Archived Health Sciences Library Announcements

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Nightingale Letter

The Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library’s Archives & Special Collections is pleased to announce that the Florence Nightingale letters in its Auchincloss Florence Nightingale Collection are now available digitally through the Florence Nightingale Digitization Project.  Columbia’s 252 Nightingale letters now join over 2,000 digitized other letters written by her.  Among the Project’s international group of contributing institutions are Boston University, the National Library of Medicine, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Illinois in the U.S., and the Wellcome Library, the Florence Nightingale Museum, and the Royal College of Nursing in the U.K., among others.  The project is led and supported by Boston University’s Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center.

Nightingale Letter

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) is best-known as the founder of modern nursing, but she was also an important figure in 19th century public health, a pioneer in the visualization of statistics (she popularized the polar area diagram, a form of pie chart), a spiritual seeker, and a prolific writer of books and letters, of which the latter some estimate equal about 100,000 items.

The Auchincloss Florence Nightingale Collection is named after Dr. Hugh Auchincloss (1878-1947), a Columbia University professor of surgery who donated the core of the collection in 1932 in memory of his mother, Maria Sloan Auchincloss, on the graduation of his daughter, Maria Sloan Auchincloss, from the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing, now the Columbia University School of Nursing.

Besides the 252 letters by Nightingale, the Auchincloss Collection includes about two dozen letters to her; comprehensive holdings of Nightingale's published works, including first editions of Notes on Hospitals (1859), Introductory Notes on Lying-In Institutions (1871), and her landmark Notes on Nursing (1860); and a wealth of pictorial material including prints, photographs, and cartes-de-visite of Nightingale and places associated with her.

For many years housed at the School of Nursing, the Auchincloss Collection was transferred to the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library in 1979. 

History of the Health Sciences Lecture Series
With Bert Hansen, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of History, Baruch College, CUNY

Thursday, October 8, 2015
Refreshments, 5:30, Lecture 6pm

Russ Berrie Pavilion, Room 2
1150 St. Nicholas Ave. at West 168th Street

Free and Open to the Public

For over a century, the biographers of the great medical scientist Louis Pasteur have ignored his passionate and sophisticated love for painting and sculpture and the delight he took in his close friendships with leading artists.  New research on this forgotten history enriches our understanding of his personality as well as his manner of working in the laboratory.  The sober chemist, who had seemed to be devoted strictly to work and family, took enormous pleasure in the fine arts and used them as well to advance his career. 

In a colorful slide show, Professor Bert Hansen will explore the artistic threads running from Pasteur’s childhood through his landmark scientific and medical discoveries until his death in 1895 at age 72.

Bert Hansen has been teaching history at Baruch College of CUNY since 1994. He holds degrees in chemistry (Columbia) and history of science (Princeton).  Prof. Hansen has written on obstetrics teaching in the 1860s, the new medical categorization of homosexuals in the 1890s, the advocacy for public health and sanitation in political cartoons from 1860 to 1900, and the popularity of medical history heroes in children’s comic books.  His book, Picturing Medical Progress from Pasteur to Polio: A History of Mass Media Images and Popular Attitudes in America (Rutgers University Press, 2009), was honored with an award from the Popular Culture Association and named to the “2010 Best of the Best” for Public and Secondary School Libraries by the American Library Association. 

Monday – Thursday 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Saturday CLOSED
Sunday 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

View in calendar format here.


Inspired by the study room feedback survey earlier this spring, we have made the study room time slots more granular. Starting June 1st, 2015 rooms will be reservable in half-hour increments. The maximum booking time per day is still 3 hours.

Please feel free to contact us with feedback at We are always looking for ways to improve your study experience.

In this issue:

  • History of Health Sciences Lecture:The Antibiotic Era
  • Time saving tips for your mobile
  • HIPAA training deadline April 30th

... and more.