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Posts tagged: zoological health

Apr 12 2017

Guides to Two New Veterinary Medicine Collections Published

Blog post contributed by Jessica Serrao and Taylor de Klerk, Library Associates

NC State University boasts a top ranked College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Special Collections Research Center is excited to improve access to two collections that highlight the university’s emphasis on veterinary education and research. The Gregory A. Lewbart Papers and the William Medway Papers now have new online finding aids to help you navigate the professional and research files of these two prominent veterinarians.

Gregory Lewbart is a veterinarian of aquatic animals and terrestrial invertebrates and reptiles. His research interests include zoological medicine, infectious diseases, and public health. Lewbart joined the faculty of the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) as Professor of Aquatic Animal Medicine in 1993. In 2016, he became the Assistant Department Head for the CVM’s Department of Clinical Sciences.

In 2012, Lewbart received the “William Medway Award for Excellence in Teaching” from the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine (IAAAM). Medway, a founding member and former president of IAAAM, was an influential researcher and instructor in veterinary clinical pathology and aquatic mammal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Throughout his career, Dr. Medway contributed influential veterinary research on dolphins, manatees, and whales. Lewbart studied under Medway while at Penn as a veterinary student of marine mammal medicine.

The Gregory A. Lewbart Papers is mostly comprised of materials from his time at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and his work and leadership in the national and international veterinary community. Some material pertains to his education at the University of Pennsylvania and prior work experience in Florida.

The William Medway Papers includes photographic slides, veterinary clinical reports, administrative documentation from the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine (IAAAM), and publications by Medway (as an individual and as a collaborator with other veterinary professionals). Dr. Medway was a founding member of IAAAM and served as its president from 1974 until 1975. IAAAM is a society of professionals and students focusing on aquatic animal medicine. Dr. Lewbart is also actively involved in IAAAM, and he served as its president in the mid-1990s. His collection contains materials from sixteen of their annual conferences, administrative organizational papers, and newsletters.

A significant portion of Lewbart’s collection is clinical case files. These files are organized according to his original numbering scheme that is based on the year in which the case opened, and then numbered consecutively by occurrence (ex: 1999-005, 1999-006, 1999-007). There are records for hundreds of patients, most of which include diagnoses, reports, clinical instructions, and other documentation. One fun aspect of processing this collection was seeing the unique animal names in these files. For example, Dr. Lewbart treated a yellow-bellied slider named “Dragster,” a goldfish named “Tulip,” a loggerhead turtle named “Stumpy,” a salamander named “Doo Doo,” and an iguana named “Piggy.”

Many of the clinical case files have corresponding photographs as visual documentation of the medical procedures. These photos (in both Lewbart’s and Medway’s collections) are not for the squeamish, including a significant number of photos in both collections from their research activities. Among other things, Dr. Lewbart conducted research on algal infections in horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) and there is a large quantity of photos of microscope slides that show the evolution of different infections.

Additionally, Lewbart has a special interest in turtles, and is a faculty advisor for CVM’s Turtle Rescue Team. The team is part of the Wildlife, Avian, Aquatic, and Zoological Medicine student organization and it aims to release healthy and rehabilitated turtles into the wild after providing medical, surgical, and/or husbandry services. Education about wildlife and ecosystems is also one of the organization’s main goals. Their papers are housed in University Archives; more information can be found in the team’s finding aid.

For more information about the Gregory A. Lewbart Papers and the William Medway Papers, please consult the collection guides online. To learn more about finding and using archival collections at NCSU, please visit our website. You can also search directly within our collection guides or browse a list of our collections for more. If you have any questions about how to find or use the collections, as always, contact us! We are here to help you find what you need.


“Dr. William Medway Honored,” Bellwether Magazine 1, no. 31 (Summer/Fall 1991), Accessed 3 April 2017.

Sam H. Ridgway, “History of Veterinary Medicine and Marine Mammals: A Personal Perspective,” Aquatic Mammals 34, no. 3 (2008): 471-513, accessed 3 April 2017,

May 15 2015

Special Collections exhibit at Vet Med features items documenting the diversity of pathology work in the twentieth century

An exhibit case featuring materials from the Special Collections Research Center welcomes visitors this summer at the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Library of Veterinary Medicine.  The exhibit showcases the diversity of pathology work in the twentieth century, from research to practice to service. Items from three different collections are featured. This item, shown below, is from the Milton M. Leonard Papers; it lists a veterinarian’s fee schedule (relating to dog hospitalization) from approximately 1950. Several other items in the exhibit, not pictured here, show the fee schedules of veterinary services (including pathology procedures) in the 1950s.

Dr. Milton Leonard opened a veterinary practice in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1914, and was awarded the Distinguished Veterinarian Award by the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association (NCVMA) in 1978. The collection also includes Dr. Leonard’s research files, research papers, and various other items he collected during his career, such as medical brochures and catalogs.

