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141.  Articella nuperrime impressa cum quamplurimis tractatibus pristine impressioni superadditis. Lyons: Jean de la Place, for Bartholomew Troth, 1515. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections

Nothing certain is known of the origin or the use of the Hippocratic Oath in the ancient world. The first Latin translations appeared in the 12th century. However, the Oath only became part of the European medical tradition when it was included in the Articella, a popular compilation of Greek and Arabic medical texts in Latin intended as a handy guide for the practitioner.

The first printed edition of the Articella appeared about 1476; the second edition of 1483 was the first to include the Oath. In this 1515 edition the Hippocratic Oath begins in the middle of folio xvii.

Purchased with the John Green Curtis Library, 1914




142.  Jacopo Berengario da Carpi (1460?-1530?).  Commentaria cum amplissimis additionibus super anotomia Mundini. Bologna: Hieronymus de Benedictis, 1521. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections

Human dissection was reintroduced into the study of anatomy for the first time in 1500 years by the Italian universities around 1300. Among the first notable anatomy teachers was Mondino de' Luzzi (d. circa 1318) whose Anothomia, published in 1316, would be a popular textbook for the next 200 years. Berengario da Carpi, one of Mondino's successors at the University of Bologna, produced this massive commentary on the Anothomia in 1521. It is the first anatomical text to contain illustrations based on human dissections, of which Berengario performed hundreds. The striking woodcuts are, unfortunately, too abstract to be useful to the student. Although both Mondinus and Berengario criticized the anatomical knowledge of the ancients, they did not succeed in overturning their authority, especially that of Galen, the 2nd century A.D. physician whose works defined medical orthodoxy in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance.

Purchased with the George Sumner Huntington Library, 1928




143.  Hans von Gersdorff (1455-1529).  Feldtbuch der Wundartzney. Strasbourg: Johannes Schott, 1528. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections

First published in 1517, the Feldtbuch was addressed to the military surgeon. It focuses on treating wounds, amputating limbs, and extracting bullets and arrows, though it also has chapters on subjects as varied as anatomy, medications, and leprosy.

The illustrations, attributed to Hans Wechtlin, are well known for their realistic depictions of surgical operations and are often handcolored, as in this copy. Its pictures, along with its practical advice, made the Feldtbuch one of the most popular-and plagiarized-surgical works of its time. The first edition showed the first printed picture of an amputation.

Purchased with the George Sumner Huntington Library, 1928




144.  Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564).  De humani corporis fabrica libri septem. Basel: Joannis Oporini, 1543. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections

Vesalius's Fabrica is an epochal work, the starting point of the modern study of anatomy and, by extension, of modern Western medicine. Besides its importance to medicine, it is a masterpiece of the book arts and a landmark in the organization of knowledge. At some point, probably while finishing his medical education at Padua, Vesalius realized that Galen, the "Prince of Anatomists," had never actually dissected a human body. With conceptual blinders removed, he undertook his own comprehensive survey of the body, completing the work in July 1542 after two years' labor. He was twenty-seven at the time.

The celebrated frontispiece is a visual representation of Vesalius's belief that knowledge of the body could be gained only through the direct experience of dissection by the anatomist. Vesalius is shown at the center of an imaginary anatomical theater performing a dissection with his own hands while a vast crowd looks on. The barber-surgeons who previously opened the cadavers at dissections have been banished to the floor, where they quarrel over who will sharpen Vesalius's razors. The dogs on the right and the monkey on the left can be seen as a sly reference to Galen's animal dissections. The Health Sciences Library is one of the few to own four copies of this first edition.

Purchased with the John Green Curtis Library, 1914




145.  Giovanni Andrea dalla Croce (1509?-1580).   Chirurgiae...libri septem . Venice: Giordano Ziletto, 1573. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections, Jerome P. Webster Library of Plastic Surgery

Croce's Chirurgiae is notable for its description of all the surgical instruments used before and during his own time. It also has the earliest known illustration of neurological surgery in progress. Shown here is a trephination, the drilling into the skull to relieve pressure. It accurately depicts the operation taking place in a private home, with family members and servants (as well as the family cat and a mouse) present.

Bequest of Jerome P. Webster, M.D., 1974




146.  Gaspare Tagliacozzi (1545-1599).  De curtorum chirurgia per insitionem. Venice: Gaspare Bindoni the Younger, 1597. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections, Jerome P. Webster Library of Plastic Surgery

Tagliacozzi, professor of surgery and anatomy at the University of Bologna, published De curtorum chirurgia to instruct surgeons on all they needed to know about reconstructing noses and ears. It is the first published work on plastic surgery. The work's twenty-two plates depict every step of the process of rhinoplasty and are among the best-known illustrations in the history of medicine. Shown here is the patient, immobilized in a vest of Tagliacozzi's devising, waiting for the skin graft taken from the arm to adhere to the nose. The process was supposed to take two to three weeks.

