Ruth Romm and Jackie Dooley
On August 29 the Libraries were presented with a special gift of a valuable first edition of Gray’s Anatomy, Henry Gray’s well-known volume on human anatomy, by Mrs. Ruth Romm, the wife of the late Dr. Herman Romm, a 1962 alumnus of the UCI California College of Medicine. Dr. Romm was a well-respected psychiatrist in the local medical professional community and a mentor who was looked upon with great admiration by many. He died in 2001 at the age of 80 after a courageous battle with cancer.
“It was Herman’s dream to donate Gray’s Anatomy to UCI as a way of saying thank-you for being part of his education and to continue being a role model for his family as a life-long learner,” said Mrs. Romm. Ruth also has a library background, having received her associate’s degree in Library Science from Rio Hondo College in Whittier, and she was involved for many years with the former UCI Friends of the Library support group.
The couple acquired the classic volume together in the early 1970s from the legendary Los Angeles bookseller, Jake Zeitlin, because of Herman’s interest in medicine and their mutual interest in books as collectors. Gray’s Anatomy has been a classic handbook for physicians and health science students ever since publication of the first edition in 1858. Aspects of that edition include recommended techniques for dissection; detailed descriptions of bones, muscles, organs, and other anatomical parts, and their relationships to each other throughout the body; and hundreds of detailed wood engravings that reveal medical illustration techniques of the day. Now in it’s 38th edition, with the 39th soon to arrive, Gray’s continues to be an important major source and the premier text in anatomy.
“This first edition is a valuable record of our knowledge of human anatomy at the time of its publication in the mid-19th century and provides data for fascinating comparisons with the evolution of knowledge over the next 150 years,” said Jackie Dooley, Head of Special Collections and Archives. “It will be a valuable research tool to a great many scholars, particularly those in the fields of medicine and the history of science.”
The gift was presented to the Libraries at a small family gathering in the Annis Reading Room in the Department of Special Collections and Archives, where the volume now resides. At the celebration were Ruth Romm; her son, Daniel Romm, and daughter, Judy Romm; and many other family members and friends.
For more information about using this resource, please contact Jackie Dooley, Head of Special Collections and Archives, at (949) 824-4935 or email@example.com.