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Introduction

Half-length, right pose, full face portrait of Paracelsus holding his sword surrounded by various philosophical sybmols.

This exhibit [and accompanying brochure] highlight the joint observance of the 500th anniversary of the birth of Paracelsus by three American medical libraries -- The Hahnemann University Library, The National Library of Medicine, and The Washington University Medical Library (St. Louis). It has been prepared to accompany the special exhibits which, along with lectures and other programs, are being organized at these libraries. The intent of the various events is to celebrate as well as to explain the contributions of this major Renaissance figure, especially those in medicine, chemistry, and pharmacy. The [exhibit] also serves to draw attention to the unique special collections and strong general holdings pertaining to Paracelsus that are held by the sponsoring institutions.

The theme essay in this [exhibit] has been prepared by Dr. Allen G. Debus of the University of Chicago, who is the leading American authority on Paracelsus and his historical influence. Some few of Dr. Debus's publications are cited in the list of Some Readings on Paracelsus, which follows his essay. Also pertinent, however, is his recent book, The French Paracelsians, published in 1991.

Illustrations in the [exhibit] are from the collections of the National Library of Medicine and Washington University.