Medical Instruments Exhibit


Ever wonder what types of instruments were used to treat ailments during the early ages of medicine? Check out the new library exhibit Tools of the Trade and find out. The exhibit features antique medical instruments from the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library. In this collection you will find items such as a scarificator and cupping device. Both were used during the 19th century in a process called bloodletting, which treated conditions such as fever, anemia, and mental illness. Also included in this exhibit is a Spencer Monocular microscope, produced by the first American microscope manufacturer Charles A. Spencer. Other items in this collection include a urine testing kit, a blood transfusion kit, and an ophthalmological lens set used for eye exams.

The Tools of the Trade exhibit is located on the main floor of the Briscoe Library. This exhibit will be ongoing, but may be removed temporarily for special events. Special Collections staff will rotate the selection of instruments periodically, so check back for new items.

Questions about this exhibit? Contact Special Collections staff at SpecialCollections@uthscsa.edu

World War I Poster Exhibit Opens in the Briscoe Library

A collection of ten World War I posters is now on display in the Briscoe Library. The collection, on loan from the San Antonio Public Library, features some very famous vintage posters dating back to 1917, such as Wake Up America, which depicts lady liberty personifying America asleep while the storm of war is brewing behind her, and “Uncle Sam’s” I Want You, considered the “most famous poster in the world”.

I-Want-YouThe display consists of lithographs depicting war propaganda that were commissioned by the U.S. government to inspire people to enlist. Posters were considered visually appealing, easily reproducible, and conveniently sized to paste on walls of buildings and windows of homes. The Division of Pictorial Publicity reached out to illustrators and encouraged them to volunteer their creativity to the war effort. The artists included James Montgomery Flagg, Charles Buckle Falls, Haskell Coffin, and others whose works also appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post and other popular magazines. These posters are excellent examples of use of advertising strategies and graphic design of the period. They were designed to elicit a patriotic response, an urge to enlist, to pick up a flag, to support the men and women who participated as soldiers and nurses.

The collection will be on display in the library through the end of October.


The Washington Post. (2014, July 29). The posters that sold World War I. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/07/29/the-posters-that-sold-world-war-i/

Jonquil Feldman
Director, Briscoe Library and Outreach Services