Students keep notebooks for plainly utilitarian reasons: as an aid to learning and as a mnemonic device. For historians of medicine, student notebooks are an invaluable resource for the study of medical education and for the history of medicine in general. For the biographer, they may give insight into the mind of a particular individual. And, occasionally, notebooks can even be small works of art.
On display now in Lower Level 2 of the Hammer Health Sciences Building is an exhibit of some of the over 150 student notebooks held by Archives and Special Collections at the A.C. Long Health Sciences Library. Highlights include James Graham’s 1774 notes of a class taught by Samuel Bard, one of the founders of the College of Physicians & Surgeons; the notebook of Charles Drake (P&S 1812) opened to an elaborately decorated title page; a tattered 1827 volume with notes of lectures given by the celebrated Dr. David Hosack at the rival Rutgers Medical School; and doodles in a notebook by George Huntington (P&S 1871), for whom Huntington’s Disease is named.