Books

On the Origin of Species: A treasure of the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

Did you know that the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library owns a rare first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life?  Published in 1859, the library’s fragile volume is a treasure. The valuable first editions with iconic green spines are in high demand for book collectors and science lovers.  The library’s copy, one of only approximately 1,250 printed, is part of a collection of antiquarian texts originally donated to the the University of Texas Health Science Center in the early 1970’s by the Bexar County Medical Society.

The Witte Museum is currently hosting the American Museum of Natural History’s Darwin exhibit Darwin: How One Man’s Theory Turned the World on its Head. It runs through September 3, 2012 and includes Darwin’s handwritten journals of his observations while on the Galapagos Islands.  For additional resources for children and families, visit the American Museum of National History’s Resources for Darwin.

Darwin’s complete works can also be read online.

To view the Health Science Center’s first edition of On the Origin of Species, or any of the other 5,000 rare and historical texts, contact Special Projects Librarian Susan Hunnicutt at (210) 567-2406 or hunnicutt@uthscsa.edu; or Mellisa DeThorne at 210-567-2470 or dethorne@uthscsa.edu.  Additional and selected materials from the Nixon Library may also be viewed online in the UTHSC Digital Archives / Historical Collection.

Melva Ramirez, MLS, Records and Information Management Intern, Special Collections

One Community/One Book selection tells stories of migrant life in South Texas

Photograph of Elva Trevino Hart

Elva Trevino Hart is the author of the 2012 One Community/One Book selection.

The UT Health Science Center Libraries’ popular One Community/One Book program will continue in the months ahead with reading and discussion of Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child, by Elva Trevino HartThe Libraries are pleased to announce that One Community/One Book 2012 recently received the support of Humanities Texas and the National Endowment for the Humanities in the form of a community projects grant award.

The Health Science Center’s 4th One Community/One Book selection is a book with deep roots in South Texas. Author Elva Trevino Hart tells stories of growing up in Pearsall, Texas as the youngest child in a family of migrant farm workers who traveled north to Minnesota and Wisconsin over several summers in the 1950s to work in the beet fields.   The book details her family’s struggle to make a living and to overcome prejudice and poverty through education.  She also explores her family’s roots in Mexico, and the historical events that carried her father and his family north to Texas and beyond.  Barefoot Heart encourages reflection on a number of themes including the importance of family and community, education as a way out of poverty, cultural diversity in our own South Texas communities, and the promotion of cultural competence and empathy as we train tomorrow’s health care professionals.

Plans for One Community/One Book include workshops for discussion group leaders, book discussion groups, and several speaking engagements for the author from February 23-25, 2012.   Ms. Hart will speak on campus Friday, February 24 at 12:00 noon.  She will also speak on Saturday, February 25  at the Spring Conference of the Voelcker Biosciences Teacher Academy.  Copies of the book are available through the library, and the bookstore is selling Barefoot Heart at a 25% discount.

A book signing will follow Ms. Hart’s talk on February 24.

One Community/One Book 2012 is a collaborative effort between The Libraries, the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics, the Academic Center for Excellence in Teaching (ACET), and the San Antonio Public Library.  It is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For information about One Community/One Book, contact Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian: Call 567-2406 or email Hunnicutt@uthscsa.edu.

Reach Out and Read: Physician Assistant program is collecting books for children

Each year one-third of all children entering kindergarten lack the basic skills needed to learn to read.  By fourth grade, most of these children who were initially behind in reading will not catch up with their peers.  Juvenile delinquency, absenteeism, polysubstance abuse, and school failure have all been shown to have an association with poor reading skills in childhood.  These statements, from the evidence base for Reach Out and Read, highlight the importance promoting literacy skills in children before they begin elementary school.

In light of these staggering statistics, this year Reach Out and Read was selected as the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants (TAPA) President’s Project.  TAPA President Lauren Dobbs chose Reach Out and Read because it is a national, non-profit organization that trains medical providers to counsel parents during well-child visits on the importance of reading aloud to their children.  Reach Out and Read also provides children’s books to participating pediatric clinics to be given out every six months for the child’s first five years of life.

During this year’s National Physician Assistant (PA) Week, October 6th through 12th, the seven Physician Assistant education programs in Texas will be competing to see which program can collect the most books for Reach Out and Read.  Faculty, staff and students at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio are encouraged to donate new or used children’s books (ages 6 months to 5 years old).  All books collected will be donated to the Center for Children and Families, a Reach Out and Read-participating clinic.  Donation bins will be located in the Dolph Briscoe Library, 3rd floor lobby, Texas Star Café, Research Administration Building lobby and the Christus Santa Rosa Professional Pavilion Suite 1295.  To make arrangements for a special pick-up, please e-mail Amanda Miller at millera4@livemail.uthscsa.edu.

For more information on TAPA please visit www.tapa.org

For more information on Reach Out and Read please visit www.reachoutandread.org.

