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Vaccines: An Evolving History

Special collections, objects, and artifacts for researching the history of vaccines, including development, use, hesitancy, and confidence.

Virtual Exhibits

Contagion: Historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics

Contagion: Historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics

This extensive online resource, created by Center for the History of Medicine staff, offers valuable insights to students of the history of medicine and to researchers seeking an historical context for current epidemiology. This collection contributes to an understanding of the global, social-history, and public-policy implications of disease by providing general background information on diseases and epidemics worldwide, and is organized around significant “episodes,” topics, and people concerned with contagious disease.

Additional Virtual Exhibits @ Harvard

Online Exhibit: The Language of the Age: Depictions of Medicine in Graphic Satire

"Satire was the language of the age...In the eighteenth century there was a great vogue for satirical prints- political and social. This was the golden age of the English engraver...caricature shops had a popularity of their own. Their prints were virtually the only pictorial rendering of the flow of events, moods and fashions. Especially, they reflect the social attitudes of the day."

The Language of the Age: Depictions of Medicine in Graphic Satire is an exhibit curated by Peter Rawson for the Center for the History of Medicine. The online exhibit was created in OnView by Andra Langoussis in February 2014.

 

Online Exhibit: To Slay the Devouring Monster

To Slay the Devouring Monster Smallpox—it is an ancient, terrifying, and deadly disease which has afflicted humanity for at least 2000 years. But today, smallpox is the only naturally occurring disease which is considered to be eradicated.

The long road to the eradication of smallpox in the United States begins two hundred years ago, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Benjamin Waterhouse studied the researches of English physician Edward Jenner and followed with his own experiments. Dr. Waterhouse then fostered an aggressive campaign to inoculate Americans against smallpox—the disease he called the "devouring monster." In the bicentennial year of Benjamin Waterhouse's vaccination experiments, the Countway Library of Medicine drew on its extraordinary collection of rare books, pamphlets, broadsides, manuscripts, letters, and artifacts—many gifts from members of the Waterhouse family—to commemorate the first efforts to slay that devouring monster.

To Slay the Devouring Monster is an exhibit curated by Jack Eckert for the Center for the History of Medicine. The online exhibit was created in OnView by Andra Langoussis in August 2013.

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