The Care and Feeding of Vesaliana at the UCLA Library

Collecting and Using Five Centuries of Books, Graphic Material, and Ephemera on Human Anatomy
Wednesday, Aug 8, 2018 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Bronze medal of Vesalius (front)

Lecture by Russell Johnson

The lecture will take place in the GSEIS Building (next to Charles E. Young Research Library), Room 111, UCLA
Reception to follow in the Information Studies Salon (2nd floor), sponsored by the Southern California Chapter of ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America)

Fabrica Vasalius 1944A medical recipe for success: Take (as a gift) one classic, monumental work on human anatomy—De humani corporis fabrica by Andreas Vesalius (1543). Add editions and related works to taste. Check your pantry/shelves and discover ingredients you never knew you had. Fortify with fresh spices—ephemera, medals, children’s books. Keep the mix simmering, readily available for use. Lift the lid, open a window, attract a crowd. Serves many. 

Back of Bronze medal of Vesalius Russell Johnson grew up hauling U.S. postal history books, manuscripts, and ephemera for his collector/part-time-dealer father, outside Boston. His first library job was at Bowdoin, a small, almost mythical liberal arts college somewhere on the coast of Maine. He transitioned from graduate work in behavioral neuroscience to library school at UCLA. After playing on the cataloging team for the Children’s Book Collection, he was drafted by UCLA’s biomedical special collections unit (now part of Library Special Collections) where, today, he is Curator for History of Medicine and the Sciences.