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Health Center Today, September 4, 2009

Hartford Medical Society Re-opens Historical Library at Health Center

By Chris DeFrancesco

Photo of Medicinal Dictionary

The address is new, but some of the artifacts go back centuries.

The Hartford Medical Society Historical Library, now located at the UConn Health Center, will hold a grand re-opening and open house Thursday, Sept. 10.

The collection includes medical journals from their first volumes, manuscripts going back to the 17th century, and artifacts such as old vial cases and medicine chests, instruments and surgical tools, and a physician’s saddlebag from an era when doctors made house calls on horseback. It also includes literature on the history of anesthesia, including a copy of the daybook of Horace Wells, a dentist in Hartford in the mid-1800s who is credited with being the first to use nitrous oxide as a surgical anesthetic.

3 p.m. – tours and scavenger hunt, Stowe Library.

4 p.m. – “Mark Twain and the ‘Majestic Literary Fossil,’” a presentation by Lynn Laskowski and Francis Coan from Tunxis Community College, Low Learning Center.

Refreshments will be served.

The Hartford Medical Society, established in 1846, had been located on Scarborough Street in Hartford’s west end since 1956. It now occupies about 2,500 square feet of space in the Health Center subbasement (LSB-016) next to Facilities Management. The HMS Library is open weekdays from 1 to 5 p.m.

Photo of U.S. Army surgeon’s kit

A U.S. Army surgeon’s kit used during the Revolutionary War is among the medical artifacts on display at the UConn Health Center, which now houses the Hartford Medical Society Historical Library.

Photo of Jenny Miglus

Librarian Jenny Miglus replaces a book at the Hartford Medical Society Historical Library, now located at the UConn Health Center.