De curtorum is the centerpiece of the great library on the history of plastic surgery assembled by Dr. Jerome P. Webster (1888-1974), professor of surgery at Columbia and first director of the division of plastic surgery at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. The Webster Library holds seven copies of the first edition of this work as well as two copies of the extremely rare pirated version printed in the same year.

Bequest of Jerome P. Webster, M.D., 1974




147.  William Harvey (1578-1657).  De motu cordis & sanguinis in animalibus, anatomica exercitatio. Leiden: ex officina Ioannis Maire, 1639. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections

Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood is generally regarded as the most important breakthrough in the history of medicine. It is also the starting point of modern physiology. It had long been believed that blood was continually created afresh in the liver, which then sent it out to be absorbed by the body. Harvey, though experimentation, observation, and measurement of blood flow, realized that the circulation was a closed system in which the heart played the central role.

Although Harvey lived to see his theory generally accepted by the medical world, it first met considerable opposition. This third edition of De motu cordis - which is actually only the second complete one-prints the text interspersed with a point-by-point counter-argument by Emilio Parisano, one of Harvey's most vocal opponents. Harvey's professor at Padua, Girolamo Fabrizio [Fabricius], had discovered the valves of the veins but had not understood their purpose. When Harvey wanted to demonstrate that the valves directed the venous blood flow back to the heart, he simply adapted a plate from one of his former professor's works, De venarum ostiolis. This is the only illustration in all editions of De motu cordis.

Purchased with the John Green Curtis Library, 1914




148.  Robert Hooke (1635-1703).  Micrographia: or, Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies made by Magnifying Glasses. London: Jo. Martyn and Ja. Allestry, 1665. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections

Hooke constructed one of the first compound microscopes. Micrographia is an account of his discoveries using it and is the first book devoted entirely to microscopic observations. It also introduced the word "cell" to describe the structure of tissue.

The spectacular plates are renowned for their clarity and detail. It seems most are derived from Hooke's own drawings, though a few may be the work of Christopher Wren. This is of a bluebottle.

Purchased with the John Green Curtis Library, 1914




149.  King's College Board of Trustees.  Draft of medical diploma of Robert Tucker. Manuscript on paper. New York, May 15, 1770. RBML, Columbia College Papers

Though Columbia's medical school, now known as the College of Physicians and Surgeons, is the second oldest in the United States, having been founded in 1767, two years after the Medical College of Philadelphia, now the University of Pennsylvania College of Medicine, Columbia has the honor of having conferred the country's first doctor of medicine degree on Robert Tucker in 1770. While Tucker's diploma appears to no longer survive, this draft preserves the text, if not the format, of one of the founding documents of American medicine.




150.  John Hunter (1728-1793).  The Natural History of the Human Teeth. London: J. Johnson, 1771. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections

Hunter was one of the greatest surgeons of the eighteenth century. Though not a dentist, he wrote several works that laid the foundation for much future dental research. His first major treatise was this meticulous study of the mouth, jaws, and teeth, which described with unparalleled accuracy the growth of the jaws and their relationship to the muscles of mastication. The work also did much to popularize the terms cuspids, bicuspids, molars, and incisors. The illustrations by the Dutch-born artist Jan van Riemsdyck are renowned both for their accuracy and for their beauty.

Purchased with the George Sumner Huntington Library, 1928




151.  James Graham.  Doctor Bard's Lectures upon the Palsey. New York, February 11, 1774. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections, Graham Family Papers

The King's College Medical School opened in the fall of 1767, boasting an impressive faculty of New York's leading medical men. Among them was Samuel Bard (1742-1821), who served as dean and would later win fame as physician to George Washington during his first term as President. The medical school, along with the rest of the college, closed in 1776 as a result of the disruptions of the American Revolution. These notes of Bard's lectures taken by medical student James Graham in 1774 are the only ones from the pre-revolutionary school now in the possession of the University.

Graham did not receive a medical degree from King's, but he later practiced medicine in Walkill, New York.

Purchased with the assistance of W.W. Palmer, M.D., 1940




152.  Luigi Galvani (1737-1798).  De viribus electricitatis in motu musculari commentarius. Bologna: Ex typographia Instituti Scientiarum, 1791. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections

Galvani, professor of anatomy at the University of Bologna, was studying the nervous system of the frog when he noted that distant electrical discharges would cause violent muscular contractions in a dissected frog if the lumbar nerve was in contact with a metal instrument. He called this force "animal electricity" but it quickly became known across Europe as "galvanism."

Galvani was in error-the phenomena he observed was caused by the generation of electricity by different metals in a moist atmosphere-but his mistake had manifold consequences. The idea of galvanism forms the background to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, while the physicist Alessandro Volta, in disproving Galvani's theory, was led to the invention of the electric battery.

