Job Opening at the Legacy Center

 Administrative  Comments Off on Job Opening at the Legacy Center
Jun 222010

We have begun our search for a new archivist to replace the recently vacated Assistant Archivist position. This position is being re-titled “Archivist.”

The position scope covers reference and outreach and the Archivist provides both public and technical support in the overall management of the archives. This is a full-time, year-round position reporting to the Center’s Director, working closely with other senior staff and providing some supervision to student workers. The Legacy Center is located on the Queen Lane campus in East Falls.

The Legacy Center contains the records of the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, Hahnemann Medical College, and their predecessor and successor institutions, including Drexel University College of Medicine. The Special Collections comprise materials documenting the history of women in medicine, women’s health and homeopathy. The Center is a core program of the College of Medicine’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership.


The Archivist is the key responder to reference requests and is charged
with establishing positive relationships with users and providing
productive research experiences:

  • works on-site and remotely with researchers to provide professional reference service;
  • oversees scanning and photocopying requests;
  • manage rights and reproductions for requested collection materials;
  • improves and maintains work flows.

The Archivist develops and maintains projects designed to broaden and
increase usership:

  • maintains the Archives blog;
  • utilizes electronic information and networking tools;
  • develops and maintains physical and electronic exhibits or oversees such projects;
  • supports history outreach efforts related to the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership;
  • represents the Center at local, regional and national meetings.

The Archivist contributes to physical and electronic collections

  • accessions incoming materials;
  • retrieves new collection material;
  • works with team in decision-making regarding processing collections;
  • works with team in establishing electronic records protocols;
  • assists in supervision of student workers.

Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, History or Public
History or other appropriate degree, with an archives concentration
preferred. A minimum of two years archival experience is required.
Experience is necessary in conducting reference work in an archives or
library setting and in implementing archival description standards,
procedures and best practices.

Deft command of desktop computing skills and strong technical
orientation are necessary; demonstrated experience or familiarity with
various information systems and services including the application of
social networking tools in an archival setting is highly desirable. Experience blogging is also a welcomed asset.

The successful candidate will demonstrate initiative, excellent organizational skills, strong interpersonal and communication skills and be able to lift 40 lb. boxes.

SALARY: $40,000 – $44,000

Please send letter of interest, resume and 3 references to Margaret Graham,

 Posted by on June 22, 2010

Could Catharine Macfarlane’s work have lengthened Ada Lovelace’s life?

 From the collections  Comments Off on Could Catharine Macfarlane’s work have lengthened Ada Lovelace’s life?
Mar 242010

One more post in honor of Ada Lovelace Day, who connects to many women in many different ways. I’m connecting Ada with Dr. Catherine Macfarlane. Had Ada been born a bit later, or Catherine Macfarlane earlier, Ada’s life may have lasted longer than her short 36 years.

Ada Lovelace died fairly young of cancer, in 1852. Some sources say uterine cancer specifically and some say she was bled to death in treating her illness.

The same year of Ada’s death, when women had few options for medical training, the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania (later Woman’s Med) graduated its first class of eight women physicians. Its 46th class of women physicians graduated in 1898 and included Catherine Macfarlane.

Evening Public Ledger, 1940 - Battle for HealthMacfarlane practiced and taught obstetrics and gynecology in Philadelphia and in time turned to research. Her work led to a theory that regular examination of women in apparent good health would be the best method to detect cancer in its early stages when it was most treatable. Initially, her theories were not popular and she had little support for her research.

In 1938 she co-founded the Cancer Control Research Project at Woman’s Med where women patients came in for regular pelvic examinations. The clinic was planned to run for five years but ultimately covered a fifteen-year period, providing data from over one thousand women. The project’s 1953 findings
supported Macfarlane’s theory and indicated that regular exams could help detect cancer of the uterus early on. Macfarlane then helped establish the first uterine cancer screening in Philadelphia, one of the earliest programs in the country.

Had Catherine Macfarlane been born earlier, would her work have changed the outcome of Ada Lovelace’s illness? In Lovelace’s era, women had almost no support for studying medicine; even in Macfarlane’s time, she was discouraged in pursuing her research. However, perhaps Lovelace’s passion and interest fanned the development of schools educating women, attitudes about women’s health, and ultimately, Macfarlane’s groundbreaking work in early cancer detection.

 Posted by on March 24, 2010