A note from the Past President of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association -
David E. Wolfgang, VMD, DABVP-Dairy
"The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association supports the American Museum of Veterinary Medicine and its efforts to preserve the rich heritage of our profession. Please become a member of the American Museum of Veterinary Medicine. Your support will help ensure that AMVM meets its goal to create a premiere museum and a monument to our proud profession."
Since its inception in 1990, the American Museum of Veterinary Medicine (AMVM), formerly known as the Eastern Veterinary Historical Society (EVHS), has accumulated an impressive collection of instruments, equipment, medicine, textbooks, and literature from over 150 years of veterinary history. This fascinating collection is of interest not only to veterinarians, students, and others in the medical profession, but to historians, the agricultural community, pet owners, and the general public.
According to AMVM president Dr. Max J. Herman, “our goal is to show that veterinary medicine and human medicine are similar, just treating different species. We want to get the message out to the community that veterinary medicine is part of people medicine. Most people see veterinarians as taking care of dogs and cats and horses, but they do much more, including dealing with public health issues and conducting research.”
AMVM’s vision is to bring together the public and veterinary communities to celebrate veterinary medicine, its diverse roles in society and animal health, and the advancements that have been made since its humble beginnings.
Located on the remaining four acres of what was originally a 136-acre property known as Ridgewood Farm near Birdsboro and Reading in Berks County, Pennsylvania, the museum consists of a renovated (circa 1740) farmhouse with a high-style Federal wing (circa 1811), a rare 19th century double-bank barn, and a host of outlying buildings. The farm is on the National Register of Historic Places. The AMVM purchased the farm in 2007.
AMVM endeavors to increase public awareness of the contributions to society and public welfare made by the veterinary profession, Disease prevention and treatment by veterinary practitioners and the 29 boarded specialties, such as dentistry and ophthalmology, form the backbone of the veterinary profession. Other important endeavors and accomplishments of veterinary medicine include the development of disease-preventing and life-saving pharmaceuticals, protection from zoonotic and food-borne diseases through public health practices, passage of legislation for the welfare of animals, and military service to assure national security from threats such as bioterrorism.
Veterinarians have contributed to an increased understanding of basic sciences such as molecular genetics, cell and cancer biology, infectious organisms, and reproduction. Education provided by veterinarians to students and graduates supports the foundation of work accomplished by the profession. The disciplines in veterinary medicine comprise the basis for permanent and revolving museum displays, interactive exhibits, and audio-visual presentations.
As the museum evolves and the new Education Center, now under construction, opens, exhibits and lectures as well as public programs will expand to provide an interactive environment highlighting the past, present, and future of veterinary medicine. Emphasis will be placed on a comparative approach to the similarities between animal and human medicine.
The museum’s non-lending library will house books for reference and pleasure reading. The estate of Roger A. Caras, former president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), host of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and ABC news commentator, donated a collection of over 4,000 books about domestic animals, wildlife, and other topics on nature. The late Dr. Robert and Leona Shomer Collection of rare books describes veterinary and cavalry practices and animal husbandry from the 16th through the 19th century. Numerous individuals have donated additional books.
Although the museum is not yet fully operational, the public may tour the museum on Tuesdays from 9am to 2pm and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteer docents also are available to conduct group tours that may be arranged by contacting the AMVM. The museum looks forward to a capital funding campaign to underwrite the purchase of the historic farm, to complete the Education Center, and to develop additional displays and exhibits.
To accomplish these goals, the AMVM needs your support and membership. Please join us in this worthy effort. Become a member http://amvm.org/member.htm