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See it all: Three new exhibits about the eye focus on medical illustrations and artifacts

June 2, 2016
Special Collections and Archives

Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences is all about ophthalmology with three new exhibits highlighting medical illustration, vision testing and cataract surgery.

Featured on the first floor in The Gallery is “The Art of Medical Illustration,” 24 illustrations of the human or rabbit eye primarily drawn by Richmond freelance medical illustrator Dorothy Booth (1907-1994). Booth collaborated with Dr. L. Benjamin Sheppard, a Richmond ophthalmologist, to illustrate his research on the anatomical and physiological aspects of eye disease. Most of the illustrations date from the 1950s. Booth’s illustrations are part of the papers of L. Benjamin Sheppard housed in Special Collections and Archives. 

The library’s second floor exhibit showcases various vision testing devices widely used in the first half of the 20th century. An interactive component to the exhibit allows visitors to test for colorblindness and general visual acuity.

Back on the first floor, two cases in the Special Collections and Archives Reading Room are devoted to ophthalmoscopy and surgery. The exhibit includes the fine knives used for cataract surgery, ocular speculum, tonometer and two antique stereoscopes.

“The Eyes Have It” will run until September 15, 2016

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