The Edward J. Noga Papers are also featured in the exhibit. Dr. Noga was Professor of Aquatic Medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Professor of Zoology. Dr. Noga’s main research interests were infectious diseases in fish and shellfish, with a focus on immune mechanisms and how these are affected by environmental stressors and toxins. Pathological explorations, especially necropsies of fish, were integral to Dr. Noga’s work. Included in the exhibit is an example of a clinical pathology datasheet from the red-sore project Dr. Noga conducted in the 1980s.

Finally, one item from the Animal Rights and Animal Welfare Pamphlets is featured; this collection was written about in a press release also published in our blog.

For more information about items in Special Collections relating to Veterinary Medicine and Zoological Health, please go to: and

Apr 06 2015

Collection Surprises

By Rachel Jacobson and Rose Buchanan

Floppy disks from the Raymond LeRoy Murray Papers

For processors of archival collections, it becomes second nature to look for groups of similar records produced as a result of the collection creator’s activities. When organizing collections, it is not unusual to come across materials other than paper documents. There may be relics of the past discovered amongst the files. For example, an odd floppy disk or VHS tape may turn up every now and again. Some artifacts may be a bit more unusual.

In a Special Collections Research Center with a broad collecting scope, one must be prepared to discover an occasional strange artifact. Recently, two peculiar artifacts have been discovered here at NCSU. One of the artifacts was a bit jarring while the other brightens up the collection it is a part of by contributing to the collection’s uniqueness. The jarring artifact was found as part of an addition to a collection that was already established, the James F. Wright Papers.

The unexpected artifact brings two questions to a processor’s mind. One, in which part of the collection could this artifact fit? Two, how should one store potentially hazardous materials? Answering these questions is all in a day’s work at the Special Collection Research Center. As this collection only has one series and materials are being arranged in the order they were received, the answer to the first question was not as complicated as it could have been. However, because such materials may be dangerous, it was decided that the tranquilizer gun should be held under restricted use for researchers’ safety.

Marble made from borosilicate glass, a nuclear waste storage material

Other unexpected artifacts, however, are safe to use and in fact add a sense of quirkiness to a collection. This was the case with the Raymond LeRoy Murray Papers. Dr. Murray was a physics professor at NCSU in the Nuclear Engineering program and was a key figure in establishing the University’s nuclear reactor, the first reactor operated on a college campus. While arranging his papers, processors came across a small marble made from borosilicate glass. As the card accompanying the marble said, “This nonradioactive marble is made with glass from a full-sized glass melter developed especially for defense nuclear waste.”

A quirky artifact indeed! While the marble does not pose a safety risk like the tranquilizer gun, processors still had to determine where the marble would best fit in the collection. Since the marble was discovered in a folder of “souvenirs” that Dr. Murray kept from his time in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, the processors decided to include the marble with teaching materials, rather than place it with reactor material which may fit more closely with research. This decision was made in part because of the artifact’s provenance. As the artifact was found in a previously sorted carton filled with teaching related documents, it seemed the logical choice to keep the artifact in the same series with the material stored near to it. Perhaps Dr. Murray picked the marble up during a visit to a nuclear waste disposal facility and later showed it to his students. Or Dr. Murray and others in the Department of Nuclear Engineering may have given prospective students each a marble as a “souvenir” of their visit to the University.  Either way, researchers may view this artifact, and other interesting finds, by contacting the Special Collections Research Center.

Jan 05 2015

Think Like a Veterinarian…

By Rachel Jacobson and Rose Buchanan, Library Associates at the Special Collections Research Center

As archivists, our primary goal is to make historical records accessible to researchers and the general public. Whether we are selecting a collection for long-term retention or writing a collection description, we must remember that different people will use collections in different ways and for different purposes. Part of our job is to think like a researcher: to envision how researchers might use collections, and to arrange and describe collections in ways that make sense for those audiences.

Dr. Richard Montali with a Burmese Python, circa 1982

At times, thinking like a researcher is easier said than done. For example, many of us have a background in the humanities, but are often responsible for arranging scientific collections. In such circumstances, we can find it difficult to decipher which topics or materials might spark the interest of or be important to someone from a different discipline. By conducting additional research about the donor or creator of a collection, and consulting with people knowledgeable about the topic or materials, however, we can learn to “think like a veterinarian.”

We are currently processing a zoological health collection for the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). The Richard Montali Papers is a collection that focuses on a veterinary pathologist, Dr. Richard Montali. He was an active member of many veterinary and zoological organizations, and was formerly the chief pathologist at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C.; later, he served on the faculty at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Montali’s papers are of particular interest to students and faculty at N.C. State’s College of Veterinary Medicine because they contain research on infectious diseases in elephants, giant pandas, and New World primates, among others.

