Date(s) - 08/27/2017
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
No development in science has a greater impact on the human experience than those in the understanding and practice of medicine and The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum is presenting a remarkable collection of original documents spanning centuries of discovery on our understanding and treatment of the human body. Included is pioneering material about anatomy, such as a handwritten page by William Harvey, author of the 1628 book establishing the circulation of blood in the human body. Another, more controversial, early specimen of documentation on medical practice included in the exhibit is a 1775 contract for treatment signed by Franz Mesmer, the developer of hypnotism as a form of therapy, who gave the controversial practice his name as “Mesmerism.” Many more modern historical documents on the science of medicine include a signed page from the 1967 autobiography of Christiaan Bernard, the South African surgeon who performed the first human heart transplant, describing that procedure, and a letter written in 1901 by Joseph Lister, the pioneer of antiseptic practice in surgery. Human nutrician is also well represented in the collection by signed material from the early 20th-century discoverers of vitamins. There is a 1907 letter by Frederick Pavy, the doctor who discovered the nature of diabetes, and one from 1903 by the famous humanitarian doctor Albert Schweitzer in which he discusses a new drug for the treatment of leprosy in his legendary hospital in Africa. A letter signed by Theodore Roosevelt in 1904 to the U.S. Congress calls for support of an international convention on the cholera plague. Mental health issues are also addressed by such moving documents as an 1845 statement on the rights of inmates of insane asylums signed by the reformer and philanthropist Dorothy Dix. One of the most extraordinary items on display is a letter by Ernest Chain, co-winner with H. W. Florey and Alexander Fleming of the 1945 Nobel Prize for the discovery of penicillin, accompanied by a documented sample of the original mold produced in their laboratory. On display Jun-Aug Mon-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 12-4pm. Admission is always free.