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Tuesday, September 2, 2014   7:10 AM   |   79°F

Louisiana

Sanborn Maps

Digital Sanborn Maps 1867-1970 has returned to our collection. It is a useful historical tool that helps people learn the history, advancement and development of American cities. Founded in 1867, Sanborn Maps had been the primary publisher of fire insurance maps. Discover old New Orleans in a new way, see if you can locate your area.

Access is provided through a consortial agreement with LOUIS, the Louisiana Library Network.

New Carville Leprosarium Video

The AOL education series, What Remains has released a new video (less than 5 minutes) on the National Hansen’s Disease Center Museum in Carville, Louisiana. The video was filmed in December 2013.

The Libraries partnered with the Hansens’ Disease Museum in 2011 to digitize the patient newsletter, the Star to make it more widely available to researchers.

Flu Season Still in Full Swing

Flu Season Still in Full Swing. (reblogged from Blogadillo)

With flu season still in swing, itÔÇÖs more important than ever to get that flu shot and practice good health behavior! As of the week ending on January 4, 2014 at least?á35 states are now showing widespread geographic influenza activity?áaccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition to the activity across the country,?áevery state in the South Central Region?áis showing the highest level of influenza activity. The unusually high number of those affected by the flu prompted the CDC to issue an official health advisory notice to clinicians.

The?áhealth advisory notice?ástates

From November through December 2013, CDC has received a number of reports of severe respiratory illness among young and middle-aged adults, many of whom were infected with influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 (pH1N1) virus.?áMultiple pH1N1-associated hospitalizations, including many requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and some fatalities have been reported. The pH1N1 virus that emerged in 2009 caused more illness in children and young adults, compared to older adults, although severe illness was seen in all age groups.

One common misconception of the flu is that fatalities are more likely to occur in the very young and very oldÔÇôthis is not the case with the pH1N1 strain. According to the?áInfluenza Associated Hospitalizations?áin the CDC FluView Weekly Index, those ages 18-64 account for 61% of hospitalizations. This means everyone is at risk for catching the flu, regardless of age and health status. Despite these numbers, those in 18-64 age range are still the?áleast likely to get vaccinated.

To do your part in preventing the spread of flu germs, here are the CDCÔÇÖs?áGood Health Habit tips:

1. Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
2. Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
3. Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
4. Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
6. Practice other good health habits.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

This Month in History: A Nation of Neurotics

In America, methods of care for our mentally ill have become intertwined with the politics of universal healthcare, hospital administration, and prevention of violent crime, all of which suffer under an increasingly budget-cut government. This issue is not a new one, however. The Newspaper Clippings Digital Collection of the Isch?® Library shows an emerging pattern: a pattern of need. Hospitals and treatment centers need enough beds for psychiatric patients; hospitals need staff to treat those patients; police officers, clergy, and even the general public need training to assess and assist the mentally ill.

Linkages of mental illness and criminal tendencies also surface. In recent news, LSU psychiatrist Dr. Jose Calderon-Abbo joined the vice presidentÔÇÖs task force on gun violence; he has also partnered up with Tulane public health criminology expert Dr. Peter Scarf to present a paper of similar topic to the House Subcommittee on Crime, terrorism, and Homeland Security at a hearing on The Youth Promise act.

Not only do mental illness and crime sometimes occur simultaneously, but those charged with apprehending the mentally ill are often the same people who apprehend criminals.?á One of our newspaper clippings from 1961, entitled ÔÇ£How Police Can Help Mentally Ill,ÔÇØ addresses the need for officers of the law to be properly trained on how to interact with, assess urgency of treatment for, and detain suspects who appear to be suffering from illness, loss of competency, or loss of sanity.

The clergy are often called upon to assist the mentally ill; one article, ÔÇ£Help of Clergy Asked by Many: Role of Churchmen for Mentally Ill Cited,ÔÇØ explains how the clergy ought to be well versed in tactics to understand and aid their congregations. Examples of tactics used to interact with those in need in the include: a manual from 1954 ÔÇ£How to Recognize and Handle Abnormal PeopleÔÇØ by Robert A. Matthews and Loyd W. Rowland, former director of the Louisiana Association for mental health and former Head of the department of psychiatry and neurology, ?áin addition to a 1960 New Orleans officer training film, ÔÇ£Booked for Safekeeping,ÔÇØ produced by George C. Stoney.

