Oct 22, 2012

Event: CAMA Medical Symposium 2012

This Friday, October 26, the Chicago Area Medical Archivists are hosting their tenth CAMA Medical Symposium. Please join us for this wonderful program.

Please RSVP to RNSMS@northwestern.edu or 312.503.1913 

Lurie Children's Hospital 
225 East Chicago Avenue
16th  Floor Conference Room
9 a.m. Coffee Hour
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Presentations
12 – 1:15 p.m. – Lunch on your own
1:30 – 4:30 p.m. - Presentations 


History of the University of Chicago Hospitals
Mindy Schwartz, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine

University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

Dr. Lucy A. Gaynor, Advocate for Children—Nanking China, 1892-1912
Anatomy, Pathology and Infection Risks of Foot Binding

Mary Groll, MD, Instructor of Pediatrics

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine 
Amy Whalen, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

History of the American College of Surgeons
David Nahrwold, MD, Professor Emeritus of Surgery 

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Davis’ Hollywood Connection
Diane Friedman, RN, MSN, Instructor

Marian University School of Nursing, Indianapolis Indiana

History of Children’s Hospital
Stanford Shulman, MD, Professor of Pediatrics

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine


Jun 26, 2012

News: Heather Stecklein to bid farewell to Chicago in July

Important CAMA News: The Chicago Area Medical Archivists will be losing one of its long-standing members very soon.

Heather leads a tour of local medical archives during the Society of American Archivists conference, 2007
Heather Stecklein, MLS, MA, has served as archivist at Rush University Medical Center since 2005, but will be leaving Chicago in July. 

I would like to announce to CAMA that she has accepted a position as University Archivist at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin. Also, she will serve as a Director of the Wisconsin Historical Society's Area Research Center, managing the historic records of three local counties.

Heather's last day at the Rush Archives will be Friday, July 6, and she will be moving to Menomonie with her family soon after. 

Heather with the illustrious Studs Terkel, 2007
Heather has been actively involved in the Chicago Area Medical Archivists since she began her work at Rush. She served as CAMA Web Moderator from 2006 to 2007 and CAMA President from 2007 to 2009. Heather has been part of the Chicago Area Archivists Steering Committee for the past six years.

We all wish her well in her new position and new home. 

Sharing the history of Rush as part of tours of Rush's new Tower building, 2011
As for the Rush Archives, it will always soldier on. As assistant archivist at Rush, I am particularly grateful to Heather for all of the work she has done over the years. The many projects we have accomplished during our five years together would not have been possible without our sharing the Rush core values of Innovation, Collaboration, Accountability, Respect, and Excellence. It takes a special camaraderie to not only survive, but thrive in a basement every day with one other person for so many years. We may not have had windows, but we had vision.

Nathalie Wheaton and Heather Stecklein: A force to be reckoned with...
- Good luck, Heather! -

Jun 21, 2012

CAMA Spotlight: American College of Surgeons Archives

Our second CAMA Spotlight focuses on one of our member institutions, the Archives of the American College of Surgeons. 

Thanks to archivists Susan Rishworth, MA, MLS, CA, and Dolores Barber, MSLIS, CA, of the American College of Surgeons Archives for participating in this month's CAMA Spotlight.

ACS Seal at its Headquarters in Chicago. Courtesy ACS Archives.
What is the American College of Surgeons?

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) was established in Chicago in 1913 at the initiative of Franklin H. Martin, MD, FACS. It was an outgrowth of the highly successful Clinical Congress of Surgeons of North America. The Clinical Congress was first held in 1910 to provide continuing education by means of live demonstrations of surgical operations. From the time of its origin, the College has been involved in surgical education and research, patient welfare, hospital standardization, ethics of practice, and collaboration with other medical associations.

What is the size of your collection?

The ACS Archives holds approximately 300 linear feet of fully processed records.

Tell us about your users.

We are generally open four days a week and serve primarily our staff and members. But we also have nonmember researchers, typically historians and graduate students. We have also had young people come to do research on school projects.

What kind of reference services do you provide?

We reply to phone/email inquiries, assist researchers in the reading room, and give tours of the College headquarters.

Describe some of your online resources and digital collections.

Our online resources include the Highlight of the Month (history notes) and historical lists of Clinical Congresses, Presidents, Executive Directors, Recipients of the Distinguished Service Award, and Honorary Fellows. 

Digitized resources available online include the catalog of the Orr Collection, texts of past presidential addresses, photographs of the Board of Regents, the Clinical Congress News, one volume of the 48 volume F.H. Martin Memoirs (scrapbooks), and one volume of the 26 volume E.K. Grimm History Notebooks.

