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New exhibit on medical history opening at Oboler Library, reception set Feb. 2

January 30, 2017

POCATELLO – The Idaho State University Eli M. Oboler Library will host a month-long exhibit called “Malady: Physiological, Psychological, and Social Disease in 18th-Century Texts” that will have an opening reception 4:30-6 p.m. Feb. 2.

The reception, on the first floor of the library, will feature a lecture by ISU English Professor Roger Schmidt.

The exhibit, which is on display through March 2, includes rare 18th- and 19th-century editions of books and prints from the Samuel Johnson and His Circle of Friends collection, housed in ISU’s Special Collections and Archives.

Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. Parking is free on the ISU campus after 4 p.m.

The Samuel Johnson and His Circle of Friends collection has been made possible by contributions from the University Research Committee, the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Committee, and the Center for Teaching and Learning. Other funding came from the College of Arts and Science, the Glenn E. Tyler Fund for the History of Medicine and Science, and from the Oboler Library.

The collection focuses primarily on the works of Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709–84), one of the foremost writers and critics of his century, his life, and his influence. Among the many works included in the collection is his Dictionary of the English Language, for which he is most well known. The collection also contains works by those he mentored, his peers, friends and acquaintances.

The theme of the exhibit revolves around the ever-relevant subjects of health, medicine and disease. Johnson himself suffered from a number of ailments, including Tourette Syndrome, depression, anxiety, insomnia, tuberculosis and gout. The volume of his works and influence speak to the human ability to overcome physical challenges and leave an enduring legacy.