Dr. Richard Montali with a Tawny Frogmouth, 2004

With limited background knowledge about veterinary medicine or pathology, we faced a significant challenge in making Montali’s papers accessible to interested faculty and students. We had to ask ourselves a number of questions from the perspective of these potential researchers. Ultimately, it became clear that the most helpful way to organize the collection would be by animal or disease type and by zoological, wildlife, or veterinary organization or publication. Even this decision, which may seem simple enough, presented some problems when putting the collection guide together. For example, when we saw a name such as the tawny frogmouth, it was tempting to place documents about this animal with the amphibians. However, we discovered (with a little help from Google) that the tawny frogmouth is not actually a brown frog, but a brown nocturnal bird from Australia. Montali’s research on this creature would fit intellectually with other avian records, not with amphibian records.

Another challenging task came when we were confronted with medical slides, materials not commonly encountered in the SCRC. For archivists without a scientific background, the slides were difficult to interpret, particularly when they did not have accompanying documentation. For instance, was it possible to tell from which animal the slides simply labeled, “Ovary” or “Liver,” came? Perhaps not for an archivist just delving into veterinary records for the first time, but a veterinarian or a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) student will see these slides differently and the slides could prove to be invaluable to their research.

Therefore, from the earliest processing decision to the final arrangement and description, we had to determine the best way to organize Montali’s papers and appropriately add the slides to the finding aid. In the course of our work, we tried to think like veterinary researchers, anticipate researchers’ needs, and conduct a little of our own research in the process. The results of our efforts will appear in a new collection guide to be published on the web this month.

Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information on the Richard Montali Papers. Please also visit the SCRC’s website for more information on our zoological health collecting initiative.

Jan 13 2014

Arranging, Describing and Preserving Photographic Slides

This post was contributed by Meaghan Lanier, Library Associate, Special Collections Research Center.

My coworker, Sarah Breen, and I recently finished arranging and describing the Mitchell Bush Papers (MC 00467). Sarah posted a brief description of the collection on December 2 (, soon after we published the collection guide on the web (

Dr. Mitchell Bush is a leader in the field of modern zoological medicine focused on pioneering studies and clinical practice in zoological and comparative medicine. His collection is a large one (105 boxes occupying 55.25 linear feet of shelf space), and there are many slides included, some of them accompanied by lecture notes. Many of these slides were used in Bush’s pathology as well as to show a record of his procedures and how they were performed. Now slides are being replaced with digital files, but the work of the past still matters for the present and the future, so these slides need to be preserved for future students of zoology and related fields.

When the collection arrived at NCSU, there were about 35 binders filled with slides and some additional slides in individual sheets and boxes. As you can see in the picture below, many of the binders were old, dusty and falling apart.

Binder pages were cloudy and sticky.

Slides were removed from these binders.

Inside the binders the slides were sheets with pockets holding slides. Many of the sheets were sticky and cloudy.

Pages after slides were removed.

In order to preserve the slides, we needed to remove them from these sheets and these binders. With cotton gloves on my hands, I removed the slides, one by one, keeping them in order and facing the correct way. I placed them in slide boxes with tabs separating the slides that came from each binder. Everywhere that slides or groups of slides could be identified they were separated with a tab. These slide boxes as well as the tabs are made with archival material, which means they will not cause the slides to deteriorate, especially when they are also housed in a climate controlled environment, such as the NCSU Libraries’ Satellite Shelving Facility.

Below you can see that six slide boxes fit into a flat box.

Slides filed in order in acid-free boxes.

Six slideboxes stored in each flat box.

In the end, the slides occupied seven flat boxes, each with six slide boxes in it. I estimated that there are now 6,000 slides rehoused, safely stored and available to researchers interested in zoological medicine.

Dec 02 2013

New Zoological Health Finding Aid

This post is contributed by Sarah Breen, Library Associate, Special Collections Research Center.

Baby sloth

A new finding aid for the Mitchell Bush Papers ( on veterinary medicine has recently been released. Dr. Mitchell Bush is a leader in the field of modern zoological medicine. He began his career working for the National Zoological Park at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. in 1972. Beginning in 1994 he served as the Chief of Veterinary Services at the Smithsonian Conservation and Research Center. He holds a position as an assistant professor in the Department of Comparative Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Medical School and is a visiting scientist at Kruger National Park in South Africa. He graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis in 1965.

This collection contains research and teaching notes, presentations and materials, journals and publications, correspondence, field studies, field notes, research projects, training materials, anesthesia records, digital media such as floppy disks, CD-ROMS and zip disks and film strips, videotapes and 35mm slides documenting medical studies, surgeries and wildlife in national and international settings.

This collection spanning Dr. Bush’s as a pioneer of clinical practice and comparative medicine in zoological settings serves as a valuable resource to the veterinary medicine community.
The finding aid to the collection can be viewed here ( If you have any questions, please contact the Special Collections Research Center(