Two Hundred Years of UVA Health Care

July 26, 2018

A new exhibit at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, "UVA Health System: 200 Years of Learning, Research, & Care," will highlights stories and artifacts from the first two centuries of UVA's medical and nursing training and training, patient care, and community relations. It will feature a range of objects in the Medical School's and School of Nursing's historic collections, such as an iron lung, nursing uniforms, and surgical tools. UVA began training medical students from its founding, and has expanded its training and patient treatment facilities to include an infirmary (1857), dispensary (1892), hospital (1901), and nursing school (1901). It has also responded to scientific, social, and economic shifts on both local and international stages, reflecting the growing importance of outreach and engagement with the community it serves.

The exhibit will include a 3D rendering of the Anatomical Theatre, built in 1826, which gave students practical understanding of anatomy as part of their medical training (and created many headaches for students, faculty, and the local community as there was no reliable access to human cadavers, leading to "anatomical expeditions" by students in need of fresh bodies). The rendering was created by IATH Multimedia Designer Lauren Massari. Her work was part of the JUEL project, which looks at the primary records from the early days of the University.

Materials for the exhibit come from The Claude Moore Health Sciences Library's Historical Collections and the Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry, which supports historical scholarship in nursing. Additional support comes from the University of Virginia Bicentennial and the Alumni Board of Trustees.

The exhibit opened on July 26 and will run through January 4, 2019, in the Main Gallery of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library.