Binding Wounds : African Americans in Civil War Medicine

Exhibit Author: 
Jill L. Newmark
National Library of Medicine
Exhibit Start Date: 
Sep 28, 2014 11 PM
Exhibit End Date: 
Nov 8, 2014 (All day)
See Hours on AHSL website
Arizona Health Sciences Library
The Arizona Health Sciences Library announces the arrival of our latest exhibit from the National Library of Medicine, Binding Wounds : African Americans in Civil War Medicine, a six-banner traveling exhibition exploring the African American men and women who served as surgeons and nurses during the American Civil War.  This exhibit was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and curated by Jill L. Newmark. The exhibit will run from September 29-November 8, 2014.
With a nation divided, the American Civil War was a war to preserve the Union.  For African Americans, it was a fight for freedom and a chance for full participation in American society.  Binding Wounds looks at the men and women who served as surgeons and nurses and how their work as medical providers  challenged the prescribed notions of race and gender at the time of the Civil War. As all Americans sought ways to participate and contribute to the war effort for the Union,  African Americans moved beyond the prejudices they faced to serve as soldiers, nurses, surgeons, laundresses, cooks, and laborers. 
African Americans who served as surgeons and nurses for the Union Army found themselves in both new and familiar roles as healers and caretakers.  Surgeons were in positions of authority, which had never occurred in the United States while nurses received paid wages for their work. These men and women came from different backgrounds and life experiences, but their desire to participate in the cause for freedom transcended class, education, and social position.
Exhibit panels focus on African Americans (In Uniform); how the American Civil War served as a (Catalyst for Change)  in America; the role of nurses, both men and women (Nursing the Wounded); Working for Freedom; and the role of the military hospital in providing change and opportunity for African Americans (Within These Walls). 
We hope you will take time to come to the Arizona Health Sciences Library to view Binding Wounds and learn how the Civil War helped to change the lives of African Americans.You may also view the online version of this unique exhibit on the National Library of Medicine website.
Last updated Jan 24, 2015 by Joan Schlimgen