Introducing the Fred Harwin Collection

Hand drawn color illustration depicts Starr-Edwards heart valve at left, and its placement inside the valve at right

The OHSU Library is thrilled to introduce the Fred Harwin collection as an exciting addition to Historical Collections & Archives. The acquisition was purchased with the Library’s OHSU Foundation funds along with generous support from Dr. Richard Mullins.

Fred Harwin is an artist, ocularist, and medical illustrator. While at OHSU, Harwin, in his capacity as illustrator, collaborated with renowned cardiac surgeons Dr. Brad Harlan and Dr. Albert Starr on the Manual of Cardiac Surgery, first published in 1980 with a second edition in 1994. The Manual marked a breakthrough in medical texts, being the first of the prevalent works on heart surgery to include color illustrations. It also contains discussion and illustration of the placement of the famed Starr-Edwards heart valve. The vast majority of this collection, which contains over 400 illustrations, consists of original artwork by Harwin, including those from both the first and second editions of that manual.

The Harwin collection is an excellent complement to our other collection materials documenting the pioneering work of Dr. Albert Starr and his collaborators in developing the Starr-Edwards heart valves. The breadth of the full medical illustration collection also adds to the strength of our medical illustration collections, which include the Clarice Ashworth Francone collection.

This collection has been processed and is available for research: view the finding aid online. It will be the subject of our upcoming winter exhibit, which will be installed in the OHSU Library and made available online in 2023. Stay tuned!

Visit the Historical Collections & Archives website to learn more about our collections and programming, or to learn more about supporting our work.

Featured image: Illustration of Starr-Edwards heart valve from Manual of Cardiac Surgery (2nd ed.), Chapter 12, fig. 51-52. Fred Harwin Collection.