Pop-Up Pirate Ship Med School
The year is 1718 and you have just celebrated your 23rd birthday on the main deck of Queen Anne’s Revenge. You have been living in your parents clay hovel rent-free with the agreement that you would help fix the thatched roof over the summer. Needless to say you spent the majority of your days recovering from long nights drinking ginger beer and imported bourbon while your nights were choc-full-o karaoke night at the local tavern singing “Soldier, Soldier Will You Marry Me“. Before you knew it, your folks have thrown you out and your only option was joining up with Blackbeard to get your plunder on. After nine month at sea you start noticing some nasty wounds opening up on your belly and your teeth start falling out. Bed-ridden to your swinging hammock in the cargo hold you need medical attention and you need it quick. Luckily for you the last ship you plundered in St. Lucia had a Barber-Chirurgeon (Barber Surgeon) that you took captive. Lucky for the Barber-Chirurgeon part of the bounty you scored in Antigua included a collection of anatomical flap books for his reference. Subsequently, it is unfortunate for you that almost every illness in the 1700′s is treated by bloodletting, leeching and amputation. Not to worry though, the anatomical flip books will provide you with hours of entertainment as the Barber-Chirurgeon gives you a quick trim before mysteriously slipping you an out-of-time-and-space piece of Halls Defense with Vitamic C miraculously curing your undiagnosed case of scurvy while simultaneously condemning this mysterious time traveler to the condemnation of practicing witchcraft and black magic.
Fast-forward 293 years to the present day in the Duke University Library where they are going to be featuring a lineage of the (preposterously prefaced) Anatomical Flap Books. These dynamically rendered and fascinatingly intricate printed texts and illustrations acted as a surgical assistant allowing early medical practitioners to partake in virtual autopsies by meticulously flipping through the anatomy of the illustrated body. This collection dates back to the 1500′s and will be on display in the Perkins Gallery within the Perkins Library at Duke University from April to July 2011. Check out a sample of the showing and click here for more details.