Library Hosts Fascinating Exhibit on Civil War Medicine

The LSU Health Sciences Center Library is proud to announce that we will be hosting the traveling National Library of Medicine exhibition “Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine.” The display will be set up in the Library Commons until October 4, after which it will move to the Dental Library until October 18.

While African Americans were generally untrained and untested in the medical field at that time, as many hands as could be found were necessary to accommodate the influx of ailing and wounded on the battlefield and in hospitals. African Americans were “hired” or compelled into the medical field as hospital attendants, nurses, surgeons, and staff members in manufacturing laboratories. Many admirable leaders emerged as a result: Charles Burleigh Purvis, Susie King Taylor, Anderson R. Abbott, Alexander T. Augusta, and Harriet Tubman.

Helpful links and educational resources provided by the National Library of Medicine in conjunction with the exhibit include lesson plans for upper elementary and high school classes, a higher education module with instructor resources, online activities, and a bibliography of additional readings.

Library resources that will complement further study of African American roles in the Civil War for both the Union and the Confederacy are listed below. Reference Librarians (available Monday to Thursday from 8am to 8pm, and Friday 8am to 4pm) will be happy to assist with research as well.

Our supplementary materials cover a number of texts: The Paths We Tread: Blacks in Nursing Worldwide, Louisiana in the Confederacy, Doctors in Gray: The Confederate Medical Service, Doctors in Blue: The Medical History of the Union Army in the Civil War, and The Plain Peoples of the Confederacy. Library patrons may also browse our list of E-Resources, a compilation of links to databases and other online resources like African American Firsts in Science and Technology and African American Soldiers in the Civil War and Colors of Courage: Gettysburg’s Forgotten History: Immigrants, Women & African Americans in the Civil War.

The exhibit will be at the John P. Isch?® Library from September 16-October 4 and at the Dental Library from October 7-18, so be sure to stop in!