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HIST 319: Women in the History of Science and Medicine (BMC)

HIST 319: Women in the History of Science and Medicine (Black)


The Bryn Mawr Special Collections includes books in a number of areas relating to this course, including 18th and 19th century works on natural history by women, beginning with Elizabeth Blackwelll’s A Curious Herbal (1782);  works on domestic science written by and for women, such as  Mrs. Beeton’s The Book of Household Management (1861); and works on women’s health, including late 19th century works on how advanced education affects women’s health, and works on obstetrics and birth control, including Margaret Sanger’s magazine Birth Control Review.

Special Collections also includes the College Archives, which contain documentation on the teaching of the sciences since the founding of Bryn Mawr, and the hiring of women faculty who taught in the sciences, notably geologist Florence Bascom and mathematician Emmy Noether, a German Jewish refugee who taught at Bryn Mawr in the mid-1930s.   The archives also include the papers of Mary Garrett, whose philanthropy established the Johns Hopkins Medical College in the 1890s on the condition that the school accepted women. 

Lists of the books and manuscripts pulled for the January 31st class are below.

Overviews of our holdings and guides to particular collections can be found on the Special Collections web site. The book collections are included in Tripod.  It is possible to limit your search to just the Special Collections holdings by using "Tripod Classic", and choosing “Bryn Mawr Special Collections” from the Tripod menu box that normally reads “View Entire Collection.”

Hours: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm Monday – Friday, open until 8:00 pm on Wednesdays.   An appointment is a good idea for your initial visit to talk about resources for your project. 

18th & 19th Century Scientific Work by Women

  • Blackwell, Elizabeth, A curious herbal : containing five hundred cuts, of the most useful plants, which are used in the practice of physick, . . .  To which is added a short description of ye [the] plants; and their common uses in physick.   London : Printed for C. Nourse..., 1782.ff QK41.B54 1782
  • A catalogue of the Portland Museum, lately the property of the Dutchess Dowager of Portland, deceased : which will be sold by auction by Mr. Skinner and Co. on Monday the 24th of April, 1786, and the thirty-seven following days ... at her late dwelling-house, in Privy-garden, Whitehall. London: Skinner, 1786.   QH70.G72 P67 1786.
  • Loudon, Jane Webb, 1807-1858. British Wild Flowers. London:William Smith, 1847.f QK306.L88 1847
  • Traill, Catherine Parr Strickland, 1802-1899.   Canadian wild flowers / Painted and lithographed by Agnes Fitzgibbon, with botanical descriptions by C. P. Traill .   Montreal : Printed and published by John Lovell ..., 1868.f QK201.T68 1868

Women in Medicine

  • Blackwell, Elizabeth, 1821-1910.  Pioneer work in opening the medical profession to women;  autobiographical sketches by Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell.  London; New York, Longmans, Green, 1895. R133.B63 1895
  • Memoir of Susan Dimock: resident physician of the New England Hospital for Women and Children.  Boston: [Press of J. Wilson], 1875.  R 154.D5 M4 1875
  • Forster, Emily L. B.  How to become a woman doctor.    London, Griffin, 1918.  R 692.F67 1918
  • Whitney, Luna M. Hammond.  Trials and triumphs of an orphan girl: or the biography of Mrs. Deiadamia Chase, physician and phrenologist.  Corltland, NY:  Van Slyck & Hitchcock, 1859.  R 293.C5 W5 1859

Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Birth Control

  • Memis, John. The midwife's pocket-companion: or a practical treatise of midwifery on a new plan. Containing full and plain directions for the management and delivery of child-bearing women in the different cases, and the cure of the several diseases incident to them and new born children, in the safest manner, and according to the best and newest improvements. Adapted to the use of the female as well as the male practitioner in that art.   Aberdeen : Printed for the author, MDCCLXXXVI [1786].RG93.M51 1786.
  • Meigs, Charles D. (Charles Delucena), 1792-1869. The Philadelphia practice of midwifery.   Philadelphia : James Kay Jun. & Bro., 1842.RG521.M52 1842
  • Stockham, Alice B. (Alice Bunker), 1833-1912.Tokology : a book for every woman.Chicago : [Sanitary Publishing Company?], 1883.RG121.S86 1883.
  • Birth Control Review,  New York: Margaret Sanger.  Bryn Mawr has issues from 1922 to 1931.  f HQ763.B5

Education and Women's Health

  • Clarke, Edward H. (Edward Hammond), 1820-1877.   Sex in education : or, A fair chance for the girls ..Boston : J. R. Osgood, 1873.  Uncat 4631
  • Comfort, George F. (George Fisk), 1833-1910.   Women's education and women's health : chiefly in reply to "Sex  in education" / by George F. Comfort and Anna Manning Comfort.Syracuse : T.W. Durston, 1874. LC1621.C7C8 1874
  • McCabe, Lida Rose, 1865-1938.The American Girl at College.  New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1893.Includes chapter on physical development.LC1756.M21893

Domestic Science

  • The female instructor; or, Young woman's friend & companion: being a guide to all the accomplishments which adorn the female character, either as a useful member of society, a pleasing companion, or, a respectable mother of a family ... To which are added, a select system of cookery, the art of preserving and pickling, brewing, making wines, family recipes, the management of poultry, dyeing, &c., and directions to servants of every description.  London: Henry Fisher, 1832.  TX145.F37 1832
  • Beeton (Isabella Mary) Mrs., 1836-1865.The book of household management . . . also sanitary, medical, and legal memoranda ; with a history of the origin, properties, and uses of all things connected with home life and comfort.   London: S.O. Beeton, 1861.  TX717.B4 1861
  • Medical and Cooking Recipes, England, 17th century.Owned by the Corbett Family of Shropshire, England.Written in several hands at different times.Most of the first half of the book are medical recipes.Cooking recipes make up more of the 2nd half.It isn’t clear if any of this was written by a woman in the family.    Manuscript 19
  • Hannum, Catherine.Manuscript Domestic book, Northbourne Court, England, 1797-1854.  TX717.H255 1830

Bryn Mawr & Science

  1. M. Carey Thomas, Mary Garrett, and the Johns Hopkins Medical School
  • Pamphlet: “The Opening of the Johns Hopkins Medical School to Women,” 1891.  Reprint from Century Magazine.  Includes piece by M. Carey Thomas.
  • 1891-1892 letters between M. Carey Thomas and Mary Garrett (the main donor of the money to establish the medical school).
  1. Florence Bascom, Professor of Geology at Bryn Mawr College, 1895-1928
  • Correspondence regarding her work with the U.S. Geological Survey, 1900-1930
  • Her field notebooks
  1. Emmy Noether, Professor of Mathematics at Bryn Mawr, 1934-35 (German Jewish refugee scholar; died in 1935.)
  • Correspondence with President Park about her appointment, including with the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars.
  • Bryn Mawr College Alumnae Bulletin.  Series of articles regarding Noether’s appointment.
  1. Discussion of science programs and facilities in early publications: President’s Reports, College Catalogues