What are some of your most-used collections?

The records of the Committee on Medical Motion pictures have been used often over the years. Also used often are the records on hospital standardization; the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (now the Joint Commission) originated in the College’s early hospital standardization initiative. And we frequently use the Grimm Notebooks for authoritative reference on all subjects related to College history.

[Learn more about 3-D movies at the Clinical Congress.]

Who are some of the most well-known figures connected to the American College of Surgeons and your collection?

Charles H. Mayo received his medical degree from Northwestern University (then Chicago Medical College). He was one of the founders of the ACS, its president from 1924 to 1925, and a member of the Board of Regents. George Crile, founder of the Cleveland Clinic, and Alton Ochsner, founder of the Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans, were also founders and presidents of the ACS along with Franklin Martin and many others, giants of surgery in their day.

--Thanks, Dolores and Susan!  If you have questions for Susan and Dolores or CAMA, feel free to leave a comment in the comments section. We'd love any feedback on this new feature of the CAMA blog.

More on the CAMA Spotlight Project:

With this new CAMA Spotlight feature, you can get to know the people and institutions who offer resources in Chicago concerning the history of medicine, medical education, and related topics. 

Each institution represented in CAMA has a story of its own to tell. We hope this new feature is of interest to fellow archivists, students, researchers, and anyone curious about what in the world archivists do.

Jun 6, 2012

Event Follow-up: Rosalind Franklin University Exhibit Opening Reception

Submitted by CAMA member, Kelly Reiss, Feet First Exhibition and Archives Coordinator at Rosalind Franklin University:
A new exhibit, Views from the Past and Present: The Buildings of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, opened with a reception on May 10, 2012 as part of Rosalind Franklin University’s Centennial Celebration.

Seventy-five people attended and learned more about the buildings in North Chicago and Chicago that have been part of the University’s 100-year history. 

A smiling audience at the opening reception, May 10.
The exhibit will be on display in the Feet First Exhibition Hall through August 3, 2012, from 9:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m.

Some architectural remnants help tell the story of the school's buildings.

Feet First Exhibition Hall 
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
3333 Green Bay Road
North Chicago, IL

For more information please contact Kelly Reiss at 847.578.8417 or through email

[Images courtesy of Kelly Reiss.]
Previous CAMA blog post for the exhibit opening reception:

May 15, 2012

CAMA Spotlight: Scott Pitol, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

 Spotlight on Scott Pitol

A new CAMA blog feature... Member spotlights! 

With this new feature, you can get to know the people and institutions who offer resources in Chicago concerning the history of medicine, medical education, and related topics. 

Our members come from a variety of backgrounds and work with diverse collections, so we thought we'd tell their stories. We hope this new feature is of interest to fellow archivists, students, researchers, and anyone curious about what in the world archivists do. (Yes, a common question archivists hear from the general public is a tentative, "So...what do you do?")

An archivist in his natural habitat, Scott Pitol
This first submission comes from one of CAMA's newest members, Scott Pitol. Scott joined the University of Illinois at Chicago as University Archivist and Assistant Professor at the beginning of this year. As University Archivist, Scott manages the University Archives at both the Daley Library on the east side of campus and the Library of the Health Sciences on the west side of campus in the Illinois Medical District.

He's wrapped up his first semester in this position and took some time to answer a few questions about where he's been and what he's doing. Feel free to leave questions in the comments. Let's get a conversation going in the comments section and see what happens.

 Take it away, Scott:

May 4, 2012

Exhibit Opening: Rosalind Franklin University, May 10

Submitted by CAMA member, Kelly Reiss, Feet First Exhibition and Archives Coordinator at Rosalind Franklin University:

Rosalind Franklin University invites you to a reception celebrating the opening of a new exhibit: 

Views from the Past and Present: The Buildings of Rosalind Franklin University

This is an exciting time for Rosalind Franklin University as it celebrates its centennial. 

Learn more about the school and its long legacy here:

Please join the RFUMS community for a reception to open this exhibit of images and artifacts from 100 years of the University’s learning environment.

Thursday, May 10, 2012
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Feet First Exhibition Hall
3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL 60064

The exhibit will run through August 3, 2012.

For more information call 847.578.8417 or email kelly.reiss@rosalindfranklin.edu

Apr 23, 2012

Book Release Event: The Historic Medical Campus at the University of Illinois at Chicago

-Submitted by CAMA member, Kevin O'Brien:

You are invited to an event celebrating the release of The Historic Medical Campus at the University of Illinois at Chicago by Eileen Tanner.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

UIC Library of the Health Sciences 
Special Collections Department (Room 320)
1750 W. Polk St.

