Sept. Meeting - Ink and Silver: Medicine, Photography, and the Printed Book, 1845-1890

September 11th, 7:00pm

Stephen J. Greenberg, MSLS, PhD, AHIP History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine

Medical photography has long attracted the interest of historians and archivists, with the result that there are many significant collections of photographic material both in public and private hands. However, too often, individual images have been made to stand alone, far removed from their original context, and therefore mysterious to the viewer. Why were these pictures taken? Who saw them? Were they meant for private study or professional publication? How did they reflect the techniques and aesthetics of the rest of contemporary photography, in particular the status of photography as the recorder of un-manipulated “truth”? And how, in a purely technical sense, did one produce and publish medical photographs in the 19th century?

This presentation will be illustrated with materials from the National Library of Medicine’s History of Medicine Division, as well as from other institutions such as the Royal College of Physicians.

Stephen Greenberg received his doctorate in Early Modern History from Fordham University in 1983 with a dissertation on early printing and publishing. After teaching for several years, he returned to school and earned his library degree from Columbia University in 1991, specializing in Rare Books and Archival Management. Since 1992, he has worked in the History of Medicine Division at the US National Library of Medicine (one of the constituents of the National Institutes of Health), where he is currently Head of the Rare Books and Early Manuscripts Section.

Dr. Greenberg is also an adjunct professor at both the Catholic University of America and the College of Library and Information Studies at the University of Maryland (College Park) where he lectures on the History of the Book.