Posts Tagged ‘archivesandspecialcollections’

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Midwifery, a profession in the branch of obstetrics, has been around for centuries. While the techniques used in midwifery has changed, the core of the profession has not. Midwives are there to help with pregnancy, childbirth, and the post-partum period. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the contributions midwives have had to health, and, along with nurses, WHO has since declared 2020 “The Year of the Nurse and midwife” in honor of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday (“Executive Board designates 2020”, 2019).

Every book you will read about in this blog post can be found within the Health Science Rare Book section of the Archives and Special Collections department, located in the ID Weeks library.

A Treatise on the Management of Pregnant & Lying-in Women

Originally published in 1772, this edition was published in 1791. Charles White pays close attention to the cleanliness and the ventilation of the birth chambers and recommends placing women in an upright position after giving birth. He also recommends isolating infected patients, that may have fever or other illness. These ideas were progressive and lead to the book lending to the reform of obstetrics. White’s A Treatise on the Management of Pregnant & Lying in Women was his greatest work.

Charles White (1728-1813) was known an innovative surgeon and well known in the field of obstetrics. Charles Cullingworth, MD, called him “a great provincial surgeon and obstetrician of the eighteenth century.” White co-founded the Manchester Royal Infirmary, along with Joseph Bancroft, an industrialist. He also had a hand in the foundation of Saint Mary’s Hospital, also located in Manchester. Charles White was a fellow in the Royal Society. For 55 years, Charles White kept the mummified remains of Hannah White, who was afraid of being buried alive, on display in a clock. Upon his death, her body was then put on display at the Museum of the Manchester Natural History Society for another 50 years until she was buried in an unmarked grave. To read more about the Manchester Mummy, go to this BBC News article and to read about premature burial, follow this link.

Text Box: A Treatise on the Management of Pregnant & Lying in Women
Baudelocque’s Midwifery

Baudelocque’s Midwifery was translated into English, not by Dewees but John Heath. Instead, Dewees wrote an abridged edition to prune and update the content, along with keeping it relevant to students, sometimes removing entire chapters. This also lightened the heavy, dense book, making it easier to produce and cheaper for students to purchase. He would also add his own notes or change the wording of some segments. Some changes that were made by him included encouraging midwives to utilize bloodletting and suggesting a simpler diet than what Baudelocque recommends.

During the 18th and 19th century, Jean Louis Baudelocque (1745-1810) was the leading obstetrician in France, le grand Baudelocque, a master accoucheur (a male midwife). He was a professor of obstetrics of École de Sauté, which was established after the French Revolution. Baudelocque is known for inventing a technique to measure the pelvis before delivery, resulting in the pelvimeter.  He was appointed to attend to Empress Marie-Louise of France during her first pregnancy, but died before he could do so, and also to the Queen of Holland and the Grand Duchess of Berg.

William Dewees (1768-1841) “was so famous that no parturient woman of the time considered herself safe in other hands (Hodge, 1842).” Dewees was against the use of forceps during delivery. He introduced Baudelocque’s A system of Midwifery to the United States where it became a manual for midwives.  He held a position as Professor of Midwifery and the chair of the Diseases of Women and Children at the University of Pennsylvania. After contracting an illness, Dewees had to pause practicing for a number of years before returning to practice. Dewees is remembered for both his theoretical and practical contributions to midwifery.  

An Elementary Treatise on Midwifery

Unlike Baudelocque’s Midwifery, An Elementary Treatise on Midwifery is a direct translation, which was used to justify printing it in the United States alongside the former. Velpeau strived to include the works of both those in his native France and in foreign countries in his research. In his title, instead of using the term “obstetrics,” derived from the Latin word for midwives, he instead uses “tokology”, which is derived from the Greek word for childbirth.   

Alfred-Armond-Louis-Marie Velpeau (1795-1867) is a French surgeon and anatomist known for the first to provide an accurate description of leukemia. He started on the path of medicine by first accidentally poisoning a depressed girl with hellebore in an attempt to cure her sadness. Velpeau trained under Piérre-Fidele Bretonneau, a prominent doctor. Like Baudelocque, he held a position at École de Santé, but as the chair of clinical surgery. In total, Velpeau published about 340 titles and some 10,000 pages. He was a member of the Academy of Medicine and the Academy of Science. Velpeau is thought to have said on his deathbed “Il ne faut pas être paresseux; travaillons toujours” (English translation: One must not be idle; we should always work) (Dunn 2005).

