NLM Releases Digitized Collection of Its Publications and Productions
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has announced a new addition to its Digital Collections: over 400 NLM publications and productions dating from the 1860s to the 1990s. This new digital collection encompasses all printed monographic publications produced by NLM and its earlier incarnation as the Library of the Surgeon General’s Office. The collection also includes nearly three dozen audiovisual productions produced by the NLM during the past six decades, as well as publications of the NLM’s institutional and historical “sister,” the Army Medical Museum, which is today the National Museum of Health and Medicine. In the early 1920s, the Library of the Surgeon General’s Office was renamed the Army Medical Library, and it was housed with the Army Medical Museum until the 1950s when the institutions were physically separated as they are today. They continue to share a common goal of collecting, preserving, and providing knowledge about the past, present, and future of biomedicine and health care.
Among the variety of materials in this collection; including books, catalogs, indexes, prospectuses, policy statements, planning documents, ephemera, and technical reports; are dozens of historical gems, including:
- the first printed catalogs of the Army Medical Museum and the Library of the Surgeon General’s Office in 1863 and 1864, both published during the Civil War;
- a 1963 pamphlet introducing MEDLARS, the Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System, which represented the birth of electronic storage and retrieval of indexed medical literature;
- all 61 volumes of the Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General’s Office, originally published from 1880 to 1961, representing one of the monuments of the Library’s longstanding, systematic indexing of the medical literature. The release of these digitized volumes follows on the NLM earlier this year releasing the Extensible Markup Language (XML) data from the IndexCat database, to help open this key resource in the history of medicine and science to new uses and users;
- Dream Anatomy, the illustrated 2006 catalogue based on the National Library of Medicine’s milestone Dream Anatomy exhibition;
- a 1994 video entitled, “NLM and the Internet,” which gives a very early look at the Internet promoting the use of Gopher files servers and Mosaic, one of the earliest web browsers first created in 1992.