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Tis the Season for Sneezin! Historical “Cures” for the Common Cold

The temperatures are dropping; snow begins to fly. Soon, our thoughts are turned to hearth and home, warm drinks, good company, and holiday cheer. But nothing dampens the spirit like that other winter arrival: the common cold. It has plagued us for centuries, and we’ve devised a lot of rather strange “cures” and even strange alleviations for symptoms. Lisa Smith provides some of the more elaborate ones in a post for the Sloane Letters Blog, including bleeding, blisters, and purging (as well as drinking milk for lung ailments!) Cookbooks also carried home remedies; the blog Jane Austen’s World provides an...

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Rare Book Catalogue in Preparation

We are in the process of composing a catalogue that will present a selection of works from our rare book collection to showcase a significant sampling of the holdings in the Allen Memorial Medical Library. Today we have some 40,000 rare books, placing our holding among the top ten medical libraries in the country. Yet these books are seldom seen, and for that reason are perhaps under appreciated. Bringing them into the light, so to speak, is the point of this catalogue. It is tentatively entitled How Medicine Became Modern: The Convergence of Science, Technology, and Art in Medicine,...

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Mystery Donor of the Pol Collection

Who was the Mystery Donor of the Pol collection of medical incunabula? The Nicolaus Pol Collection of early medical books constitutes one of the true gems of the Rare Book Collection of the Cleveland Medical Library Association. Purchased in 1929, on the eve of the Great Depression, the acquisition of the Pol Collection long remained shrouded in mystery. But by virtue of some persistent sleuthing by Catherine Osborn and myself, we have identified the probable anonymous benefactor(s) who made this acquisition possible. The provenance of the Pol Collection is quite remarkable, showing the circuitous route that some rare books took...

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Juno, the Transparent Woman, and #WomensHistoryMonth

Today we want to talk about Juno in celebration of #WomensHistoryMonth! We have written before about our wonderful "greeter," Juno, the transparent anatomical model. She has become a mainstay here, but Juno is a well-traveled woman! In the 1920s, the Deutsches-Hygiene-Museum in Dresden, Germany, created a fully operable model of the human body, depicting “the human body as a machine.” Despite becoming part of East Germany after WWII, the museum continued to make these models and some of the employees managed to leave East for West, helping to create the Köln Krankenhaus Museum. It was here that Juno was "born";...

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