Archives’ Document of the Week: The Golden Book of Life

The Mount Sinai Archives has in its collection two old volumes called the Golden Book of Life. Volume 1 covers 1870 to 1904 and volume 2 has entries up to 1910, when it sputters to a close.  The volumes were primarily used when visitors came to the Hospital and made donations before leaving. (A "US Grant" from Galena, IL signed the book in 1872, but did not make a contribution.)  Hospitals at that time were much more dependent on outside donations to underwrite their costs.  Charitable groups would often organize events to benefit the Hospital, and the Hospital itself would designate visiting days so the public could come in and witness the good works that were performed within its walls.

Cover close up 100

 Wreath close up 100


The image on the top is the cover of volume 1 of the Golden Book of Life, clearly showing its poor condition and someone's attempted repair with tape. (tsk,tsk)  The other image shows a close-up view of a beautifully caligraphied page dedicated to the Lazarus Morgenthau family and their support of the Hospital through the Hebrew Charity Fair in 1870.  (Click to make the image larger)  The outside portion of the wreath lists the names of Morgenthau's twelve children (two others had died previous to this while very young).  Henry, who's name appears on the right side, served on the Mount Sinai Board of Directors from 1901-1917.  His son, Henry, Jr., joined the Board in 1928 and served for two years.  Many years later, his daughter, Joan Morgenthau, MD, joined our medical staff and founded our Adolescent Health Center, a pioneering and award-winning program that thrives to this day.

New! Sciverse Scopus Database

ScreenHunter_01 Mar. 21 17.01 We're pleased to announce a new addition to our databases list: Sciverse Scopus. Scopus is a large interdisciplinary database that covers the gamut of scholarly publication. It also provides some nice tools to let you see which articles cite the paper that you are looking at, compare the prominence of different journals by looking at citation patterns, and calculate metrics like the h-index. Sounds a lot like Web of Science? Yes! You can do a lot of similar things with the two databases, though they have very different interfaces and search different content. For example:

The Web of Science record for the 1976 article by Raskin and Knittle entitled "Ice-cream headache and orthostatic symptoms in patients with migraine", from the journal Headache, shows that it has been cited by 44 other articles. Finding the record in Scopus for the same article shows only 28 citations. One reason: although you can find articles in Scopus from decades ago, citation information is only included from 1996 onwards. So Web of Science can tell you that N. Bird cited Raskin's article in 1992, but Scopus can't.

It's not only the different citation dates that are different between these two databases though: because they don't index all the same journals, you'll see differences in citation counts even in recent articles. For example, N.M. Pugno's 2007 Journal of Physics – Condensed Matter article, "Towards a Spiderman suit: large invisible cables and self-cleaning releasable superadhesive materials" shows more citations in Web of Science, while A. Taylor's 2006 Academy of Management Journal article "Superman or Fantastic Four? Knowledge and experience in innnovative teams" shows more citations in Scopus.

There are also some articles that you'll only find in one database or the other: only Web of Science can give you citation information for Hume, M (2005) "Unsinkable – Is Loretta Lynn country music's Scarlett O'Hara?" Journal of Country Music 24(2):16-23, while only Scopus can tell you about Ramakrishnan, PA (2004) "'Unsinkable' boat has foam centre" Reinforced Plastics 48(7).

The moral? Try both, and decide which you prefer. If you need citation information from before 1996, Web of Science is the way to go. If you don't, Scopus has an interface that many people find more intuitive, plus a very handy algorithm that helps with those difficult author searches (maybe another blog post on this later!). And, if you want to be as comprehensive as possible in creating a list of who's citing an article, use both, as they'll each give you slightly different results (I'd suggest adding Google Scholar to your search strategy as well!).

As with all our resources, please let us know if you have questions or comments. Happy searching!

Archives Document of the Week: United Ostomy Association programs from the Albert S. Lyons Papers

Dr. Albert S. Lyons was a gastric surgeon at Mount Sinai with a deep interest in patient-centered care. Committed to helping colostomy and ileostomy patients educate themselves and manage their conditions, in 1951 he established the first hospital clinic for ostomates in this country.  From this grew a club formed by the patients to share information and support amongst themselves.  Dr. Lyons and George Schreiber, MD were the medical advisors to this pioneering patient self-help group.  Lyons later served for many years as the medical advisor to the United Ostomy Association (UOA), an umbrella organization that formed to bring together the many local ostomy societies from throughout North America that were modelled on the original New York club.

Dr. Lyon's papers, now in the Mount Sinai Archives, document his extensive activities on behalf of ostomy patients. They include a large file of publications from ostomy societies across the globe and the official publications and internal correspondence of the UOA. During the UOA’s 43 years of existence, it held conventions in a number of major cities at which ostomy patients could meet to discuss their experiences, hear lectures from eminent surgeons and examine the latest ostomy-related medical hardware.

UOA Conference Program 1975          UOA Conference Flyer 1978

Above Left: Program of the 13th Annual United Ostomy Association conference, Toronto, Canada.
Above Right: Flyer for the 16th Annual United Ostomy Association conference, Dallas, Texas.

