If you’re planning to be in DC in the next few months, (for instance if you’re going to THATcamp, and should read this information), go see this great-sounding exhibit curated by Mike Sappol.

New Exhibition Opens at NLM…
True crime murder pamphlets in the collection of the National Library of Medicine

The History of Medicine Division (HMD) of the National Library of
Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit, “MOST
HORRIBLE & SHOCKING MURDERS: True crime murder pamphlets in the
collection of the National Library of Medicine.”
It is located in
display cases in the HMD Reading Room, on the first floor of the
National Library of Medicine, Building 38, National Institutes of
Health, Bethesda, Maryland. The exhibit is open Monday through Friday,
8:30am to 5:00pm, and Saturday 8:30am to 2:30pm, through June 15, 2008.

Ever since the mid-1400s, the public’s appetite for tales of shocking
murders-“true crime”-has been one of the most durable facts of the
market for printed material. Murder pamphlets were hawked on street
corners, taverns, coffeehouses, newsstands, and bookshops. Typically,
the pamphlets claimed to be true accounts of a murder, consisting of a
narrative, trial transcript, or written confession of the murderer
before his or her execution. Sometimes they featured medical commentary.
The pamphlets on display in “MOST HORRIBLE & SHOCKING MURDERS” were
printed between 1692 and 1881. Some deal with cases of interest to the
emerging field of forensic medicine. Others deal with cases in which
doctors were accused of-or were victims of-heinous crimes. Still others
have no medical connection whatsoever. Today, murder pamphlets are a
rich source for historians and crime novelists, who mine them to study
the history of medicine, class, gender, the law, the city, religion and
other topics.

The exhibit was curated by Michael Sappol, PhD. For further information
on the exhibit, contact Stephen Greenberg, e-mail greenbes@mail.nih.gov,
phone 301-435-4995.  Due to current security measures at NIH, off-campus
visitors are advised to consult the NIH Visitors and Security website
at:  http://www.nih.gov/about/visitorsecurity.htm