American Archives Month is a time to promote the work of archivists and celebrate archival collections around the country. From the National Archives in Washington, D.C., to local historical societies, institutions large and small use this month to highlight their mission and the materials they collect and preserve.
Historical Collections & Services at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library maintains collections of rare books, photographs, and artifacts, in addition to serving as the permanent repository for historical records pertaining to the UVA Health System. In our archival collections you will find reports, newsletters, images, correspondence, and other documents that trace the history of health care and medical education at UVA back to the opening of the Hospital in 1901 and the University’s first course in medicine in 1825.
Featured in the Archives Month graphic above are three images from our collections: an illustration from the largest volume in our rare books collection, Bernhard Siegfried Albinus’ 1749 Tables of the Skelton and Muscles of the Human Body; a page from a 1633 herbal, a type of book that describes plants and details their medical properties; and a photograph of Walter Reed, leader of the U.S. Army Yellow Fever Commission, from the Library’s Philip S. Hench Walter Reed Yellow Fever Collection. These and other early anatomy illustrations, rare medical texts, and unique manuscripts holdings are available at the Health Sciences Library for research and educational purposes.
Equally important to our continued stewardship of these rare historical items is the work being done to preserve for future researchers and historians the records of today, which often come in the challenging form of electronic documents and data. A concentrated effort is underway to collect and maintain materials that will record 21st century activities and accomplishments of the Health System for years to come.
The Historical Collections & Services webpage is a great place to learn more and explore our collections. For questions or additional information about archives, contact Dan Cavanaugh, Alvin V. and Nancy Baird Curator of Historical Collections, or Emily Bowden, Historical Collections Specialist.