Galvani first published his findings in the proceedings of the Bologna Academy and Institute of Sciences and Arts in March 1791. A very small edition of the paper was then printed to be distributed to Galvani's friends. Though the Health Sciences Library owns one of that rare edition, the copy on display here was part of a printing later that same year designated for public sale. The plate shows Galvani's laboratory with the dissected frog's legs, an electrostatic machine (left), and a Leyden jar (right).

Purchased with the John Green Curtis Library, 1914




153.  René Théophile Hyacinthe Laennec (1781 - 1826).  De l'Auscultation Médiate, ou Traité du Diagnostic des Maladies des Poumons et du Coeur fondé principalement sur ce Nouveau Moyen d'Exploration.. Paris: Brosson & Chaudé, 1819. Vol. 1 of 2 Volumes. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections

Laennec discovered "mediate" auscultation in 1816 while examining a female patient whose stoutness made "direct" auscultation-where the physician placed his ear on the chest of the patient-impractical. Taking a piece of stiff paper, Laennec rolled it into a tube and placed one end on the patient's chest and the other against his ear. He had inadvertently invented the stethoscope.

This first edition of Laennec's De l'Auscultation Médiate [On Mediate Auscultation] depicts his stethoscope after three years of experimentation. A wooden tube about 30 centimeters long and about 6.75 millimeters in diameter, the instrument was constructed in two pieces that could be unscrewed for easier portability. Readers could purchase the instrument directly from publisher at first, but the simplicity of the design allowed it to be replicated by any competent woodworker.

Purchase, 2002






154a.  Florence Nightingale (1820-1910).  Notes on Nursing: What it is, and What it is Not. London: Harrison, [1860] Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections Auchincloss Florence Nightingale Collection

154b.  A. A. Turner.  Portrait of Florence Nightingale. New York: D. Appleton & Co., undated. Carte-de-visite, signed, 10 cm. x 6 cm. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections Auchincloss Florence Nightingale Collection

"Notes on Nursing" is Nightingale's best-known work and the most influential book ever written on nursing. In simple, direct prose, Nightingale set forth her principles of patient care, which stressed cleanliness, fresh air, warmth, light, and proper diet. A popular book, Notes sold over 15,000 copies within months. Nightingale inscribed this copy in its year of publication.

Cartes-de-visite were small, mass-produced cards with photographic portraits of notable people. They were very popular in the mid-19th century and frequently kept as souvenirs. The production of cartes-de-visite with Nightingale's portrait attests to her fame. Although Nightingale signed this card in 1867, the photograph was likely taken in London soon after her return from the Crimea.

Gift of Althea Andrews, 1997




155.  The Holy Bible, containing the Old Testament and the New. London: Charles Bill, 1693. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections Auchincloss Florence Nightingale Collection

This Bible belonging to the Nightingale family passed down to their most famous member, Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). Though deeply Christian, Nightingale did not feel bound by any particular dogma, and was influenced by Anglican, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Unitarian beliefs. She signed this family heirloom at the beginning of the New Testament.

Gift of Hugh Auchincloss, M.D., 1942




156.  Jean-Martin Charcot(1825-1893).  Ueber die Localisationen der Gehirn-Krankheiten. Stuttgart: Adolf Bonz & Co., 1878. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections, Freud Library

In 1885, Freud studied with Jean-Martin Charcot, a charismatic lecturer and outstanding clinician, at the famous Salpêtrière hospital in Paris. Freud greatly admired Charcot, even naming his first son Jean Martin in Charcot's honor. This copy of the German translation of Charcot's lectures on the localization of brain disorders bears Freud's ownership signature.

The New York State Psychiatric Library acquired part of Freud's library in 1939, after Freud had to flee Nazi-occupied Vienna. It has been housed in the Health Sciences Library since 1978.




157.  Sigmund Freud (1856-1939).  Totem und Tabu. Autograph document, Essay II, section 3. Vienna, ca. 1912-13. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections

In Totem und Tabu, a study in cultural anthropology and psychoanalysis, Freud made use of Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough to theorize about early human culture. He believed that the Oedipus complex was at the root of civilization's origin–when, Freud asserted, a dominant patriarch was slain and eaten by a primal horde.

Freud gave the manuscript of part II, sections 3 and 4, to his Hungarian disciple Sandor Ferenczi. After Ferenczi's death his family held the manuscript, which was nearly destroyed in 1945 when the family home caught fire during the Soviet capture of Budapest. The manuscript later passed to Ferenczi's literary executor, Dr. Michael Balint, whose son, Dr. John Balint, later donated it to the Health Sciences Library.

Gift of John Balint, M.D., 1998


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