Lisa Grimm

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good-bye

 Administrative  Comments Off on So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good-bye
Jun 042010
 
Dr. Emeline H. Cleveland - awaiting your research interest

It’s true – we made it through each part of the move, including leaving the old building, getting into the new building, moving collections from two off-site facilities and remediating the worst of the Iron Mountain failures – but the economy is driving our team apart.

I’m off to new adventures of a non-archival nature; finances compel me to resume my previous IT career.  The archival profession as a whole should have an open discussion about why a career that requires at least one (and often more) advanced degrees and a high degree of technical skill typically pays so poorly; hopefully, at some point in the future, that will change.

While that will not happen soon enough for me, I can say unreservedly that I’ve had a blast in this profession, and especially here at Drexel – how many jobs combine detective work, fun with history, techie buzz and all-around camaraderie with an amazing team?

And my work will stay with me – when last in Seattle, I noted places where Amy Kaukonen (WMC 1915) had lived and worked in that city, and I can answer just about any question you might pose about the evolution of women in medicine (or at least point you to someone who might know where else to look for details – why not start with The Chaff?).  When looking for pet names, my first impulse is now to honor an early woman doctor – it’s no doubt a modern manifestaiton of Jeremy Bentham naming his cat The Reverend Sir John Langbourne, DD (perhaps this happens to other UCL alums as well?) – although I would maintain that Anna M. Longshore-Potts, MD, is much easier to remember.

It’s also been interesting to see how many search results we get from middle schools, especially those looking for information on women doctors during the civil war, such as Mary Edwards Walker, and those looking for Rebecca Cole and Eliza Grier.  It’s especially encouraging in light of the planning grant we recently received to develop more content (and context) for this age group – something I’ll be keeping tabs on from afar.

I look forward to a future blog post when the Correspondenzblatt der Homoeopathischen Aerzte goes online – while I may be moving on, this blog will be in the extremely capable (if very busy) hands of other members of the department, so do continue to follow along.  Hopefully, there will be a new hire announcement in the near future (and I’ll try not to leave anything too strange for that person in my soon-to-be-former office – we’ve got enough of that sort of thing in the stacks).

And here are a few other takeaways –

With that, I must say farewell – it’s been a wonderful opportunity to share some of our work here with you, and I’ll continue to keep an eye on future developments.  Watch for more to come!

A Bit of Good News

 Administrative, Happenings  Comments Off on A Bit of Good News
Apr 152010
 

We’re getting a Pew grant! The hard work of our crack grant-writing team* paid off and the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage awarded us a $75,000 Interpretation Planning grant to support the development of interactive online programs for young audiences based on our collections.

This will not be the first time we’ve looked beyond our usual academic researcher demographic and aimed for younger audiences; in 2006, we received a History Channel grant that led to a relationship with the Philadelphia High School for Girls. Using primary sources from the collection, the students learned about women in medicine by looking at the long history of Girls’ High graduates attending the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania.

This time around, the focus is on ‘serious play’ (which, pictured at right, was rather different in the 1880s) – reaching students in grades 6-12 through online games and interactive features that incorporate original documents and photos. The spotlight remains on the history of women in medicine (as well as Philadelphia’s place in medical history), but the project should lead further into digital humanities directions. You can keep up to date on our progress via our new Twitter account – feel free to follow along!

*All three of them

Ada Lovelace Day: A Visit from Marie Curie

 From the collections, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Ada Lovelace Day: A Visit from Marie Curie
Mar 242010
 

In honor of Ada Lovelace Day, we look back at May 23, 1921, when the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania hosted a distinguished visitor – Marie Curie.

Dean Martha Tracy (herself a WMC alumna, class of 1904) spoke at the occasion:

“…it is singularly appropriate that the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, firm in its hard-won position in the first rank of American medical schools, should greet with profound sympathy and due reverence this woman citizen of a fellow-republic who has likewise won through years of self-sacrificing devotion to research her deserved position as the foremost of living scientists.”

Curie was granted an honorary degree – but she herself was absent on that day due to illness (only the year before, she had begun to experience symptoms caused by exposure to radioactivity). In her place, her daughter Irène Curie accepted the honor; Mme. Curie recovered the next day, and a student took a photograph of her with Dr. Tracy to document her visit to the College.

Of course, the visit was not simply a social call – Mme. Curie was on a fundraising tour. Through a campaign organized by Marie ‘Missy’ Mattingly Meloney, editor of The Delineator, a popular women’s magazine, more than $100,000 was ‘raised by women‘ and Mme. Curie was presented with a gram of radium by President Harding ‘on behalf of the women of America.’

The Medical Woman’s Journal also documented the endeavor it described the lack of radium in post-war France and Mme. Curie’s financial position:

“Madame Curie is a teacher of science and she has a teacher’s salary. She is one of the richest women in the world in scientific lore, but she has given the fruits of her labor to her laboratory. So she could not afford to travel westward.”

In a later issue, Madame Curie’s trip and the overall fundraising effort were described in an editorial as ‘Women’s Gift to a Woman for the Benefit of Mankind‘ – it went on to note that:

“Every progressive step taken by women has been secured by fighting against custom and prejudice; it has been a continual revolt against the established order. That is the reason women make such good revolutionists.”

For thousands of other blog posts on women in science and technology, check out Finding Ada – and for more on the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, follow us on Twitter. Thanks for visiting!