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BML President’s Annual Report to Fellows
October 29, 2015


Welcome to the Annual Meeting of the Fellows. Appreciate much your support of the Boston Medical Library.

As you know, our Director, Dr. Isaac Kohane, also headed the Harvard Medical School Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBMI). As of July 1, 2015, the CBMI has been transformed by HMS into the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) with Dr. Kohane as its inaugural Chair. The CBMI has been a leader in its field and I am sure that the new Department will continue to excel. Our congratulations and best wishes to Dr.Kohane!

Dr. Kohane relinquished his position as Countway Director and Librarian for the Harvard Medical and Boston Medical Libraries as of July 1, 2015. We thank him for nearly a decade of service. Dr. David Osterbur, Countway Director of Access and Public Services, has ably assumed the role of Interim Countway Director and Librarian for the Harvard Medical and Boston Medical Libraries working collaboratively with the key leaders of the Countway staff- Betsy Eggleston, Director of Acquisition, Scott Podolsky, Director for the Center for the History of Medicine and Kathryn Baker, Deputy Director, Center for the History of Medicine. The transition, Dr. Osterbur assures me, has been and continues to be seamless with good staff communication and morale. Our appreciation to him and the Countway staff.

Our special thanks to Kimberly Ripley who has very ably served as Administrator for the Boston Medical Library for over a year. Roz Vogel who previously served in that role retired this year. Thanks to Elizabeth Bueso and Ms. Ripley's supervisor, Katherine Flannery in helping with BML administration.

As part of the Countway transition, the stacks space in the remaining half of the 3rd floor is being converted into office space for the DBMI and stack material has mostly been transferred to off- site storage with assurance that they will be available on request in 1 day. Some of the non-library use of space on the 2nd floor is planned to be vacated for library use. Renovations are planned for the Russell Reading Room and some other space modification is imminent. The BML has offered the Lahey Room temporarily for use by students during some of the remodeling.

The programmatic activities and fellowships that I reported last year continue under our Strategic Priority Goal #3 (Appendix 1) of "Preservation and Celebration of History of Medicine." The efforts of the CHOM (Center for the History of Medicine) staff under the able leadership of its Director, Dr. Scott Podolsky are much appreciated. We have looked into book preservation enterprises and hope to accept one of the proposals for restoration of a few select items soon. The full scope of the need for preservation and restoration is daunting.

Countway Library Service Challenges

Progress toward goals # 1 & 2 and the Enabling Goals listed under # D (Appendix 1) continues to be slow despite continued diligent pursuit by your leadership. Your President, Vice President, MMS EVP, Corinne Broderick and Dr. Dienstag met with Vice President for the Harvard Library, Sarah Thomas on December 9, 2014 for a very productive meeting in continuation of the joint efforts with Dr. Dienstag to improve the partnership relations at the Countway and serve the needs of both Harvard and BML, the effort titled by Dr. Dienstag as, “Reimagining the Countway Library direction to serve BML and Harvard Medical Library needs in a rapidly evolving environment.” VP Sarah Thomas expressed strong support for the Countway partnership, offered to participate in the new Librarian search process and to help in any other way. Dr. Dienstag informed us during January and February of 2015 that he had prepared a report on improving the Countway partnership relationship with recommendation to address the BML needs which had been neglected and that it was well received by the HMS Administrative Dean, John Czajkowski who was keen to meet the BML leadership.

Your President and Vice President met with HMS Dean Flier on March 24th, the earliest that he was available. He assured us of his interest in and support for the Countway partnership and the BML goals and that he had been preoccupied with the creation of the Biomedical Informatics Department and relied on Dr. Kohane’s information and was not aware of the neglect of the BML till my e-mail to him in April of 2014 and had delegated to Dean Dienstag the responsibility to rectify. He reassigned the responsibility for restoring the Harvard-BML relations and the search for the new Librarian for the Harvard and Boston Medical Libraries to Execute Dean for Administration, John Czajkowski with whom we met on March 30th. Working with him and other HMS and Harvard Library leadership, a job description was written jointly and a search committee was formed with 3 members each from the BML and HMS and additionally the Vice President for the Harvard Library, Sarah Thomas. The group decided to obtain the help of a search firm in order to get the best pool of candidates. A revised version of the job description is being prepared.

