A boy looks unhappily at a turtle. February 09

Emotions of Everyday Living

By Sarah Eilers “Daddy, you kicked George!” Paul, a small boy who’s been playing happily in the bath with his pet turtle, George, looks up at his father standing in the doorway, ready to hand him a towel and his teddy bear. Preparing to dry himself, Paul sets the turtle on the floor. Father steps […]

A plate from the Journal Philosophical Transactions illustrating the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1767. February 03

Early Journals: What’s in a Name?

By Atalanta Grant-Suttie The journal is so much a part of the current apparatus of scholarly communication that one never really thinks where and how the term might have originated. The origins of the word “journal” derive from Old French, Middle English and Late Latin in the fourteen century. However, perhaps the concept of the […]

Cover, with bullet hole illustration. January 26

Nurses Organize

This post is the fourth in a series exploring the history of nursing and domestic violence from the guest blogger Catherine Jacquet, Assistant Professor of History and Women’s and Gender Studies at Louisiana State University and guest curator of NLM’s exhibition Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives. During the mid-1980s nurses nationwide formally organized. Up until […]

An open book showing a hand drawn circular map of water and landmasses. January 21

The Wonders of Creation

By Homira Pashai The National Library of Medicine holds an important collection of over 200 manuscripts dating back to the eleventh century in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish relating to health and medicine. Many of them contain colorful illustrations and calligraphy. Among the collection of over 30 Persian manuscripts, there are a few illustrated copies […]

Exterior view of the Savannah Health Center. An African American woman is standing by an automobile. January 14

The Medical Civil Rights Movement and Access to Health Care

Circulating Now welcomes guest blogger Beatrix Hoffman. Dr. Hoffman is Professor of History at Northern Illinois University and guest curator of NLM’s most recent exhibition, For All the People: A Century of Citizen Action in Health Care Reform.  With the extension to open enrollment at HealthCare.gov in the news, here is the second of two […]

A scene from the beginning of the film shows a procession of people of different ages and sexes who suffer from rickets. January 08

The English Disease: The Health Education Film as Nazi Propaganda

By Michael Sappol Deformed unfortunates trudge back and forth, in a darkly-lit procession, over a map of Great Britain as the soundtrack sounds anxious notes of alarm. That extravagantly horrific scene introduces the Die englische Krankheit (The English Disease), a 13-minute black-and-white health education film, produced during wartime, under the supervision of Nazi authorities, by […]

Text block surrounded by flowers and butterflies. January 06

Research Reborn: Dioscorides and Mattioli

By Michael North This post is the fourth in a series exploring the National Library of Medicine’s rich and varied collection of “herbals,” which are books devoted to the description of medicinal plants (and sometimes other natural substances) with instructions on how to use them to treat illness. The Library’s herbals are some of the […]

1961 First Day of Isue stamp on a card honoring the nursing profession. The stamp features an illustration of a nurse lighting a candle. On the card is a black and white headshot of a nurse next to a symbol for the American Nurses' Association. December 31

2015 is Almost History

Goodbye 2015, it’s been quite a year! During the past twelve months on Circulating Now, we heard from all kinds of people who work with history every day, scholars and students, curators and public health officials, and of course our dedicated staff, some of whom joined us here for the first time this year. We […]

A group of men in uniform stand outside on the grass in front of a building. December 29

“What a mess! And we are not half through”: Dr. Osler on England’s home front in World War I

By Susan Speaker This is one of a series of occasional posts highlighting collections that document medical activities during the Great War, which lasted from August 1914 to November 1918. These Osler family letters are in the collections of the Osler Library at McGill University and the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of the Johns […]

The title of A printed poem with a gold foil star at the top. December 23

Dr. Mitchell’s Christmas Poem, 1913

By Laura Hartman For his 1913 Christmas greeting card, eminent 19th century neurologist and best-selling novelist Silas Weir Mitchell (1829–1914) penned a poem entitled “The Star of Bethlehem: the Day of Gifts.” Printed beneath an eponymous gold star on a small card, the 16-line poem was to be his last. Mitchell passed away just days […]

