Dr. Margaret Chung: First American Born Chinese Woman Physician

The following is a guest post from Meg Metcalf, a reference librarian in the Main Reading Room, currently on detail in the Serial and Government Publications Division. “Margaret Jessie Chung has Aspirations,” the Los Angeles Herald headline read on October 10, 1905. Margaret was a 16-year-old, first-generation Chinese American who was teaching English in the […]

Negro Leagues Baseball Trivia

Only recently have the exploits of Negro Leagues players been officially recognized by Major League Baseball (MLB). These players along with their statistics, records, and teams are now considered Major League. A wrong has finally been righted, so let’s get to know some of these greats and have some fun at the same time with a trivia quiz!

10 Strange Medical Practices from History

What do whale hotels, cat pianos, and malaria pills all have in common? They represent an era when medicine was less of a science and more of an art (for better or for worse). One of the things I do as a reference librarian is answer questions from researchers all over the world. This tends to be rewarding work and sometimes, I even stumble across articles throughout history riddled with fun facts. So today, I’m going to share some stories I’ve found featuring some of the strangest medical (mal)practices of the past few centuries.

Krakatoa: Fire in the Skies

Skies at sunset blazed unearthly shades of chartreuse and crimson throughout the Fall of 1883. Newspapers from around the world reported the eerie phenomenon and described how the strange sight captivated the masses. Public response varied from the dumbfounded, to the delighted, to the dismayed. Years later, scientists finally uncovered the truth behind the anomaly and connected it to the cataclysmic eruption of Krakatoa, a small volcanic island in the Sunda Strait.