Dr. Louis Sullivan speaking at NIH. September 27

A Personal Perspective on Race, Opportunity and the U.S. Health System

Louis W. Sullivan, MD, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services from 1989–1993, will speak on “A Personal Perspective on Race, Opportunity and the U.S. Health System,” at 2pm on October 4 in Lipsett Auditorium, located in Building 10 on the campus of the National Institutes of Health. This talk is part of the NLM’s […]

A hand moves checkers on a board. September 20

Man to Man, 1954

By Sarah Owen and Sarah Eilers “Sanctuary, refuge, hospital….The doors are locked, but it’s not a prison that we enter….This is his job, his living. This ward is his work world.” The film Man to Man (1954) takes the viewer inside the day-to-day job of ward aide Joe Fuller, who supervises and tries to connect […]

A map showing 229 red dots accross the continental United States, concentrated east of the Rockies, and one in Canada. September 13

National Library of Medicine visits a community near you!

By Patricia Tuohy The National Library of Medicine partners with hundreds of libraries and cultural institutions across the country and around the world in an effort to provide meaningful historical and health related content to audiences in communities near you! The way this happens, is through the Exhibition Program’s traveling exhibition services. For example, in […]

Dr. Green gives the Images and Texts in Medical History workshop keynote address. September 08

Big Data: Collaboration, Opportunity, and Outcomes

Brett Bobley will speak at 2 PM ET on September 20th at the National Library of Medicine on “International Big Data Research in the Humanities & Social Sciences: Collaboration, Opportunity, and Outcomes.” Mr. Bobley is the Chief Information Officer for the National Endowment for the Humanities. He also serves as the Director of the Office of Digital […]

Coloring book with a cartoon of a louse on the cover September 02

Color Me Healthy

By Ginny A. Roth More than just a tool to keep children occupied, coloring books provide an entertaining, friendly, and interactive medium that can simplify otherwise complicated health-related subjects. Important public-health issues are conveyed to children in coloring books in a way that can transform an unpleasant subject into an engaging learning opportunity. For instance, […]

A color halftone printed postcard showing two small figures and a sweeping landscape of mountains, lakes and evergreen forest. August 25

America’s National Parks: Preserved for Public Health

By Anne Rothfeld The National Park Service (NPS) celebrates its centennial on August 25, 2016.  From Maine to Hawaii, the breadth of NPS includes parks, seashores, monuments, Indian reservations, and historic sites.  America’s parks are filled with an abundance of natural wonders: glaciers and rivers, flora and fauna, animals and insects, canyons and sand dunes, […]

On the poster Peggy Fleming skating below the text I don't smoke cigarettes. August 18

Olympians Say “No” to Substance Abuse

by Erika Mills Every two years, the Olympics Games make heroes out of the world’s athletic elite. Champions win worldwide fame, admiration, and influence along with the medals and prize money. But any hero worth their salt knows that with great power, comes great responsibility. Popular athletes have huge sway over public opinion and consumer […]

Illustration of different kinds of people coming together as in a rally or demonstration. August 09

Power to the People: Washington Gives Back

By Jennifer Brier, Anne Armstrong, Julie Kutruff, Erin Carlson Mast, Patricia Tuohy Creative individuals and institutions in Washington DC have moved beyond what often comes to mind when people think of “Washington museums.” Power to the People: Washington Gives Back was a panel featured during this year’s annual conference of the American Alliance of Museums, […]

Woodcut of a woman sowing on a machine in a room full of folded cloth, a nurse stands by while men discuss a parcel. August 02

Hosting the Representative of Flanders

By Jeffrey S. Reznick The richness of Flemish history came alive here at the NLM recently, when we were honored to host a visit of Geert De Proost, the General Representative of the Government of Flanders to the United States. He joins a number of VIPs who have graciously turned their attention to our collection […]

Man being attacked by insects. July 26

Why me?

