The School of Medicine Library's collection of rare medical books consists of approximately 525 volumes. Included are texts dealing with many aspects of medicine and medical history. Broad subject categories include anatomy, physiology, public health, the practice of medicine, human bodily systems (respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, etc.), medical specialties (gynecology, surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics, geriatrics), and history of medicine. Each volume has a pre-1900 copyright date, with many dating from the middle of the 19th century. These books have been generously donated to the library over the years by the families of physicians who practiced medicine or resided in the state of South Carolina.
Donald Saunders Jr., Dean Richard Hoppmann
John A. Goree, M.D., a 1955 Duke University medical school classmate of Dr. Donald E. Saunders, Jr., was the featured speaker at a special reception and lecture in honor of Dr. Saunders on September 9, 2009 at the School of Medicine. Dr. Goree, a retired professor and radiologist at Duke, wanted to honor Dr. Saunders for his tireless efforts in the establishment of the USC School of Medicine. Dr. Goree's lecture, "The Woodblocks of Vesalius: Their Travels and Fate and the Icones Anatomicae," focused on the origin and history of the rare book, Icones Anatomicae, by the 16th century physician, Andreas Vesalius.
At the end of the September 9 lecture, Dr. Goree announced that he would donate his personal copy of Icones Anatomicae to the School of Medicine Library in honor of Dr. Saunders. President Harris Pastides made these comments after the lecture. "What a wonderful way to celebrate the uncountable contributions of Dr. Saunders. Now the University will be able to count itself among the famous libraries with a copy of this magnificent work." The Library faculty and staff gratefully acknowledges Dr. Goree for the wonderful lecture and for his kind and generous gesture to donate this rare book to the library in honor of Dr. Saunders.
John Goree, Suzy Goree, Donald Saunders, Jr., Carol Saunders,
Patricia Moore-Pastides, University President Harris Pastides
Donated by Dr. John Goree in honor of Dr. Donald Saunders (2009)
The Icones Anatomicae is “an extraordinary 20th-century artifact created in 1934 by The New York Academy of Medicine and the University of Munich, using the original 1543 wood blocks to reproduce illustrations from the Fabrica and Epitome (works of anatomical study by Andreas Vesalius). This was the last time images were taken from the woodblocks; returned to Munich, they were subsequently destroyed by Allied bombing during WWII” (source: https://nyamcenterforhistory.org/2014/08/22/the-fabrica-of-andreas-vesalius-object-of-the-month/).
The figures, most of which are reproductions from the original blocks preserved in the library of the Univeristy of Munich, are now generally conceded to have been drawn by Jan Stephan van Calcar. The text (reprinted from the Fabrica, 1555, 1543 and the Epitome, 1543) explains the symbols used in the wood blocks, and therefore forms an index of the illustrations and their symbols.
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