In 1961, the name of the game was “expedite”: complex legislature required the approval of a hospital director, an order of commitment signed by the coroner, a psychiatrist, and a responsible party, and approval from a civil judge. Convoluted commitment laws and lack of funding for psychiatric facilities and staff were concerns at this time, but these concerns continue today as the Greater New Orleans area loses beds at Charity Hospital and MandevilleÔÇÖs Southeast Louisiana Hospital.

In the words of Dr. Robert A. Matthews, former head of the department of neuropsychiatry at LSUHSC from 1950-1957, ÔÇ£While we are passing the hat around for money to fight polio, heart disease, cancer, tuberculosis and other maladies, we ought also to be financing some exploration in to the cause and cure of emotional storms and mental defectiveness. We are fast becoming a nation of neurotic people.ÔÇØ

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

Free Dental Work

The LSU School of Dentistry is currently screening for patients willing to participate in clinical board exams for graduating seniors.?á The dental screenings are free and IF CHOSEN to be a patient for the board exams there will be $50 in compensation. They are looking for people with good overall oral hygiene who may need a small cavity filled or just a general cleaning. In short, if you have a common type of dental needs, nothing fancy or overly involved, feel free to attend one of the screening sessions

For more information, please consult the flyer.

The Poetry of Dr. George William Cooper

Dr. Cooper, a one-time anatomy Professor at the LSU Medical School, was also well-renowned for his poetry.?á Recognized for his ÔÇ£consistently good work in poetryÔÇØ by a forum of the National Writers Club in 1951 and awarded the position of Louisiana Poet Laureate from 1973-1976, Dr. Cooper is a?ácommon subject of our Newspaper Clippings Digital Collection. Though the Isch?® Library does not own any of his poetry collections, they are available through InterLibrary Loan.

Excerpted below?á is a poem from one of?áhis collections dedicated to a previous ÔÇ£Glimpse of the PastÔÇØ honoree, Dr. Frank N. Low. I would like to?áshare this poem with our new and returning students, who will surely feel the ÔÇ£grindÔÇØ immediately upon returning to classes:

This Month in History: The Remedies of Mr. William D. Postell

Do you ever drink water from the opposite side of the glass to cure hiccups or apply duct tape to a wart or spray Windex on a zit? These are just a few examples of therapeutic home remedies, but where do they originate? A collector of ÔÇ£weird-lookingÔÇØ medicinal gadgets and medical historian, Mr. William Dosite Postell, is the star of our highlighted article this month.

Former Librarian of the LSU Medical School, Mr. Postell was a Will of all trades: as he believed, ÔÇ£There is a little bit of the clinician, the research worker, the medical historian, the medical philosopher, the bibliophile, as well as the custodian and the library technician, in each successful librarian.ÔÇØ Though his career at LSUMS was principally one of librarianship, Postell was able to branch out from that role, becoming a scholar of wacky medical wares like cholera baths and mad dag stones.

One outdated cure is the ÔÇ£vapor bath,ÔÇØ invention of a Louisianan, Dr. Louis H. Lefebrve. Depicted in the drawing here, Postell found an early bath in the possession of the Prudhomme family of Natchitoches, Louisiana on one of his excursions to area antebellum plantations. The bath utilized sulphuric acid to assuage the effects of cholera. The story of the madstones or ÔÇ£bezoarsÔÇØ comes from the frontier. These stony hairball-like concretions were taken from the stomachs of deer, cows, or goats and placed on a bleeding wound to draw out poisons like those from the rabies virus or snake venom. In modern medicinal practice, the bezoar is considered a serious health risk in gastrointestinal tracts of humans and has lost its curative mythos (unless, of course, you live in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where the bezoar cure is alive and well).

Postell was quite the adventurous and successful librarian no stranger to going above and beyond his position in pursuit of knowledge. Having served as President of the Medical Library Association (MLA) in 1952 and 1959, he was awarded the prestigious Marcia C. Noyes award for his outstanding contributions to medical librarianship. In a memorable article of the Bulletin of the MLA, Postell wrote, ÔÇ£The best publicity a library can secure is by way of service given. The circulation and reference desk is the best place at which good will can best be cultivated. It is here that the public is met and served. It is the here that new patrons obtain their first impression of the library. If they are met graciously and served competently, they will return.ÔÇØ

Stop by the Isch?® Library sometime and let us graciously and competently show you the wonderful resources at your fingertips! If you are interested in reading PostellÔÇÖs work, the LibraryÔÇÖs holdings include: Applied Medical Bibliography for Students, The Development of Medical Literature, and The Health of Slaves on Southern Plantations.

