixon opened an office in San Antonio on September 27, 1911, as a general practitioner and treated patients for over 50 years. On July 3, 1912, Nixon married Olive Gray Read of Mineola, Texas, whom he had met while attending the University of Texas. They had four sons — Pat Ireland Nixon Jr., Robert Nixon, and twins Benjamin Nixon and Thomas Nixon.  Nixon served on the medical staffs of Baptist Memorial, Nix Memorial, and Santa Rosa hospitals and was president of the Bexar County Medical Association in 1926 and the Texas Surgical Society in 1956.   He died on November 18, 1965 and was buried in Sunset Memorial Park, San Antonio, Texas.

 

Political cartoon with P. I. Nixon

Political cartoon with P. I. Nixon.  Source unknown.

Role in Public Health

Nixon was appointed to the San Antonio Board of Health in 1928 and served for the next twenty years on city or city-county health boards. He crusaded for improvements in public health and in the government of San Antonio, which he blamed for not doing anything about the deplorable health conditions. He was especially concerned about the spread of polio, tuberculosis, syphilis, infant diarrhea, and other infectious diseases and the living conditions in the barrios, where the poorest people in San Antonio resided. He spoke out at public rallies and on the radio and was a leader in efforts to improve the health of San Antonio’s people.

 Rare Books Collector

One of his most enduring contributions to the medical profession in San Antonio was his role in the founding of the Bexar County Medical Library Association in 1919 where he served as Chair. The library acquired over 15,000 volumes and long runs of more than two hundred journals.  Because of Dr. Nixon’s efforts, the Bexar County Medical Library was also able to accumulate a large collection of rare medical books, purchased with association funds, donations by patients and friends of Dr. Nixon, and money from the sales of several of his books. He searched for old and rare books over a period of 50 years. This collection of rare medical books was donated to the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio in 1970 and is housed in the Briscoe Library as the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library. Nixon served on the advisory council for the Handbook of Texas and contributed many articles on doctors and medicine for the handbook.  Nixon also had a personal library of Texana comprised of books on early Texas history, both rare books and more modern publications.  This collection was donated to Trinity University in San Antonio in 1964 and became the Pat Ireland Nixon Collection.

Biographical Materials

Pat Nixon of Texas: Autobiography of a Doctor

Personal photographs, tributes, family obituaries

 Books by P. I. Nixon  (Click to view full text)

 A Century of Medicine in San Antonio

The Medical Story of Early Texas

A History of the Texas Medical Association

The Early Nixons of Texas

Personal Papers

Guide to the Pat Ireland Nixon (1883-1965) Collection

Selected Papers from the Nixon Collection:

WOAI Broadcast – Political Speech, April 5, 1939

Politicians and Our Health, WOAI, Decmber 11, 1940

Poliomyelitis Epidemic, KABC, July 16, 1946

A Threat to San Antonio (political speech), KTSA, April 17, 1953

The Story of Medicine in San Antonio, WOAI TV, October 23, 1955

Register Now for the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library Dinner

 

Speaker: Gary Taubes

Based on his April 2011 New York Times Magazine cover article and his latest book (The Case Against Sugar), Gary Taubes will discuss the history, politics, and science of sugar and high fructose corn syrup, arguing that these sweeteners may indeed be far more harmful to our health than public health authorities have been willing to accept.

For more information about Gary Taubes visit: https://www.prhspeakers.com/speaker/gary-taubes

 

Dinner Details:

Date: Friday, October 26, 2018

Time: Meet & Greet: 6:30 PM | Dinner: 7:00 PM

Dinner, dessert, wine, coffee, or tea

Speaker: 8:00 p.m.

Location: Valero Community Engagement Center located at the San Antonio Food Bank,

5200 Enrique Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78227.

Cost: $55 per person, $35 for students.

Paid sponsorships for students available upon request. Advanced registration is required

Registration deadline is Monday, October 15, 2018.

Register online at: https://uthscsa.libwizard.com/nixondinner

For more information about the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library contact Andrea N. Schorr, Head of Resource Management, at (210) 567-2403 or schorr@uthscsa.edu.

P.I. Nixon Library website: http://library.uthscsa.edu/2011/11/nixon-library/

Registration Deadline October 15th for Nixon Library Dinner

At the annual dinner of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library dinner, you will have the chance to hear speaker Gary Taubes discuss the history, politics, and science of sugar and high fructose corn syrup, arguing that these sweeteners may indeed be far more harmful to our health than public health authorities have been willing to accept.

Register online at: https://uthscsa.libwizard.com/nixondinner

Date: Friday, October 26, 2018

Time: Meet & Greet: 6:30 PM | Dinner: 7:00 PM

Dinner, dessert, wine, coffee, or tea

Speaker: 8:00 p.m. followed by book signing 

Location: Valero Community Engagement Center located at the San Antonio Food Bank,

5200 Enrique Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78227.

Cost: $55 per person, $35 for students.

