How did Southern California's sunshine and fresh air attract people suffering from tuberculosis in the late 19th century? Images from the California Historical Society Collection at the USC Libraries illustrate the story of "health seekers"—and their role in the region's population boom—in The Forgotten Plague, a new documentary film from PBS and WGBH's American Experience series. The film premieres nationally on PBS on Tuesday, February 10, at 9:00 p.m.
Monsters take many forms, from vampires to serial killers and from viruses to black holes. A new USC Libraries exhibition asks, What Makes a Monster?, through one central exhibition in Doheny Library's first-floor Treasure Room and satellite exhibitions in four other library locations. After visiting the central exhibition in Doheny Library, explore the meaning of monsters across the academic disciplines at the Helen Topping Architecture and Fine Arts, Norris Medical, Science and Engineering, and VKC libraries. What Makes a Monster? is on display through May 31, 2015.
Students working in the USC Libraries' Special Collections department routinely come into close contact with amazing archival materials. Here on Libwire, we're sharing occasional dispatches from these students about the collections they work with. Click through to read USC undergraduate Emily Hodgkins' reflections on the Oscar Kohnstamm papers.
In a recent story for The Atlantic, Erika Hayasaki quotes Megan Rosenbloom of USC's Norris Medical Library about the "growing 'death movement.'" A librarian who manages the library's history of medicine and rare book collections, Rosenbloom is an organizer of Death Salon, a group of academics, artists, and death-industry professionals who explore themes of mortality and mourning in American culture. Rosenbloom also recently blogged about resuscitation for Lapham's Quarterly, and on October 17 she discussed related themes—and much more—with author Mary Roach as part of a USC Visions and Voices event.
On Friday, March 1, the USC Libraries welcomed a capacity crowd for Just Food and Fair Food: A Multidisciplinary Exploration. Presented by USC Visions and Voices, the event explored issues at the intersection of nutrition, urban policy, and social justice through a panel discussion and also featured a fair-food bazaar. To learn more about the event, check out this companion resource guide with suggestions for further reading and research, prepared by the USC Libraries' Rita Romero, Chimene Tucker, and Sue Tyson. Click through for photos from the event.
A rare book from the USC Libraries' Special Collections about anatomical anomalies—both real and imagined—was featured in today's edition of the USC Chronicle. As Dan Knapp writes in his story for the Chronicle, the Italian philosopher and scientist Fortunio Liceti wrote De Monstrorum Natura, Caussis, et Differentiis (On the Nature, Causes, and Differences of Monsters) in 1616 to investigate anatomical abnormalities like the famed Monster of Ravenna, an early-16th-century child who likely suffered from a rare genetic disorder now known as Roberts syndrome. Click through for selected illustrations from Liceti's book.
Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, speaks Thursday, October 6 at 4:30 p.m. in the USC Health Science Campus' Aresty Auditorium. The event also features snacks and a special "poison brew" cocktail. Keep reading to learn more about The Poisoner's Handbook and Thursday's event.
The USC Libraries have added 33 new electronic resources to support USC's teaching and research needs. By mid-July, USC students, faculty, and staff will be able to access to the new databases, electronic journals, and other digital resources through the E-Resources tab on the USC Libraries homepage.
Author Colin Dickey, a PhD candidate in comparative literature at USC, will speak on Monday, February 7 at 4:00 p.m. in USC's Norris Medical Library about his book, Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius. Dickey's talk will be followed by a wine and cheese reception and a special exhibition of rare books from Norris Medical Library's collections. Keep reading to learn more about the event, which looks into the nineteenth century practice of buying and stealing the skulls of famous deceased geniuses.
More than one hundred finding aids for the USC Libraries' archival collections are now available online. These finding aids, which provide basic information about the collections as well as detailed inventories of the collections' contents, help researchers discover the riches of the libraries' archival collections. Keep reading for a list of available finding aids, organized by subject area.