Primary Sources

Michael R. McGarvey and Medical Student Activism

6 minutes reading time

The 1960s was known as a time of social upheaval, political protests, and changing cultural norms in the United States. The decade was marked by many movements: the peace movement or anti-war movement, environmental movement, feminist movement, Black and Chicano power movement, sexual liberation, student activism, and a general youth movement. A trend in multi-disciplinary approaches blossomed in this context, including the fields of medicine and health care services.

Hattie Alexander, a Medical Woman Pioneer at CUMC

2 minutes reading time

March is Women's History Month, a good time to recall that though Elizabeth Blackwell - the first woman physician of modern times - obtained her medical degree in 1849, American medicine remained an overwhelmingly male preserve well into the 20th century.  While most U.S. medical schools were co-educational by the 1920s, social expectations and professional resistance retarded the entry of women into medicine and slowed their advancement once they began practicing.

Writing With Light: The Photographic Legacy of Elizabeth Wilcox: An Exhibit from Archives & Special Collections

2 minutes reading time

On the centennial of her birth, Archives & Special Collections at the A.C. Long Health Sciences Library is pleased to share a selection of Elizabeth “Libby” Wilcox's Medical Center photos with the Columbia University Medical Center community.

Archives & Special Collections Receives METRO Grant

2 minutes reading time

Archives & Special Collections has received a Digital Conversion Micro-Grant from METRO, the New York Metropolitan Library Council.  The grant will allow us to complete the digitization of the annual reports of six former or current health care constituents of the Columbia University Medical Center dating from 1920 to the present.


2 minutes reading time

Fifty years ago on November 9, 1965, a massive power failure hit the northeastern United States and the Canadian province of Ontario plunging more than 30 million people into darkness at the start of the evening rush hour.

The Medical Center remained open throughout the crisis, with emergency generators providing limited lighting and allowing one elevator to function.  Medical and nursing personnel remained at their posts overnight, and medical and nursing students volunteered to help. No patients were lost and the ER never closed.