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Feb 13 2013

NCSU Libraries acquires Mitchell Bush Collection on Zoological Health

The North Carolina State University Libraries is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of an important collection related to the study and research of zoological health. The Mitchell (Mitch) Bush Collection contains files related to Dr. Bush’s research, teaching, and extensive work with free ranging and captive wildlife around the world.  Dr. Bush is a leader in the field of modern zoological medicine and has pioneered the development of many major clinical innovations, including safe anesthesia techniques in both captive and free-living non-domestic species.  The Bush collection will be held in the NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center.

“We are ecstatic to have Dr. Bush’s papers and materials to add to our special collections in Zoological Health,” explains Dr. Michael Stoskopf, Professor of Wildlife and Aquatic Health at NC State.  “He is one of the most innovative and creative zoo clinicians I have had the pleasure to work with, and his collection will provide future zoological veterinarians and science historians with valuable insight into his approach to clinical and scientific problems, in addition to documenting the many functional solutions he has established to basic problems in the field.”

“Dr. Bush’s impact on the discipline of Zoological Health is far broader than his own work,” points out Dr. Suzanne Kennedy-Stoskopf, Research Professor of Zoological Health at NC State.  “In many ways he is a founding grandfather of the NC State Zoological Health Programs, having trained two of the founders of our clinical programs.  His efforts in education around the globe have helped to build the discipline to the level of respect and impact it enjoys today.”

Dr. Bush graduated from of the School of Veterinary Medicine at University of California–Davis, and trained as an intern at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston before coming to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.   His interests in comparative medicine and zoological species led to a clinical position at the National Zoological Park, the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., in 1972.  There, he rapidly rose to a leadership role and developed the health services of the institution by revolutionizing clinical management of zoological species through the conduct and publication of pioneering clinical and basic science studies investigating a wide range of important questions.   After 22 years based out of the main zoo facilities in Washington, Dr. Bush assumed the role of chief of veterinary services at the Smithsonian Conservation and Research Center, which allowed him to focus on international conservation health projects around the world.  He maintains faculty status in Comparative Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and is a visiting scientist at Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Dr. Bush has published more than 300 scientific publications on anesthesia, radiology, surgery, and theriogenology of captive and free ranging wildlife.  He established one of the very first clinical training opportunities in zoological medicine in the world; alumni of the clinic hold key positions and contribute to the knowledge of zoological medicine across the country and around the world.   He is a charter diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine and a former president of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

The Mitchell Bush Collection contains research and teaching notes, presentations and materials, journals and publications, correspondence, field studies, research projects, training materials and images documenting medical studies and surgeries of wildlife in national and international settings.

The mission of the NCSU Libraries Zoological Health Collection is to assemble and archive the work of luminaries, pioneers, and leading practitioners in the discipline of zoological health and to make these unique materials available to a wide audience. The NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center holds research and primary resource materials in areas that reflect and support the teaching and research needs of the students, faculty, and researchers at the NC State University. By emphasizing established and emerging areas of excellence at the university and corresponding strengths within the Libraries’ overall collection, the SCRC strategically develops collections with the aim of becoming an indispensable source of information for generations of scholars.