Author Eileen Tanner will describe the process of research that went into designing this new history and self-guided walking tour of the UIC medical campus and the surrounding neighborhood.

CAMA members may remember Eileen from her presentation at CAMA's 2010 Medical History Symposium, which was hosted by Northwestern Memorial Hospital that year.

Learn more about this new, informative resource in this article in UIC Library News:

Mar 6, 2012

News: Percival Bailey Brain Specimens Collection Now Online

-Submitted by CAMA member, Kevin O'Brien:
The Special Collections Department of the University of Illinois Chicago Library of the Health Sciences has made available a collection of digital images of neuropathology brain specimens created by Dr. Percival Bailey (1892-1973).  

From UIC's collection, brain specimen featuring pontine glioma.
Bailey, a pathologist and neurosurgeon, had strong connections to several Chicago-area academic institutions, including the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois. Among his many career achievements was a collaboration with Harvey Cushing in the 1920s at the Peter Brent Brigham Hospital in Boston that resulted in the important book, A Classification of the Tumors of the Glioma Group.

Bailey created this collection of plastic-embedded brain specimens in his laboratory at the University of Illinois Neuropsychiatric Institute, where he was a faculty member from 1939 to 1951.

Many of the specimens included in the digital collection may be view in an exhibit at the Library of the Health Sciences which will run into the spring of 2012.

View digital images of over two hundred brain specimens online through CARLI Digital Collections:

For more information about this digital collection or the exhibit, please contact Kevin O’Brien at the UIC Library of the Health Sciences Special Collections Department:

UIC Library of the Health Sciences
1750 W. Polk St.
Chicago, Illinois

Feb 28, 2012

Rush University Medical Center celebrates 175th anniversary

Event: 175th Birthday Party, Rush University Medical Center

The Rush Archives invites you to a special birthday event celebrating 175 years of Rush. Join us for lunch and dessert and learn about Rush’s fascinating history.

Rush Medical College's first building, 1844
Rush University Medical Center’s oldest component, Rush Medical College, was chartered March 2, 1837 … two days before the city of Chicago received its charter. That makes us older than Chicago!

Join us for Rush’s 175th Birthday Party
Armour Academic Center, Room 994 
600 S Paulina St, Chicago, IL
Friday, March 2, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Featuring remarks by Thomas A. Deutsch, MD, Dean of Rush Medical College and Provost, Rush University, and a special performance by members of the Rush Choir. Pizza and cake will be served.

Contact the Rush Archives to RSVP:
Rush_Archives@rush.edu   or   (312) 942-7214

Image Credit: Rush Medical College's first building, 1844. Facilities Photographs Collection, P522. Rush University Medical Center Archives.

Feb 20, 2012

Celebrating History of Cultural Diversity at Northwestern University Medical School

Historical Notes: Cultural Diversity at Northwestern University Medical School

Ron Sims, Special Collections Librarian, Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library, Special Collections, has compiled a tribute to a few of Northwestern University Medical School's illustrious alumni.

In celebration of Black History Month, Ron Sims has written biographies for three alumni in which he reveals their lives before medical school and their fascinating careers after receiving their medical degrees.

U. G. Dailey in his class photo, 1906

-Ulysses Grant Dailey, MD, ScD, LLD, FACS, FICS, class of 1906

-Theodore Kenneth Lawless, MD, class of 1919

-Alfred Bitini Xuma, MD, PhD, class of 1926

Please see last year's impressive roster, also from Ron Sims:


This entry from 2011 features the following alumni from the late 19th century, including superstar surgeon, Daniel Hale Williams, MD:

-Daniel Hale Williams, MD, class of 1883

-Allen Alexander Wesley, MD, class of 1887

-Austin Maurice Curtis, MD, class of 1891

How is your Chicago medical institution celebrating diversity this Black History Month? Contact the CAMA blog!

Jan 25, 2012

News: Hektoen Institute announces Michael Reese Archive

Michael Reese Hospital lives on in new Michael Reese Archive

CAMA members and researchers interested in historic Michael Reese Hospital should be pleased with the news that the hospital, which closed in 2009, is gone, but not forgotten. Chicago's Hektoen Institute of Medicine has collaborated with the Michael Reese Research and Education Foundation to collect, preserve, and provide digital access to information related to the history of the hospital, which opened in 1881.