You’d be surprised how much medical knowledge has changed over the years! Visit the Archives and Special Collections department, located in the ID Weeks Library, 3rd floor, to explore our health sciences rare books. The ones included in this post are just a few of the cool, old books in the collection.

Reference Information

Drife, J. (2002). “The start of life: a history of obstetrics.” Postgraduate Medical Journal 78(919): 311-315.

Executive Board designates 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife”. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/hrh/news/2019/2020year-of-nurses/en/.

Cullingworth, C. J. (1904). Charles White … a great provincial surgeon and obstetrician of the eighteenth century. London, Glaisher.

Hodge, H. L. (1842). An eulogium on William P. Dewees, M.D. : delivered before the medical students of the University of Pennsylvania, November 5, 1842. Philadelphia, Merrihew & Thompson, printers.

Mitchill, S. L., – and E. Miller, – (1801). The Medical repository, and review of American publications on medicine, surgery, and the auxiliary branches of philosophy. Vol. 4, New York: Printed by T. & J. Swords.

 Dunn, P. M. (2005). “Dr Alfred Velpeau (1795–1867) of Tours: the umbilical cord and birth asphyxia.” Archives of Disease in Childhood – Fetal and Neonatal Edition 90(2): F184-F186.

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April is National Poetry Month, and the Archives and Special Collections is celebrating with two exhibits on the 3rd floor of ID Weeks.

At the top of the main staircase sits a small exhibit containing samples from Linda Hasselstrom, James Foley, and Kathleen Norris; with art by Ed Colker accompanying Norris’s work.

Linda Hasselstrom’s works are particularly interesting here- the book displayed was made from her late husband’s clothing, and the pages colored with his favorite tobacco. All poems in the book relate to him in one way or another. Linda is a poet from Western South Dakota, famous for her writings (poems and otherwise) about her life on a ranch in Hermosa, south of Rapid City. Linda’s papers are held in the Archives, and are being processed this semester.

In the Archives Reading Room, Room 305, find many more examples of poetry from both the Archives and the main collection. Included in this exhibit are examples of ancient Greek poetry by Sappho, a sonnet by Petrarch, Old English poetry, samples of Beowulf, and some more modern poetry. The more modern examples include USD Law professor Frank Pommersheim, Linda Hasselstrom, Linda Whirlwind Soldier, and explanations of Old English from past USD professor Thomas J Gasque.

All of these materials and more can be found anytime in the Chilson collection of the Archives, or in the case of the Beowulf books, the main collection. If you are interested in more poetry from ID Weeks, and especially the Archives, check the library catalog and use the location search filter “Chilson Collection/3rd Floor” to find more.

A full list of the books and papers on display follows.

3rd Floor Case:

-Hasselstrom, Linda, Dakota Bones, 1993

-Hasselstrom, Linda, Telegram Announcing the Death of my Father, Dakota Bones Draft

-Foley, James W., A Toast to Merriment, 1913

-Hasselstrom, Linda, George R. Snell, Poems, 1994

-Kathleen Norris, All Souls: Poems from the Dakotas 1993, Art by Ed Colker

Room 305 Case:

-Petrarch, Sonnet 137, ca. 1346-1353

-Sappho, Ode to Aphrodite, ca. 600 BC; in Donaldson’s Lyra Graca and H. T. Wharton’s Sappho

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Laus de Virgine Maria, ca. 1091-1153

-Pope Innocent III, Ave Modi Spes Maria, ca. 1161-1216

-Cædmon, Cædmon’s Hymn, ca. 658-680

-Unknown Author, Beowulf, ca. 975-1010, translated by Stephen Mitchell, 2017

-Unknown Author, Beowulf, ca. 975-1010, illustrated by Marijane Osborn, 1983

-Shakespeare, William, Ariel’s Song from The Tempest, ca. 1610-1611

-Milton, John, L’Allegro, ca. 1645, accompanied by paintings by William Blake

-Pommersheim, Frank, At the Catholic Worker, Dreaming of my Children and Good Friday (Yankton Surgery Center) from Mindfulness and Home: Poetry and Prose from a Prairie Landscape, 1997

