News from the Libraries

News from the Libraries

Exhibit: Antique medical instruments from the collection of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

“Ouch, that looks painful!”

That is a common reaction from viewers of the library’s new exhibit on antique medical instruments, located next to the Administrative Offices on the 3rd floor.  The exhibit highlights several aspects of medicine in the 17th and 18th centuries, displaying instruments donated to the library’s historical collections by the Bexar County Medical Society and individuals.  A scarificator, lancet, and blood cups were used with bloodletting to cure diseases such as fever, madness, anemia, and debility, often making the patient worse, rather than better.

An old amputation kit and tourniquet and an Army Civil War surgical kit remind us that amputation was often the only way to prevent gangrene resulting from traumatic war injuries, although the lack of antiseptic practices often caused rather than prevented problems.  A reproduction of a tintype held by the University Archives illustrates Dr. Crawford Long’s discovery of the use of ether for surgical anesthesia in 1842. There is also an old saddlebag used by physicians riding horseback and an ophthalmological testing kit belonging to Dr. Ferdinand Herff, a physician who moved to Texas from Germany in 1849 and became a prominent surgeon in San Antonio.  Finally, the display features a medical case belonging to Dr. Charles Dixon, a physician who lead the fight against medical quackery and nostrums in San Antonio in the early 1900s.

More information on these as well as other interesting items in the library’s historical collections can be found in the Treasures of the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library blog.  The library has many other  medical and dental instruments that have not yet been cataloged, and archival staff continue to work on identifying how they were used.

For more information about the Archives or to make an appointment to view archival materials, contact Jaclyn Georges, Records Manager & Archivist, at 210-567-2428 or

The P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library houses a collection of approximately 5000 rare and classic texts in the history of medicine, nursing, dentistry and other health care disciplines, dating from the 15th to the early 20th centuries. The library is named after Dr. Pat Ireland Nixon, a distinguished San Antonio physician and historian who worked  to build an exceptional medical history collection.


Around The Libraries in August

Around Briscoe

The Briscoe Library’s Information Desk was removed at the end of July, opening up additional space for study, group collaboration and laptop use.  This area, located directly across from the main entrance, is equipped with electrical outlets and data lines, both  rare commodities in a building that was constructed before the era of personal computers.

Current issues of 40 print journal titles are  shelved in this area for those who wish to browse the latest issues without having to search through the entire journal collection on the 4th floor. Popular magazines funded through a generous donation are also shelved here. Comfortable armchairs invite quiet reading, reflection or conversation. Tables provide ample space for those who wish to spread out with study materials or work on their laptops or other mobile devices while sipping a cup of coffee. We welcome comments and suggestions on how we might improve this space.

The services once provided at the Information Desk have been consolidated with Circulation Services and librarians are on call to assist with research and reference help. To provide feedback or contact a librarian, stop by the Circulation Desk, call 567-2450, schedule a consultation appointment, or send an email to

Jonquil Feldman
Director of Briscoe Library Services


 Around Laredo

The Laredo Regional Campus Library provided new student library orientation for the Physician Assistant Program on August 22. Students received information about library services, card ID access and campus safety. Students were also informed about the policies and procedures for after hours and weekend access.

The Laredo Regional Campus Library welcomes the students to our library and to our campus!

Patti Gutierrez
Library Assistant

New to the shelves in the Briscoe Library

Biomechanics in orthodontics : principles and practice
Ram S. Nanda, Yahya S. Tosun
Chicago : Quintessence Pub. Co., c2010.
WU 426 N176b 2010.

Essential medical genetics, 6th ed.
Edward S. Tobias, Michael Connor, Malcolm Ferguson-Smith
Chichester, West Sussex, U.K. ; Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.
QZ 50 C752e 2011.

Management principles for health professionals, 6th ed.
Joan Gratto Liebler, Charles R. McConnell
Sudbury, Mass. : Jones & Bartlett Learning, c2012.
WX 150 L716m 2012.

Problem solving in neuroradiology
[edited by] Meng Law, Peter M. Som, Thomas P. Naidich
Philadelphia, Pa. : Elsevier/Saunders, c2011.
WL 141 P963 2011.

