Building a Collection

Lynn M. Morgan

in Icons of Life

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780520260436
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944725 | DOI:
Building a Collection

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This chapter describes how embryologists built the professional relationships that gave them exclusive access to the precious specimens located within women's bodily realms, and how they devised mechanisms for acquiring, exchanging, labeling, and handling specimens. The embryologists worked hard to convince women that doctor-experts held the most accurate knowledge about pregnancy, and that “superstitions” about fetal development had no place in a modern woman's thoughts. During the mid-twentieth century, the exchange of embryo specimens was widespread among health professionals who solidified their social networks through the exchange of embryo specimens, as was evident in the hundreds of specimens donated by alumnae and friends of Mount Holyoke College from 1917 through the 1950s.

Keywords: embryologists; human embryos; women; Mount Holyoke College

Chapter.  15936 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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