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

NOPL Hosts U.S. Poet Laureate

This Thursday, December 6th, U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey will grace us with a reading and book signing at the Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and native of Mississippi, Trethewey is known for her portrayal of the Gulf South through powerful, natural imagery and historical narrative.?áThe?áLibrarian of Congress James Billington ?álauds, “Her poems dig beneath the surface of historyÔÇöpersonal or communal, from childhood or from a century agoÔÇöto explore the human struggles that we all face.” ?áYou can read examples of?áTrethewey’s work at poets.org.

The?áreading?á will begin at 7pm and is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

 

 

Physician Assistant Degree Program Arrives at LSUHSC

This January, the LSU Health Sciences Center jumps on the health education bandwagon as it inaugurates a brand-new ARC-PA accredited physician assistant training program. LSUHSCÔÇÖs 29-month program of study in evidence-based medicine will instruct its students in patient examination, diagnosis, and treatment.

Dr. Charles L. Hudson first proposed the creation of a physicianÔÇÖs assistant position at a 1961 meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) as a way to mitigate the decline in primary care providers. Ranked second in CNN Money MagazineÔÇÖs ÔÇ£Best Jobs in America 2010,ÔÇØ this careerÔÇÖs ÔÇ£average annual pay was $86,410 in 2010 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Federal labor officials projected a 30 percent growth rate in the occupation between 2010 and 2020.ÔÇØ

The John P. Isch?® Library would like to take this opportunity to welcome LSUHSCÔÇÖs 30 new students to the School of Allied Health Professionals! We look forward to introducing you to all our Library has to offer.

This Month in History: Dr. Rowena Spencer and Her Little Chickens

Despite the resemblance, Dr. Rowena Spencer explains, children are not tiny adults; indeed, ÔÇ£Children are like little chickens. They like to know their way around.ÔÇØ As one of the first women in the country to specialize in pediatric surgery as well as the first woman appointed to the surgical staff at the LSU Medical Center and the first female surgeon in the state of Louisiana, Dr. Spencer proved a wonderful asset to any hospital. Her bedside manner set her apart as a surgeon of unparalleled worth.

Dr. Spencer preferred to take a lighter approach to her smaller patientsÔÇöbeing a friend instead of a threat; as a 1960 Times-Picayune article describes, ÔÇ£She is not above bribing a youthful patient with a nickel or a piece of candy.ÔÇØ And when asked in a recent interview about the most satisfying part of her work, she answered, ÔÇ£Holding the babies. I love babies more that a mule can kick.ÔÇØ

A forerunner for females in the surgical arena, Dr. Spencer faced some adversity, though she did not appear to dwell on this issue. She persevered to become a respected member of the medical community at a point in history rife with tension over not only the presence of women in the medical field but also African-Americans. At Johns Hopkins University, where she earned her M.D. in 1947, Spencer was in good company. She studied under Dr. Alfred Blalock and his laboratory technician, Vivien Thomas. Thomas, an African-American with little formal education, played an integral role in helping save those suffering from ÔÇ£blue baby syndrome.ÔÇØ Another partner in this discovery was Helen Taussig, founder of the field of pediatric cardiology and first female president of the American Heart Association. The work of Blalock, Thomas, and Taussig on the heart is immortalized in a PBS production, ÔÇ£American Experience: Partners of the HeartÔÇØ(2002), and in a Hollywood production, Something the Lord Made (2004). Dr. Spencer would continue their work on infant patients, making a name for herself as an authority on conjoined twins.

Examples of her work include many articles such as: ÔÇ£Parasitic Conjoined Twins: External, Internal, and DetachedÔÇØ and ÔÇ£Congential Heart Defects in Conjoined Twins.ÔÇØ An autographed copy of her text, Conjoined Twins: Developmental Malformations and Clinical Implications, is available for checkout at the Library. Dr. Spencer has also had the honor of being featured in a publication entitled, Louisiana Women: Their Lives and Times. Her chapter, ÔÇ£A Study of Changing Gender Roles in Twentieth-Century Louisiana MedicineÔÇØ by Bambi L. Ray Cochran, appears alongside essays on Marie Therese Coincoin, Oretha Castle Haley, and many others in a fitting tribute to their contributions. Dr. Spencer recently celebrated her 90th birthday.

