History of Medicine

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

P.I. Nixon Library Hosts History of Anatomy Class

The P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library hosted a group of History of Anatomy students on April 8th. The visit was the culmination of an enrichment elective in the School of Medicine and a course in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences taught by Dr. Charleen Moore, Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology. The class covered the History of Anatomy from ancient times to the present.

 Photograph of History of Anatomy class

The students viewed 25 items from the library’s rare book collection, including:

  • De humani corporis fabrica libri septem (1543) by Andreas Vesalius
  • Micrographia (1667) by Robert Hooke
  • De medicina (1481) by Aulus Cornelius Celsus, the Nixon library’s oldest book

 Photograph of students viewing rare book

For more information on the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library or to schedule a visit, contact Anne Comeaux, Assistant Director for Special Collections, 210-567-2428 or comeaux@uthscsa.edu.

P.I. Nixon Library Hosts UTSA Art Students

On June 4th, the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library hosted a group of art students from the University of Texas at San Antonio. In conjunction with the UT Health Science Center Garden Health Interest Group, these students are conducting research in preparation for a proposal for art for the Healing Garden located in front of the Briscoe Library.

Photograph of UTSA Art Students

Teresa Eckmann, PhD, Assistant Professor of Art & Art History and three of her MFA students, along with Charleen Moore, PhD and Alice Yang MS II from the Garden Health Interest Group, viewed a collection of 25 of the Nixon Library’s rare and historical books. Items on display included some of the library’s most beautiful and intricate anatomical atlases, as well as herbals and books illustrating plant anatomy and histology.

For more information on the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library or to schedule a visit, contact Anne Comeaux, Assistant Director for Special Collections, 210-567-2428 or comeaux@uthscsa.edu.

P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library to be closed May 6 through 10

Nixon LibraryThe P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library will be closed to users  from May 6 through 10.  Representatives of the School of Medicine will be meeting with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) Monday through Wednesday, and will require the use of the Howe Conference Room and the Special Collections Reading Room.

An appraisal of the collection of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library is scheduled for May 9 and 10.

Users needing materials from the history of medicine collection should plan to schedule their visits at another time, as retrieval of rare books and archives will not be available during the LCME site visit and the appraisal of the collection that will follow.

For more information, contact Anne Comeaux, comeaux@uthscsa.edu or Mellisa DeThorne, dethorne@uthscsa.edu.
 

 

Please save the date: Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

41ST ANNUAL MEETING

Dinner and Presentation

Fernando Guerra, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P.,

Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and recently retired Director of Health for the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District will speak on the topic

 “Doctors and Dollars May Not Always Be Enough!”

Monday, November 7, 2011 6:30 p.m.

Doubletree Hotel      37 NE Loop 410 at McCullough

Cost: $40/person; $30 for students includes Friends membership

Rare Anatomical Books on Display April 8

Tables of the skeleton and muscles of the human body by Bernhard Siegfried Albinus

Tables of the skeleton and muscles of the human body by Bernhard Siegfried Albinus

The P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library will have a collection of rare anatomical books on display for the public on Wednesday, April 8 from 3:00 – 5:30 pm.  Tables of the skeleton and muscles of the human body by Bernhard Giegfried Albinus, De humani corporis fabrica libri septem by Andreas Vesalius,  and Albrecht Durer’s De symmetria partium in rectis formis humanorum corporum are just a few of the more than 20 books that will be shown.

For more information or to arrange tours of the Nixon Library call Anne Comeaux, Assistant Director for Special Collections, at 210-567-2428 or email comeaux@uthscsa.edu.

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Rare texts support inquiry in the School of Medicine and the School of Health Professions

De Symmetria Partium in Rectis Formis Humanorum Corporum

De Symmetria Partium in Rectis Formis Humanorum Corporum (1532), Albert Durer’s illustrated study of the proportions of the human body, was one of 41 historical anatomy titles that were on display in the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library on April 30.

Seven MS1s and one graduate student from the School of Health Professions visited the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library on April 30.  The visit to the library  was the conclusion of a history of anatomy elective taught by Dr. Charleen M. Moore of the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology.

The course for medical students, Enrichment Elective 5022, and the graduate course, CSBL 5015, covered anatomy from ancient times to the present.

