Posts by: Sia Samiean

Jane NatchesPlease help us in congratulating Jane Natches as the new Head of Collections Management at the Hirsh Health Sciences Library.

For the past few years, Jane has been an invaluable part of technical services at HHSL in her role as E-Resources and Serials Librarian. With the retirement of Fran Foret, Jane has accepted the position of Head of Collections Management, effective today, July 1st, 2021.

Congratulations, Jane!

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Photo of Fran Foret

It is with mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of Frances Burke Foret, Head of Collections Management at the Hirsh Health Sciences Library. Fran has been managing our collections since 2002, during which time she has overseen the transition of our monographs and journals from exclusively print to almost entirely electronic. Her numerous contributions and dedication to the Tufts community has left a lasting impression. This is a bittersweet farewell.

“Fran has been such an integral part of the fabric of the Hirsh Health Sciences Library that it is hard to express how much she will be missed – her wonderful sense of humor, her institutional and historical knowledge of the collection, her remarkable wisdom, and most of all her wonderful friendship we have all been lucky enough to share over these past years. Please join us in wishing her all the best as she embarks on this new chapter.” ~Debra Berlanstein, Associate Director


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Cover of the Diversity Promise

You now have complete access to the NEW Diversity & Culture in Healthcare eBook Collection from OVID! HHSL’s acquisition of this eBook collection was funded by the Hirsh family.

Issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in healthcare are of utmost importance —This valuable collection contains the below titles in support of this key area of medical education and practice, to allow for well-informed, culturally sensitive healthcare:

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Print journals on 4th floor of the library

As you may have noticed, the print journal selection on the 4th floor of the library has not been updated during lockdown and is looking pretty sad. Normally, this is were you would find the journals that we currently have subscriptions to in print, with the latest issues on display.

The 2020 issues of these journals will be processed and moved directly to the 7th floor stacks in the coming months. Note that all of these titles are available to you electronically.

As we get back into the swing of things (hopefully sooner than later), we will begin updating the print selection regularly on the 4th floor. But with limited staffing hours, this will be a slower process than usual.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to the library staff for assistance in locating any of the journals that you would normally find displayed on the 4th floor. Thank you!

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Noruz celebration

Spring is just around the corner and the first day of spring, March 20th, is also the Persian New Year, Noruz! This year, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston is holding their annual Noruz celebration virtually on March 22nd from 7-8pm. Information about the event can be found here.

In Farsi, no’ means new and ruz (rooz) means day, so Noruz translates to a New Day. Noruz is an ancient celebration that dates back over three thousand years. Although the festivities are secular, and celebrated around the world by Parsis, Persian Jews, Christians, Baha’is, and Muslims, Noruz is rooted in the traditions of Zoroastrianism.

One example of its Zoroastrian origins is Chaharshanbe Suri, a bonfire celebration which takes place on the last Wednesday (Chaharshanbe) before Noruz (March 17th). During the festivities, people jump through small bonfires as an act of purification for the new year. The fire is a central symbol in Zoroastrian tradition, and represents Ahura Mazda or the God of Light, signifying wisdom and purity.

Chaharshanbe Suri

The Noruz table setting, Haft-seen, is also laid out in every household. Each element is symbolic, such as the hyacinth representing spring, and sprouts representing rebirth. Below is the Obama family haft-seen at the White House in 2016:

Obama halft-seen

Noruz is an international holiday and is now celebrated around the world; including Iran, U.S., Canada, France, Netherlands, Georgia, Albania, Azerbaijan, Kurdistan (in Iraq, Turkey, and Syria), Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Russia, and China.

If you are interested in learning more about Noruz, below are two articles and a guide on its history and traditions:

What is Nowruz? The Persian New Year Explained

Nowruz: Celebrating the New Year on the Silk Road

Celebrating Nowruz

Happy Spring! And Noruz Mobarak!

نوروز مبارک

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Anti-racism reading group announcement


After the success of Hirsh’s first Anti-Racism Reading Group session held in October last fall, we will be hosting a second session on Friday, February 19th from 12pm – 1pm! We were very excited to see so many participants and look forward to another great discussion!

During this session, there will only be one reading, which you can access at this link. We hope this reading will facilitate a discussion on how structural racism contributes to health disparities in communities of color.

Community guidelines will remain the same as the last session’s guidelines. However, as always, please feel free to reach out if you would like to add other guidelines!

Please follow this link to register for the event. We look forward to seeing everyone within the Tufts community join us in our second session regardless of your field or title!



