From the Archives: New “Computing at Mount Sinai” Exhibit

The latest quarterly exhibits from the collections of the Mount Sinai Archives are now on display in the Annenberg elevator lobby. This spring, the main exhibit focuses on the history of computing at Mount Sinai, from the mainframe era of the 1960s to the modern era of ubiquitous devices and Big Data. Did you know that in 1965 Mount Sinai was the first hospital in the world, and the first institution of any kind in New York City, to purchase IBM’s state-of-the-art System/360 mainframe computer? This is just one of many computing milestones celebrated by this season’s exhibit.


[Pictured: Dr. John Boland of the Department of Radiation Oncology and Dr. Jack Hahn of the Laboratory of Computer Science inspect a computer terminal, 1974.]

The spring Nursing exhibit, underneath the stairs to the Stern Auditorium, celebrates the life of Florence Nightingale, whose birthday is the reason Nurses’ Week is held annually in mid-May. Two original volumes of Nightingale’s work are on display, including a copy of Notes on Hospitals which belonged to Dr. S.S. Goldwater, Director of the Hospital from 1903 to 1929. The volumes will be opened to a different page every few weeks so that viewers can inspect a wide sample of Nightingale’s pioneering work.

Mount Sinai Historical Publications Available Online

The Icahn School of Medicine Internet Archive collection page

The Mount Sinai Archives of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is very happy to announce that 65 volumes of Mount Sinai related publications are now available on the Internet Archive (https://archive.org/details/mountsinaiarchives). These volumes represent 111 separate publications across eight discrete titles and total over 18,000 pages. They were scanned through the support of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO.) The bulk of the collection consists of the Annual Reports of The Mount Sinai Hospital and its predecessor organization (until 1866), the Jews’ Hospital in the City of New York. These Reports date from 1856-1956 with some gaps in the early years. The collection also includes the complete five volume set of The Mount Sinai Hospital Reports, 1898-1906, the Report of The Mount Sinai Training School for Nurses from 1881-1911, and the Rules and Regulations for the Government of The Mount Sinai Hospital of the City of New York from 1899-1919. Two previously published histories of The Mount Sinai Hospital are also being made available: The Story of the First Fifty Years of The Mount Sinai Hospital (Mount Sinai Hospital, 1944) and The First Hundred Years of The Mount Sinai Hospital of New York, 1852-1952 by Joseph Hirsh and Beka Doherty (Random House, 1952).

Taken together, these volumes are a wonderful resource for information on the development of hospitals and healthcare during the 19th and early 20th centuries. As such, they have been added to the Medical Heritage Library, a collaborative project that promotes open access to medical history resources. The Annual Reports also provide insight into the Jewish community of New York City during this time, including names and addresses of the Hospital’s supporters.

Our thanks to METRO for their support of this project. Please let us know if you have any questions or need additional information about these or other Mount Sinai records.

The Carl A. and Belle O. Morse Conference Room

Many people have attended meetings in the Levy Library conference room, 11-28, but few could tell you whose generosity made that room possible. One reason for this would be that the plaque outside the room was old and easily overlooked. We have now taken steps to correct this. A new plaque has been put in place next to the door to recognize Carl and Belle Morse, who donated the funds to establish that room. Mr. and Mrs. Morse were significant donors that helped with the creation of what is today the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. When offered the choice of a facility that would bear their name into the future, they chose a room in the Levy Library, the academic center of the School. It is only right that we remember their generosity and honor them with a new plaque.