Paid sponsorships for students available upon request. Advanced registration is required

For more information about Gary Taubes visit: https://www.prhspeakers.com/speaker/gary-taubes

Ron Philo, PhD, on the Anatomical Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci

Dr. Philo, senior lecturer in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, describes his research on the anatomical drawings of Leonardo da Vinci and his collaboration with Martin Clayton, Deputy Curator of the Print Room at Windsor Castle, England, on the award-winning exhibition catalog, Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man, published in 2010. Dr. Philo retired from the University in August, 2010.

Talks on History and Health

Oral History Interviews featuring images of Dr. Ramirez and others

The Project

Over the years, a number of important audio and video interviews, lectures and presentations on the history of medicine and healthcare have been collected in the University Archives of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. This project aims to digitize these talks and make them available for download and online viewing or listening through the Internet Archive, or other channels, at the pages linked below.

The Talks

A Personal History of Bexar County Medicine (February, 1980)
Dr. Perry W. Nadig interviews Dr. Byron Wyatt, a pioneer San Antonio physician.

Historical remembrances of Dr. Mario E. Ramirez, M.D. (2007 and 2011)
Two interviews with the eminent South Texas physician: a video interview from 2011, and an audio interview by Special Collections Librarian Pennie Borchers from October 2007.

Oral History Interview with Mr. Victor Oliveros (November, 2009)
Special Collections Librarian Pennie Borchers interviews City of Laredo epidemiologist and public health advocate Victor Oliveros about public health issues on the Texas-Mexico border.

Ron Philo, PhD, on the Anatomical Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci (July, 2010)
Dr. Philo, senior lecturer in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, describes his research and publications on the anatomical drawings of Leonardo da Vinci.

Charleen Moore, PhD: “Anatomists and their Art” (October, 2011)
A presentation by Dr. Moore,  Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Health Science Center’s Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, featuring many important works from the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.

 

Technology Sandbox Coming Soon to the UT Health Briscoe Library

 

The Briscoe Library Technology Sandbox, an area with interactive work spaces and some of the newest technology to enhance medical education, is quickly coming together on the main floor of the library. Comfortable seating, desks, and a large worktable have been installed along with a 75 inch monitor now available for use. Soon, the space will feature a 3-D printer and computers for working with some of the latest 3-D visualization and virtual technology software. The technology will include an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset for students and faculty to interact with anatomy in two new, immersive ways: The Body VR and 3-D Organon VR Anatomy. The Body VR allows the user to travel through the bloodstream to discover how blood cells function and how organelles work together to fight viruses. The 3-D Organon VR Anatomy is described by Oculus as “the world’s first fully-featured virtual reality anatomy atlas.”

Also shown above is a newly installed exhibit in the Sandbox area entitled Transforming Anatomy: Then and Now. The exhibit features materials from the PI Nixon Medical Historical Library illustrating the timeline of the study of anatomy including the original works of Andreas Vesalius considered to be the father of modern anatomy. Come see how far we have come from the original anatomy masters to the latest in technology and software.

Watch for announcements regarding a launch event for the Technology Sandbox. Contact John Weed at WeedJ@uthscsa.edu for more information.

The Boehm Birds: An Edward Marshall Boehm Collection

Banner featuring a ceramic sculpture of two Verdins perched on a plant by Boehm.

History of the Boehm Collection

Photograph of Mrs Edward Boehm at a reception at the Health Science CenterThe Dolph Briscoe Jr. Library houses a collection of fine porcelain sculptures created by world renowned artist and sculptor Edward Marshall Boehm. The 15 Boehm sculptures were donated to the University of Texas Health Science Center by Mrs. Edward Marshall Boehm on January 26, 1973. A reception honoring Mrs. Boehm on the occasion of the presentation of the gift was held in the Auditorium Foyer on September 7, 1973. The sculptures were originally placed in the President’s suite and in the auditorium, but were moved to the Briscoe Library in 1997 at the suggestion of Dr. Virginia Bowden, Library Director, when one of the birds was damaged in their previous location. The Briscoe Library is fortunate to house and display these sculptures; they can be found in various locations in the library.

 

View the Boehm Birds

 

Edward Marshall Boehm: Biography of an Artist

Black and white photograph of Edward Marshall BoehmEdward Marshall Boehm was born in Baltimore and orphaned at the age of seven. He showed some artistic ability at an early age, but it was not until after World War II that he was drawn to the art of sculpture which would be his vocation. Working in a convalescent home for returning soldiers, he first picked up a ball of clay and realized that this would be his medium. Before the war, he had had some success as a cattle breeder, and it was his familiarity with animals and his eye for their structural composition that contributed to his skill with sculpting animals. He was attracted to the art of porcelain sculpture and, after visiting some porcelain factories in Trenton, New Jersey, became determined to set up his own factory. In the basement of his home, he developed a formula for an excellent porcelain and began producing sculptures. His wife, Helen, became his distributor, sales manager, and public relations voice, but the pervasive prejudice against American-made porcelain which existed at the time was difficult to overcome, and they struggled, their finances dwindling. Their breakthrough came in 1951, when the Curator of the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York purchased two statues for the museum’s collection, thus giving an authoritative endorsement of Boehm’s art. Still, it was not until 1955 that Boehm’s company really began to grow. By the time of Edward Marshall Boehm’s death in 1969, he had seen his porcelains placed in the permanent collections of many of the world’s most important museums and galleries. Today one can view Boehm’s sculptures in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hermitage, the Smithsonian, and the Tokyo National Museum. In 1992, a wing in the Vatican Museum of Art in Rome was named in memory of Edward Marshall Boehm; he was the first American to receive that honor.