Forty-one rare books were on display, including:

Albinus, Bernhard Siegfried, Tables of the Skeleton and Muscles of the Human Body, 1749

Durer, Albert, De Symmetria Partium in Rectis Formis Humanorum Corporum, 1532

Gray, Henry, Anatomy of the Human Body, 1859

Hooke, Robert, Micrographia: Or Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses with Observations and Inquiries Thereupon, 1667

Vesalius, Andreas, De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem, 1543

For more information about the collection of the Nixon Library, or to schedule a visit, contact Anne Comeaux comeaux@uthscsa.edu or Mellisa DeThorne dethorne@uthscsa.edu.
 

 

Remembering Pat Ireland Nixon Jr., MD

P.I. Nixon, Jr. passed away on October 20, 2012.

We are sad to report the recent passing of Dr. Pat Ireland Nixon Jr., son of Dr. Pat Ireland Nixon, for whom the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library is named.

The younger Dr. Nixon, who passed away on October 20 at the age of 99 years old, was a constant friend and an ardent supporter of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.

Born May 28, 1913, Dr. Nixon graduated from the University of Texas, Austin and went on to attend Duke University Medical School, graduating in 1939.  He completed his internship in Baltimore, MD and served in the U.S. Army at Walter Reed Hospital, where he met his wife, Army Nurse Lt. Ruby Baker. Together, they had three children, Pat III, Margaret and John.  Dr. Nixon was stationed at West Point during World War II, and practiced medicine in San Antonio from 1946 until his retirement.

Dr. Pat, as he was known, is survived by his wife, Della; two daughters, Mrs. Margaret (Peggy) Kennedy and Mrs. Nancy LaBounty and two sons, Pat Ireland Nixon III and John Nixon and his brother, Thomas A. Nixon, and many nieces, nephews and grandchildren.

The family of Dr. Nixon has generously asked that memorials be sent to the P.I. Nixon Medical History Library.  Checks can be made to UTHSCSA Library and sent to the University of Texas Health Science Center, Briscoe Library Mail Code 7940, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio Texas 78229.  

Save the date: Former Director of the U.S. Army Burn Center to speak at the Annual Dinner of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

Basil A. Pruitt, Jr., M.D.

Basil A. Pruitt, Jr., M.D.

Dr. Basil A. Pruitt, Jr., M.D., Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, will be the speaker at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Friends of The P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, Thursday, November 7, 2013.  He will speak on the topic, San Antonio’s National and International Center of Excellence for Burn Care and Research.

Dr. Pruitt, a graduate of Harvard College and the Tufts University School of Medicine, began his affiliation with the burn center when he was assigned to Fort Sam Houston as a draftee in 1959.  He completed his residency there in 1964, and was named Chief of the Burn Study Branch and Chief of the Clinical Division that same year.

In his early days at Fort Sam Houston, Dr. Pruitt traveled regularly to Viet Nam, where he provided medical care for wounded soldiers during air transport to an Army hospital in Yokahama, Japan.  After they were stabilized he would accompany the soldiers back to Texas for treatment.  In 1967, Dr. Pruitt volunteered for a tour of duty at the 12th Evacuation Hospital in Viet Nam, where he served as Chief of Professional Services.   When he returned to San Antonio he was named Commander and Director of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, a post he held for 27 years.

The Annual Dinner and Presentation of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library will take place at 6:30 p.m. on the evening of November 7 at the Old San Francisco Steakhouse, 10223 Sahara Street in San Antonio.  Everyone is welcome, and paid sponsorships are available for students in any of the UT Health Science Center’s academic programs.  Sponsorships include a one year membership in the Friends group.  For more information, or to inquire about student sponsorships,  contact Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian, hunnicutt@uthscsa.edu, or call 210-567-2406.

 

Save these dates: Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library sponsored events

Friends’ Presentations

What’s In a Name? An Informal Approach to ‘Hispanic’ Genetics and History

Richard F. Ludueña, Ph.D., Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Biochemistry

Monday, August 8, 12:00 noon, Howe Conference Room, Briscoe Library

Anatomists and Their Art

Charleen M. Moore, Ph.D., F.A.C.M.G, Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Cellular and Structural Biology

Thursday, October 5, 12:00 noon, Howe Conference Room, Briscoe Library

41st Annual Meeting, Dinner and Presentation

Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

Fernando A. Guerra, M.D., M.P.H.,.F.A.A.P, retired director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, will speak on the topic Doctors and Dollars May Not Always Be Enough!

Monday, November 7, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., Doubletree Hotel

Learn more about the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library