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

Greater New Orleans Census Data Results

The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center (GNOCDC) recently released an examination of U.S. census data: ÔÇ£Who Lives in New Orleans and the Metro Area Now?ÔÇØ. In this report, the GNOCDC compares New Orleans census data from 2000 to data from 2011 in juxtaposition with national averages. Results are graphed according to changes in race/ethnicity, changes in educational attainment and income, changes in poverty and access to vehicles, changes in foreign-born population, and changes in homeownership and household types. The brief focuses on Orleans Parish, Jefferson Parish, St. Tammany Parish, and the Metro area, each of which are the most populous areas with the most readily available data.

According the census data, several shifts took place in New Orleans demographics with more pronounced changes occurring in the growth of the Hispanic community, the growth of single-person households, and corresponding decreases in adults with less than a high school degree and increase in adults with a bachelorÔÇÖs degree or higher. In comparison with national averages, however, the Hispanic population here is still low, the median household income in Orleans is only $35,041 versus the national $50,502 (though St. TammanyÔÇÖs is $56,536). New Orleans poverty rate is up to 13% higher in Orleans Parish than the U.S., amount of children in poverty almost 20% higher in Orleans than the U.S, households without access to a vehicle 10% higher, and homeownership rates 20% lower in Orleans, but 12% higher than the U.S in St. Tammany.

You can check out the results for yourself here.

Sample Ballot for Nov. 6th Election

Geaux Vote Icon

In case you’re not aware, there is an election on November 6th and our nation will be selecting a new president.?á However there are a number of other elections happening the same day, including a slew of Louisiana Constitutional Amendments?á(pdf).?á To see what’s on the ballot in your precinct, use the Louisiana Secretary of State‘s GeauxVote.com website to see what else you may be voting on.?á Just click on Sample Ballot.

This Month in History: Pay No Attention to the Doctor Behind the Iron Curtain

A young, bespectacled version of the Wizard of Oz, Dr. Frank N. Low, lived up to the great and powerful legacy as a member of LSUMCÔÇÖs anatomy faculty, venturing behind the Iron Curtain in 1958. His travels came at a time of international tension, but in the name of science, Dr. LowÔÇÖs survey of electron microscope usage in laboratories across Europe proved invaluable in transcending the iron divide and promoting cross-cultural cooperation.

Cover Art for “Klop” the Bedbug; http://tinyurl.com/8h3hycr

Remarking on the ÔÇ£exoticÔÇØ subway of Moscow, the ÔÇ£finely developedÔÇØ Russian sense of humor, and the popularity of the play, ÔÇ£Klop” the Bedbug, in his interview with the Times-Picayune, Dr. Low appears to have enjoyed his surroundings overseas. He even brought home an object known as the ÔÇ£Tartar MenaceÔÇØ that would turn out not only to be lucky for Low, but also for his research assistant, a previous ÔÇ£Glimpse of the PastÔÇØ honoree, Dr. Marilyn Zimny, who upon receipt of the figurine received news that she had been awarded a research grant for $28,000. The ÔÇ£Tartar MenaceÔÇØ appears to refer either to a group of indigenous Mongol peoples called the Tatars or Tartars, or the Greek myth of Tartarus, a section of the underworld. Despite its violent etymology, the figurine kept Dr. Low safe from even a stubbed toe on his journey.

And lucky we are that it did, for Dr. Frank N. LowÔÇÖs contributions to the scientific world were momentous. As of a 1953 article, ÔÇ£Dr. LowÔÇÖs study provide[d] proof of the existence of a complete covering of the tiny blood vessels in the lung. The presence of this covering, medically known as a pulmonary epithelium has long been in doubt. The significance of [his] discovery is that it is an explanation of how air is excluded from the lung tissue, a destructive process. This is why lung surgery is so cautiously practiced.ÔÇØ

His triumphs also include authoring a renowned text, Electron Microscope: Atlas of Normal and Leukemic Human Blood, acquiring an electron microscope for LSUMC, and pioneering scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and freeze-etch/freeze-fracture technology. His impressive career culminated in his later life with the establishment of the Annual Dr. Frank N. Low Research Day at the University of North Dakota. He returned to LSU at the end of his career to work under Dr. Zimny in the anatomy department until his death in 1998. This memorial article shows how truly respected and loved he was. Now, if only we could find his ÔÇ£Tartar Menace!ÔÇØ

 

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

This Month in History: Trading the Mrs. for an M.D.

In honor of those nursing students plowing through history papers this week, here is a little piece of LSU Health Sciences Center history on the role of women in medicine.