News from the Libraries – August 2011

Beginning in August, librarians and library assistants will provide services from the one-stop service desk on the main floor of the Briscoe Library.

Welcome from the UT Health Science Center Libraries

On display in the Briscoe Library in August: Art of ancient Mexico

Lecture will present an informal approach to ―Hispanic‖ genetics, history

Article documents Art and Anatomy Workshop

Journal cancellation list: We are still interested in receiving your input

Changes affect Stat!Ref and NetLibrary users

Library classes for August and September

Information and circulation services are now available at one desk in the Briscoe Library

Pennie Borchers, Special Collections Librarian, retires this month

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

Keith Cogdill to become director of library services at NIH

The Laredo Regional Campus Library: New hours beginning September 1

Alice Pakravan retires after 27 years with the Briscoe Library

Amy Nurnberger completes internship in the Briscoe Library

Goodbye to the Robert B. Green Campus Library

New books on the shelves of the Briscoe Library

Welcome from the UT Health Science Center Libraries

Librarians and library staff would like to welcome new and returning students, residents, fellows, faculty and staff. Here are some things you need to know about using the libraries in San Antonio (Briscoe Library and Texas Research Park), Harlingen (Ramirez Library) and the Laredo Regional Campus library:

  • The website for The Libraries provides links to the catalog, databases, classes, services, hours of operation, policies and contact information for each library ( ). You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Faculty, staff and students must register to check out or renew materials, or to use services by submitting the Borrower Registration or Renewal Form (  Students and house staff must renew their library registration annually. 
  • We have an extensive print and online collection of books and journals.  Library services include circulation and reserves, reference and research assistance, instruction in use of databases and bibliographic management software, expert database searches and consultations, interlibrary loan, community outreach, help with using library printers, copiers and scanners, and support for using resources for mobile devices.
  • Librarians offer classes on a wide range of topics designed to enable efficient use of research tools and to promote evidence-based practice. A list of regularly scheduled classes is available online.  Classes are also offered by arrangement with faculty or university departments ( ).
  • More than 100 computers are available in the Briscoe Library on the Long Campus, including 25 in the library computer classroom on the 2nd floor. Branch libraries are also equipped with computers.  UT Health Science Center computer users at the Briscoe Library log on using their UTHSCSA domain account; non-HSC guests obtain a login code from the Circulation staff and are limited to one hour per day. Please read our Computer Use Policy (
  • Librarians and library staff strive to make the library a welcoming place to study.  Food and covered drinks are permitted in all libraries. Wireless laptop use is available throughout all the libraries, and we provide electrical outlets and data lines wherever possible.  A variety of study areas are available, including open seating, individual study rooms that are first come first served, and group study rooms, which may be reserved for two or more UT Health Science Center affiliates. At the Briscoe Library, room reservations are made at the Circulation Desk, by email at or by phone at (210) 567-2440. Study room reservations must include the names of two persons who will use the room.  Contact the branch libraries to make reservations at those locations.
  • Classrooms on the 2nd floor of the Briscoe Library building are available for after-hours study.

Librarians and library staff look forward to seeing you at one of the UT Health Science Center Libraries or in your classroom or office.  We encourage you to ask questions and provide feedback on our services, collection and space. 

Jonquil Feldman

Director of Briscoe Library Services


On display in the Briscoe Library in August: Art of ancient Mexico

The UT Health Science Center Libraries are hosting an exhibit of artwork from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM-San Antonio) through August 2011. The featured art —  reproductions of funerary artifacts from the cultures of West Mexico that were produced between 100 B.C and 300 B.C.— will be on display in the School of Medicine’s Lecture Hall Commons through the end of August.

The figurines are  made from reddish or orange clay with geometric decorations in red, white, black and yellow. They depict women preparing food, musicians, dancers, flutists and warriors, all going about their daily activities. A unique and interesting feature of these figurines is their adornments: oversize ear and nose ornaments in the shape of a bar or a half moon, as well as bracelets and necklaces of several strands.

What’s in a name? History of Medicine lecture will present an informal approach to “Hispanic” genetics and history

The ten largest Latino population groups in the U.S. by country of origin (based on self-described family ancestry or place of birth). By Permission: Pew Hispanic Center.

Monday, August 8, 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.

