At your finger tips, but not contagious…yellow fever

September 7, 2018

Now you can flip through the pages of our Yellow Fever Collection from anywhere, via the New York Heritage digital collections site.

Yup! Right from where you’re sitting.

And we’re pretty excited. And proud.

It’s taken a bunch of us over two years to make this happen. And we couldn’t have done it without a generous gift from Ranlet and Beth Miner, and technical guidance from Rochester Regional Library Council.

Yellow fever was one of the two most virulent epidemic diseases in 18th and 19th century United States, the other being cholera. And our Yellow Fever Collection is one of the largest and finest anywhere in the world. It contains more than 400 works, published between 1741 and 1914, representing the development of medical thought on yellow fever over the course of a century and a half.

Yellow fever broke out in Boston in 1693; Philadelphia in 1793; Norfolk, Virginia, in 1855; and the Mississippi River Valley in 1878. The yellow fever epidemic impacted nearly all aspects of life in affected cities as residents fled, economies suffered, and thousands died.

Oil painting by Juan Manual Blanes

Painting by Juan Manuel Blanes, 1871 (Wellcome Collection)

Imagine the horror.

You step outside one morning and 1 out of 10 of your neighbors lies dead or dying.

Your world is upside down.

No one can agree on what’s causing the deaths or how to prevent them.

How will you survive in a city turned frantic with disease?

This was scene during the summer of 1793 in Philadelphia, when it was struck with the worst outbreak of yellow fever ever recorded in North America.

At the time, Philadelphia was the nation’s capital and its busiest port. Between August 1 and November 9, 1793, approximately 11,000 people contracted yellow fever. Five thousand people (10% of the city’s population) died. The epidemic created panic in the capital, causing 17,000 people, including President Washington and other members of the federal government, to flee to the countryside.

The disease gets its name from the jaundiced eyes and skin of the victims. Other symptoms include fever, headache, and “black vomit” caused by bleeding into the stomach. At the time, it was thought that yellow fever was caused by rotting vegetable matter.

The collection is a fascinating study on the confusion of 18th century physicians when confronted with a new and deadly malady; the static debates between contagionists and non-contagionists during the 19th century; early attempts to identify a bacterial agent; and the consequences of Walter Reed’s discovery of a mosquito vector.

It also provides a view into the panicked efforts of local, state, and national government to respond to yellow fever’s introduction and to check its spread; and to religious leaders’ fervent warnings of pestilence as punishment for public sins.

Rather than keep this outstanding and increasingly fragile collection locked up, why not share it with you and the rest of the world?

And that’s what we did.


P.S. There is no record of yellow fever ever having occurred in Rochester or in the Genesee River Valley.

This article was submitted by Susan Andersen.


September 2018 Classes by Miner Library

September 5, 2018

Classes at Miner Library

Here are the classes offered by Miner Library for the upcoming month:

EndNote Basics
Date: Friday, September 14, 2018
Time: 10:00am – 11:00am
Podcast Basics
Date: Thursday, September 27, 2018
Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm
RefWorks Basics
Date: Friday, September 28, 2018
Time: 10:00am – 11:00am
EndNote Basics
Date: Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm

For a full list of Miner Library’s classes, visit our Classes page.

Have a question? Contact Miner Library’s Answer Desk @ 585-275-3361.

Want to improve your clinical skills? Have you tried reading comics?

September 4, 2018
(Reading time: Less than 3 minutes)


Then you should stop by and take a look at our new graphic medicine collection, made possible by a generous gift from Friends of University of Rochester Libraries.

Some people say “graphic novels” or “graphic medicine” and others say “comics.”

But what’s the difference?

Not much.

Basically, it’s the subject matter.

Graphic medicine is defined as, “the use of comics to tell personal stories of illness and health.”

The main characters in these comic books aren’t Superman, Catwoman, or Captain America. They’re not fighting bank robbers and bashing bad guys.

The heroes of these stories are ordinary people. They use imagery, insight, and humor, even while taking on painful, difficult issues like sexual abuse, cancer, and mental health. Their comics help patients and caregivers alike get in touch with the emotional side of illness, treatment, and recovery.