Please visit this page for more information on the Michael Reese Archive:

The Michael Reese Archive needs your help. To further develop this collection, the Hektoen Institute is looking for more documents related to the hospital. If you have a potential donation, please contact associate editor of Hektoen International, Lila Haile, with questions: lila.haile@hektoen.org

The Chicago Area Medical Archivists are grateful to the Hektoen Institute and the Michael Reese Research and Education Foundation for preserving the legacy of such an important part of Chicago's rich medical history and the history of Jews in Chicago. We thank you, and future researchers thank you!

Jan 20, 2012

Lecture and Reception Celebrating History of University of Chicago's Hospitals

Lecture and Reception: History of the University of Chicago's Hospitals

An earlier CAMA blog post covered the opening of a new exhibit at the University of Chicago's John Crerar Library.  


Now, you are welcome to attend a lecture and reception celebrating the exhibit.  

Past, Present, Future: The Evolution of Medicine at the University of Chicago's Hospitals  

The exhibit's curator, Mindy Schwartz, Associate Professor of Medicine at the Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, will speak on the history of the hospitals.

Wednesday, January 25th, 4:00-5:30 p.m. 

For more information and to RSVP, please contact 773-702-7569 or follow the link below: 


The exhibit is free and open to the public through March, so don't miss it! Please see below for details on the exhibit. 

Jan 16, 2012

David A. Ansell, MD, MPH, to speak at Hektoen Institute of Medicine event

The Hektoen Institute of Medicine to host David A. Ansell, MD, MPH

The Hektoen Institute of Medicine will host David A. Ansell, MD, MPH, at an upcoming free event at Cook County Hospital, March 27th.

Dr. Ansell conducting research.
For more information about this event and to RSVP, please visit the Hektoen Institute of Medicine's Events page:

Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 
Time: Program: 4PM–5PM; Refreshments: 5PM–5:30PM
Location: Cook County Hospital, 627 S. Wood St., Chicago, 1st floor auditorium
Parking Information: Cook County Hospital parking on Wood & Polk. Enter Polk street at light. $3 parking voucher available at lecture.
Cost: Free
Dr. Ansell will be speaking about his book County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago's Public Hospital, which was published last year. His book is a memoir of his years at Cook County Hospital and addresses the issue of health disparities in not only Chicago, but also the United States. Currently, Dr. Ansell serves as Chief Medical Officer at Rush University Medical Center.

In researching this book, Dr. Ansell delved into County's past and its longstanding relationship with its next-door neighbor, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center (now named Rush University Medical Center.) His book features photographs and other material from the Cook County Health and Hospital System Archives and the Rush University Medical Center Archives among other sources.

[Image caption: Dr. Ansell wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty when researching his book. In March 2011, he enthusiastically visited various areas of Cook County Hospital's campus with Rush Archivists Heather Stecklein and Nathalie Wheaton in the hopes of finding long-lost treasures for his memoir. Image courtesy Rush University Medical Center Archives.]

For more information on Dr. Ansell and County, please visit the book's informative page:

For more on the history of the Hektoen Institute of Medicine:

Interested in Ludvig Hektoen? Visit CAMA's page on Hektoen to learn more about CAMA member institutions with Hektoen collections:

Jan 5, 2012

History of the Illinois Medical District

Research Tips

View east, showing Harrison and Wood near bottom center, 1973.
The Illinois Medical District, located on Chicago's Near West Side, is home to some of Chicago's largest medical centers, including hospitals, research facilities, and universities devoted to medical, nursing, and health sciences education. 

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed several hospitals and medical schools in downtown Chicago. The Near West Side was untouched by the destruction and seemed a safe distance from the Loop for rebuilding. Cook County Hospital was the first medical institution to stake its claim, building its new hospital at Harrison and Wood Streets in 1876. Rush Medical College had lost its building at Grand Avenue and Dearborn Street in the fire and chose to build a replacement across the street from the new Cook County Hospital. 

[Image Credit: Rush University Medical Center Archives, Facilities Photograph Collection, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Aerial View, 1973, P553D.]

Over the years, more hospitals and medical schools were attracted to the area. Today, the Illinois Medical District includes the Cook County Bureau of Health Services, Rush University Medical Center, the Veterans Administration Healthcare System, and the University of Illinois Medical Center, whose College of Medicine is the largest medical school in the country. The district also supports research and development within its Chicago Technology Park.

Researchers might find this link to the History of the Illinois Medical District from the District's website interesting and useful: 


The site also includes an interactive map, showing the basic components of the district:


Interested in learning more about the history of the University of Illinois Medical Center or Rush University Medical Center? 

Please contact the following archives:

University of Illinois at Chicago, Library of the Health Sciences-Chicago, Special Collections Department

Rush University Medical Center Archives