It has been a long road and your leadership is looking forward to finding an excellent leader for the positon of the Librarian for the Harvard and Boston Medical Libraries, reestablishing state of the art library services for the BML constituency and reenergizing the Joint Library Committee to its original intent active functionality.

The BML goal of "Preservation and Celebration of History of Medicine"

has continued to be advanced under the leadership of Dr. Scott Podolsky, Director of the Center for the History of Medicine (CHOM). Efforts this year include:

Boston Medical Library's Francis A. Countway Library Fellowship in the History of Medicine funded by BML's Abel Lawrence Peirson fund:

The BML funded five 2015 Countway Fellows from its Abel Peirson Fund for research using CHOM material (Appendix 2). A complete list of Fellows of all years is available at:

The Medical Heritage Library (MHL), established in spring 2010, is a digital collaborative including the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Columbia, Countway, Johns Hopkins, New York Public Library, the National Library of Medicine and others. Out of 9573 Countway items digitized in this project, about 8616 or 90% are from the BML collections.

While the BML collection preservation and restoration is ongoing, it needs much funding to do justice.

During the past year, the rare book collection at the Countway Library's Center for the History of Medicine was augmented by 61 monographs and 91 pamphlets or broadsides in such diverse areas as Jungian psychiatry, the history of medicine in France, botanic medicine, hydropathy, homeopathy, treatment of epilepsy, plague, cholera, airborne diseases, popular medicine, and phrenology. Many were acquisitions of the Boston Medical Library and a few notable examples are in Appendix 3.

Our gratitude to Dr. Adam Moore, former BML Trustee for many years, who has painstakingly continued to present the "BML" exhibits from his collection on the history of medicine at the MMS offices in Waltham. He changes the exhibit frequently to celebrate and enhance environmental events and themes (Appendix 4).

The 39th Annual Joseph E. Garland Memorial Lecture was delivered on October 30, 2014 by Chester 'Trip' Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA, Program Director, Defense and Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management (, Associate Professor Anesthesiology, USUHS '92, Co-Editor Acute Pain Medicine section, Pain Medicine, Editor-in-Chief, U.S. Medicine


Rollin M. Gallagher, MD, MPH, National Program Director for Pain Management Veterans Health Administration, Co-Chair, Pain Management Work Group, VA-DoD Health Executive Council, Co-Chair, Pain Medicine Specialty Team Work Group, Patient Care Services, Editor-in-Chief, PAIN MEDICINE, Official Journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australia New Zealand College of Anesthetists, and the International Spine Intervention Society On "21st Century War: the Continuum of Pain and Other Sequelae."

The 11th J. Worth Estes, MD History Of Medicine Lecture was presented on May 12th, 2015 by Christopher Crenner, MD, PhD, Robert Hudson and Ralph Major Professor and Chair Department of History and Philosophy of Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center on "Routine Medical Care: Perspectives from the Practice of Dr. Richard Cabot"

The 40th Annual Joseph E. Garland Memorial Lecture will be presented today by JoAnn E. Manson, MD, MPH, DrPH, Chief, Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital; Professor of Medicine & The Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women's Health, Harvard Medical School

"Controversies in Primary Prevention: Aspirin, Estrogen, and Vitamin D"


S. Jay Jayasankar, MD
October 29, 2015


Appendix 1
Boston Medical Library Strategic Plan Priority Objectives
(Adopted by the Board on December 9, 2004
Progress Reviewed and reaffirmed February 16, 2012)