Bibliography

Fine Porcelain Creation

The name “porcelain” was given to translucent vitrified stoneware in China by the explorer Marco Polo in the 13th century. He thought that it resembled a certain seashell named genus porcellana because of its high gloss and translucency. Porcelain is made up of a high temperature (2400° F) fusion of fine white clay and feldspar. To make a sculpture like the Boehm birds, the figure is first modeled in clay or wax. A mold is made from the figure (or many molds in the case of complex figures) and a cast is made by pouring the fine porcelain mixture into it. After the lining of this mold has hardened, the liquid center is poured out, and the mold is removed. At this time if the model was made in sections, the sections are assembled, and fine details are added by hand. The figure is placed in a kiln for twelve to 24 hours, then cooled for three days. At this time it is in its “bisque” state, and may be colored and then glazed, if desired.

Bibliography
  • Cosentino, F. J. (1960). Boehm’s Birds : the Porcelain Art of Edward Marshall Boehm. New York: Frederick Fell, Inc.
  • Duffy, M. (1971, May-June). Of Clay & Fire : Conservation in Ceramics. Louisiana Conservationist Magazine.

Photograph of a ceramic sculpture of a roadrunner created by Boehm

University History

University History Banner showing a medical lecture from the 1970s

Collection Overview

The University History Collection of the Digital Archive includes audio, video, photographs, and manuscripts that document the university’s growth and development since its establishment in 1959. Additional background on the University’s history is available at A Brief History of UTHSCSA.

Archives Request Form: Request photos or documents from the Library Archives

Projects

Founding Faculty Interviews
A series of video interviews with members of the Health Science Center’s founding faculty, produced by the University Development Office in 2010.
*School of Medicine Founding Faculty Listing
Medical School Yearbooks
Digitized copies of the yearbooks produced by the Medical School.
Medical School Group Class Photos
Digitized copies of photos taken of graduating classes.


Banner Image: “Health Seminar”, from the 1972 Medical School yearbook, Curandero.

University Records

Collection Overview

The Digital Archive’s University Records Collection consists of materials that the state has mandated must be made available to the public.

Projects

Boehm Birds

The 15 Boehm sculptures were donated to the University of Texas Health Science Center by Mrs. Edward Marshall Boehm on January 26, 1973. A reception honoring Mrs. Boehm on the occasion of the presentation of the gift was held in the Auditorium Foyer on September 7, 1973. The sculptures were originally placed in the President’s suite and in the auditorium, but were moved to the Briscoe Library in 1997 at the suggestion of Dr. Virginia Bowden, Director.
See the Boehm Birds

Upcoming 2016 Events for the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

friends_image

The Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library are committed to the development and use of an exceptional collection of books and manuscripts relating to the history of medicine and the health sciences. The collection was established through the efforts of Dr. Pat Ireland Nixon (1883-1965), who was born in Guadalupe County, attended Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and later built a practice in San Antonio. Your  support of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library  helps to assure that we will be able to maintain, build, and promote the use of the collection, both on the campus of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and in the academic communities of the surrounding area.

The History of Medicine Society is a student-led interest group of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library. It meets on the third Thursday of the month during academic semesters to discuss the historical development of the health sciences and to explore the impact of medicine on society. Membership is free, and meetings are open to the general public.

The next meeting of the History of Medicine Society is scheduled for Thursday, October 20, 2016

6:00 pm in the Howe Conference Room on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library

The topic will be Orthopedic Eponyms, presented by Fred Olin, MD.

On Wednesday, November 2nd 2016, the 46th Annual Friends Dinner Meeting and Presentation will be held

Kirsten Gardner, PhD, will be speaking on “Patient Decisions: A History of Diabetes Since the Discovery of Insulin”

The dinner is held at the Old San Francisco Steak House, 10223 Sahara Street

(Located north of Loop 410. From San Pedro, turn right onto  Sahara Street.)

Sponsorships for students are available on request. Advanced registration is required.

Please RSVP by October 21, 2016. A link to the reservation form is available below.

Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library annual dinner reservation form @ frienddinnerreservationform_2016

For more information, contact Peg Seger, Head of Outreach and Community Engagement, at 210-567-6398 or segerp@uthscsa.edu.