A lifelong member of the Mount Sinai community, in 1942 Dr. Lyons was one of the first two graduates from the Hospital’s newly established Department of Surgery residency program. He served as president of the Mount Sinai Alumni in 1969-1970 and received its Jacobi Medallion in 1974.  In addition to his work as a practicing surgeon Dr. Lyons was passionately interested in the history of medicine. He spearheaded the creation of the Mount Sinai Archives and was named the first Hospital Archivist in 1966. After his retirement he continued to pursue his historical research, publishing Medicine: An Illustrated History in 1978 and directing the History of Medicine program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He died in 2006.

-Nicholas Webb, Assistant Archivist

Happy MeSH Day! I mean – Match Day!

If you do a lot of PubMed searching, you may have noticed that the MeSH database has gotten an update recently. Remember the old "Send to" drop-down menu to send MeSH terms to PubMed? No? Well, now you don't have to. If you want some tips on using the new interface, take a look at our web guide or our PDF handout, or just read below:

From the drop-down menu that normally says PubMed, pick MeSH, and enter the concept you're looking for:

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Click on the MeSH heading that looks best for more options:

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On this screen you can select any subheadings that are appropriate, or check off Restrict to MeSH major topic. Then, look over on the right for the PubMed Search Builder:
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Click Add to search builder. You can use the Search PubMed button at this point, or repeat the above steps to add more MeSH terms to your search:

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When you've constructed your query, use the Search PubMed button to see your results:

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If you don't get any results, try different search terms. Or, maybe the lack of results is itself significant…

And as always, if you already know a MeSH term, you can use it to search PubMed directly using the [mesh] tag, or [majr] for major MeSH headings. You can even include subheadings, by using a "/". Some more examples:

solanum tuberosum[mesh]

internship and residency[majr]
beer/adverse effects[majr]

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone, and congratulations to our fourth year medical students this Match Day!

The Archives Document of the Week: Nursing Yearbook Drawing, 1947

Recently the Mount Sinai Archives received a lovely gift of several drawings that were created for the 1947 Mount Sinai Hospital School of Nursing yearbook, The Three Arches.  These were a gift of the editor of that edition, alumna Janet Chamberlin White.  The drawing itself was done by Phyllis Mulford (also class of 1947) as one of a series that grace the pages of the yearbook and show what life was like for nursing students shortly after World War II.  This yearbook is just one of an almost complete collection of Mount Sinai nursing yearbooks held by the Archives.

 Nursing yearbook drawing 1947 p10

The scene shown here depicts nursing students relaxing in a dorm room (5 E. 98th Street was then the School of Nursing home).  Included are all the staples of student life in the 1940s:  fuzzy slippers, books, snacks, Pepsi bottles and cigarettes.  The final page of the yearbook shows a nurse wearing Mount Sinai's distinctive nursing cap.  It includes the words of the School song, with the last paragraph reading:

Three years of learning such an art,
That holds a nurse from all apart.
Daily striving, serving needs
To do our best and so succeed.
Among Manhattan's many lights
Mount Sinai's candle burning bright
And to us falls, to guard that flame
Our Alma Mater's fame.

From the Archives: Document of the Week – A Diary by a Mount Sinai Doctor in Casablanca

During World War II many members of the Mount Sinai community served their country as the staff of the U.S. Army’s 3rd General Hospital. After basic training at Camp Rucker in Alabama, they were sent to North Africa in April 1943, where they spent time in Casablanca and eventually established a 1,000-bed hospital in Mateur, Tunisia, with an additional 1,000-bed tent expansion nearby. In May 1944, following the Allied advance up the Italian peninsula, the hospital was relocated to San Leucio, Italy. In December 1944 the hospital was moved to Aix-en-Provence, France, where it would remain for the rest of the war. The hospital staff returned to the United States in September 1945 after having spent three years abroad.


Casablanca - Sketch                        Casablanca - Text

Above Left: Sketch of a Casablanca street scene.
Above Right: Dr. Moloshok describes setting up temporary camp in Casablanca. (click on images to enlarge)


The history and daily activities of the 3rd General Hospital are chronicled in a diary kept by Dr. Ralph Moloshok during his service with the unit. It includes detailed descriptions of everyday life and anecdotes about the many Mount Sinai personalities who served. In addition, it contains numerous color sketches depicting local scenery in the regions where the Hospital was stationed.

At the end of the war Dr. Moloshok returned to New York, where he had a long and distinguished career in pediatrics. He served as head of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology at The Mount Sinai Hospital for over three decades and became Professor of Pediatrics when Mount Sinai School of Medicine was established. He retired from private practice in 1988 and died in 2001. His wartime diary, totaling over 400 typewritten pages, is now held by the Mount Sinai Archives.

More images and records from the 3rd General Hospital are currently on display in the lobby of the Annenberg Building.

Nicholas Webb
Assistant Archivist