The “James H. Steele, Frontier Doctor” exhibit is now on display in the display case adjacent to the New Mexico Health Historical Room (223) in HSLIC. The exhibit explores the life of James H. Steele, M.D., a horse-and-buggy doctor who practiced in rural New Mexico from 1909 to 1946.
James Harry Steele was born in Hamden, Ohio, on February 16, 1873, to Robert and Mary Steele. He graduated from the Kentucky School of Medicine in 1900. He practiced medicine in Guysville, Ohio, for nine years before moving to the warmer, drier climate of New Mexico to benefit his health in 1909. Steele practiced medicine in rural New Mexico for the next 37 years. He died on July 6, 1946, in Wagon Mound, N.M.
On display are items from HSLIC’s health historical collection, including many of the medical instruments and medicines Steele used in his practice. The exhibit is available for viewing during regular library hours seven days a week.
A National Library of Medicine traveling exhibit was on display in February and March 2016 in the Domenici Center Auditorium Lobby.
The exhibit explored the language of the four humors that bred the core passions of anger, grief, hope, and fear — the emotions conveyed so powerfully in William Shakespeare’s (1564–1616) comedies and tragedies. Shakespeare understood human personality in the terms available to his age — that of the now-discarded theory of the four bodily humors. The theory was passed on from ancient philosophers Aristotle, Hippocrates and Galen and was organized around the four elements of earth, water, air and fire. The humors were thought to define peoples’ physical and mental health and determine their personalities. Illness was defined as an imbalance of one or more of the humors, so the treatment for disease attempted to restore balance.
Explore the National Library of Medicine online exhibit.
Illustration caption: William Shakespeare, 1623. Courtesy Folger Shakespeare Library.
The idea for the modern bookplate originated in Germany during the 15th century, denoting ownership, a desire to not lose the object and an elementary form of librarianship. The history of printing and the development of bookplates are intertwined. Before the Gutenberg press was developed around 1440, written works were handwritten or produced with a block press, known as “block books.” For this reason,books were extremely rare, and their preciousness discouraged casual handling or lending. With the Gutenberg press, books proliferated, and so did the plates. This exhibit showcased some of the bookplates found in HSLIC’s collections.
Fungi were one of the first kingdoms to colonize terrestrial surfaces from the Precambrian seas. They have evolved an extraordinary number of shapes and forms. Between one to two million species inhabit the planet. It is a major Clade of life and one of the most important organisms on earth. Fungi are essential to such crucial activities as decomposition, nutrient cycling and nutrient transport and are indispensable for achieving sustainable development. The exhibit, located in the library on the fourth floor by Classroom 428, explores the toxicological and medicinal values of mushrooms while showcasing John Trestrail’s mushroom models gifted to HSLIC’s New Mexico Health Historical Collection.
The exhibit titled "Making a Difference — A Photo Essay" spoke to the HSC's missions in education, research and clinical care to give viewers insight into the meaning of these missions. Included in the essay were 15 photographs selected from Barry Staver's work over a period of four years.
The exhibit is located in the Domenici Center for Health Sciences Education third-floor meeting space and can be viewed during open hours, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The exhibit is on permanent display.