Christmas at Base Hospital 41

Patients and staff at Base Hospital 41, Christmas 1918. Prints22143, Historical Collections, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia.

Patients and staff at Base Hospital 41, Christmas 1918. Prints22143, Historical Collections, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia.


Four years after the famous Christmas Truce of 1914, the first post-WWI Christmas was a season of mixed emotion. Coming quickly on the heels of the November 11th Armistice, the holidays of 1918 were a time when relief and celebration for the end of the war were mingled with sorrow from the physical and emotional wounds that remained.

In both World War I and II, the University of Virginia supported the war effort by sponsoring medical units staffed by UVA medical and nursing graduates, faculty, and volunteers from within and outside the University community. The first of these units, Base Hospital 41 stationed in St. Denis, France, arrived only three months before the end of WWI, but stayed in operation through January 1919 as the hospital continued to care for patients and the buildings were gradually converted from hospital wards and operating rooms back into the classrooms and dormitories of a French boarding school.

On Christmas Day 1918, nurses and enlisted personnel entertained patients with a minstrel show that featured comedy skits, music by a seven-piece orchestra, and renditions of songs like “Keep the Home Fires Burning” and “There’s a Lump of Sugar Down in Dixie.” Patient Everett Oertel, an Army Private from Wisconsin, wrote to his parents of the minstrel show, praising the nurses and orderlies for their performances (and the Christmas fudge). Oertel describes holiday decorations of flowers and holly and generous gifts from the Red Cross, including a Christmas tree and for each patient “a sock containing nuts, cigarettes, tobacco, candy, figs, an orange and a mate to the sock.” [1]

A photograph from the CMHSL Base Hospital 41 Collection shows patients and staff on one of the hospital wards in the midst of holiday festivities. A trombone player and Christmas tree topped with an American flag can be seen in the background of the image, but the contrast of holiday decorations and revelry with the somberness of recovering patients creates a slightly eerie scene. That Christmas the unit was surrounded by reminders of the permanent loss caused by the war, even as they celebrated the holidays and looked forward to their return home in the new year. Base Hospital 41 observed Christmas by “adopting” two local children whose father was killed in combat and collecting donations for Yvonne (6) and Georges (7). [2] They also remembered the five men from their own unit who lost their lives during the war.

Though their period of service was relatively brief, the men and women of Base Hospital 41 endured hardships, made lifelong friends, and cared for thousands of patients throughout their time overseas. The documents, photographs, and artifacts that make up the Base Hospital 41 Collection offer a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of a military hospital and provide unique reflections of the merriment and grief that were experienced as the hospital observed Christmas following the end of the Great War.

1. Everett Oertel Letters qtd. in Lengel, E.G. (2001). University of Virginia Base Hospital 41. Magazine of Albemarle County History 59, 22.

2. B.H. 41 Becomes Godfather. (1919). Between Convoys 2, 1. Base Hospital 41 Collection MS-17: 02/002.

- Credit: Emily Bowden, CMHSL Historical Collections & Services

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CMHSL Holiday Hours

The library’s large after-hours space is available at all times of the day and night, regardless of whether the library is open.  When the library is closed, access to this space is limited to anyone with a UVA Health System ID.

Holiday Hours

Monday, December 22: 7:30am-5pm
Tuesday, December 23: 7:30am-5pm
Wednesday, December 24: Closed
Thursday, December 25: Closed
Friday, December 26: 7:30am-5pm
Saturday, December 27: 9am-5pm
Sunday, December 28: 12pm-5pm
Monday, December 29: 7:30am-5pm
Tuesday, December 30: 7:30am-5pm
Wednesday, December 31: 7:30am-5pm
Thursday, January 1: Closed
Friday, January 2: Closed

 

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Holiday Book Tree at CMHSL

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To help promote this week’s Books for Bricks book drive, four team members at the Health Sciences Library built a six-foot holiday book tree using several old print indexes.  Pictured from left to right are Dan Wilson, Tony Hiserman, Bart Ragon, and Kimberley Barker.

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New E-Books for December

3-s2.0-C20120069591-cov150hThe book titles listed below have recently been added to the Library’s growing collection of electronic books. Click on a linked book title below to browse a table of contents or to read the full-text. A more comprehensive list of e-books available can be found on the Library’s E-Books page. Do you want to recommend the purchase of a book for the Library’s collection? You can submit your requests by using our online Purchase Recommendation form.

Accident and Emergency Radiology: A Survival Guide, 3rd Edition
Advances in Medical and Surgical Cornea: From Diagnosis to Procedure
Adverse Cutaneous Drug Reactions to Cardiovascular Drugs
Atlas of Operative Maxillofacial Trauma Surgery
Behavioral Medicine: A Guide for Clinical Practice, 4th Edition
Carranza’s Clinical Periodontology, 12th Edition
Cellular and Molecular Immunology, 8th Edition
Cellular Pathology of Glandular Lesions and Uncommon Neoplasms of the Cervix
Clinical Cases in Tropical Medicine
Clinical Decision Support: The Road to Broad Adoption, 2nd Edition
Clinical Genomics
Coffee in Health and Disease Prevention
Comprehensive Clinical Nephrology, 5th Edition
Dictionary of Toxicology, 3rd Edition
Epidemiology, 5th Edition
Ferri’s Clinical Advisor 2015
Functional Ophthalmic Disorders
Fundamentals of Body CT, 4th Edition
Guide to Assessment Scales in Major Depressive Disorder
Handbook of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
Imported Infectious Diseases:  The Impact in Developed Countries
Interleukins in Cancer Biology
A Manual of Orthopaedic Terminology, 8th Edition
Medical Therapy of Ulcerative Colitis
Multifocal Intraocular Lenses
Netter’s Illustrated Human Pathology, 2nd Edition
Netter’s Illustrated Pharmacology, 2nd Edition
Neuroanatomy: An Illustrated Colour Text, 5th Edition
A Pharmacology Primer: Techniques for More Effective and Strategic Drug Discovery
Practical Manual of Interventional Cardiology
Suicide: Phenomenology and Neurobiology
Therapeutic Use of Ayahuasca