By Ginny A. Roth We’ve all been there. It’s finally time for that fun summer barbecue. You’re surrounded by family and friends, the weather is warm, the burgers are cooking, and nothing can ruin this perfect evening.  Well, almost nothing.  While you are lying on your deck chair, eyes closed, and having enjoyed your glorious […]

A woman's photograph with overlaid bone structures. July 20

The Wonder in Us, 1921

By Michael Sappol Originally published in Hidden Treasure: The National Library of Medicine, 2011. In the early decades of the twentieth century a modernizing imperative took hold. Suddenly it seemed that a new age was dawning—an era of new technologies, fashions, and political philosophies—modern times. In the aftermath of the Great War (1914–1918), with the […]

Inset in the text, a wood cut of an Iris plant in bloom, July 13

A New Herbal in the Collection

By Margaret Kaiser The Library has recently acquired a rare work on medicinal plants by Leonhart Fuchs: Le Benefice commun de tout le monde, ou commodité de vie d’un chascun, pour la conservation de santé [the common benefit of all, for the preservation of health], 1555-56. The book is a very small volume, about 4 […]

A large building with a long colonnaded porch in a tropical setting. July 06

Leprosy in India, ca. 1931

Circulating Now welcomes guest blogger Magnus Vollset. Dr. Vollset is a researcher at the University of Bergen, Norway, and holds a PhD in medical history from the same institution. Leprosy in India [Lepra in India in the original German] is a hard film to watch. In the course of its 12 minutes, it puts before […]

A collage of poirtraits. July 01

Three Times Around and Still Circulating

Three years ago this week, we launched Circulating Now to explore, share, and celebrate the value of the NLM’s world-renowned historical collections and programs for research, education, enrichment, and learning about the human condition. By several measures, we’ve achieved our goal. In three years Circulating Now has given voice to over 100 individuals—from guest writers […]

Photograph of Aedes aegypti female mosquito biting. June 28

Web Collecting During the Zika Outbreak

By Christie Moffatt This week is “Mosquito Control Awareness week,” and agencies across the Department of Health and Human Services are taking this opportunity to share (and hoping that you’ll help re-share) guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on ways to control mosquitoes in and around your home, an important […]

President Johnson takes papers from DeBakey as they stand beside a podium. June 23

Apply Now! A New History Fellowship at NLM

By Jeffrey S. Reznick Earlier this year, the National Library of Medicine announced its receipt of a generous gift from The DeBakey Medical Foundation to support enhanced access to the Michael E. DeBakey Archives at the NLM, and to establish the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine. The NLM is pleased to […]

In a skylit room about twenty men in white coats crane to observe surgeons and nurses working. June 14

The Origins and Evolution of the Mayo Clinic

Bruce Fye will give the annual James H. Cassedy Memorial Lecture on June 22, 2016 at the National Library of Medicine on “The Origins and Evolution of the Mayo Clinic from 1864 to 1939: A Minnesota Family Practice Becomes an International ‘Medical Mecca.’” Dr. Fye is an emeritus professor of medicine and the history of medicine […]

A botanical Illustration of a Dandelion flower. June 07

The Dandelion

By Anne Rothfeld The dandelion—a quant, yellow-flowered, perennial herb loathed by homeowners and gardeners—was once praised for its many useful properties: its roots for medicinal remedies; its flowers for wine; its bitter, earthy leaves for cooking.  Similar to chicory, the dandelion’s stalk stands tall with its sweet-smelling flower head, which turns into a downy ball […]

Image of a man with a toothache pointing out the tooth to a dentist. May 31

Images from the History of Medicine is Moving to NLM Digital Collections

By Ginny A. Roth   On June 1, 2016, Images from the History Medicine (IHM), the National Library of Medicine (NLM), History of Medicine Division’s (HMD) online database of historical images, will be decommissioned from its current Luna Imaging platform, and formally launched in its new home in NLM’s Digital Collections, the Library’s free online […]

A gold embossed leather cover with brass clasps titled Photographs. May 27

Memories of the Civil War

By Stephen J. Greenberg Although the American Civil War was not the first armed conflict to be extensively photographed (that dubious distinction belongs to the Crimean War of 1853–1856, where Great Britain and France fought with Russia over control of the Black Sea and access to the Eastern Mediterranean), the conflict between North and South […]

Still from opening that reads For Official Use Only May 24

Vulnerability to Covert Attack, 1959

By Sarah Eilers Vulnerability to Covert Attack. The film title seems as relevant today as it must have when it was made, in the Cold War days of 1959. In the 1950s and ’60s, the United States government produced, or supported the production of, scores of films concerning the threat of atomic, biological, and chemical […]

Letter to Magic Johnson thanking him for his participation on the Commission May 19

June E. Osborn: At the Center of National Policy on AIDS

By Gregory Pike and John Rees A new archival collection, June E. Osborn Papers, 1954–2001, is now available at the National Library of Medicine for those interested in AIDS history and the federal government’s early response efforts. Osborn was an expert advisor in urgent health and medical issues—including AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), virology, infectious diseases, vaccines, and […]

