From Adenoids to Zoonomia: A New Exhibit at Dana

From Adenoids to Zoonomia: Selections from Dana’s Medical History Collection is now on view in the Dana Medical Library’s exhibit case. This exhibit features instruments and books from the Medical History Collection.

med-history-exhibit-0101Dana’s Medical History Collection contains many fine examples of medical instruments, including these curettes and forceps used to remove the adenoids, ca. 1850s-1900.

The Medical History Collection focuses on Vermont medical Many midwives have practiced in Vermont over the years, and pictured here are several examples of textbooks on midwifery from the mid to late 1800s. The pelvimeter pictured at right was created around 1899.

Phrenology is the pseudo-science of determining a person’s personality traits by studying the bumps and fissures on his or her skull. Popular in the 19th century, many textbooks and monographs have been written on the subject, including those pictured here.


med-history-exhibit-008Zoonomia was Erasmus Darwin’s [Charles Darwin’s grandfather] most important work containing a system of pathology, and a treatise on “generation” which foreshadowed his grandson’s theory of evolution. The Medical History Collection at Dana has a copy of the 3rd American edition of this 2 volume work from 1803 [pictured left].

From Adenoids to Zoonomia: Selections from Dana’s Medical History Collection will be on exhibit through April. For more information about the Library’s Medical History Collection, see

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