Ira Abrahamson Jr., M.D.

Well, we lost another one. It is with sadness that we report the passing of our friend Dr. Ira Abrahamson, Jr. last Saturday, March 10.

At Ira’s home, June 2017

Personally, it is Dr. Abrahamson’s humor and amiability that I will remember most–so just a quick story before the more formal obituary, which I hope Ira would appreciate.

I had only been at the Winkler Center about two weeks when Dr. Abrahamson showed up with several family members to see his collection and the small exhibit we have on his life and career. I was nervous meeting my first Winkler Center donor, but he immediately set me at ease. He reminded me that the hand of his I had just shaken was a hand also shaken by two popes from whom he had received papal blessings (he had the photographs to prove it). He then tried to convince me that the blessings bestowed on him by those pontiffs now had been conferred on me. I said “if that’s the case, then give me your other hand so I can shake it…why leave anything to chance?” He laughed. I felt better. We would share jokes from that point forward whenever he would visit the Winkler bringing in more materials or just friends with whom to share his many accomplishments. We’ll miss him.

The following obituary was sent to all faculty/staff of the College of Medicine on Wednesday, March 14. It is reprinted here with permission from the UC College of Medicine Dean’s Office.

Dr. Abrahamson attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a swimming scholarship. He received his medical degree from the UC College of Medicine in 1948, as did his sister, Margaret, in 1946 and his son, Richard, in 1987. He completed his internship at Cincinnati General Hospital and his residency at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary. He served for a year in the U.S. Coast Guard and then in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953 during the Korean War. Following military service, he returned to his native Cincinnati to practice with his father, Ira Abrahamson Sr., MD, who also was an ophthalmologist and on faculty at the College of Medicine.

A member of our faculty since 1964, Dr. Abrahamson rose to full professor before being named an emeritus professor in 2004.
Dr. Abrahamson became one of the first ophthalmic photographers in the world and invented several techniques to photograph the eye. Many of his images were used in his books on ophthalmology and eye care. He also traveled around the world lecturing, teaching and providing vision care to disadvantaged children.
Dr. Abrahamson received numerous honors in his lifetime, including the College of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008 and the President’s Award of Excellence in 2014 from the University of Cincinnati. In 2001 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of North Carolina, and in 2000 he was named an Outstanding Philanthropist by Boston Children’s Hospital. He was inducted into the Medical Mission Hall of Fame in 2007 for his contributions to advancing the quality of life of others around the world. He even had audiences with three popes: Pius XII, Paul VI and John Paul II.

Dr. Abrahamson had a tremendous impact on vision care, education and research for more than 60 years. He worked tirelessly to eliminate preventable blindness in children, not only here in Cincinnati but around the world. In 1995, he created the Abrahamson Pediatric Eye Institute at Cincinnati Children’s. Working with the Cincinnati Rotary Club, the institute started the Vision Screening Program through Rotary International where 800 local chapters eventually joined in the program to detect vision problems in young children.

“Declaring that the street currently knowns as Shillito Place shall hereby receive the honorary secondary name of “Dr. Ira Abrahamson Way by legislative action of the May and City Council in honor…” Dr. Abrahamson getting his street, October, 2016
Dr. Abrahamson receives the University of Cincinnati President’s Award for Excellence from previous UC President, Santa Ono, 2014


The John Miller Burnam Classics Library Hosts “An Evening with Ovid”


Join the John Miller Burnam Classics Library 5:30-7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 29 in 417 Blegen Library for “An Evening with Ovid,” an event celebrating the life and work of the Roman poet. We will raise a glass in his honor in connection with his birthday and the 2,000-year anniversary of his death.

The evening will begin with welcoming remarks by Rebecka Lindau, head of the Classics Library. Bridget Langley, visiting assistant professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Classics, will give a brief presentation of Ovid’s life and work. Colin Shelton, adjunct professor in Classics, will follow with a reading of two of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Latin and in translation by modern English poet Ted Hughes. Jenny Doctor, head of the Albino Gorno Memorial Music Library, will introduce a musical performance by modern English composer Benjamin Britten, “Six Metamorphoses after Ovid,” featuring College-Conservatory of Music oboist Yo Shionoya.

Ovid's Metamorphoses
Ovid’s Metamorphoses

The evening will conclude with refreshments Ovid and his contemporaries would have enjoyed. The event will be presided over by Emperor Augustus himself in the form of a copy of the original marble head discovered at Troy during an excavation led by UC’s Classics Department. Additionally, the library will feature a book exhibition with works of Ovid, including rare editions of the Metamorphoses.

