• American Academy of Ophthalmology Receives Collection of Influential Ophthalmic Educational Materials from 16th – 19th Centuries

    Museum of Vision's latest acquisition is lasting monument to early pioneers of ocular science, Georg Bartisch, Johann Gottfried Zinn, Georg Joseph von Beer and Hermann von Helmholtz

    Illustration of a man reading from Georg Bartisch's 1583 publication.SAN FRANCISCO — The American Academy of Ophthalmology is pleased to announce that its Museum of Vision, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, has acquired the Spencer E. Sherman, M.D. Antique Ophthalmology Book Collection. This collection consists of more than 130 rare books and catalogs, representing some of the oldest and most important texts ever published in ophthalmology.  

    The Sherman Collection includes:

    • "Ophthalmodouleia: Das ist Augendienst" ("That is the Service of the Eye") by Georg Bartisch, 1583 – Considered the first systematic work on ocular disease and ophthalmic surgery as well as the first ophthalmic atlas, this book includes 92 full-page woodcuts depicting eye disease, surgical methodology and instrumentation.[1] Many illustrations use an overlay technique which enables the reader to "dissect" parts of the head or eye by lifting up successive flaps.[2]
    • "Descripto Anatomica Oculi Humane Iconibus Illustrata" ("Illustrated Anatomical Description of the Human Eye") by Johann Gottfried Zinn, 1755 – This text is the first to comprehensively detail the anatomy of the eye. Its author is most famous for naming structures such as the Zonule of Zinn (the lens' suspensory ligament) and for being the namesake for the flower, Zinnia.
    • Illustration of eye anatomy Johann Gottfried Zinn's 1755 publication."Lehre der Augenkrankheiten" ("Teaching of Eye Diseases") by Georg Joseph von Beer, 1792 – Von Beer established the first clinic of ophthalmology in Vienna and was the most influential ophthalmologist of his day.
    • "Beschreibung eines Augen-Spiegels" ("The Description of an Ophthalmoscope") by Hermann von Helmholtz, 1851 – In this book, Helmholtz – who revolutionized ophthalmology with his invention of the ophthalmoscope – first published his account of the device's mathematical theory.

    The books will be used to further the educational mission of the Museum of Vision, to inspire, celebrate and preserve ophthalmology's unique heritage. The donation comes from Dr. Sherman himself, a New York ophthalmologist and lifelong fellow of the Academy who has spent decades building the collection. "I am thrilled to be donating this collection to the Academy's Museum of Vision, where they will have a permanent home among other important items and artifacts from ophthalmic history," said Dr. Sherman. "These texts represent a lasting monument to the great thinkers in ophthalmology's past. I hope they will continue to be an educational resource for Academy members, medical historians, researchers and the public as they seek to understand ophthalmology's contributions to society."

    The Museum of Vision will maintain a rotating display of the Spencer E. Sherman, M.D. Antique Ophthalmology Book Collection in its galleries at the national headquarters of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in San Francisco.

    Today the Museum of Vision houses 38,000 items related to ophthalmic history. The artifact collection includes art, furniture, instruments, stamps, coins, medals, memorabilia, literature, pharmaceuticals and vision aids. The Academy Archives includes corporate and personal papers, publications, historical essays, interviews, oral histories, photographs and film.

    About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons, serving more than 32,000 members worldwide. The Academy's mission is to advance the lifelong learning and professional interests of ophthalmologists to ensure that the public can obtain the best possible eye care. For more information, visit www.aao.org

    The Academy is also a leading provider of eye care information to the public. The Academy's EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit EyeSmart or OjosSanos to learn more.

    About the Museum of Vision

    The Museum of Vision is an educational program of The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. It is the only institution in the United States whose sole purpose is to preserve the history of ophthalmology and celebrate its unique contributions to science and health. The Museum of Vision strives to inspire an appreciation of vision science, the ophthalmic professions and contributions made toward preventing blindness. For more information on the Museum of Vision, visit www.museumofvision.org

    [1] http://blogs.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/theconveyor/2014/07/30/brain-teasing-bartischs-opthalmoduleia-and-anatomical-flap-books/

    [2]  http://www.history-ophthalmology.com/BartischREVIEW.html