C03109_feature December 21

Sip on a Shrub

By Anne Rothfeld Looking for a festive drink with historical origins? Prepare a pitcher of shrub to serve when guests arrive. A shrub is a thickened fruit syrup mixed with brandy or vinegar and can be made tarter or sweeter, depending on taste. Don’t be turned off by the sharp flavor, which easily cuts through […]

A cameraman films a reporter interviewing a woman surrounded by demonstrators. December 17

U.S. Women’s Movements and Health Care Reform

Circulating Now welcomes guest blogger Beatrix Hoffman. Dr. Hoffman is Professor of History at Northern Illinois University and guest curator of NLM’s most recent exhibition, For All the People: A Century of Citizen Action in Health Care Reform.  With the extension to open enrollment at HealthCare.gov in the news, here is the first of two […]

Deatail of the title of a document. December 15

Nurses on the Cutting Edge

This post is the third in a series exploring the history of nursing and domestic violence from the guest blogger Catherine Jacquet, Assistant Professor of History and Women’s and Gender Studies at Louisiana State University and guest curator of NLM’s exhibition Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives. From California to Kentucky, Maryland to Massachusetts, nurses were […]

Four sets of hands overlap from each side of the poster-- left, right, up and down. The hands are a multicolor combination of red, green, and yellow. December 10

Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History

By Rebecca C. Warlow Calling all National History Day students to explore scientific research, encounter medical discoveries, and witness the exchange of ideas among some of the world’s foremost researchers in the fields of medicine and the health sciences! Each year thousands of students participate in the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest, preparing […]

A detail of the title on the gold tooled cover of the book Medical World. December 08

A Portrait of the Medical World of 1911

By Stephen Greenberg It is, perhaps, a bit hard for the modern reader to imagine that a coffee table book consisting solely of portraits and brief biographies of contemporary American physicians would ever be a hot consumer item. However, at least in 1911, that may well have been the case. The collections of the History […]

A colored drawing demonstrating an incision and removal of tissue from a breast. December 03

“Wrapped in flesh”: Views of the body in East Asian Medicine

Circulating Now welcomes guest blogger Yi-Li Wu. Dr. Wu is a Center Associate of the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan, and a Research Fellow of EASTmedicine, University of Westminster and an organizer of the recent workshop Comparative perspectives on body materiality and structure in the history of Sinitic and East […]

Detail from the cover of the Understanding AIDS brochure. December 01

Challenging an Epidemic of Misinformation

By Christie Moffatt The focus of this year’s World AIDS Day is on challenging myths and focusing on facts about HIV, rethinking stereotypes and being positive about HIV. On this day we might also honor those who took up such challenges in the early years of the AIDS epidemic. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett […]

Deatil from the cover of the pamphlet Working on Wife Abuse. November 25

Medicine and Wife Abuse in the 1970s

This post is the second in a series exploring the history of nursing and domestic violence from the guest blogger Catherine Jacquet, Assistant Professor of History and Women’s and Gender Studies at Louisiana State University and guest curator of NLM’s exhibition Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives. Every year November 25th marks the UN’s International Day […]

A hand colored Illustration of a Turkey. November 23

An Early Look at the Turkey

By Michael North Turkeys were one of many animals and plants the Europeans encountered in the New World beginning in 1492. There were wild turkeys throughout much of North America, and Native peoples in what are now Mexico and the U.S. Southwest had domesticated them: the Spanish found them in pens kept by the Aztecs […]

Bar chart showing the years 1910 through 1960. November 19

Smoking and You

By Sarah Eilers Today is the 40th annual Great American Smokeout. The first was held in California in 1976, and the American Cancer Society took it nationwide the next year. Smokers are encouraged to quit for just one day, which can seem much more manageable than quitting forever. With cigarettes on our mind, Circulating Now […]

A narrow brick room stacked floor to celing with archival boxes. November 17

John E. Fogarty: From Providence to Profiles

Circulating Now welcomes guest blogger Russell M. Franks, Librarian for Special and Archival Collections at the Phillips Memorial Library, Providence College, who relates some of the history of the John E. Fogarty Papers collection now featured on NLM’s Profiles in Science. In July 2014, Rebecca Warlow, Head, Images and Archives Section, History of Medicine Division, […]

A man in a naval uniform poses outside a brick building. November 10

A Pharmacist’s Mate First Class

By John Rees In celebration of Veteran’s Day, the Archives and Modern Manuscripts program highlights the recent acquisition of the Charles Henry Stevens Papers, 1945–1946, selections of which are currently on display in our reading room at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, MD. The collection was generously donated by his nephew via the […]