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Help Build Classrooms in Tanzania

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During the week of December 8th, the Health Sciences Library will be a donation site for Books for Bricks.  Books for Bricks is a book drive program run on college campuses by Achieve in Africa Ambassadors, who collect and resell donated textbooks to raise funds to purchase bricks to build classrooms in Tanzania.  UVA’s ambassador is Vanessa Fabrizio (email: vef4fv@virginia.edu).  Our Health System contact is Idorenyin Ndem (Edy), SMD2018, (email: ien6mp@virginia.edu).

Please stop by to donate your gently used or no longer needed textbooks (or other types of books).  And while you’re here, take a look at our holiday tree made of books!

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Stand at the Place Where You Work

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To promote a more healthy workplace, a few team members at the Health Sciences Library have come up with some creative and innovative solutions.  Pictured above are six standing workstations.  Three were designed and built by Anson Parker, Senior Applications Developer, at the Health Sciences Library.  The other three were either purchased or put together with existing furniture.

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Getting Your Message Out

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The Claude Moore Health Sciences Library has equipment that can help you get your message out in ways that are only limited by your imagination.  Use our green screen to create videos with background photos or videos, or our podcasting equipment to create audio files.  All of this is free-of-charge and we have team members to provide instruction.  Call us today at 924-5444 for more information or to schedule the equipment.
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Von Frieling’s Green Butter Salve

Authored by Emily Bowden, Historical Collections Assistant at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

From wedding dresses to embalmed lice, Historical Collections has its share of the unexpected, including some items you could describe as downright odd. Recently a new set of unusual objects in the collection came to our attention.

Items from the Von Frieling's Salve Collection, Accession #MS-65, Historical Collections, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia

Items from the Von Frieling’s Salve Collection, Accession #MS-65, Historical Collections, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia

In the early 20th century, a young German immigrant named Henry Von Frieling arrived in New York City and began to market a curious new product called “Von Frieling’s Salve.” Von Frieling claimed that the salve possessed remarkable healing properties, and recommended its use “for cuts, boils, carbuncles, abscess and infection… for blood poisoning from shot wounds, snake, insect or animal bites and… for burns and scalds from water, grease, or acid.”[i] Two jars of this medicinal miracle, likely produced between 1911 and 1930, are part of the Von Frieling’s Salve Collection in Historical Collections.

(more…)

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New E-Books for November

DrugsThe book titles listed below have recently been added to the Library’s growing collection of electronic books. Click on a linked book title below to browse a table of contents or to read the full-text. A more comprehensive list of e-books available can be found on the Library’s E-Books page. Do you want to recommend the purchase of a book for the Library’s collection? You can submit your requests by using our online Purchase Recommendation form.

 

Autoantibodies, 3rd edition
Bioactive Nutraceuticals and Dietary Supplements in Neurological and Brain Disease
Bone Cancer, 2nd edition
Cancer Theranostics
Chesley’s Hypertensive Disorders in Pregnancy, 4th edition
Clinical Anatomy of the Cranial Nerves
Color Atlas of Dental Implant Surgery, 4th edition
Crib Death – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Dentine Hypersensitivity: Developing a Person-Centred Approach to Oral Health
Drugs, Addiction, and the Brain
Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation, 3rd edition
Electroporation-Based Therapies for Cancer: From Basics to Clinical Applications
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Encyclopedia of Primary Prevention and Health Promotion
Graduate Medical Education That Meets the Nation’s Health Needs
Guide to Assessment Scales in Parkinson’s Disease
Green’s Skeletal Trauma in Children, 5th edition
History of Toxicology and Environmental Health: Toxicology in Antiquity I
History of Toxicology and Environmental Health: Toxicology in Antiquity II
Introductory Immunology: Basic Concepts for Interdisciplinary Applications
Kidney Transplantation–Principles and Practice, 7th edition
Microbiology for Surgical Infections
Molecular Medical Microbiology, 2nd edition
Omics Approaches in Breast Cancer
The Parathyroids: Basic and Clinical Concepts, 3rd edition
Primary Immunodeficiency Disorders: A Historic and Scientific Perspective
Principles of Developmental Genetics, 2nd edition
Rare Diseases and Orphan Drugs
Transporters in Drug Discovery and Development: Detailed Concepts and Best Practice
Understanding Evidence-Based Rheumatology
Vitreous in Health and Disease
Wheat and Rice in Disease Prevention & Health

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