Howe Conference Room Briscoe Library

In this noon hour presentation, Dr. Richard F. Ludueña, Ph.D., distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, will explore multiple aspects of Hispanic identity in the U.S. “If we start drawing medical conclusions,” he says, “we need to be clear what we are talking about.” 

The talk will move in the direction of a working genetic definition that takes account of the variety of Hispanic populations in the U.S., including Peninsular, Native American, African, and others.

Dr. Ludueña’s lecture is a sponsored activity of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library and is open to the public. 

For more information about this event, or about how to become a member of the Friends group, contact Pennie Borchers, Special Collections Librarian, at

Integrating the humanities into anatomy instruction

Article documents art and anatomy workshop offered at the UT Health Science Center

Penelope Borchers, Special Collections Librarian, is a co-author with Dr. Charleen Moore of the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, of an article in an upcoming issue of Anatomical Sciences Education:

Moore, C. M., Lowe, C., Lawrence, J., & Borchers, P. (2011). Developing observational skills and knowledge of anatomical relationships in an art and anatomy workshop using plastinated specimens, in press. Anatomical Sciences Education. Epub ahead of print retrieved July 29, 2011. doi: 10.1002/ase.244.

Constance Lowe, M.F.A. and Jayne Lawrence, M.F.A., both of UTSA, are also co-authors.

The article describes art and anatomy workshops that took place in the Briscoe Library in 2009 and 2011.  The workshops rely in part on materials housed in the collection of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.

From the abstract: Many medical schools have developed formal art observation training in conjunction with nearby art museums to enhance the visual diagnostic skills of their medical students. We report here on an art and anatomy workshop that paired medical and art students who did drawing exercises from plastinated anatomical specimens and the animated face to hone observational skills… We propose workshops such as these …  will assist the medical student in developing diagnostic skills for identifying disease and the art student in using the human body as subject. We further propose that these programs will help students develop humanistic sensitivities and provide an outlet for expression of the emotional aspects of dealing with disease and mortality.

Journal cancellation list: We are still interested in receiving your input

In the May issue of the newsletter, we posted a list of possible journal and database cancellations for 2012.  If you have not reviewed the list and sent comments, please take the time to do so.  Comments can be sent to John Weed, Head of Collection Resources,

Changes affect Stat!Ref and NetLibrary users

Changes to Stat!Ref

Stat!Ref provides quick access to a number of full-text electronic medical reference books in the areas of diagnosis and treatment in specialties such as psychiatry, geriatrics, and surgery.  Titles include Davis’s Drug Guide for Nurses, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine, and Quick Reference Guide to Pediatric Care, just to name a few.  Two significant changes are scheduled for August 1, 2011.

A new version of Stat!Ref Online will be released.  The interface offers more robust technology with more functionality such as:

  • Updated search functions
  • Enhanced access to tools needed to make research easier
  • Ability to quickly download tables, figures and images for presentations and lectures
  • Redesigned layout to locate resources and find information easier
  • Enhanced ease of access to bibliographic citations including Refworks and EndNote

Also beginning August 1, titles published by McGraw-Hill will no longer be available through Stat!Ref.  Most of these titles are still available through AccessMedicine and AccessSurgery, or in print format.  Several new titles that are comparable to the McGraw-Hill books will be added to the Stat!Ref collection.

Changes to NetLibrary e-books

The UT Health Science Center Libraries has access to a number of NetLibrary e-books as the result of purchases by the UT System and TexShare over the past several years.  EBSCO purchased NetLibrary, and as a result these e-books are currently being transferred to the EBSCO platform.  Here is some information regarding the transition that may be helpful to e-book users accessing materials through the library catalog:

  • Personal NetLibrary accounts that were created will cease to function after the transition is made.  Users are encouraged to create new EBSCO accounts.
  • Only one person will be able to browse an e-book at a time.  The e-books may be searched, viewed, and browsed online but they may not be checked out.  When a user’s session ends, any e-books they were viewing will become available to others.
  • Due to licensing agreements, e-books we have access to will not be downloadable to a computer or portable reader.
  • Links from the catalog and e-books page should seamlessly redirect from NetLibrary to EBSCO.  Please contact the library at if you experience any linking problems.

John Weed
Head of Collection Resources