Photographs of 3 woman in nursing uniforms, generally including variations on a collared shirt, cap and apron. May 12

A Universal Code: Nurse Uniforms of All Nations

By Anne Marie Rafferty This essay on the International Nurse Uniform Photograph Collection, ca. 1950 was originally published in Hidden Treasure: The National Library of Medicine, 2011. The collection of photographs was developed by the Helene Fuld Health Foundation and consists of 93 hand-colored 8×10 photographs. It is republished here today in honor of National […]

A book held open on a table. May 10

“Beyond Chicken Soup” with a Taste of NLM

By Karen Falk and Jeffrey S. Reznick During the past few years, the NLM History of Medicine Division has loaned items from its collections for display in a number of prominent public exhibitions, at venues including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution. Most recently, several rare books and […]

Romantic illustration of two figures with thier heads inclinded to each other. May 05

A Mughal Era Manuscript Curiously Illustrated

By Homira Pashai The National Library of Medicine is the home of many precious manuscripts belonging to the Indian Mughal era (16th–18th century). Among these manuscripts, there is a unique copy of Kitab-i fi al-tibb al-mansuri (Book on Medicine Dedicated to al-Mansur) by Muhammad Zakariya al-Razi (died 925 AD). Al-Razi’s text on the subject of […]

Shrouded Historical Marker prepared for ceremonial unveiling. May 02

118 and Counting: Happy Birthday MLA!

By Betsy L. Humphreys On May 2, 1898, a small group of U.S. and Canadian physicians and librarians met in the offices of the Philadelphia Medical Journal to form what is now the Medical Library Association (MLA).  George Milbry Gould, MD, editor of the Journal, Margaret Ridley Charlton, medical librarian at McGill University, and Sir […]

Detail of computer screen displaying Greatful Med homescreen. April 28

Grateful Med: Personal Computing and User-Friendly Design

By Nicole Contaxis Grateful Med was an NLM-developed software program that was intended to expand and ease access to the NLM databases, including MEDLINE. Supported and in use between 1986 and 2001, this piece of software is part of an important trend in the history of computing and the history of NLM itself. Before explaining […]

Co-operate Eradicate Malaria April 25

Setting Our Sights on a World without Malaria

By Erika Mills Around 3.2 billion people—nearly half the world’s population—are at risk for malaria. In 2015, 214 million were infected and 438,000 died of the disease, mostly children in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and parts of the Americas. While there is still much to be done to eliminate the infection, we’ve made significant progress through […]

Screen shot of Images from the History of Medicine in Open-i April 21

Images from the History of Medicine in Open-i

By Ginny A. Roth On March 22, 2016 the NLM History of Medicine Division’s image database, Images from the History of Medicine (IHM), launched in Open-iSM, the National Library of Medicine’s open access biomedical image search engine from the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications (LHNCBC).  Open-iSM enables search and retrieval of abstracts and images […]

An artists portait of Susan Coley Nauts seated in front of a bookshelf. April 19

Helen Coley Nauts: Advocate for Immunotherapy

By Douglas Atkins Helen Coley Nauts (1907–2001) was the daughter of a prominent physician and surgeon whom many consider to be the Father of Immunotherapy for cancer, Dr. William Bradley Coley (1862–1936). Dr. Coley treated hundreds of cancer patients in his career, initially by utilizing live bacterial toxins, which in turn activated an immune response […]

Colored botanical illustration of a dandelion plant. April 14

Some of the Most Beautiful Herbals

By Michael North This post is the sixth 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 […]

A doctor on the telephone (which is linked up to a television April 08

Images and Texts in Medical History—Keynote

On April 11-13, 2016, the National Library of Medicine will host the workshop “Images and Texts in Medical History: An Introduction to Methods, Tools, and Data from the Digital Humanities” funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through a generous grant to Virginia Tech, and held in cooperation with Virginia Tech, The Wellcome […]

A raincloud labeled AIDS. April 07

Images and Texts in Medical History—Jeremy Greene

On April 11-13, 2016, the National Library of Medicine will host the workshop “Images and Texts in Medical History: An Introduction to Methods, Tools, and Data from the Digital Humanities” funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through a generous grant to Virginia Tech, and held in cooperation with Virginia Tech, The Wellcome […]

