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High-Performance Scanner for Medical Historical Library Digitization Program

We seek to purchase a high-performance scanner to make available the rich collections of the Medical Historical Library at the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, Yale University. The Library holds one of the country’s largest collections of rare medical books, journals, prints, photographs, pamphlets, and a growing archives program. Special strengths are the works of Hippocrates, Galen, Vesalius, Boyle, Harvey, Culpeper, Haller, Priestley, and S. Weir Mitchell, and works on anatomy, anesthesia, and smallpox inoculation and vaccination. The Library owns over fifty medieval and renaissance manuscripts dating back to the 12th century, Arabic and Persian manuscripts, and over 300 medical incunabula. The Clements C. Fry Collection of Prints and Drawings has over 2,500 fine prints, drawings, and posters with themes that include social justice, war, drug use, reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS, activism, and more. We also have manuscript and archival collections, most notably the Peter Parker Collection, papers of Harvey Cushing, and co-discoverer of Lyme disease Stephen Malawista, virologist G.D. Edith Hsiung, and the Connecticut State Medical Society archives, among others. The Library owns an extensive smoking and tobacco advertising collection, the Robert Bogdan collection of disability photographs and postcards, medical imagery from popular publications donated by Bert Hansen, and smaller collections of patent medicine ephemera from noted collector William Helfand. The Library also recently acquired one of the largest medical photography collections in the world, the Stanley B. Burns, MD Historic Medical Photography Collection, which contains over 15,000 extraordinary nineteenth and early twentieth century images. The Medical Historical Library has committed, for well over a decade, to making thousands of items and hundreds of thousands of pages freely and openly available online in various platforms. These images are widely used and are important to a broad demographic including scholars, researchers and students interested in the history of science and medicine and the many topical areas that we specialize in. For example, we have contributed 6,375 scanned books to the Internet Archive that have been viewed over 3.5 million times, and this is just one repository. The proposed scanner purchase would directly support NNLM's goal to develop, promote, and improve electronic access to health information by Network members, health professionals, and organizations providing health information to the public.

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Library or information professional
Project Lead:
Holly Grossetta Nardini
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Project Funding:
Federal Fiscal Year: 
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Funding Period:
May 1, 2020 to Apr 30, 2021
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