-Rincon, Enrique Ollivier, La Noche from Poemas del Corazon, 1975

-Buechel, Eugene SJ, Lakota Tales and Texts, Inyan Hoksila or Rock Boy, dictated by Walker from Rosebud, SD, 1904, compilation published in 1978

-Hasselstrom, Linda, Extended Forecast from Bitter Creek Junction, 2000

-Whirlwind Soldier, Linda, Journey Foreseen from Memory Songs, 1994


Pope Innocent III, Ave Modi Spes Maria, ca. 1161-1216

Cædmon, Cædmon’s Hymn, ca. 658-680

Shakespeare, William, Ariel’s Song from The Tempest, ca. 1610-1611

Milton, John, L’Allegro, ca. 1645, accompanied by paintings by William Blake

Buechel, Eugene SJ, Lakota Tales and Texts, Inyan Hoksila or Rock Boy, dictated by Walker from Rosebud, SD, 1904, compilation published in 1978

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IMG_0300Well, this is it.

It’s my last day.

Today I get to turn in my key, submit my last time sheet, and clean up all my files on the computer, and I have to take home my sweater, wrist warmers, blanket, and refillable Einstein Bros. coffee mug . . .  plus say goodbye to probably the coolest job ever and all the wonderful people I’ve worked with.

The Archives and Special Collections has been an oasis for me through the grueling voyage of undergrad – tucked in the corner of the library, above the crowded sidewalks and away from the drama and stress of school.

I started here the summer after my sophomore year, after miserably spending the previous summer as a waitress. I began as a temporary hire for Sarah, allotted 120 hours to put in basically whenever, doing a lot of photo identification and negative-sleeve making. But I also got to work with Jim Legg’s collection of slides from Wounded Knee during the volatility of the 1970s (wow!).

When the fall semester started, Doris adopted me from Sarah. I began to make box labels instead of negative sleeves, pull boxes for patrons, make inventory lists of incoming collections, take the recycling down, and pick up the mail. Sure, a lot of my job involved removing rusty staples (yes, my tetanus shots are up-to-date), spending hours at the temperamental photocopy machine, and leafing through old Volante newspapers or yearbooks for an answer to a patron’s question.




However, I did some pretty amazing things here, too. Simply working with the Mahoney Music Collection was a dream! – how did my two favorite things in the world, books and music, end up combined in the back of the USD library? Though I couldn’t work exclusively with this collection, there was almost always a little project with it to satiate me. Writing press releases, creating a LibGuide, managing the website records, creating little exhibits, helping patrons, and writing blog posts were just a few things. I was invited to just go back and browse the stacks if I wanted, to get to know the books, and I got to correspond with the donor, Dr. John P. Mahoney, and even meet him this summer! I met a lot of great books, too. And who knows?  – maybe I’ll be back in a few years to do my own research with the collection.




The archives have forever changed me. Now I can’t bring myself to use staples or tape on anything, and I have a mission to preserve all my photos in acid-free paper. I learned so much that I don’t think I can fit it all on a résumé. And, thanks to Sarah, I’ll never be able to listen to Kishi Bashi or Van Morrison without nostalgia of the archives. I will sorely miss everything and everyone here – how did I get so lucky?

So what’s next? I have a couple more days in sunny Vermillion, then it’s off to Ohio, where I’ll be attending grad school for my master’s degree in music performance at Kent State (they have an Einstein Bros. too, so the mug comes with!).



P.S. For the record: I never got the lights turned off on me in the back room. Once the power went out when I was back there, though, and the terrifying flickering before tipped me off.



P.P.S. And my desk piggy’s coming, too! 🙂



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"Methode de violon" Pierre Baillot

“Methode de violon” Pierre Baillot

The Archives and Special Collections has recently digitized Pierre Baillot’s Methode de violon from the Mahoney Music Collection. This French treatise was published in 1793 with contributions from Pierre Rode and Rodolphe Kreutzer. It can be viewed, with a number of other treatises from the collection, on the Digital Library of South Dakota.


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