WVSOM library exhibit highlights African American contribution to Civil War medicine

Visitors to the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) campus soon will be able to learn about African American men and women who served as medical providers during the Civil War.

An exhibit titled “Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine” will be on display in WVSOM’s James R. Stookey Library Dec. 10-20 and Jan. 2-19. The six-panel exhibit can be viewed 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 2-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The display explores how surgeons such as Alexander Augusta and John DeGrasse and nurses such as Susie King Taylor and Ann Stokes challenged prescribed notions of race. It also examines some of the hospitals that treated soldiers, as well as artifacts such as journals and medical documents chronicling the era.

WVSOM Library Director Mary Essig, who was instrumental in bringing the exhibit to campus, thinks the display will appeal to area residents as well as medical students. “The Civil War is very popular in this region,” she said. “We’ve had two Civil War exhibits before, and they’ve been our most popular with people in the Lewisburg community. And it’s always good for our students to have a reminder of the history of science and medicine, to learn about the people who came before and broke new ground.”

“Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries” is drawn from the traveling exhibition collection of the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest biomedical library, located on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Md.

Date Added: 
Thursday, December 13, 2018