UTHSC Library Hosting National Exhibit Highlighting African Americans in Civil War Medicine Through April 14

Group of contraband working for the Union Army (Courtesy MOLLUS U.S. Military History Institute)

The Health Sciences Library at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is one of many locations around the country hosting the national exhibit Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine, an exhibit that chronicles African-American health care providers, their successes and the challenges of race and gender discrimination they faced as they worked to provide medical care during the Civil War.

Anderson R Abbott in uniform (Courtesy Toronto Public Library Abbott Collection)

Produced by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the exhibit, which was unveiled on March 5 on the second floor of the Health Sciences Library, located in the Alexander Building, explores “the life and experiences of surgeons Alexander T. Augusta and Anderson R. Abbott, and nurses Susie King Taylor and Ann Stokes as they provided medical care to soldiers and civilians while participating in the fight for freedom,” according to the official press release.

The exhibit is free and open to all UTHSC students, faculty and staff. The library is available 24 hours, so the exhibit can be viewed anytime. However, if it is after regular business hours, you must use your UTHSC badge to get into the library. The exhibit concludes on April 14.

Jennifer Langford, MLIS, assistant professor, archivist and special collections librarian of the Health Sciences Historical Collections at UTHSC, signed the university up to host the exhibit three years ago and was excited when she was informed that UTHSC had been chosen as an exhibit site. “NLM has an extensive program of traveling exhibits,” she said. “I thought this would be a great one, so I signed up for the library to host it. It’s a very popular one, so it was booked in advance.”

This exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine with research assistance from The Historical Society of Washington, D.C.