Amanda K. Miller, MPH, CPH
 

 

Summer reading recommendations

 

Rajia Tobia recommends Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall:  “I am not a runner so when a tri-athlete friend recommended this book, I was skeptical.  Why would anyone want to run ultra-marathons of 100 miles or more in places like Death Valley and Mexico’s Copper Canyon?  This book answered the question for me – they are all obsessed!   Starting with the simple question -why does my foot hurt? – Christopher McDougall in Born to Run explores the physiology of running, running’s place in human evolution, the commercialization of running as a sport, and the psychology and unique individualism of ultra-runners.  The book also explores Mexico’s Tarahumara Indians and their techniques of happily running hundreds of miles without rest or injury.  This book is an interesting and entertaining read, even if you are not a runner.”

 

Sarah's Key- book coverKatie Prentice recommends Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay: “The story of Sarah’s Key centers around July 1942 when Jewish families in Paris, France were rounded up and transported to concentration camps by French authorities.  The book weaves the story of a modern French family with the story of young Sarah whose family at one time lived in the same apartment.  The book alternates 1942 with the present in each chapter and offers insight into the experiences of a child living through traumatic events.  The book is a fairly easy read and a movie came out in 2010.  I haven’t seen the movie yet, but now that I’ve read the book I plan to see the movie.”

 

 

1491 - book coverSusan Hunnicutt recommends 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, by Charles C. Mann:  “This book explores current thinking about the cultural histories of native American peoples.  They are much richer and more complicated than I ever imagined! One example that was very interesting to me was Mann’s discussion of milpas, companion plantings of corn, squash and beans, also known as “Three Sisters”.  Most of us learned part of this story in elementary school.  But Mann says the milpas show the extent of communication that took place in the ancient Americas, because by the time Europeans arrived variations of the technique, which was developed in what is today Mexico, had spread across North America to the mid-Atlantic coast.”

Turning the Pages Online: Beautiful images from rare medical books

Foxglove

Foxglove

The image featured on the cover of the July newsletter, a tomato or “love apple,” is from Elizabeth Blackwell’s A Curious Herbal, an 18th century book composed almost entirely of  illustrations of medicinal plants. Blackwell, who was trained in drawing, produced A Curious Herbal in an effort to obtain her husband’s release from a London debtor’s prison.  She engraved and colored the illustrations, drawn from plants growing in the Chelsea Physic Garden, and released them in weekly editions between 1737 and 1739. Each weekly release contained four plates and a page of text. The book became quite popular among the physicians and apothecaries of London, and she was able to raise enough money to secure her husband’s release.

The images shown here are from Turning the Pages Online, a project of the National Library of Medicine that makes digitized images of rare and remarkable texts in the history of the biomedical sciences accessible from desktop computers and digital devices.  Click on the images at right to access a larger view.

St. John's Wort

St. John’s Wort

Viewers of the Turning the Pages Online website are able to ‘touch and turn’ the pages, zoom in for greater detail, and read or listen to explanations of the text, sometimes in the form of curators’ notes.

Other book that are available for viewing at the Turning the Pages website include:

Robert Hooke’s Micrographia

Conrad Gesner’s Historiae Animalium

Andreas Vesalius’s De Humani Corporis Fabrica

Johannes de Ketham’s Fasiculo de Medicina

Physical copies of several of these books, including Hooke, and Vesalius, are held in the collection of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.

Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian

Visit the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library: Get acquainted with the book as artifact

Bartisch, Georg, Ophthalmodouleia:das ist, Augendienst. 1583.

Hold the book in your hands, feel its weight, turn its pages, admire its binding and the texture of the paper, breathe in the musty smell of age, delight in the illustrations, read the inscriptions and learn of its provenance.

Only this way, first-hand, can you truly appreciate a great book.

Visit the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library and get to know some of the finest books in the history of medicine, nursing, dentistry and the sciences.

For more information, contact Pennie Borchers, Special Collections Librarian, at Borchers@uthscsa.edu.

What we’re reading this summer: The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains

Book: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, by Nicholas CarrSusan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian, is reading The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, by Nicholas Carr:  A  master of attention-getting titles (he was the author of a 2008 Atlantic article that opened with the provocative question, ‘Is Google Making Us Stupid?) Nicholas Carr is wide-ranging, generous with examples, and nimble in his thinking about how and why the digitally-nurtured mind is different from ‘the linear, literary mind’ that has ruled the world for most of the past 500 years.  He draws on neurobiology, linguistics, and history to show how digital writing is reshaping the habits of the minds that use it.

What We’re reading this summer: How Lincoln Learned to Read

Katie Prentice, Head of Education and Information Services, enjoyed How Lincoln Learned to Read:  This book compiles the stories of 12 individuals from American history and the educations that shaped their futures.  Wolff begins with Benjamin Franklin, moves chronologically through the years to Abigail Adams and Sojourner Truth, and takes us all the way to Elvis Presley.  Each profile draws on the character’s own writing, including letters and diaries, to closely examine what a “good” education might include.  The key to all 12 individuals is that they managed to learn (both formally and informally) what they needed to know to get ahead in life.  This brief history of American education is relevant to everyone involved in education.

What we’re reading this summer: Hamlet’s Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age, by William Powers

Book Cover: Hamlet's BlackberryAnother book to consider while trying to make peace with your gadgets.