The event is free and open to all. RSVP to Cade Stevens at or 513-556-1314 by Friday, March 23.

UC Libraries and IT@UC Host Data and Computational Science Series

DCSThe University of Cincinnati Libraries and IT@UC Research & Development and are pleased to announce the Data & Computational Science Series (DCS2) 2018, a speaker series supported by a Universal Provider award from UC’s Office of the Provost for faculty development.

The first speaker in the series, scheduled for Thursday and Friday, March 22 and 23, in the Walter C. Langsam Library room 475, will be led by Jeremy Fischer, a senior technical advisor from Indiana University’s Information Technology Services, who will host sessions on Jetstream. Funded by the National Science Foundation, Jetstream is a user-friendly cloud environment designed to give researchers and students access to computing and data analysis resources on demand — from their tablets, laptops or desktop computers. People interact with the system through a menu of “virtual machines” designed to support research in many disciplines including biology, atmospheric science, earth science, economics, network science, observational astronomy and social sciences.

Continue reading UC Libraries and IT@UC Host Data and Computational Science Series

Billie Broaddus

Billie Broaddus with Heloisa Sabin at the Albert B. Sabin Historical Marker Dedication, June, 2013

The Winkler Center was saddened last week to learn of the passing of former Health Sciences Librarian and Director of the Cincinnati Medical Heritage Center (Winkler Center), Billie Broaddus. Billie is remembered fondly by the colleagues who knew and worked with her. “She often used the ‘iron fist in the velvet glove’ and was able to achieve much through that approach,” remembered Senior Librarian Sharon Purtee.

From 1961 to 1971 Billie worked at the University of Kentucky Medical Library. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in History in 1973 and a M.S.L.S in Library Science in 1974. She began work at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center Library in August, 1974 as Head of Reference. She later became the Coordinator of Information Services and then Head of the Health Sciences Library. Serving a dual role in 1981, she directed both the Health Sciences Library and the History of Health Sciences Library. Later that year, she applied to become director of the historical collections, a job in which she could merge her love of history with her library experience.

She held the position of Director, University of Cincinnati Medical Heritage Center until her retirement in 2003. Billie was professionally active in several organizations, including the Medical Library Association, and served on many professional committees. She was elected President of the Midwest Chapter/Medical Library Association in 2001. Billie was also a member of the Archivists and Librarians in History of the Health Sciences and the Ohio Academy of Medical History, the American Association for the History of Medicine, the Ohio Academy of Sciences, the Society of Ohio Archivists and the Cincinnati Academy of Medicine History Committee.

During her tenure as Director of the Medical Heritage Center, the archives of alumni and faculty including, Drs. William Altemeier, Charles D. Aring, Stanley Block, Benjamin Felson, Martin Fisher, and Robert Kehoe were all added to the repository’s holdings. Forging personal relationships with the Sabin family, she was instrumental in bringing the Albert B. Sabin Papers to the Center. In addition, Broaddus supervised the centralization into one repository of the many decentralized historical collections of the departments within the College of Medicine.

She was adamant too that because the Heritage Center served a different audience than the Health Sciences Library, the two institutions keep somewhat distinct identities. In the early 1990s as the UC Libraries developed an online presence for its collections, Broaddus made sure the Heritage Center was given its own webpage. Under Broaddus’s leadership, the Medical Heritage Center became a preeminent resource center for the history of the health sciences. She served the University of Cincinnati Medical Center Libraries for almost 30 years and was appointed Librarian Emerita when she retired from the University of Cincinnati in February 2003.

Another colleague, Edith Starbuck, remembers “Billie was a generous colleague [who] shared her knowledge and skills without hesitation…[she] also knew how to bring history to life with her wealth of knowledge and ability to tell the stories about the individuals whose information and artifacts were housed in the Heritage Center.

Langsam Library’s Spring Break Hours. Fourth Floor to Close when The Desk@Langsam Closes.

Langsam Library has reduced hours during Spring Break, March 9-17. Starting Fri, March 9, Langsam Library’s 4th floor will close when The Desk@Langsam closes during Spring Break.

