From the Archives: Hospital Smoking Regulations, 1956

Today we take for granted that tobacco smoking poses serious health risks and is a major cause of lung cancer and other dangerous conditions. The idea of a doctor, nurse or other hospital employee lighting up a cigarette while at work seems hard to imagine. But as fans of the TV series Mad Men know, the middle decades of the twentieth century were a different time.

The Archives recently uncovered a pair of documents describing smoking regulations at The Mount Sinai Hospital in 1956. (They were found in the Dr. Albert Lyons Papers; Dr. Lyons had used the back of each page as scrap paper.) In October 1956, the Hospital issued an Administrative Circular outlining where tobacco could and could not be smoked in the Hospital. Although smoking was prohibited in patient areas, elevators and corridors, it was permitted in the Cafeteria and Coffee Shop, as well as in washrooms, locker rooms and the employee smoking lounges located at various locations in the Hospital. At the discretion of department heads, smoking was also permitted in laboratories and offices so long as they did not receive patients or outside visitors.

A week later, Hospital Director Dr. Martin Steinberg sent a memorandum to the medical staff reiterating the policy and asking that they take the lead in setting a good example for hospital employees. He again included a list of places where it was permissible to smoke. This time the list included the Jacobi Library, predecessor of today’s Gustave L. & Janet W. Levy Library! Library patrons are advised that this policy is no longer in effect.

Administrative Circular 7-56 - 10-26-1956 - Hospital-Wide Regulations Concerning Smoking Smoking Regulations Memo 11-01-1956

Above Left: Administrative Circular #7-56, October 26, 1956.

Above Right: Memorandum to Medical Staff, November 1, 1956.

New Links to full text of Mount Sinai Dissertations in Library Catalog!

Recently we added links to full text in many catalog records for our dissertations and theses. Currently full text access is via the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database from 1996 to the present.

To find Mount Sinai dissertations and theses in the Levy Library, just search for the subject string, "Dissertations, Academic as Topic New York City."

Why did the Levy Library bother with these links when I can search for dissertations in ProQuest?

If you are looking for Mount Sinai dissertations and are not limited to recent dissertations, then searching the Levy Library catalog is actually easier and produces better results than searching ProQuest. Conducting a search in ProQuest for dissertations and theses completed by Mount Sinai students before the year 2000 can be confusing and difficult because the official school name on degrees and dissertations has changed over the years.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine started offering classes in 1968. From our inception through July 1999, our degrees were granted by the “Mount Sinai School of Medicine of The City University of New York.”  But the institution listed on the title page of those dissertations is just the City University of New York. All of the Mount Sinai dissertations from this time period are listed in the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database under City University of New York with no reference to Mount Sinai. There is no way to distinguish the Mount Sinai dissertations from other City University of New York dissertations in ProQuest. If you search in ProQuest for “Mount Sinai School of Medicine” as the school name, you won’t retrieve any dissertations or theses before 1999. You must already know the title or author of these Mount Sinai dissertations in order to find them in ProQuest.

From mid 1999 until late 2010, Mount Sinai degrees were granted by “Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University.” Current degrees are awarded solely by “Mount Sinai School of Medicine” without a joint institution. Searching for dissertations in ProQuest from mid 1999 to the present is much easier since using “Mount Sinai School of Medicine” as the institution will retrieve both the “Mount Sinai School of Medicine” dissertations and the “Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University” dissertations.

Generally speaking, searching the Levy Library catalog is a more effective way to locate Mount Sinai dissertations and theses and now the catalog links directly to the full text when it’s available.

Labor Day Holiday Hours

Levy Library will be open on Monday, September 5 from 10 AM to 5:50 PM. Circulation Services and the Levy Library Computing Help Desk will be available.

From the Archives: Art at Mount Sinai

The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York is a private institution with many public spaces.  Over the years, Mount Sinai has acquired, through donation and purchase, art to add vitality and interest to these public areas.  The reasons for this are many. A hospital is a place of science and fact, but it has long been thought that people who are ill or under stress do better when exposed to beauty.  Mount Sinai is also a busy place with thousands of employees, medical staff and visitors spending time at the institution.  It is of benefit to these groups to have visually stimulating artwork around the Medical Center.  And, in a larger sense, Mount Sinai is also a part of the urban landscape that is New York City.  These artworks help define Mount Sinai’s physical space as a landmark in the City.  Here is a quick look at one of those artworks found at Mount Sinai.


ArtEastbldgsculpture small
“Gene Segment”
Artist: Ivan Chermayeff (1932-)
Location:  Outside the Carl Icahn Medical Institute Building, Madison Ave. at 98th St.
Date:  1998

As noted in the January 5, 1998 issue of Inside Mount Sinai:

This piece…is an artistic representation and symbol of the cutting-edge research and exploration taking place in the building’s laboratories and across our campus.  Consisting of orange-colored steel and aluminum forms revolving and rising 28 feet, it is animated by spiraling, mirrored surfaces that reflect the changing seasons, clouds, and people walking by against the background of Mount Sinai’s newest Building.  
The artist, Ivan Chermayeff, is a principal and founder of the New York design firm, Chermayeff and Geismar Inc. The firm is known for many designs, including the iconic number 9, at 9 West 57 Street in New York and the logo for the Chase Manhattan Bank. Chermayeff studied at Harvard University, the Chicago Institute of Design and graduated from Yale University School of Art and Architecture.  He is an honored member of many professional associations, including the Industrial Designers Society of America and the Alliance Graphique Internationale.  Chermayeff has received many honors and awards for his design work.

This information is taken from Niss, Barbara J., “Art at Mount Sinai,” The Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, v. 72, n. 6, November 2005, p. 413-17.  To learn more about major art pieces at Mount Sinai, come to the Levy Library, pull out the Journal and enjoy!

Expanded Subscription to JoVE!

Jove Good news!  Due to popular demand, the Levy Library has expanded its subscription to the Journal of Visualized Experiments to cover all content.  We originally subscribed to all of JoVE, but shortly after our subscription started the publisher split the journal into multiple subject areas, each at an additional cost.

Now, thanks to the Levy Library's collaboration with New York University and the NYU Health Sciences Libraries, we are able to offer access to all of the content from JoVE.  To get to this journal either go through the Levy Library E-Journals Page or search PubMed through the Levy Library homepage, then follow the blue Levy Library MSSM button to get to the full text and videos. 

The Journal of Visualized Experiments now includes a general section as well as sections on Neuroscience, Immunology & Infection, CLinical and Translational Medicine, Bioengineering, and Basic Protocols.