Digital Archive

School of Nursing Historical Photographs On Display

Please come take a look at the latest library exhibit!

In honor of the recent National Nurses Week and the 2019 50th Anniversary of the UT Health School of Nursing (SON), a photography exhibit has been installed in the library. The exhibit features photographs from the archives of the Briscoe Library and the SON collection. Note: A number of the photographs discovered in the SON collection while preparing for the 50th Anniversary will become part of the library archival collection making them accessible to a wider audience.

With one exception, all of the photographs on display can generally be identified as circa 1970s and 1980s. Historical photographs often come to library archives unidentified which is the case with some of the photographs on display.  Challenge: However, one photograph is distinctly more recent than the others and we think viewers will be able to tell which it is.

For questions about the library archives, please contact Melissa DeThorne at 210-567-2470 or



School of Nursing History

School of Nursing History Books

The School of Nursing history books document the challenges and triumphs since the school’s establishment in 1969. The first history book was created in 1984, and featured a series of events that defined the first fifteen years of progress for the School of Nursing at UT Health San Antonio. Since then, the School of Nursing continues to produce history books as a means to reflect upon the past, and pave the way for the future.

Browse all history books

Browse all oral histories

Student Essay Contest Rules – Start Planning Now to Win!

Students! Get Ready to Win!

Danny Jones History of the Health Sciences Student Essay Award

This annual essay contest is open to students of UTSA, UT Health San Antonio and affiliated interns, residents, and fellows. Unpublished essays on any topic related to the history of the health sciences are eligible for submission. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the amounts of $250, $150, and $100 respectively. Essays should be no longer than 2,500 words. Deadline for entry is January 31, 2020.

For more information contact Peg Seger at (210) 567-6398 or

Subscribe to the Treasures Blog

Interested in learning more about the history of medicine or health care? Ever wonder what remedies were used long ago to treat ailments? Subscribe to the Treasures of the P.I. Nixon blog and learn the fascinating truths about the history of the health sciences. Featured topics include rare books of the month, historical medical instruments, and historical anecdotes. In addition, you will receive updates about events, lectures, and rare book viewings.  Subscribe to the blog here:





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 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.


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.

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


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
School of Medicine History
Digitized copies of the yearbooks and class photos.
School of Nursing History
Digitized copies of the School of Nursing history books and oral histories.


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

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


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