By: Ron Sims, Special Collections Librarian
On November 11, 2011, Dr. Meryl H. Haber, Northwestern University, BS ’56, MS ’58, MD ‘59, GME ’64 was honored in an unveiling ceremony during the 2nd Annual Medical Education Forum. The unveiling took place in the Special Collections Reading Room on Level 2 of the Galter Health Sciences Library. In October of 2010, Dr. Haber generously donated his collection of rare books and a fund to assist in the restoration of the rare book collection.
The framed document honoring Dr. Haber, created by calligraphist Corinna Taylor, acknowledges Dr. Haber’s generosity and support of the Galter Library.
Among the gifted volumes so far restored are the minutes of faculty meetings of the Medical Department of Lind University and its successor, the Chicago Medical College, including the medical school’s founding on March 12, 1859. This handsome handwritten volume contains signatures of the secretaries of the Faculty, Ralph N. Isham, Edmund Andrews, Hosmer A. Johnson, Lester Curtis and William E. Quine. The historical manuscript documents the progress of the medical school through September 10, 1881.
With the assistance of Dr. Haber's fund, the Margarita Philosophica (1504) was completely restored in period binding. Compiled and written by the Carthusian monk Gregor Reisch, it was intended to be a textbook for his students at Freiburg. It is divided into twelve books, or parts, on the topics of: anatomy of humans and animals, astronomy, mathematics, medicine, metallurgy, geometry, music, philosophy, morals, and more, and is profusely illustrated with woodcuts. The illustrations are detailed and very well done; many are full page plates. For the next 100 years of this period of the Renaissance, this text was used in universities and institutions of learning.
Among the illustrations are some of the earliest depictions of the human eye and internal organs. The Margarita Philosophica went through at least 11 editions in the sixteenth century.
This text is just one of the many jewels found in Special Collections. To view these works and others, please call or email for an appointment with the Special Collections Librarian (312-503-1913 or email) or stop by the Reading Room on Level 2 during open hours.