A Classified Record of Literature on Military Medicine and Surgery 1914-1917 November 05

Publications and the Army Medical Library around World War I

Dr. Sanders Marble spoke today at the National Library of Medicine on “Gathering and Spreading Knowledge: Publications and the Army Medical Library around World War I.” Dr. Marble is Senior Historian U.S. Army Office of Medical History. Circulating Now interviewed him about his work. Circulating Now: Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you […]

Demonstrators hold signs. November 04

For All the People

Dr. Beatrix Hoffman is Professor of History at Northern Illinois University and guest curator of NLM’s newest exhibition, For All the People: A Century of Citizen Action in Health Care Reform. Health care reform has been associated with presidents and national leaders, but communities, workers, activists, and health care professionals have made their voices heard […]

Two skeletons appear engaged in causal conversation. October 30

A Portal of Death

By Elizabeth Mullen Are you ready to walk and talk with the skeletons? It’s Halloween again. As the nights get longer and leaves turn and fall, many will spend the dark evening communing with spooks, specters and skeletons and pondering frightening images of death. The ‘portal of death’ above is the Frontispiece from Bernardino Genga’s […]

Spiegelman in his middle years stands informally outside a university buidling in academic robes. October 27

In Search of Sol Spiegelman

Circulating Now welcomes guest blogger Susie Fisher who brings us this post highlighting her work with NLM’s archival collections for American Archives Month. Dr. Fisher is an academic teaching faculty-member for the M.A. Program in Biological Thought at The Open University of Israel. Her article “Not just ‘a clever way to detect whether DNA really […]

A color illustration of the courtyard between The Harvard Medical School and the Countway Medical Library. October 22

The Medical Library Assistance Act of 1965

By Elizabeth Fee In the two decades after World War II, America’s medical libraries were in very poor shape.  Funding for medical research and education had dramatically increased, but no such provision had been made for the libraries.  At the National Library of Medicine, created by the U.S. Congress in 1956 by transferring the Armed […]

A typed card, repaired with tape with many handwritten annotations, stamped DEAD October 20

AMA Deceased Physicians Masterfile 1906–1969

By Anne Rothfeld To celebrate American Archives Month Circulating Now is highlighting NLM’s archival collections with several posts this October. From the very beginning of the American Medical Association (AMA) in 1847, its members felt that there was a need for a reliable medical directory of all the physicians in the United States. Although various […]

Three women sitting at a table, one leans forward gesturing.. October 15

Domestic Violence in the 1970s

This post is the first in a series exploring the history of nursing and domestic violence from the guest blogger Catherine Jacquet, and Assistant Professor of History and Women’s and Gender Studies at Louisiana State University and guest curator of NLM’s exhibition Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives. During the early 1970s, domestic violence remained largely […]

Stamp page from the collection of Adolf Schwartz October 13

Dr. Schwartz’s Stamp Collection

By Ginny A. Roth The Prints and Photographs collection in the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine holds many treasures that not only serve as research materials, but are also visually captivating. One does not need a trained eye in the arts in order to appreciate collection items that are as […]

An embossed gold shield featureing a man threatening a skeleton with a weapon labeled Microbe Killer. October 09

Radam’s Microbe Killer: Advertising Cures for Tuberculosis

In nineteenth century America, tuberculosis accounted for nearly one out of every ten deaths. Known most commonly as “consumption,” this disease was dreaded across society because it affected all age groups, cut across social and class lines, was incurable, and often resulted in long debilitating illnesses. To explore the social effects of tuberculosis, a group […]

A pie chart showing rates of mortality for different causes for 1907; Tuberculosis ranks first at 21%. October 07

Gathering and Interpreting Data about Tuberculosis in the U.S.

