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Turning the Pages eBoard Slides: Surgical Casebook, Wonders of Creation, Surgical Papyrus

Using touchscreen technology and animation software, Turning the Pages allows viewers to “touch and turn” the digitized images of rare and beautiful historic books in the biomedical sciences. They can zoom in on the pages for more detail, read or listen to explanations of the text, and (in some cases) access additional information on the books in the form of curators’ notes. Originally only available at kiosks at the National Library of Medicine, Turning the Pages is now available online and as an iPad app.

This month’s eBoard slides will bring these antique books and manuscripts from Turning the Pages to your library! Over the last few weeks we have highlighted the books available on Turning the Pages, with select scans available for download as eBoard slides. eBoard slides are designed to be used as part of a looping slideshow presentation on computer monitors at your institution. (Previous slides are available on NewsBits: eBoard Slides.) Click on the images below to see a preview and download the PowerPoint files by clicking on the name of each file.

Hanaoka Seishu’s Surgical Casebook (PPT) al-Qazwini’s Wonders of Creation (PPT) The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus (PPT)
Thumbnail Image of Hanaoka Seishu’s Surgical Casebook Thumbnail Image of al-Qazwini's Wonders of Creation Thumbnail Image of The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus

Hanaoka Seishu’s Surgical Casebook: “A Surgical Casebook” is a manuscript of hand-painted pictures commissioned by Hanaoka Seishu, a pioneering Japanese surgeon who was the first to use general anesthesia to remove tumors from cancer patients. The colorful, often charming, pictures in this casebook capture the likenesses of the men and women who came to Hanaoka for treatment; and, importantly, they depict, quite graphically, the medical and surgical problem to be treated.

al-Qazwini’s Wonders of Creation: The Kitab Aja’ib al-makhluqat wa Gharaib al-Mawjudat, usually known as “The Cosmography” or “The Wonders of Creation,” was compiled in the middle 1200s in what is now Iran or Iraq and is considered one of the most important natural history texts of the medieval Islamic world. The author Abu Yahya Zakariya ibn Muhammad ibn Mahmud-al-Qazwini (ca. 1203-1283 C.E.), known simply as al-Qazwini, was one of the most noted natural historians, geographers and encyclopedists of the period.

The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus: The Edwin Smith Papyrus, the world’s oldest surviving surgical text, was written in Egyptian hieratic script around the 17th century BCE, but probably based on material from a thousand years earlier. The papyrus is a textbook on trauma surgery, and describes anatomical observations and the examination, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of numerous injuries in exquisite detail. American archaeologist Edwin Smith discovered the papyrus in Egypt in the 1860s, and his daughter donated the papyrus to the New-York Historical Society after his death. It eventually made its way to the Library of the New York Academy of Medicine, and it was recently translated for the first time in over 50 years into English by James P. Allen of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Scans are courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.

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