From Historical Collections & Archives:
This month instead of focusing on a specific book in our rare book collection due to its unique contribution to medical science or its significance in history, this book is unique for its marginalia.
The book is A Manual: Obstetrics by A.F.A. King, MD, published in 1889. The book belonged to Robert L. Miller, MD, who graduated from MCG in 1891. It was not listed as a required textbook for the Medical College of Georgia students in the 1889-1890 annual announcement, therefore it seems Miller obtained the book for his own preference.
Marginalia is defined as the marks made in the margins of a book, but it can include the marks written anywhere inside the book. On the title page of A Manuel: Obstetrics, Miller wrote: “Robt. L. Miller, Nov. 26th 1889, Augusta Ga.” The inside front cover also contains a bookplate stating the book belongs to Miller as well as the library’s former stamp with the accession date June 18, 1936.
According to what appears to be a newspaper article on findagrave.com (no citation for the article is given), Miller was born in Hepzibah and practiced medicine there for a several years before establishing his permanent residence and practice in Waynesboro, Georgia in 1908. Miller passed away on March 31, 1936.
The most interesting marginalia Dr. Miller wrote was “Resolutions & Remarks” on the first blank page of the book, just before the title page. The page is not dated and the marginalia is on both sides of the page. Below is the transcription of Miller’s “Resolutions & Remarks”:
1st I have resolved to give every woman who desires it, cloriform (sic) during a tedious and painful labor.
2nd I will not use Ergos until after the delivery of child.
3rd Every woman who bears children has my deepest sympathy.
4th I will use Quinine in all cases of labor when I possibly can.
5th I will feed all of my lying-in women a liberal, nutritious, and palatable diet.
6th I will not use the bandage on mother or child unless I am forced to do so.
7th I will not hastily use forceps in any case.
8th I will practice anti-septic midwifery.
-Renée Sharrock, Curator
From Special Collections & Institutional Archives:
In the Reese Room, on the second floor of the Reese Library on the Summerville campus, are rare copies of classic works of poetry and prose, such as John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Currently, there are three copies of Paradise Lost in the Reese Room, one of which is contained within a volume of Milton’s Poetical Works, published in 1852. This is the oldest of the three copies.
Last year, an Augusta University student—an English major—was interested in studying Milton’s Paradise Lost and pleased to find that we had three different copies available. Whether an English or History major (or just a curious academic!), we welcome students to make a research appointment to see these valuable books.
– Maranda Christy, Special Collections Assistant
About the Heritage Unit: The University Libraries has a department devoted to the preservation and archival keeping of the campuses’ unique histories. The Historical Collections & Archives (HCA) is located on the 2nd floor of the Greenblatt Library on the Health Sciences campus. Special Collections & Institutional Archives is located on the 3rdfloor of the Reese Library on the Summerville campus.