Newly Expanded Wood Library-Museum (WLM) of Anesthesiology Opens in Breathtaking New Schaumburg, IL Headquarters


Multimedia museum exhibit celebrates the history of modern anesthesiology

Located at the American Society of Anesthesiology’s (ASA) new headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois, the newly-expanded Wood Library-Museum (WLM) of Anesthesiology opens with a breathtaking interactive multimedia exhibit. Formerly located in Park Ridge, Illinois, the new WLM offers an in-depth look at the history of pain-relieving surgical anesthetics and the profession of anesthesiology.

“We are delighted to highlight all WLM collections in the exhibit, including museum artifacts, archives, rare books, and main library books,” said Karen Bieterman, M.L.I.S., director and head librarian at the newly reopened museum. “Our first official day of work at the new headquarters building was Monday, June 23rd, 2014.” Bieterman went on to explain that the move from Park Ridge was, in fact, the largest Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology move to-date.

Located at 1061 American Lane in Schaumburg, Illinois, the Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology displays actual medical devices and artifacts along with electronic media presentations and graphics that provide a detailed history of the anesthesia profession from its earliest beginnings through modern times.

Visitors to the newly-constructed, 70,000 square foot energy-efficient building will first notice the visually spectacular timeline exhibit “From Darkness to Light.” The massive 55-foot sweep is composed of artifacts, images, text, and media that have all been arranged chronologically in a hierarchical format. The historical and organizational context provides viewers with a way to understand important milestone people, places, dates and developments associated with the anesthesiology profession as we know it today. Conception of the “From Darkness to Light” timeline is credited to current WLM President, Susan A. Vassallo, M.D., Anaesthetist, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Assistant Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Additionally, WLM’s Honorary Curator for over 25 years, George S. Bause, M.D., M.P.H., Clinical Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University brought his unparalleled expertise to the project, crafting the exhibit’s content and design from early planning to final installation.

Amongst the stunning exhibits viewers may also be drawn to the rare book exterior wall; adorned with an array of rich, layered imagery – the same unique and fascinating illustrations that can be found inside the WLM’s rare books.

As of July 2014, the Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology houses the most comprehensive collection of anesthesiology-related publications and artifacts in the world, which offers a unique opportunity to study the history of anesthesiology on-site. Interested persons who are unable to visit the museum itself are invited to browse a variety of digitized books, archival collections, museum pieces and anesthesia-related artwork and photography online at

Visits are arranged by appointment only. To schedule a visit or for further information about the Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, please call (847) 825-5586.

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