  • Objectives under Goal #1: Dissemination of Knowledge
    • Remote access     
    • Offer training programs for physicians in electronic access and knowledge management
  • Objectives under Goal #2: Promotion of Medical Education
    • Explore ways to increase awareness/access to learning programs for practicing physicians to maintain their lifelong professional development          
  • Objectives under Goal #3: Preservation and Celebration of History of Medicine       
    • Cataloguing and preservation of and newer means of access to BML collection - e.g. digitization
    • Programs with/without exhibits:
      • Didactic/ Interactive
      • Exhibits- on site, off site
    • Publication of articles based on collection, periodically in journals
    • Occasional publication of outstanding books
    • Increase opportunities for promoting scholarship
  • Objectives under Enabling Goals -Infrastructure to support BML Goals and Objectives       
    • BML is true partner in developing plans for the Coutnway
    • Responsiveness and leadership of Countway staff for BML needs, programs and services
    • Staff and organizational structure to implement programs
    • Staff and structure to enable grant/proposal writing and external partnership development

BML Mission
“To be a Library for the dissemination of medical knowledge, the promotion of medical education and scholarship, and the preservation and celebration of medical history, and thereby to advance the quality of health and healthcare of the people.”


Appendix 2

2015-2016 Recipients of the Boston Medical Library's Francis A. Countway Library Fellowship in the History of Medicine funded by BML's Abel Lawrence Peirson fund:

Brian D. Carroll (Central Washington University)
"Burning the Hearts of the Dead: Medicine, Migration, and Vampire Belief in Early National New England"

Rose Holz (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
"Dr. Robert L. Dickinson and the Making of a Modern Pro-Life Nation"

Kelly H. Jones (Stony Brook University)
"Needles, Herbs, and Qi: Chinese Medicine in the United States since World War II"

Scott Selberg (University of Michigan)
'Solomon C. Fuller and the Visual Culture of Alzheimer's Disease"

LaKisha Michelle Simmons (University at Buffalo, SUNY)
"Segregrated Motherhood: Black Women, Medicine and Reproduction in the Jim Crow South, 1890-1960"

2014-2015 Recipients of the Boston Medical Library's Francis A. Countway Library Fellowship in the History of Medicine funded by BML's Abel Lawrence Peirson fund:

Sare Aricanli (Princeton University)
"Reconsidering Imperial Medicine in China"

Jameson Garland (Uppsala Universitet)
"Sex Assignment and Gender Surgery in Young Children"

Ksenia O. Gorbenko (University of Pennsylvania)
"Sterilization and Efficiency in the Hospital Setting"

Christina J. Hodge (Peabody Museum, Harvard University)
"Anatomical Instruction, ca. 1800-1850: Contextualizing the Holden Chapel Archaeological Collection"

Catherine Newman Howe (Williams College)
"The Rodin of Obstetrics: Robert Latou Dickinson and the Fine Art of Medicine"

David Merritt Johns (Columbia University)
"The Salt Hypothesis: Contested Science and the Making of a Strategy for Prevention"

2013-2014 Recipients of the Boston Medical Library’s Francis A. Countway Library Fellowship in the History of Medicine funded by BML’s Abel Lawrence Peirson fund:

Vanessa Burrows (City University of New York)
"The Medicalization of Stress: Hans Selye and the Postwar Medical Marketplace"

Erin R. Corrales-Diaz (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
"Remembering the Veteran: Disability, Trauma, and the American Civil War, 1861-1915"

Sean P. Phillips (University of Notre Dame)
"Pox in the Pulpit: the Catholic Church and Smallpox in France, 1724-1832"

James Poskett (Trinity College, University of Cambridge)
"Bumps beyond Borders: a Global History of Phrenology, 1820-1858"

Nicolas Rasmussen (University of New South Wales)
"Jean Mayer and the Cold War Obesity Crisis"

Thibaut Serviant-Fine (Universite Claude Bernard)
"Drugs and Tools: Antimetabolites in the Early History of Cancer Chemotherapy, 1940-1960"

List of current and previous years' Fellows of the Boston Medical Library's Francis A. Countway Library Fellowship in the History of Medicine funded by BML's Abel Lawrence Peirson fund may be found at:


Appendix 3

A selection of the Boston Medical Libraries' Historical Collections Acquisitions in 2014-15 A copy of Giuseppe Mosca's Delle febbri di mutazione d'aria (Naples, 1755) through the Boston Medical Library's Essex Institute Fund. The Oliver Wendell Holmes Fund allowed for the purchase of Jacques Chaillou's Recherches su l'origine et le movement du sang, du coeur, et de ses vaisseux (Paris, 1677-1678); a very rare Spanish pediatric text, Methodo y orden de curar las enfermedades de los ninos, by Geronimo Soriano (Zaragoza, 1690); Alexandre Deodati's guide to maintaining health, Valetudinarium seu observationum, curationum & consiliorum medicinalium satura (Leiden, 1660); and an Italian book of secrets, by Francesco Pignoccati, Le medicine che da tutti gl'animali si puo cavar a beneficio dell'huomo (Venice, 1654). Through the Boston Medical Library's Oliver Fund, we purchased a copy of Eusebio Valli's tract on an 1803 outbreak of plague in Istanbul, Sulla peste di Costantinopli (Mantua, 1805). The BML's Book Purchase Fund was used to acquire Giovanni Francesco Arquati's work on medical errors, Medici refomati pars altera (Venice, 1621) and also the Medicina rationalis of Paolo Valcarenghi, concerning fever outbreaks in the 1730s (Cremona, 1737).

Our holdings in rare and unusual imprints were enhanced this past year by the acquisition of another copy of the popular text, Aristotle's master-piece, through the Boston Medical Library's Anonymous Book Fund; with this 1801 Scottish printing, the library now holds over forty different English and American editions of the text, from 1728 to 1849.

The Boston Medical Library's Norman E. Himes Fund allows for the purchase of items related to the history of birth control and human sexuality, and with this we acquired a 1944 sexual advice pamphlet, Facts of Life, by Hollywood actress and screenwriter, Hildagarde Esper; an advertising handbill for a 1928 sensational stage production, Her unborn child: the truth about birth control; and a rare French trade catalog of contraceptive devices by E. Vielle, Appareils speciaux pour l'usage intime de l'homme et de la femme (Paris, circa 1909).

The Boston Medical Library's Norman E. Himes Fund allows for the purchase of items related to the history of birth control and human sexuality, and with this we acquired a 1944 sexual advice pamphlet, Facts of Life, by Hollywood actress and screenwriter, Hildagarde Esper; an advertising handbill for a 1928 sensational stage production, Her unborn child: the truth about birth control; and a rare French trade catalog of contraceptive devices by E. Vielle, Appareils speciaux pour l'usage intime de l'homme et de la femme (Paris, circa 1909).

he BML John Warren Fund allowed for the purchase of two catalogs of the exhibits displayed at the Liverpool Museum of Anatomy in the 1890s and 1930s along with an 1888 portfolio, the Physicians' anatomical aid of James Suydam Knox, a portfolio of chromolithographed plates to assist in surgery and diagnosis.

The Anonymous Book Fund was also used to add to the library's already extensive collection of mendicant literature, including the purchase of a handbill of John F. Chase, who was wounded at Gettysburg.

As in past years, we are always in search of New England imprints to add to the collection, and this year acquired a pamphlet on gynecological problems issued by the C. I. Hood Company of Lowell, through the Boston Medical Library's Phippen Fund, and the Holmes fund was used to acquire additional trade literature from the William Andrews prosthetics firm of Lowell, surgical supplies from Brewer & Company, of Worcester, along with patent medicine advertisements from Wells-Richardson & Company, of Burlington, Vermont, and Perry Davis, of Providence, Rhode Island. The BML's Gregg Memorial Fund was used for the acquisition of an American Medical Liberty League pamphlet, protesting compulsory vaccination (Boston, 1921).


Appendix 4

The Adam Moore BML exhibits which have appeared in the three 46x22” MMS cases at the Massachusetts Medical Society Offices in Waltham:

02 Jun 04 – 31 Oct 04:  MEDICAL BOTANY
        in support of MMS' medicinal garden

01 Nov 04 – 05 Dec 04:  WHAT ON EARTH
        introducing the specialty-based series of exhibits

05 Dec 04 – 05 Jan 05:  THE HEART OF IT ALL 
        cardiology: pulse & stethoscopes, auscultation

05 Jan 05 – 15 Feb 05:  MEDICAL MINERALS
        pharmacology & materia medica 

15 Feb 05 – 19 Mar 05 :  MICROSCOPY
        laboratory & medical education

19 Mar 05 – 28 Apr 05:  SMALLPOX & VACCINATION
        infectious disease & public health

28 Apr 05 – 08 Jun 05:  OPHTHALMOSCOPY
       The instrument’s development and forms

08 Jun 05 – 26 Jun 05:  CRIMEAN

26 Jun 05 – 09 Aug 05: TUBERCULOSIS
       recent case in a medical student    

09 Aug 05 – 27 Sep 05:  PHYSICIAN WRITERS (Summer Reading)

27 Sep 05 – 13 Nov 05:  MANIKINS
        examples from three centuries

13 Nov 05 – 08 Jan 06:  CLINICAL THERMOMETRY

08 Jan 06 – 08 Mar 06: MEDICAL PHILATELY
        postage rate increase effective 8 Jan 06
08 Mar 06 – 20 Apr 06: DOCumentation
        It's Not Just a Paper Chase: Making Case for Documentation March 29, 8-12 MMS Hq

20 Apr 06 – 23 Jun 06: PLEASE PASS THE KNIFE

23 Jun 06 – 02 Aug 06: SPECTROSCOPY

02 Aug 06 – 24 Oct 06:  STITCH IN TIME (sutures & ligatures)

24 Oct 06 – 04 Jan 07:  HAPPY 225th!
       MMS pubs in conjunction with loans for preparation of a commemorative video

04 Jan 07 – 15 Mar 07: COLORBLINDNESS

15 Mar 07 – 30 Apr 07:  JUST IMAGING !
       Imaging and Treatment Strategies in Primary Care Medicine,  April 6,MMS Hq all day
       Jointly sponsored by Tufts School of Med., St. Elizabeth’s, & Tufts Health Care Institute

30 Apr 07 – 30 Jul 07:  HERBALS
       In support of MMS' medicinal garden

30 Jul 07 – 16 Oct 07:  DOCTOR EXPLORERS

16 Oct 07 – 22 Jan 08: MAPPING MEDICINE

      Related to Careers event in early February at MMS Hq

13 Mar 08 – 20 May 08: DOCTOR AT SEA    

20 May 08 – 18 Sep 08: MMS HORTUS MEDICUS’ ORIGINS
       In support of MMS' medicinal garden

18 Sep 08 – 19 Nov 08:  ELEGANT TOOLS

19 Nov 08 – 30 Mar 09: TAKE YOUR MEDICINE

30 Mar 09 – 28 May 09: CALL AN AMBULANCE
       Related to MMS' Hq 3/31 “Disaster & Primary Care: how to protect pts & practice”

28 May 09 – 20 Aug 09:  PHYSICIENNES – I
      Related to MMS' Hq program, 24 June, on early women members of the Society

28 Aug 09 – 22 Nov 09:  PHYSICIENNES - II                            
      Related to second MMS' Hq program, 25 Sep 09, on early women members of the Society

22 Nov 09 – 07 Jan 10:  EPONYMOUS

17 Jan 10 – 17 July 10: WHAT’S BUGGING YOU!

17 July 10 – 12 Nov10: BALLOONS: BOSTON AND BEYOND

12 Nov 10 – 07 Dec 11: FINGERPRINTS

07 Dec 11 - 12 Apr 12: TONSIL TIME

16 Apr 12 - 15 Apr 13: NEJM 200th Anniversary Exhibits

15 Apr 13 -- 11 June 14: COMM. AVE.

11 June 14 - Current: CATS & KITS (instrument catalogues &c)
How to identify old medical impedimenta