Author Biographical Info

The McGovern Historical Center (MHC) is the historical and special collections department for The TMC Library. The MHC maintains rare book and archival collections. Artificial collections have been created to provide access to materials without clear provenance in order to increase discoverability. Soon after his arrival in Houston, Dr. McGovern became one of the Library’s most staunch supporters, annually supplying funds for the purchase of rare books and travel support for the librarians to attend meetings of the American Association for the History of Medicine. In 1977, The Library formed a new department with new quarters to collect historical materials and to enhance the rare book collections. In 1982, Dr. McGovern donated his personal collection of rare and historical books to the Library. In 1996 the Library’s Board of Directors named the historical department in his honor.


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The machine at right in the image below appears to be a Travenol-type artificial kidney. Hemodilaysis machines were invented in the Netherlands in the late 1930’s but weren’t produced commercially until the mid-1950’s. They were originally used to treat acute cases such as mismatched blood transfusions and overdoses, but by the 1960’s had gained acceptance for use in long-term renal disease patients. See more at Centennial Photo Display: 1960’s, Part III, Texas Medical Center (TMC) Photograph Collection,, Texas Medical Center Photograph Collection and its finding aid.


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