News from the Libraries

News from the Libraries

3rd Annual History of Medicine Trivia Contest – January 20

triviaJoin the History of Medicine Society for the 3rd Annual History of Medicine Trivia Contest on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 6:00 pm in the Howe Conference Room on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library. Jack Flores, MS III, will challenge contestants on their knowledge of the history of the health sciences and medical pop culture. Prizes will be awarded to the winning team!

Membership in the History of Medicine Society is free, and meetings are open to the public. Light refreshments will be served!

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

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

Resident Physicians from Mexico Visit Briscoe Library

The Briscoe Library hosted a group of 40 resident physicians from Mexico on December 2. These health care providers are studying Medical English for one month at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Education and Outreach Librarians provided information about services librarians provide and about the library’s collection.

Physicians from Mexico

The Special Collections staff showcased eight rare and historical medical books from the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, as well as stereoscopes from the collection of antique medical instruments. Titles on display included:

  • De humani corporis fabrica libri septem (1543) by Andreas Vesalius
  • Tables of the skeleton and muscles of the human body (1749) by Bernhard Siegfried Albinus
  • De medicina (1481) by Aulus Cornelius Celsus, the Nixon library’s oldest book

Photograph of Resident Examining Book

Featured New Books for January 2016

For a list of the newest titles at the Briscoe Library click here.


Purchase suggestions?
Complete the online Purchase Suggestion Form or contact Andrea N. Schorr, Metadata & Collection Management Librarian.



Group Study Room Policies


5th Floor Study Rooms: Blue = Reserved!

The Briscoe Library has group study rooms on the 3rd and 5th floors that can accommodate 4-6 people for collaborative work. The 5th floor group study rooms have media:scapes, which allow screen-sharing for up to 4 laptops. All of the study rooms are very popular and always in demand, especially in the evenings and on weekends. The display screens on the library’s 3rd and 5th floors show availability of study rooms, and the reservation system can be accessed from any computer or smart phones.

The room reservation guidelines are very clear about who may reserve the study rooms, how to reserve a room, and the 15 minute grace period: group study rooms are in high demand, so a reservation is forfeited and others may use the room if:

  • The group does not show up within 15 minutes of start time
  • Only one person from the group is in the room for more than 15 minutes
  • The room is empty for more than 15 minutes any time after the reservation start time.

Library staff do not monitor the rooms but they will provide assistance should questions arise.

To reserve a group study room, go to

Jonquil Feldman
Director, Briscoe Library and Outreach Services


News From the Libraries – December 2015

The December issue of News from the Libraries is now available.  For links to individual articles, see the table of contents below.

Briscoe Library Remodeling PlannedPhotograph of Francine Mary Netter signing a book

UT Libraries Working Together

Student Spotlight Series

Netter Speaks at Annual Dinner

E-book Demand Driven Program

Danny Jones Essay Winner

Healing Garden Poster on Display

2015 Science Expo

New Staff at Laredo Library

New Leisure Books

Featured New Books


See all past issues of News From the Libraries

Briscoe Library 5th Floor Remodeling Planned


Architect rendering of 5th floor after remodeling.

The 5th floor of the Briscoe Library will undergo remodeling with major work to begin during the Winter Break. The School of Medicine Office of Undergraduate Medicine, located on the 5th floor, will be expanded about 1,500 square on the northwest side of the library. Study carrels, tables, booths, and lounge seating currently in this space will be relocated to other areas of the library building.

As part of this project, library staff undertook a project during the month of November to shift print materials on the 4th floor. Space that was created on shelves this past year, when journal volumes or books were removed to send to a remote storage facility, was tightened up during the shift. Several rows of shelving were emptied in order to make room for study carrels that will be relocated from the 5th floor. Future plans include the removal of additional shelving as the library’s print collection shrinks in favor of electronic access. Study and collaborative spaces on the 3rd and 4th floors of the library will also be expanded and updated in the near future.

Jonquil Feldman
Director, Briscoe Library and Outreach Services

UT System Libraries Working Together

Since the 1990’s UT System libraries have worked through the UT System Digital Library (UTSDL) to increase the buying power of individual UT System libraries.  The UTSDL is an active library consortium of the UT System’s academic and health related institutions. The consortium complements the collection strengths of each UT institution’s library with online scholarly resources. UTSDL provides access to resources ranging from humanities ebooks to medical research journals. The UTSDL provides licensing services for electronic products and leverages group purchasing power in order to reduce costs across the UT System. In fiscal year 2015, the UT Health Science Center Library as part of the UTSDL consortium spent $1,223,935 for subscriptions to electronic journals and databases resulting in cost avoidance estimated at $9,691,265 based on vendor list prices. Journals published by Nature, Science, American Chemical Society, Elsevier, Wiley, Springer and many others are included in the UTSDL consortium subscriptions.  The UTSDL is managed by librarians at UT Austin along with collection development librarians at each UT System campus.


UTHSC San Antonio 2015 UTSDL Expenditure List Price Cost Avoidance
$ 1,223,935 $ 10,915,200 $ 9,691,265

Francine Mary Netter Speaks at Friends Annual Dinner

This year’s Annual Dinner of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library was held on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at the Old San Francisco Steakhouse. One hundred and six registrants, including forty-eight students from the Health Science Center’s five schools and the Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy, enjoyed an evening of dining and fellowship.


Photograph of faculty and students at Friends Dinner

Faculty and Students Gather at the Friends Dinner


The highlight of the evening was Francine Mary Netter’s informative and entertaining presentation on the life and work of her father, famous medical illustrator Frank Netter, MD. She shared family memories and personal anecdotes about this extremely talented man, as well as images of sketches and paintings outside the realm of anatomy. Following her presentation, Francine Netter signed copies of her book, Medicine’s Michelangelo: The Life and Art of Frank H. Netter, MD.


Photograph of Francine Mary Netter signing a book

Francine Netter Signs  Dr. Irene Bober-Moken’s Book


For more information on the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, contact Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, at or 567-2406.

E-book Purchase Part of Demand Driven Program


The UT Health Science Center Libraries have acquired more than 150 Elsevier/ScienceDirect e-books as part of a Demand Driven Acquisitions program funded by the University Of Texas System Board Of Regents. The newly purchased titles have a 2014 publication date and include titles in the following subject areas: physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, health sciences, and social sciences and humanities. A full list of these purchases can be found in the library catalog.

Another round in the Demand Driven program is currently underway, and includes a selection of 2015-2016 Elsevier/ScienceDirect e-book titles. Browsing of these titles is encouraged since purchases are dependent on user participation. To view a list of the 2015-2016 titles click here.

All Elsevier/ScienceDirect e-book titles can also be browsed through the library’s database page.

Questions about the library’s electronic and print book collection can be sent to Andrea N. Schorr, Metadata & Collection Management Librarian,