The M. Lowell Edwards Public History Project

With the support of the Edwards Lifesciences Fund, OHSU Library has improved access to archival material documenting the life and achievements of M. Lowell Edwards, co-inventor of the Starr-Edwards heart valve. OHSU Historical Collections & Archives, a department of the library, holds archival materials documenting Starr and Edwards’ achievement. These unique resources include photographs, manuscripts, publications, and artifacts. OHSU Library also holds oral history interviews and research publications relating to the development of the Starr-Edwards heart valve.

The M. Lowell Edwards Public History Project presents a Website that narrates the engineer’s life and work. It includes a biographical essay written by Richard J. Mullins, M.D.; a timeline of events in the development of the Starr-Edwards heart valve; links to collections of digitized archival material; and a detailed guide to OHSU Library resources.

A centerpiece of this project was the digitization of collections of photographs, publications and manuscript material held in OHSU Historical Collections & Archives, and by the family of M. Lowell Edwards. Before digitization, these unique and historical materials were accessible only to researchers who were able to visit the collections in person. Digitized items may now be consulted by the public via OHSU’s Digital Resources Library.

The project also funded preservation of the Jeri L. Dobbs Artificial Heart Valve Collection.

By organizing, inventorying, and rehousing the valves, OHSU Historical Collections & Archives ensured that the collection will be preserved for research and exhibition long into the future. A forthcoming publicity booklet will also be available from the library.

By improving access to these unique materials, The M. Lowell Edward Public History Project supports historical research on  cardiovascular health care, medical technology, and milestone achievements at OHSU.

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