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The Health Sciences Library and Cabell Library are open. Find out what to expect when you visit

Exhibit Archive: 2016-17

The Eyes Have It

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June 2, 2017 until September 5, 2017


Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, First-floor Gallery
509 N. 12th St., Richmond, Va. 23298


This new trio of exhibits about ophthalmology highlights medical illustration, vision testing and cataract surgery.

Featured in the first-floor gallery is the Art of Medical Illustration, 24 illustrations of the human or rabbit eye primarily drawn by Richmond freelance medical illustrator Dorothy Booth (1907–1994). Booth collaborated with L. Benjamin Sheppard, a Richmond ophthalmologist, to illustrate his research on the anatomical and physiological aspects of eye disease. Most of the illustrations date from the 1950s. Booth's illustrations are part of the papers of L. Benjamin Sheppard, housed in Special Collections and Archives at Tompkins Mc-Caw Library.

Also on the first floor, two cases in the Special Collections and Archives Reading Room are devoted to ophthalmoscopy and surgery. The exhibit includes the fine knives used for cataract surgery, an ocular speculum, a tonometer and two antique stereoscopes.

And the library's second floor exhibit showcases various vision-testing devices widely used in the first half of the 20th century. An interactive component to the exhibit allows visitors to test for colorblindness and general visual acuity.

The exhibits are free and open to all during normal library hours. Parking is available for a fee in the 8th Street parking deck. If special accommodations are needed, please contact Thelma Mack, research and education coordinator, at (804) 828-0017.

Image: Medical illustratation, by Dorothy Booth (1907–1994)

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