skip navigation
NIH Record  
Vol. LXIV, No. 11
  May 25, 2012
NIH Inspires Future Scientists at Festival
NLM’s Browne Makes Exercise of Commute
NIH Participates in Brain Awareness Week
AAM Welcomes Eight NIH Scientists
Vogelstein Considers Cancer Genome at Trent Lecture
Award-Worthy Building Renovation at RML
printer friendly version
Digital Versions Not the Equal
Primacy of the Book Touted by U Va.’s Suarez
Dr. Michael F. Suarez

Dr. Michael F. Suarez

No lover of books, words, literature and language ever preferred a PDF of Virgil’s The Aeneid to the well-worn volume that carried him, with a sort of totemic power, from AP high school English, then on—according to the press release that announced Dr. Michael F. Suarez’s appointment to the English department faculty at the University of Virginia in 2009—to two bachelor’s degrees (with majors in biology, English and sociology), four master’s degrees in English and theology and a Ph.D. in English literature from Oxford University.

But that’s only part of Suarez’s CV; he is also a Jesuit priest and director of the Rare Book School at U Va. It was with a kind of priestly devotion to original, not digital, texts that he discussed “The Future for Books in a Digital Age,” at NLM’s Lister Hill Auditorium on Apr. 19.

In a lively talk that made one wish to audit the freshman English class he teaches—The History of the Book: From Archimedes to the iPad—Suarez argued that “the digital domain is always a world not only of gain, but also of loss…we celebrate the gains, but often are not mindful of the losses.”

Legacy of Fr. Damien
Physician Brady Outlines Story of Hawaiian Leper Colony
Dr. S. Kalani Brady

Dr. S. Kalani Brady

In 1866, the first convicts arrived at Kalaupapa, a remote peninsula in Hawaii. Convicted of leprosy, now known as Hansen’s disease, these were the forebears of patients that Dr. S. Kalani Brady treats today at the Kalaupapa Clinic.

On Apr. 13, Brady gave a talk about the history of this leprosarium, titled, “Kalaupapa and Father Damien: ‘Here I am, send me’” at the National Library of Medicine. Fr. Damien, canonized as a saint in 2009, arrived to help the exiles in 1873. Brady recounted Fr. Damien’s legacy and treatment of the remaining patients at this settlement.

NLM director Dr. Donald Lindberg visited Kalaupapa and included interviews with Brady, patients and other caregivers in preparing NLM’s exhibition Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness. “Kalaupapa was picked [for the settlement] because it isolates the individuals who were sent there,” Lindberg said, noting that the highest ocean-side cliffs in the world surround the community on Molokai Island. Yet, for the patients who remain, Lindberg said, “Kalaupapa is home.”