All items in this collection are located in the Historical Collections Department in the Health Sciences Library of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York. The department holds a special collection of rare books, journals, documents, photographs, medical instruments and other materials for the study of the history of medicine, especially in Central New York, and the history of SUNY Upstate Medical University and its predecessor schools. We can be found on the 2nd Floor of the Health Science Library in Weiskotten Hall, 766 Irving Avenue. The mission of the Health Sciences Library is to provide health information services and resources to meet the current and emerging needs of the UPSTATE community.
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Syracuse Free Dispensary
Founded in 1888 by Dr. John S Van Duyn (1843-1934), the Syracuse Free Dispensary was a public outpatient facility supported by volunteer contributions and the College of Medicine. Throughout it's existence the dispensary housed a wide variety of clinics including: general medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, ophthalmology, radiology, otolaryngology, and so on. To meet public demand the dispensary changed locations throughout the years. After it's incorporation at 208 South Warren the dispensary relocated in 1897 to 407 S. Warren where it remained until 1904. The dispensary was then moved to 506 S. Warren from 1904-1914 and to 610 E. Fayette from 1914-1957. It was eventually forced to the State building at 333 E. Washington until 1964 when it was folded into the outpatient clinic at the new University Hospital of SUNY Upstate Medical Center. This collection encompasses the existence of the dispensary from 1888-1964 and contains photographs & negatives of dispensary personnel, interior/exterior shots of dispensary locations, & ceremonies, newspaper clippings, and documents.
SUNY Biomedical Communication Network
The SUNY Biomedical Communication Network (BCN) was the first online bibliographic network in the world for accessing medical literature. Operating from 1968-1977, the network also experimented with access to the sharedcataloging of monographs as well as serials records. The BCN was hosted in the Health Sciences Library at what was then called Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. Irwin Pizer (1934-1991), as Director of the Health Sciences Library, was also the Director of the BCN. There were nine original medical libraries in the network. Over the years membership grew to 32 institutions. For a number reasons, the project began to suffer difficulties. In response, some of the leadership staff of BCN founded Bibliographic Retrieval Services, Inc. (BRS), a commercial vendor in Latham, NY. BRS was eventually purchased by OVID Technologies, a Walters-Kluwer Company. The image collection includes photographs of network mainframe computers,terminals, and other equipment. Also included are BCN staff, Upstate faculty and staff, network advisory committees, documents & news clippings, and links to freely accessible articles which describe the SUNY BCN in greater detail.
Geneva Medical College
Geneva Medical College was founded in 1834 by Dr. Edward Cutbush, a Professor of Chemistry at Geneva College, which is now named Hobart College. At Dr. Cutbush’s suggestion, Geneva Medical College became a department of Geneva College. From 1834-1853 the official name of this new medical school was Medical Institution of Geneva College. Geneva Medical College is the predecessor of the Syracuse University College of Medicine and the current SUNY Upstate Medical University. Thus, the current SUNY Upstate Medical University can trace its lineage to Geneva Medical College. Among the graduates of renown of Geneva Medical College, is Elizabeth Blackwell, MD who was the first woman physician in the world to graduate from an accredited college of medicine.
As population shifted in the middle of the nineteenth century and other medical schools were growing, the faculty of Geneva Medical determined that it was necessary to move their school to a new location. They chose Syracuse University due to a number of factors such as, declining enrollments, the central location of the city of Syracuse, and an invitation from Mother Marianne Cope, Administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, to use St. Joseph’s for clinical training of medical students.
Due to the above factors, Geneva Medical College was officially dissolved in 1871 and reopened in their new location and the new name of College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Syracuse University.
This sub collection contains images of the founder of Geneva Medical, buildings and views of the College, renown alumni, and examples of annual announcements of courses and curriculum.
Elizabeth Blackwell, MD was the first woman in the world to graduate from an accredited medical school. After arriving at Geneva Medical College in November of 1847, Blackwell began fifteen months of study to finally earn her medical degree. Dr. Blackwell graduated from Geneva Medical College on January 23, 1849 and ranked first in her class.
Though successful as a medical student, Blackwell faced criticism and prejudice simply for being a woman who strove to be a physician. She faced similar intense reactions when she tried to practice medicine in Europe and subsequently when she tried to establish a medical practice in New York City.
This subcollection contains various images of of Blackwell, such as an original painting by Joseph Stanley Kozlowski completed in 1963. Other items in this collection include various addresses and publications by Blackwell. Some of the publications and addresses delivered include, “Christian Socialism; thoughts suggested by the Easter season”, “How to Keep a Household in Health”, “On the Humane Prevention of Rabies”, “The Influence of Women in the Profession of Medicine” and many others.
The Roosevelts Visit Syracuse
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and Eleanor Roosevelt visited Syracuse at various times in the 20th century. These images include a campaign visit by FDR in approximately June of 1932 while he was governor, but running for the presidency of the United States.
Another group of photos document the laying of the cornerstone of the Basic Sciences Building for the Syracuse University College of Medicine, now Upstate Medical University. The laying of the cornerstone took place on September 29, 1936. These ceremonial images include FDR posing with trowel in hand, laying the cornerstone, FDR at the podium giving a speech and a picture of the motorcade making its way through Syracuse. Another photo shows Eleanor later that evening and the next day at the state Democratic convention which took place at the Hotel Onondaga.
Finally, there is a group of photographs from 1956 of Eleanor Roosevelt giving speeches, speaking to a WSYR radio audience and attending the graduation of her grandson at Jamesville DeWitt High School. Additional non-photographic items include invitations and text materials from the above historical visits.
Hospital of the Good Shepherd
This Syracuse hospital was known by three different names. When it was founded in 1872 it was known as House of the Good Shepherd. After it's move to the corner of Marshall Street and University Ave in 1875, it was called Hospital of the Good Shepherd and later as University Hospital of the Good Shepherd. After Upstate Medical University opened it's own medical center facility as a University Hospital, the Good Shepherd was closed. The religious metaphor used of "Good Shepherd" reflects the original founding by Bishop Frederic D. Huntington of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York. The building on the corner of Marshall and University is now called Huntington Hall in his honor. It houses the School of Education of Syracuse University.
This collection contains numerous images of the exterior and interior of the Good Shepherd Hospital. Some interior images include the operating and waiting rooms, as well as other hospital features. The exterior images reflect historical periods of the horse and buggy to vintage cars parked in front from the early 1960's.
McBride Street Campus
When Geneva Medical College moved to Syracuse in 1872, it first classes were held in a building in Clinton Block area near the Erie Canal. Then in 1875 the College of Medicine moved to an old carriage factory building on McBride Street (called Orange Street at the time) and remodeled some of the laboratories and other spaces as students began taking classes. After 20 years the carriage factory building could no longer be used due to its age and deteriorating condition. In response the college raised enough money to construct a new building on 309 South McBride street, a structure which still exists today. The carriage factor building was demolished and students began taking classes in the new building in 1896. This collection contains photographs of the original Clinton Block, the carriage factory building on Orange (later McBride Street) and the 309 South McBride Street campus. The images include the exterior of the buildings, as well as interior pictures of laboratories, the Library, and lecture halls. Pictures of some of the students and faculty are also included.
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