Just months after Maine separated from Massachusetts in 1820, the Medical School of Maine was established at Bowdoin College to provide for health care in the new state.
During its 100 years of existence, the school educated physicians who not only served the state but also practiced medicine across the world. This exhibition celebrates the bicentennial of Maine’s first medical educational institution, while also considering its demise in 1920 and issues of health care accessibility and affordability that linger today.
A Note on Sources: The materials in Bowdoin’s historical collections routinely reflect dominant perspectives due to historical collecting practices. It is the work of scholars, librarians, and archivists to build representative collections and to read through the absences to build a broader understanding of our history. Documents from the College Archives reflect the fact that Bowdoin College was an all-male institution until 1971 with predominately white students, faculty, and administration.
This exhibition draws on the rare book, manuscript, and archival collections of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library and was curated by Marieke Van Der Steenhoven, Special Collections Education and Outreach Librarian with support from her departmental colleagues.