Langsam Spring Break Hours: March 9-17

Fri, March 9 – 7:45am-6pm
Sat, March 10 – 10am-6pm
Sun, March 11 – Closed
Mon-Fri, March 12-16 – 8am-5pm
Sat, March 17 – Closed

Langsam’s 4th floor will resume 24/7 hours on Sunday, March 18.

Most other UC Libraries have reduced hours for Spring Break. Check the Libraries website for a listing of the hours for each location.

Have a safe and restful Spring Break.

Need an image? Try Archivision!

The Archivision Digital Research Library is currently comprised of 77,000 images of architecture, archaeological sites, gardens, parks and works of art with broad appeal in humanities teaching. The collection is curated by Scott Gilchrist, a trained architect as well as professional photographer, who is actively adding new content. The Library spans the globe and all time periods, offering a mix of historic and contemporary material.


UC Libraries Seeks Books Good Enough to Eat for the International Edible Books Festival

edible bookKnow of a good book to eat?! Create an Edible Book for UC Libraries International Edible Books Festival!

It’s time once again for the fan favorite International Edible Books Festival scheduled for 1-2 p.m., Tues, April 3, in the Walter C. Langsam Library’s fifth floor lobby. UC Libraries is seeking people interested in creating an edible book for the enjoyment (and consumption) of all in attendance. There are few restrictions – namely that your creation be edible and have something to do with a book – so you may let your creativity run wild.

As in previous years, entries will be judged according to such categories as “Most Delicious,” “Most Creative,” “Most Checked Out” and “Most Literary.” Special prizes will be awarded for the “Best Student” entry and “Best Overall” entry.

If you are interested in creating an edible book, e-mail by Fri, March 23 with your name and the title of your creation.

books by the banks logoLooking for inspiration? Visit UC Libraries on Facebook to see photos from the 2017 festival.

Edible Books, 2018 is sponsored in part by Books by the Banks: Cincinnati Regional Book Festival.

Scholar@UC Upgraded to Enhance Both the Use and Access of the University’s Digital Repository

Scholar@UC, the University of Cincinnati’s digital repository, has been updated and includes enhanced submission and viewing features:

  • improved look & feel
  • content dashboard for easier management of submitted works
  • batch work creation and upload – upload an entire folder of works simultaneously or create multiple works at once including from folders
  • usage analytics of content (views and downloads)
  • new work-relation model allowing works to be nested and related in meaningful ways
  • social media sharing widgets.

All content previously in Scholar@UC was migrated from the old platform, with files validated and the metadata and relationships maintained.

Scholar@UC is a digital repository that enables the University of Cincinnati community to share its research and scholarly work with a worldwide audience. Faculty and staff can use Scholar@UC to collect their work in one location and create a durable and citeable record of papers, presentations, publications, datasets or other scholarly creations. Students, through an approval process, may contribute capstone projects such as senior design projects, theses and dissertations.

The mission of Scholar@UC is to preserve the permanent intellectual output of UC, to advance discovery and innovation, to foster scholarship and learning through the transformation of data into knowledge, to collect a corpus of works that can be used for teaching and to enhance discoverability and access to these resources.

Scholar@UC is an open source, agile development project supported in partnership by the University of Cincinnati Libraries and IT@UC. To submit or view works in Scholar@UC, visit Contact the Scholar@UC Team ( with any questions.

Read about Preserving Taft, the Writing of E.B. White and the Digital Scholarship Center in Source.

source vol 16 no2Read Source, the online newsletter, to learn more about the news, events, people and happenings in UC Libraries.

This latest issue of Source includes a feature on the work of the Preservation Lab and their collaboration with the Archives and Rare Books Library on a collection about William Howard Taft. Xuemao Wang, dean and university librarian, talks about how libraries need to adapt for the future. Kevin Grace, university archivist and head of the Archives and Rare Books Library, writes about a collection centered around children’s books author and co-writer of The Elements of Style, E.B. White. A grant from The Andrew Mellon Foundation in support of the Digital Scholarship Center’s research on machine learning and data visualization in multiple disciplines in the humanities and beyond is announced. Dean Wang and Liz Scarpelli, director of the University of Cincinnati Press are interviewed about the progress of the Press one year in. Gino Pasi, archivist and curator for the Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions, writes about a set of historical and important surgery films recently digitized and made available. Other articles announce the Libraries’s Adopt-a-Book program and the 2016/17 Annual Progress Report.

Read these articles, as well as past issues, on the web at and via e-mail. To receive Source via e-mail, contact to be added to the mailing list.