Digital Archive

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.


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.


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.

  • 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.


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.


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

X-rays & Radiation – History of Medicine Society Meeting August 20th

X-ray of human hand, created in 1895 by Wilhelm Röntgen

First medical X-ray by Wilhelm Röntgen of his wife Anna Bertha Ludwig’s hand – 1895

 The History of Medicine Society, sponsored by the Friends of the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, will have its initial meeting for the 2014-2015 academic year on August 20, 2014, in the Howe Conference Room located on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library building. Eva Glvan, MS4, will present X-rays & Radiation: The Early Days. Everyone, including the general public, is welcome to attend. A companion exhibit entitled Discovery of X-Rays will be mounted in the 3rd floor glass exhibit cases from August 15 – September 14.

The HOM Society has scheduled many interesting activities for the 2014 – 2015 year as follows:

  • August 20 – Eva Galvan –Early Days of X-Rays and Radiation
  • September 8 – 10 – History of Medicine Scavenger Hunt with presentation by Charleen Moore on Sept. 10 on Treasures of the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library at 6:00 pm in the Howe Conference Room.   All entries must be turned in by 6:30.
  • October 1 – Ruth Stewart, RN, Ph.D – Nurses in War: a Florence Nightingale Heritage.  6:00 pm. Howe Conference Room. Followed by viewing NLM exhibit and a small reception.
  • November – no meeting. Friends of the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library Annual Dinner Meeting on Nov. 6
  • December – no meeting
  • January 14 – Second Annual Trivia Contest – Ally Hertz, Medical Student. 6:00 pm Howe Conference Room
  • February 11 – History of the Mental Health Prosumer Movement. 6:00 pm Howe Conference Room
  • March 25 – Presentation by Danny Jones HOM Essay winner. 6:00 pm Howe Conference Room
  • April 22 – History of Medicine in Poetry. 6:00 pm Howe Conference Room

So, save the dates and join us for an evening of interesting discussion and fun!

For more information on the History of Medicine Society meetings contact Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, 210-567-2406 or

Image by Wilhelm Röntgen. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons