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New Exhibit at Countway
Gilt by Association: A Celebration of Medical History

To coincide with this spring's meetings of the American Association for the History of Medicine and two of its affiliated groups—the Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences and the Medical Museums Association—the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine has installed "Gilt by Association," a new exhibit commemorating the drama and the richness of medical history.

Relics from the first years of Harvard Medical School, 13th-century manuscripts, incunables, and examples of rare medical Judaica from the Solomon M. Hyams Collection are all on display. Several rare items bearing inscriptions from their authors are featured, among them Florence Nightingale, Marie Curie, and novelist Henry James. The artifact collections of the Harvard Dental School yield a set of dentures worn by philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson and the dental casts of George Parkman used to convict Dr. John White Webster of murder in 1850. Innovations and developments in the modern period in medicine are represented by Philip Drinker's laboratory notebook describing his experiments in artificial respiration leading to the development of the iron lung, a specimen of penicillin mold from the laboratory of Alexander Fleming, and even a personal memo of Franklin Delano Roosevelt to his physician concerning coping with his paralysis from polio.

The Countway is on the campus of the Harvard Medical School, at 10 Shattuck Street in Boston, and "Gilt by Association" will be on display in the main lobby and the L-2 level of the library from April 15 through September 2003. For additional information, contact Jack Eckert, reference librarian, at 2-6207 or

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Last modified on Thursday, May 15, 2003.