In nineteenth century America, tuberculosis accounted for nearly one out of every ten deaths. Known most commonly as “consumption,” this disease was dreaded across society because it affected all age groups, cut across social and class lines, was incurable, and often resulted in long debilitating illnesses. To explore the social effects of tuberculosis, a group […]

VirginiaMedicalMonthly-TitlePage-Feb1891_feature October 05

Medical Research about Tuberculosis: Virginia Perspectives on Koch’s Cure

In nineteenth century America, tuberculosis accounted for nearly one out of every ten deaths. Known most commonly as “consumption,” this disease was dreaded across society because it affected all age groups, cut across social and class lines, was incurable, and often resulted in long debilitating illnesses. To explore the social effects of tuberculosis, a group […]

John E. Fogarty at home with his wife Luise and daughter Mary, 1948 or 1949 October 01

John E. Fogarty—A Family Perspective

NLM’s newest Profiles in Science site features Congressman John Edward Fogarty (1913–1967), who was called “Mr. Public Health” for his dedication to increased federal funding of medical research and health care. The site was a collaborative project with Phillips Memorial Library, Special and Archival Collections at Providence College, which holds the John E. Fogarty Papers, […]

A colored illustration of a corn plant. September 29

A German Botanical Renaissance

By Michael North This post is the third in a series exploring the National Library of Medicine’s rich and varied collection of “herbals,” which are books devoted to the description of medicinal plants (and sometimes other natural substances) with instructions on how to use them to treat illness. The Library’s herbals are some of the […]

John E. Fogarty with Melvin Laird on the U.S. Capitol steps. ca. 1960. September 25

“Mr. Public Health”—John E. Fogarty, Medical Research, and Health Care

By Susan Speaker In January of 1941, a twenty-seven year old Rhode Island bricklayer named John Edward Fogarty began his first term in the U.S. Congress. A union member and New Deal Democrat, Representative Fogarty was determined to be an aggressive advocate for labor interests. He probably never imagined that he would become known instead […]

A group of X-ray's showing a foot in a shoe and a hand and arm. September 24

Photography of the Invisible and Its Value in Surgery

By Tal Golan Originally published in Hidden Treasure: The National Library of Medicine, 2011. Dr. William J. Morton (1845–1920) hurried his book The X-Ray: Or, Photography of the Invisible and Its Value in Surgery into print in September 1896, a mere nine months after Wilhelm Röntgen made public his discovery of the new ray. The news […]

A candid photo of Dan Shridan in front of a chalkboard. September 17

From Private Matter to Public Health Crisis

Dr. Catherine Jacquet spoke today at the National Library of Medicine on “From Private Matter to Public Health Crisis: Nursing and the Intervention into Domestic Violence.” Dr. Jacquet is guest curator of NLM’s newest exhibition, Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives, and Assistant Professor of History and Women’s Gender Studies at Louisiana State University. Circulating Now […]

X-ray of Masha and Dasha showing them joined together with legs on the top and bottom and heads opposite on the left and right. September 15

The Mysterious Case of Petr Anokhin, Soviet Scientific Cinema, and the Conjoined Twins

Circulating Now welcomes guest blogger Nikolai Krementsov. Dr. Krementsov is Professor at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology of the University of Toronto. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on the history of biomedical sciences in Russia and the Soviet Union. In 1957, the USSR Academy […]

A foldout illustration showing a rearing hourse encircled by a ring of numbered labels with lines to the illustration indicating the relevant part of the horse. September 10

Wonderful Works on Horses

By Margaret Kaiser The Library has acquired two wonderful works on horses. The first, Il Cavallo da maneggio… is by Giovanni Battista di Galiberto, a Neapolitan count and riding master to Emperor Ferdinand IV, King of Hungary and Bohemia. This book,  printed in 1650 in Vienna, Austria, is the first edition of this beautifully illustrated […]

Photograph of the facade of the NMHM, a modern looking buidling. September 03

Field Trip: Visiting our Sister (Institution)

By Kenneth M. Koyle and Jeffrey S. Reznick Over the summer, staff of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) took a little time out for a field trip to visit our institutional relative in Silver Spring, Maryland: the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM) and our colleagues who work there. The NMHM and the […]

An illustration of wo men dueling with swords under Spanish moss hung oak trees. August 25

Medical Identity and Ethnicity in 19th-Century New Orleans

Dr. Amy Wiese Forbes spoke today at the National Library of Medicine on “Medical Identity and Ethnicity in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans.” Dr. Forbes is Associate Professor of History and Director of European Studies at Millsaps College. Circulating Now interviewed her about her work. Circulating Now: Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? […]

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