New NLM/NIH Display at the Ische Library


The Isché Library is pleased to host the National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health display: Pictures of Nursing: the Zwerdling Postcard Collection, which explores the relationship of nursing to events in 20th-century life and how nursing was perceived.  For more information on the exhibit, visit the NLM exhibition page.

The exhibit will be in the Library Commons from Monday, March 24th through Friday April 21st.

New Display!

There is a new display that highlights the Library’s Digital Collections!

Digital Collections Display

The display gives a preview to all of the collections that are available online, complete with links to the sources. Please note that along with the rest of Louisiana Digital Libraries, our collection will be moving to a new platform this summer. The links that are shown on the displays will not be affected by this change.

The Digital Collections includes:

  • Aristides Agramonte Yellow Fever Collection
  • LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans Newspaper Clippings
  • LSU Medical Center 1991 Commencement address by Lindy Boggs
  • William Branks Stewart Collection
  • Tiger Rag – Student newspapers of LSU School of Medicine, New Orleans
  • U.S. Army 64th General Hospital, organized by LSU Medical School
  • LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans – Catalog and Bulletin
  • The STAR: Radiating the light of truth on Hansen’s disease
  • LSU Medical Center, New Orleans – Graduation Programs
  • LSU School of Dentistry Historic Photographs


DISPLAYS: Leather DoctorÔÇÖs Bag

12-4-2011 5-47-44 PM

Expectantly, when doctors did house calls, they depended on their knowledge as well as the considerably well thought out contents placed inside their bags.

Most had six compartments that allowed for a wide range of necessities to be stored; to name a few: injections, gauze, sutures, needles, gloves, and pills. More contents usually meant that the location of practice or closest hospital were farther away.

The bag was usually kept in the trunk or in the vehicles interior, however the hot summer months and freezing temperatures during winter presented challenges for some of its contents. Bottles of sterile water and ampoules were sometimes frozen solid which meant that they had to be thawed out before being administered and even then have the possibility of losing its potency.

Get an up close look! —> Currently on display in the Library Commons

Displays: Magneto Electric Machine

If you have ever visited the library commons, more likely than not you have noticed the collection of antique medical equipment on display. The display cases boast a wide and interesting array of Old & Rare inventory . . . so interesting in fact many wonder what these items were used for. And when.

In order to solve these mysteries the Isch?® Library plans to give brief history lessons about items in the display case via our blog.

First up is Davis & KidderÔÇÖs Patent Magneto Electric Machine for Nervous Disorders.

This particular machine is dated August 1, 1854 and like each Magneto Electric Machine created, the label inside the box lid provides detailed instructions for proper treatment.

ÔÇ£Directions: Connect two Metallic Cords or wires with the socket in the ends of the box, and apply the handles connected with the other ends of the metallic cords or wires to any part of the person through which it is desirable to pass the current of electricity.ÔÇØ For the full instructions (trust me, they are interesting and a bit scary) click here.

What purpose did this machine serve? The best description is found at Dr. Olgierd Lindan’s Collection of Unusual Medical Devices & Antique Electronics explains in simplest form that and electric current passed through the patientÔÇÖs body ÔÇ£generated by a pair of solenoids that spin against the poles of a large horseshoe magnet.ÔÇØ The electricity was believed to stimulate a healing reaction within the human nervous system.

Did it work? According to the above mentioned website, the treatment of this device is questionable. ÔÇ£The therapeutic value of the treatment, if any, was likely due to the placebo effect. With the electric shocks coursing through his body as he gripped the hand electrodes, the patient definitely felt that ‘something was being done’ about his complaint. Electricity was a new and novel force in the 1800’s and most patients had no prior exposure to it, adding to its curative mystique.ÔÇØ

Fun facts- each Patent Magneto Electric Machine was signed by the production company to ensure genuine authenticity of this machine. Testimonials were also printed on the inside lid delighting in the marvel of this machine.