‘The Henkel Physicians: A Family’s Life in Letters’ at the Arizona Health Sciences Library

Monday, July 15, 2013 - 7:00am to Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 7:00pm

The daily lives of men of medicine in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley during the 19th century – their work, social and home lives; their experience of the Civil War and a murder trial – are revealed in “The Henkel Physicians: A Family’s Life in Letters,” a traveling exhibition from the National Library of Medicine atthe Arizona Health Sciences Library, Tucson Campus,1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson, from Monday, July 15 through Saturday, Aug. 24.

After the Henkel family settled in New Market, Va., in 1790, several generations of fathers and sons studied medicine. Over the course of their careers, these physicians ministered to their community, tended to their countrymen on the battlefield and testified in the nation’s courts of law. The letters of the Henkel family richly document the daily life of men in medicine in the 19th century and reveal the challenges, rewards and responsibilities of the profession. 

Covering more than a century, The Henkel Physicians: A Family’s Life in Letters features writings by four members of the Henkel family that vividly illustrate the writer’s personality and their experiences as physicians practicing in the same area. The letters cover local events, professional jealousies, the national crisis of the Civil War and finish with the dramatic testimony of the Henkel physicians in a murder trial.

The exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

The AHS Library, Tucson Campus has supplemented the exhibit with a display of medical instruments and pharmaceuticals used in the 1800s. The medical instruments were selected by Nga Nguyen, senior library specialist, from the Library’s Special Collections. The pharmaceuticals are loaned by Richard Wiedhopf, assistant dean for finance and facilities, UA College of Pharmacy.

Free and open to the public, the exhibit may be viewed Sundays through Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (closing changes to 9 p.m. beginning July 29), and Fridays and Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Please note: There is a parking fee of $1.50 per hour, cash only, Mondays-Fridays, 6 a.m.-9 p.m. (free on Saturdays and Sundays) in The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus Visitor/Patient Parking Garage; the AHS Library, Tucson Campus, is unable to validate parking. The UA 2012 Lot Specific Permit parking lot southwest of the AHS Library, Tucson Campus, on North Cherry Avenue, between East Drachman Street and East Mabel Street, has several metered parking spaces and parking in the lot is free after 5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and all day Saturdays and Sundays. Free parking also is available in nearby UA Zone 1 lots after 5 p.m. Mondays–Fridays and all day Saturdays and Sundays. 

For more information about the exhibit, contact Jeanette Ryan, deputy director, AHS Library, Tucson Campus, 520-626-6143, email jlr@ahsl.arizona.edu

For more information about the Henkel family history and their letters, please visit the AHS Library’s Guide to the Henkel Exhibit.