LUCOM Medical Library holds dedication ceremony for Civil War Display
Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) Medical Library hosted a dedication ceremony on Saturday, April 22, for a display filled with medical artifacts from the Civil War era.
The dedication ceremony was the capstone event concluding the annual Civil War Seminar sponsored by the Liberty University Department of History. “Through the efforts of Dr. Ronnie Martin, the staff at the Liberty University museum, and the Liberty University Department of History, a fascinating display has been constructed in the LUCOM Library,” said Diane Garber, director of the Medical Library. “The beautiful display units are filled with medical artifacts from the Civil War era when major advancements in medicine and health care were implemented.” According to Garber the artifacts are on loan from the personal collections of local doctors, including Delegate Scott Garrett, MD, a local surgeon and also the State Delegate for Virginia’s Twenty Third House District.
Del. Garrett was joined in attendance by special guest Dr. James I. "Bud" Robertson, Jr., noted scholar on the American Civil War and Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech. Dr. Robertson led a brief history presentation on General Robert E. Lee, an American general in the American Civil War, and the use of medicine during that era.
“About 800,000 men died in that war. For every one man that died in action, two died from behind the line from sickness and disease. Medicine was in the dark ages, during those days. But, I do marvel at what they did in the absolute ignorance of facts. You have to remember that with Civil War medicine, you are dealing with elementary things,” said Dr. Robertson. “If I were a physician in 1860 and you told me something so small that I couldn’t see it would kill me, I would have thought you were a fool. If you can’t see it, how can it have the power to kill me? They didn't know that back then.”
Future displays in the Medical Library will highlight advancements in the history of medicine and will provide students with the opportunity to examine antique medical tools and their uses. “The Medical Library will continue to be the heart of medical education and information literacy,” said Garber. “Serving the medical students, staff, and faculty of LUCOM will be the highest priority, offering access to the best of medical and scientific research.”
The dedication ceremony provided guests with an opportunity to see the library and understand more of the advancement of medical science that came from the experiences of the Civil War. Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO, the founder of Osteopathic Medicine, was a surgeon during that time period. “We in the Medical Library are passionate about serving our future osteopathic physicians and we provide research help and access to information, fulfilling our goal to advance medical science and practice through the lives and future careers of our students,” Garber said.