Rare Book Collection
The present exhibition marks the formal opening to the general public of a remarkably comprehensive historical collection dealing with the study of the human kidney. The collection was assembled over several decades by Carl W. Gottschalk, a faculty member in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1952 until his death in 1997. More fully described below, it contains books, pamphlets, periodicals, illustrated materials, and a small number of manuscripts that document the study of the kidney from the mid-sixteenth through the twentieth centuries. Following Dr. Gottschalk's wishes, the entire collection was donated to the UNC Library in 1998 by his children and his widow, Dr. Susan Fellner. The materials are now permanently housed in one corner of the Rare Book Collection reading room, specially modified to accommodate the books and furnished with Dr. Gottschalk's kidney-shaped desk, his rocking chair, and other objects from the study in his home. Visitors to this exhibition are welcome to view the collection area in the Rare Book reading room, adjacent to the exhibit area.
The materials in the exhibition document important events in the history of medicine, in particular of the study of the human kidney, from the earliest specialized studies to the introduction of kidney dialysis and transplant procedures in the second half of the twentieth century. The display is largely chronological and consists almost entirely of printed texts and graphic representations. Because the exhibit covers such a broad expanse of time, it is necessarily very selective and includes only the most celebrated or influential writings. Several cases are devoted to Dr. Gottschalk himself, his contributions to nephrology, and his activities as a collector.
While most of the materials in this exhibition are from the Gottschalk Collection in the Rare Book Collection, a number of pieces have come from other sources. We are grateful to the Manuscripts Department and the Photographic Services here in Wilson Library for permission to use materials from their files. We also wish to express our appreciation to Dr. William McLendon, Professor Emeritus of Pathology and Medicine, for allowing us to display reproductions of photographs in his possession.