Research & Instruction Librarian

Book Cover—1820-9780190053253?cc=us&lang=en&

A recent and notable addition to our collection is this book of medical history, written and gifted to the library by Dr. Richard J. Kahn, graduate of Tufts Medical School, m1966. Dr. Kahn has also been professor to Tufts students for most of 50 years, now through the Tufts/Maine Medical program. Below he provides a summary of the book and its contents:

Diseases in the District of Maine 1772 to 1820: The Unpublished Work of Jeremiah Barker, a Rural Physician in New England

“This is the story of a lost manuscript, an unpublished book written 200 years ago by a rural New England physician, who lived and practiced in Gorham and Portland, ME.  It will be an important new primary source for medical history, research, and teaching for scholars and will also be of interest to general readers for, as Barker wrote on title page, it was ‘Written so as to be intelligible to those who are destitute of Medical Science.’ My introductory chapters have kept Barker’s goal, to be accessible to the general reader, in mind.

The Jeremiah Barker Papers consist of two manuscript boxes containing letters, casebooks, and several texts with marginalia by Barker, in addition to his unpublished manuscript. It is a fifty-year record of his reflections on diseases, epidemics, diagnoses, treatments, and outcomes, with an unusual effort to consult and cite the medical literature and other physicians in a changing medical landscape, as practice and authority shifted from historical to scientific methods.  In short, it is a remarkable record of medicine as practiced in northern New England over 200 years ago, during the shift of medical authority from Hippocrates and Galen to the beginnings of the scientific method.

The publication of Barker’s manuscript, fully annotated, includes my five-chapter introduction, that is a sketch of Barker’s background, education, and writings, the difficulty in obtaining the medical literature through books, journals, newspapers, and the post, and a chapter contextualizing the changing medical climate as science supplanted the words of Hippocrates and Galen. One chapter examines Barker as a ‘dangerous innovator’ experimenting with the new chemistry of Lavoisier. The final chapter suggests ways for the general reader to approach a 200-year-old manuscript, avoiding ‘presentism,’ the post hoc fallacy, and confirmation bias. A glossary will define and explain terms and medications not commonly used in the 21st century.”

You can find Diseases in the District of Maine 1772 to 1820 on the 4th floor of the library at the New Books display.

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Screenshot of Access Physiotherapy website

You now have full access to the following two physiotherapy collections from McGraw-Hill Medical: the AccessPhysiotherapy and F.A. Davis PT Collection. These collections include clinical textbooks, cases, and review preps:

“AccessPhysiotherapy (APT) is an online medical resource that provides students with the tools they need to excel in basic and advanced studies and crucial test prep. APT provides students and residents with interactive content, self-assessment, and leading medical texts to enhance decision-making at the point-of-care. It allows for practicing physical therapists to brush up on their medical knowledge to ensure best patient outcomes.”


Screenshot of F.A. Davis Physiotherapy collection

“The F.A. Davis PT Collection on AccessPhysiotherapy is the most comprehensive digital subscription product on the market for educators and physical therapy students. This partnership between F.A. Davis and McGraw-Hill Education brings you a comprehensive online PT resource that covers the entire spectrum of physical therapy–for viewing on any device.”

New England Journal of Medicine Race and Medicine webpage


The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has recently created a topic page which highlights select articles dealing with race and medicine. The articles have been pulled together with the hope of improving research, public health, patient care and professional training:

“The Race and Medicine collection reflects NEJM’s commitment to understanding and combating racism as a public health and human rights crisis. Our commitment to antiracism includes efforts to educate the medical community about systemic racism, to support Black and other minority physicians and aspiring physicians, and ultimately to improve the care and lives of Black and other minority patients” (NEJM, 2020, para. 1).

Additionally, the NEJM is cosponsoring four webinars in the virtual series, The Impact of Skin Color and Ethnicity on Clinical Diagnosis and Research, which will run from October 28–December 2. The topic of the first webinar is Structural Racism and Racial Bias in Medicine, and will take place on Wednesday, October 28 from 1:00-2:15 PM ET. Registration is available here.

Race and Medicine webinar

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PLEASE be mindful to not leave library books in study rooms, study carrels, and on tables/chairs. We ask that you place them on one of the many book-trucks at the end of the aisles. And no matter how tempted you are to re-shelve a book after you are done using it, putting it on the nearest book-truck for one of our stack assistants to re-shelve will ensure that they are correctly re-shelved by their call-numbers for future use. THANK YOU!

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