Name and location of repository
Level of description
Norman E. Mann medical realia collection
- circa 1850-1950 (Creation)
17 cubic feet (18 boxes)
Name of creator
The McGovern Historical Center (MHC) is the historical and special collections department for The TMC Library. The MHC maintains rare book and archival collections. Artificial collections have been created to provide access to materials without clear provenance in order to increase discoverability.
The earliest acquisition records for the books in the MHC are found in the Houston Academy of Medicine’s (HAM) Library Committee reports for 1935 and 1936. Thirty Fellows of the Academy raised $300 to purchase a collection of 275 French medical books published between 1730 and 1830. In 1949, HAM and Baylor College of Medicine combined their medical libraries. In anticipation of the completion of the Jesse H. Jones Building for the library, the MD Anderson Foundation purchased the rheumatology collection of a New York physician, Dr. Reginald Burbank. This purchase was followed by a gift from the Cora and Webb Mading Foundation of more than 1,000 titles on sanitation and communicable diseases. After the 1954 dedication of the library building, many physicians donated books or historical pamphlets to be stored in a very small, locked room on the second floor. Soon after his arrival in Houston, Dr. McGovern became one of the Library’s most staunch supporters, annually supplying funds for the purchase of rare books and travel support for the librarians to attend meetings of the American Association for the History of Medicine. In 1977, The Library formed a new department with new quarters to collect historical materials and to enhance the rare book collections. In 1982, Dr. McGovern donated his personal collection of rare and historical books to the Library. In 1996 the Library’s Board of Directors named the historical department in his honor.
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
Norman E. Mann medical realia collection is considered an artificial collection. Records indicate that Dr. and Mrs. Norman E. Mann donated the Mann medical regalia collection to the John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center in April of 2001. This collection contains a wide range of objects including: medical instruments, medicine bottles, medical equipment, human remains, dental ads and ephemera, and printed material. The collection was heavily damaged by Tropical Storm Allison and the recovered objects vary in condition. Additional material has been added and continues to be added to the collection to supplement the objects lost due to Tropical Storm Allison.
The collection contains two hyfrecator machines from the 1940’s-1950. These machines are in relatively good condition and have all of the needed parts. A large doctor’s bag and its contents are also included within the collection. The bag and its contents are in fair condition. The bag contained many medicine bottles and packaging. This packaging is of notable ephemeral interest. The collection contains many medical instruments in varying conditions. As the objects are mostly metal and have undergone a flood, rust is present on many of the objects. Some objects are also incomplete. A few medical instruments cannot be identified due to a lack of completion. Several pacemakers are included within the collection and are in good condition. There are also four leather medical boxes containing medicine vials. The medicine vials are empty for the most part and in good condition. The leather boxes are fragile and exhibit leather rot. Glassware and antique glasses are also included. The glass objects are in good condition but should be handled with care. Enamel ware is also included within the collection consisting of funnels, bedpans, and instrument trays. Several microscopes can be found within the collection. Most of the microscopes are antique and oversized. There are many other oversized objects within the collection including a hospital toilet, a stereoscope, and an examination chair. Additionally, human remains in the form of gallstones and a radius bone are found within the collection. Overall the collection contains a large range of materials.
Physical Description: Collection consists of 14 document boxes and artifacts inventoried in the Garments, Artifacts and Framed section (GAF). The entire collection is comprised of artifacts and medical realia.
System of arrangement
The collection is arranged in the following series:
I –electronic devices
II- black doctor’s bag and contents
III- diagnostic and examining devices
IV- various medical devices
V- glass objects
VI- oversized: Those with box title “o.v.” were too large and/or heavy to place in boxes, and are stored individually with the rest of the collection.
VII- human remains
Conditions of access and use elements
Conditions governing access
No access restrictions. Open for research.
Materials are in good condition.
Conditions governing reproduction
Copyright restrictions may apply.
Languages of the material
Scripts of the material
Language and script notes
A finding aid is available, but it needs updating.
Uploaded finding aid
Acquisition and appraisal elements
This collection is considered an artificial collection. Records indicate that Dr. and Mrs. Norman E. Mann donated the Mann medical realia collection to the John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center in April of 2001. The collection was heavily damaged by Tropical Storm Allison and the recovered objects vary in condition. Additional material has been added and continues to be added to the collection to supplement the objects lost due to Tropical Storm Allison. It has become a collection to place medical realia without collection.
Immediate source of acquisition
Dr. and Mrs. Norman E. Mann and various.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information
Accruals are expected.
Related materials elements
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
- Citation: Norman E. Mann medical realia collection; MS 135; John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center, Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library. Please cite the box and folder numbers where appropriate.
Description control element
Rules or conventions
Inventory completed by Kate Addy, an HRC volunteer, in August 2010.
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- McGovern Historical Center (Subject)