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Welcome to the Incipit Blog!

Greetings from the Chair: 

MelissaNasea_smallphoto (2) (3).jpg

Welcome to the new History of the Health Sciences blog, “The Incipit”. At the HHSS business meeting in May, we decided to move from our section newsletter, also named “The Incipit”, to a blog. Our hope is to write more frequently and informally. We will continue to use the HHSS forum for section business, and we will use it to notify you of blog entries.

Used since very early times, a text’s “incipit” was its beginning words and was used to refer to that text. Sometimes the word “incipit” preceded the beginning words. The modern title and title page developed after the earliest books were printed. And, yes, there was an equivalent for the last words, the “explicit.” Some modern books end with colophons.

I’d like to introduce our new blog editor Marie Cirelli. Marie is the Collection Access and Support Services Librarian at Penn State University College of Medicine.

We want this to be OUR blog, not just the blog of the section officers, so we want to receive contributions from you. Do you have a question, a website that answered some questions for you, or an online exhibit that impressed and delighted you? Did you prepare a bibliography, website, or online exhibit that might interest us? If it pertains to the history of the health sciences, we’re interested! Please send your contributions to Marie at

Melissa Nasea

HHSS Chair, 2015-2017

Greetings from the Blog Editor:


Hello, and welcome to “The Incipit.” The word once used as an opening to printed works is now the opening to our newsletter in its new completely digital blog format, and I am very excited to be its first editor.

To give you a little background information about myself, I received my BA in History from York College of Pennsylvania before receiving my MS from Drexel University. As you might guess, my progression into Medical Librarianship was by sheer serendipity. I find being a medical librarian and being a piece of the larger puzzle of what is modern medicine to be both challenging and fulfilling. However, my first love will always be history, and I am very excited to be a part of a group that shares my excitement for studying and preserving the past.

As Melissa noted, the vision for this blog is to be less administrative section business and more of a place to share what we do every day as it pertains to the history of health sciences. I am also fairly new to MLA so I would like to highlight some of our section members both new and old, so that we can all get to know one another. Really, the possibilities of what we can include in this blog are endless, and I am excited to see how it will take shape. Please email me with any and all ideas at I look forward to working with all of you!

Marie Cirelli

HHSS Blog Editor, 2016-2018

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