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Library Exhibits: Home

Exhibits

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Literature of Prescription: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and "The Yellow Wall-Paper"

During a time when women were challenging traditional ideas about gender that excluded them from political and intellectual life, artist and writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who was discouraged from pursuing a career to preserve her health, rejected these ideas in a terrifying short story titled "The Yellow Wall-Paper." The exhibition Literature of Prescription: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and "The Yellow Wall-Paper" explores the story behind Gilman's indictment of the medical profession and the social conventions restricting women's professional and creative opportunities.

PAST: From November 14th to December 30th, 2011

Opening Doors

Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Academic Surgeons

African Americans have always practiced medicine, whether as physicians, healers, midwives, or “root doctors.” The journey of the African American physician from pre-Civil War to modern day America has been a challenging one. Early black pioneer physicians not only became skilled practitioners, they became trailblazers and educators paving the way for future physicians, surgeons, and nurses, and opening doors to better health care for the African American community. We celebrate the achievements of these pioneers in medicine by highlighting four contemporary pioneer African American surgeons and educators who exemplify excellence in their fields and believe in continuing the journey of excellence through the education and mentoring of young African Americans pursuing medical careers.

PAST: From June 4th to September 9th, 2013

From DNA to Beer

From DNA to Beer: Harnessing Nature in Medicine and Industry

From DNA to Beer: Harnessing Nature in Medicine and Industry explores some of the processes, problems, and potential inherent in technologies that use microorganisms for health and commercial purposes. Over the past two centuries, scientists, in partnership with industry, have developed techniques using and modifying life forms like yeast, molds, and bacteria, to create a host of new therapies and produce better foods and beverages. The exhibition illustrates the history of this dynamic relationship among microbes, medicine, technology, and industry, which has spanned centuries.

PAST: From May 12th to June 20th, 2014

DEADLY MEDICINE: Creating the Master Race

From 1933 to 1945, Nazi Germany carried out a campaign to “cleanse” German society of people viewed as biological threats to the nation’s “health.” Enlisting the help of physicians and medically trained geneticists, psychiatrists, and anthropologists, the Nazis developed racial health policies that started with the mass sterilization of “hereditarily diseased” persons and ended with the near annihilation of European Jewry.

Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race traces this history from the early 20th-century international eugenics movement to the Nazi regime’s “science of race.” It also challenges viewers to reflect on the present-day interest in genetic manipulation that promotes the possibility of human perfection.

PAST: July 15th - September 3rd, 2014

Harry Potters World

Harry Potter's World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine

The magic in J. K. Rowling’s series of Harry Potter novels is partially based on Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science, including alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy. Harry Potter's World: Renaissance, Science, Magic, and Medicine explores the intersection of these worlds, featuring highlights from the collections of the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine.

PAST: From September 19th to November 8th, 2014

Shakespeare and the Four Humors

And There's the Humor of It: Shakespeare and the four humors

The language of the four humors pervades Shakespeare‘s plays, and their influence is felt above all in a belief that emotional states are physically determined. Carried by the bloodstream, the four humors bred the core passions of anger, grief, hope, and fear—the emotions conveyed so powerfully in Shakespeare‘s comedies and tragedies.

Today, neuroscientists recognize a connection between Shakespeare‘s age and our own in the common understanding that the emotions are based in biochemistry and that drugs can be used to alleviate mental suffering.

PAST: From October 19th - November 28th, 2015

Life and Limb

Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War

The perspectives of surgeons, physicians, and nurses are richly documented in the history of American Civil War medicine, which highlights the heroism and brutality of battlefield operations and the challenges of caring for the wounded during wartime. Yet the experiences of injured soldiers during the conflict and in the years afterward are less well-known. Life and Limb: the Toll of the American Civil War focuses on disabled veterans and their role as symbols of the fractured nation.

PAST: January 29th to February 25th, 2018

All Library Exhibits

The Literature of Prescription: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and "The Yellow Wall-Paper"

Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Academic Surgeons

From DNA to Beer: Harnessing Nature in Medicine and Industry

Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race

Harry Potter's World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine

And There’s the Humor of it: Shakespeare and the Four Humors

Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War

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