Davenport Hooker was Pitt’s master anatomist. He was also a pack rat. The med school’s Falk Library received a raft of his papers in 1997 (along with the whistle he, in the words of Pitt history of medicine librarian Jonathon Erlen, “used to terrorize medical students during tests”). Among the miscellany was the Pitt Anatomy Snooze, a typewritten newsletter mailed ’round the world from 1943 to 1949.
The Snooze (“Issued Now and Then”) was “an effort to keep all former Pitt medical students, not just anatomists, in the information loop,” Erlen says. Poems, errata, and news about World War II and the roles of Pitt docs in it, fill the now-yellowed pages.
Humor abounds. Even in wartime. The Snooze notes that faculty are no longer bothered by life insurance salesmen because, “one came up here one pay-day and found the place bristling with sub-machine guns.” And student griping, in 1943, was 90 percent Army-related and 10 percent faculty-related, compared to the peacetime figure of “110 percent about the faculty.”
The Snoozes, catalogued in 1999, languished. Until University archivists realized that they hadn’t been scanned and digitized. “This material seemed to be of special value since it’s so ephemeral,” says Ed Galloway, head of the University Library System Archives Service Center. University Archivist Marianne Kasica adds, “We’re trying to identify and put online more materials about Pitt and its involvement in the two world wars. Adding the Snooze was an easy choice.”
To peruse the Snooze, go to documenting.pitt.edu.
—Newsletter courtesy University Archives,
ULS Archives Service Center