Though the word ÔÇ£invasionÔÇØ might connote a hostile takeover or an alien attack, for those who witnessed a new trend in medical student populations post-World War II, ÔÇ£invasionÔÇØ spoke to the influx of females in the medical fieldÔÇönot a case for either the armed forces or Special Agents Mulder and Scully, but certainly an opportunity for marked advances in modern science. This article from the New Orleans States (a newspaper subsumed by the Picayune in 1980) from September 1946 marks an important milestone in our institutionÔÇÖs history as twenty female students enrolled in their first-year of medical school at LSU, surpassing the thirteen of the previous year.

The reasoning behind this onslaught of female M.D. candidates seems to follow on the wake of the recent war: ÔÇ£There is no telling what would have happened to their dreams of a profession if the right man had been attending classes at college with them instead of fighting a war, most of them agreed.ÔÇØ While the availability of Mr. Right may have been postponed, the drive of these women to pursue a medical career (perhaps a less intuitive path according to the social norms of the late 1940s) cannot be denied. Citing the greater freedom and social mobility of the times in addition to the general indifference of their professors and male peers on the growing female presence in the classroom, these women transcend the ÔÇ£vague motivesÔÇØ of the ÔÇ£feminine vogue for wearing a doctorÔÇÖs insigniaÔÇØ to participate within our history.

Perhaps bolstered by the popular figure of Rosie the Riveter, a new class of professional care-givers is subjected to the rigors of a medical education and the horrors of the cadaver lab. One such empowered and notable woman pictured in this piece is Ms. Jean Persons, who would go on to become one of AlaskaÔÇÖs best known pioneer doctors and who published a memoir in 2007: From Dog Sleds to Float Planes: Alaskan Adventures in Medicine. You can read the glowing Amazon reviews here. In a time of tuberculosis and remote citizenship, Dr. Persons ÔÇ£was a petite single woman tackling a job most men would run from,ÔÇØ and so she stands as a measure for all those who follow, a prime example of not only female physicians, but of all LSU Medical School graduates.

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

This Month in History: Dr. Hamlett & Zoological Treasure Hunting

Ever wondered how to catch a lizard? You might think to consult wikiHow or you might look up an instructional video on YouTube. Consulting our Digital Collection of newspaper clippings, however, would reveal quite an interesting portrait of a rugged, LSU Indiana Jones in pursuit of a rare treasure: the live-birthing lizard.

In 1953, the Times-Picayune ran an article on one Dr. George W. D. Hamlett, faculty of the LSU Medical School Department of Anatomy, whose research practices involved catching his subjects in the American Southwest rather than in a lab. Nets are all well and good for the casual lizard hunter, but Dr. HamlettÔÇÖs methods included an elaborate system of hammer, chisel, stick noose, and rifle. In order to capture the illusive live-birthing female lizard, he donned the traditional gear: khakis, hiking boots, and traded a fedora for a sun hat; armoring himself thus, he chiseled lizards out of rock formations and sought the mammal-like desert lizard among the trees. His interest in these lizards lay in their ability to produce young not through external development in an egg, but within the female of the species, an oddity for the reptile. Though Dr. Hamlett lacked the Indiana Jones bullwhip and the characteristic fear of snakes, his adventures were nevertheless harrowing.

The character of Dr. Jones is perhaps based on Sir Arthur Conan DoyleÔÇÖs character, Professor Challenger (a figure in turn based on his own Professor Sir William Rutherford) who is famous for having combined several areas of study such as archaeology, anthropology, and zoology in the pursuit of a totalizing knowledgeÔÇöÔÇ£Science seeks knowledge. Let knowledge lead us where it will, we still must seek it. To know once for all what we are, why we are, where we are, is that not in itself the greatest of all human aspirations?ÔÇ£(When the World Screamed). In the same way, Dr. HamlettÔÇÖs study of embryology continued on many divergent paths as he explored the complexities of the long-tongued bat, the badger, the armadillo, the cat, the coyote, and the American monkey, finally culminating in his study of humans.?á Some of his published works, ÔÇ£Embryology of the Molossoid Bat,ÔÇØ ÔÇ£Some Notes on Embryological Technique,ÔÇØ and ÔÇ£Human Twinning in the United StatesÔÇØ can be accessed through PubMed.

Though the similarities between Dr. Hamlett and Dr. Jones may not be many, there is an air of adventure to every quest for knowledge. Why can the scientist not leap across cliff faces and come to the rescue every now and then? But please be aware that there are no catacombs beneath this libraryÔÇÖs floorÔÇöyouÔÇÖll have to go to Venice for that.

 

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.