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NLM’s Sappol and Reznick Honored by ALHHS!

Cover of Hidden Treasure

On May 16, 2013, the Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences (ALHHS) awarded NLM’s historian Michael Sappol, PhD, with the 2013 ALHHS best monograph award, and NLM’s History of Medicine Division Chief, Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, with the 2013 ALHHS best article award. Dr. Sappol received his honor for his editorship of the book Hidden Treasure: The National Library of Medicine. Published in 2012, Hidden Treasure is a richly-illustrated volume that celebrates the collections of the world’s largest medical library on the occasion of its 175th anniversary, which occurred in 2011. Hidden Treasure has received praise from the Journal of the American Medical Association, New York Times, Wired Science, Eye Magazine, and numerous other media outlets. Scholars have also praised the book: “Opening this volume is like lifting up the lid of a treasure chest,” observed John Harley Warner, chair of History of Medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine. “Brilliantly conceived and beautifully produced, this is an amazing exploration of the visual and material cultures of health, medicine, and the body in their widest and most imaginative reaches.” Hidden Treasure is available free from NLM’s Digital Collections.

Dr. Reznick received the 2013 ALHHS best article award for “Remains of War: Walt Whitman, Civil War Soldiers, and the Legacy of Medical Collections,” which he co-authored with Lenore Barbian, PhD, of Edinboro University and Paul Sledzik, former curator of Anatomical Collections at the National Museum of Health and Medicine. The article appeared in the January 2012 issue of Museum History Journal. “Remains of War” reveals the discovery of the mortal remains of four American Civil War soldiers among the thousands preserved in the anatomical collections of the National Museum of Health and Medicine, which traces its origins to 1862 and the creation of the U.S. Army Medical Museum. These men were among hundreds cared for by author Walt Whitman during his time as a volunteer in the Civil War-era hospitals of Washington, DC. Uniting the remains of these four men with Whitman’s words that describe his experiences, “Remains of War” yields a new interpretation of medical collections that bears witness to deeply individual histories during a time of unprecedented conflict in American history.

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