The University Record, December 21, 1998

Historical Center for Health Sciences dedicated

By Rebecca A. Doyle

A few medical artifacts can be viewed in the library of the Historical Center for Health Sciences, located in the Simpson Memorial Institute.

With an eye to preservation of the U-M's heritage in medicine, the Historical Center for the Health Sciences opened its doors last week to show off its new quarters in the Medical School's oldest building, the Simpson Memorial Institute. Directed by Howard Markel, who also is associate professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases, the Center is dedicated to furthering research on the history of the health sciences in the United States.

"It is important to know the context of what we do as a profession," noted Gilbert S. Omenn, executive vice president for medical affairs. Omenn and Allen Lichter, interim dean of the Medical School, cut the ribbon during the dedication and grand opening ceremony last Thursday. Research in progress that will help put the medical professions in the context of the rich history at the University of Michigan Medical School includes that on immigration and public health, the history of the U-M Medical School for the sesquicentennial celebration, restoration of archives, and the history of American childhood and pediatrics.

Gilbert S. Omenn (left), Howard Markel (center), and Allen Lichter handled dedication ceremonies. Photos by Bob Kalmbach

Although available space in Simpson prohibits any large holdings of medical artifacts, there are a number of medical instruments on display on the 4th floor of Medical Science Building I. The Center's Web page,, features the medical artifacts and highlights of medical history at the U-M.

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