Rare Books Donated to Norris Medical Library

Biegelman Exhibit 003Norris Medical Library is pleased to announce a new exhibit showcasing recent donations to NML’s History of Medicine collection by Paul M. Beigelman, M.D.  Dr. Beigelman received his medical degree from USC in 1948, completed his internship at Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center, and later spent forty years at the Keck School of Medicine of USC as a professor and volunteer.  Beigelman’s clinical interests in diabetes and public health also extend to his rare book collecting interests, as evidenced by the books shown in the exhibit.

Three of the twelve very fine rare books from Dr. Beigelman’s generous donation to Norris are highlighted in the exhibit located on the second floor of the library.  These include:

A Society of Physicians in London. Medical Observations and Inquiries, Volume 5.  1776.

This volume represents the medical discourse that was happening among the greatest physicians in 1776. For instance, Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia reports on his inoculation efforts and a strange case of asthma. John Hunter, one of the greatest anatomists of all time, relays another physician’s report of a man who had extensive caries (or cavities) all over his skull instead of only in the teeth, where they are usually confined (depicted in the beautiful illustration, below). Elsewhere in this volume, Matthew Dobson confirmed the ancient suspicion that the sweet taste of urine of diabetics was due to excess of a kind of sugar in the urine and blood of people with diabetes. The term diabetes mellitus means “sweetness passing through,” as in passing through the urine.

Biegelman Exhibit 006

Giovanni Battista Morgagni. De sedibus, et causis morborum per anatomen indagatis libri quinque. 2 volumes.1761. 1st edition.

This work, which roughly translates to “Seats and causes of disease investigated by means of anatomy,”  is widely regarded as one of the most important in the history of medicine, and its author Morgagni as the father of modern pathological anatomy. Throughout the text, Morgagni describes 700 cases, attempting to correlate the patients’ records with what he found during their necropsies. Many human conditions, both healthy and pathological, now bear Morgagni’s name.

Frederick G. Banting. Diabetes and Insulin: Nobel Lectures Delivered at Stockholm on September 15, 1925. Signed by the author.

Due to his service in World War I and other professional work, Banting didn’t receive his medical degree until 1922. By 1923, he was accepting his Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of insulin, how to extract insulin from the body without destroying it, and identifying insulin’s relationship to diabetes. This copy of his Nobel Prize lecture is signed by the author.

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