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Sindecuse Museum Receives Video Interviews with Dental Legends

“A Treasure Now Available to the World”

Ann Arbor, MI — January 22, 2016 — A one-and-only collection of interviews with some of the legends in dentistry has been given to the University of Michigan School of Dentistry’s Sindecuse Museum by the International College of Dentists and is an important addition to the museum’s online collection

The gift of 73 DVDs with interviews of 67 men and women who shaped the profession was recently presented to museum Curator Shannon O’Dell by Dr. Ronald Paler (DDS 1961), 9th District Regent, with the USA section of ICD.  Interviews were conducted from 1984 to 2006.  Among those interviewed were several notable oral health care professionals who were associated with the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.  [See sidebar.]

“The original footage of the interviews was going to be thrown away until Drs. Paler and Richard Shick (DDS 1954, MS periodontics 1960) asked Dean Laurie McCauley if the School of Dentistry might be interested in adding them to the museum’s collection,” O’Dell said.  Shick was president of ICD’s USA section in 2001 and ICD world president in 2009.  O’Dell suggested the National Library of Medicine film archives, which accepted the master footage for long-term storage.

“Our museum’s mission is not limited to the history of dentistry at the University of Michigan,” O’Dell says, “so it was natural for us to accept the gift of the DVDs and add them to our reference collection.  These interviews are a treasure now available to the world and further enhance the museum’s reputation as an international resource for information about the history of the dental profession.”

O’Dell said that during discussions about the collection, “It was clear ICD wanted to find a home for the videos because of their historical importance.  Those interviewed are some of the profession’s giants who have had a major and long-term impact on education, practitioners, students, researchers, administrators and dental organizations.”

Paler agreed.  “Those interviewed represent the history of dentistry and influenced how it is practiced today.  Those who watch and listen to the interviews will learn more about each person’s contribution to the profession and their passion for dentistry.”

Click here for an alphabetical listing of 67 individuals interviewed and their area of expertise.  


How They Did It

The interviews were originally recorded on videotape and then electronically transferred to DVDs which were presented to the School of Dentistry.

Kathy Daniels, the museum’s collections coordinator, and student museum assistants Tom Stephenson and Halle Mares, spent countless hours creating files for viewing on the World Wide Web.  “They did an incredible job cataloging each interview, transferring them so they could be seen online and developing a database,” says Sindecuse Museum Curator Shannon O’Dell.

Daniels had to upgrade the museum’s existing database so content was searchable as well as manage quality control issues so those watching the interviews had access to a quality product.

Dan Bruell, director of the school’s Digital Learning Services, provided the technical expertise to reformat the content on the DVDs for online viewing and uploaded the interviews to the school’s YouTube channel.

O’Dell said Kathy Daniels, the museum’s collections coordinator, “was instrumental in converting the museum’s earlier database into a new one, dealing with quality control issues, and working with Dan to help make the videos available for viewing on the internet.”