A new exhibit on the first floor of the HS/HSL features a selection of Early Dissertations from the Historical Collections. This exhibit celebrates the art of these dissertations and ultimately the art of 19th-century penmanship. The dissertations on exhibit are beautifully detailed with original calligraphy, illustrations, and handwriting.
Early students at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine were required to complete, “a thesis of his own composition on some medical subject (Annual Catalog, 1845).” A graduate could choose his own dissertation topic and handwrote the final product. Some students, as the volumes on exhibit suggest, took the dissertation as an opportunity to showcase their artistic abilities as well as their research. The dissertations have since been bound into class years. Historical Collections in the HS/HSL maintains a collection of these early dissertations from 1813 to 1887.
The following dissertations are currently or will be on display:
- J. Russell, 1882, Gun Shot Wound of Gen. Garfield
- Hector Humphreys Goodman, 1881, Cholera Infantum
- Nathan Smith Lanier, 1880, On the Importance of Economy in Orthopedic Surgery
- Edward A. Wareham, 1883, Diphtheria
- Clinton McSherry, 1872, Scarlatina
- Francis L. Hitzelberger, 1836, Leucorrhoea
- George Timothy Collins, 1854, The Brain and Nerves
- Alfred Thomas Pettit, 1851, Vis Medicatrix Nature
- Edward Ridgely Baer, 1853, Cholera Infantum
To see additional dissertations, check out our digital archive collection of Early Dissertations of the University of Maryland.