In their 2010 analysis, “Graphic medicine: use of comics in medical education and patient care,” Michael Green and Kimberly Myers argue that comics also are a valuable tool for medicine.

British Medical Journal, copyright 2010

“To read a comic effectively, you must understand not only what is overtly seen and said but also what is implied. This is because much of the action takes place outside the boundaries of comic panels in the blank space known as the gutter. Thus, readers of comics, like doctors in the exam room, must determine meaning by inferring what happens out of sight and without words.”

From a patient perspective the use of graphic stories is nothing new. Graphic images have been used in public health education for decades covering a range of topics from seat belt use to vaccination awareness to pain scales. These graphic campaigns have been so successful because the images bridge the divide where there are verbal communication challenges.

With your UR ID you can borrow items from our graphic medicine collection for three weeks.

Want to browse through the titles in our graphic medicine collection from your own comfy chair? Just throw “graphic medicine” in to the basic “Title Keyword(s)” search box in Voyager (our online catalog).

Voyager catalog



We think this collection is marvelous, and we look forward to expanding it in the future. What do you think?

Let us know.

Submitted by Susan Andersen

Getting the Most from EndNote – Capture Reference Feature

July 30, 2018

It is easy to export articles from scholarly databases like PubMed or Web of Science into EndNote, but how can you do insert a reference from popular media sources like the New York Times or government websites like

Typically, you would have to create a new reference manually.  Now you can use the capture reference feature to export this information directly into EndNote.  It will not work for all websites, and you may only get partial data from others. So, you may still have to use the New Reference and Edit Reference features.  But using Capture Reference could make getting the reference data from many websites much easier.

• If you have not already set up an account with EndNote, you will have to do this first.

• From EndNote, click on References and then Preferences (For Mac users: Click on EndNote in the toolbar and then click on Preferences)

EndNote screen snap


• From here select Sync and click on the button labeled Enable Sync.

EndNote screen snap

• From here, you will have the option to create a new EndNote account by clicking on the Sign Up button.

EndNote screen snap

• Once you have your account set up, enter this web address into your browser:

• Login using your account information.

EndNote Screen snap

• From here, select the Downloads tab.

• To install the capture tool you will need to add this to your Bookmarks/Favorites bar – depending on your browser there might be two ways to do this:

EndNote Screen snap

• Drag the Capture Reference button to your Bookmarks/Favorites bar


• Right-click and select Add to Favorites or Bookmark this Link

• Navigate to a website that you would like to cite.

• Click on the Capture Reference bookmark.

• In the pop-up window, make sure to select EndNote.

• You may have to add some information manually.

• In the example below you would want to add the appropriate information to the Author, Access Year, and Access Date fields. You can also do this by using the Edit Reference feature in EndNote.

• Tip: Include a comma at the end of the author field when using an organization’s name. This will ensure that EndNote formats the name properly for in-text and bibliography citations.

• Click on the Save To button and the reference will be added to your library.

EndNote Screen snap

EndNote is a citation management tool that can help you organize your research and save invaluable time creating your in-text citations and bibliographies.

To learn more about EndNote, sign up for one of our classes or schedule a meeting with Daniel Castillo.

August 2018 Classes by Miner Library

July 29, 2018

Classes at Miner Library

Here are the classes offered by Miner Library for the upcoming month:

Blackboard Basics for Academic Courses and Residencies
Date: Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Time: 10:00am – 11:30am
RefWorks Basics
Date: Monday, August 20, 2018
Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm

For a full list of Miner Library’s classes, visit our Classes page.

Have a question? Contact Miner Library’s Answer Desk @ 585-275-3361.

July 2018 Classes by Miner Library

July 4, 2018

Classes at Miner Library

Here are the classes offered by Miner Library for the upcoming month:

RefWorks Basics
Date: Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Podcast Basics
Date: Thursday, July 26, 2018
Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm

For a full list of Miner Library’s classes, visit our Classes page.

Have a question? Contact Miner Library’s Answer Desk @ 585-275-3361.

Our Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) service isn’t working correctly

July 1, 2018

UPDATE: Problem corrected 9/14/18.


September 11, 2018

We’re experiencing technical problems with our Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) service.

These problems are affecting log-in procedures.

We’re working to fix the problems as soon as possible.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

P.S. We hate it when stuff like this happens.