A visualization sf shipping routes plotted on a world map with large swathes of missing data. April 06

Images and Texts in Medical History—Benjamin Schmidt

On April 11-13, 2016, the National Library of Medicine will host the workshop “Images and Texts in Medical History: An Introduction to Methods, Tools, and Data from the Digital Humanities” funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through a generous grant to Virginia Tech, and held in cooperation with Virginia Tech, The Wellcome […]

A collage of many black and white images consisting mainly of brain anatomy and graphs. April 05

Images and Texts in Medical History—Miriam Posner

On April 11-13, 2016, the National Library of Medicine will host the workshop “Images and Texts in Medical History: An Introduction to Methods, Tools, and Data from the Digital Humanities” funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through a generous grant to Virginia Tech, and held in cooperation with Virginia Tech, The Wellcome […]

A colage of open books, posters, and titlepages. April 04

Images and Texts in Medical History

By Jeffrey S. Reznick Next week, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) will host the workshop Images and Texts in Medical History: An Introduction to Methods, Tools, and Data from the Digital Humanities. The event is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through a generous grant to Virginia Tech, and it will […]

Detail from a brochure advertising the Abridged index medicus service. March 30

MEDLARS II: MEDLINE & Instantaneous Search

By Nicole Contaxis MEDLARS I, as described in my previous post, was a great step forward in providing access to bibliographic data and facilitating biomedical research, nationally and internationally. However, by the mid-1960’s, customer demand for MEDLARS I services was far outstripping capacity. Planning a next-generation MEDLARS II began in 1966. MEDLARS II and MEDLINE […]

Bontanical illustration of a branch with large oval leaves and stems with clusters of small pink flowers. March 22

Colonialism and the Plant Hunters

By Michael North This post is the fifth 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 […]

Grainy still from film that reads: Herr Professor Doktor Jakob Erdheim Prosektor Krankenhaus Der Stadt Wien March 15

Erdheim’s Autopsy: A Silent Film Fragment

Circulating Now welcomes guest bloggers Tatjana Buklijas, Birgit Nemec, and Katrin Pilz whose recent essay “Erdheim’s Autopsy: Dissection, motion pictures, and the politics of health in Red Vienna” on the NLM website Medical Movies on the Web discusses a fragment of silent film in the NLM historical collections: Herr Professor Doktor Jakob Erdheim, 1933, which […]

Archived CDC homepage running features on Ebola. March 10

Future Historical Collections: Archiving the 2014 Ebola Outbreak

Christie Moffatt spoke today at the National Library of Medicine on “Future Historical Collections: Archiving the 2014 Ebola Outbreak.” Ms. Moffatt is an Archivist & Manager of the Digital Manuscripts Program in the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine. Circulating Now interviewed her about her work. Circulating Now: Tell us a […]

Detail of engraving style illustration of a woman holding up a hand in defense. March 08

Change is Possible

This post is the last 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. By the early 1990s, change was on the horizon. […]

Detail of instructions for connecting to GenBank via Telenet. March 03

GenBank & The Early Years of “Big Data”

In cooperation with our colleagues at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), National Library of Medicine (NLM), the NLM’s History of Medicine Division recently acquired the archives of the early history of GenBank, the NIH genetic sequence database, an annotated collection of all publicly available DNA sequences. Today Circulating Now welcomes guest blogger Bruno […]

Artist May Lesser drawing of a resident examining a child patient with rheumatoid arthritis. February 29

Rare Disease Day 2016

By Ginny A. Roth The drawing above created by artist May Lesser depicts a medical school resident examining a child patient with rheumatoid arthritis in a hospital bed.  According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), juvenile rheumatoid arthritis has an incidence of approximately 14 per 100,000 children per year in the United States […]

A man watches a woman working on a keyboard while other women work with macnines and reel to reel systems. February 25

MEDLARS I & GRACE: The Early Mainframe Experience

By Nicole Contaxis Providing access to bibliographic data has long been a part of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) mission. Through a variety of means, NLM has publicized and shared medical research nationally and internationally since its inception. In 1879, it published the first edition of Index Medicus, a list of current medical literature, […]

meshterm_wordcloud_feature February 23

PubMed Central: Visualizing a Historical Treasure Trove

By Tyler Nix, Kathryn Funk, Jeffrey S. Reznick, and Erin Zellers A wealth of medical history awaits your exploration in the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) free and full-text digital archive of journals PubMed Central (PMC)! Known to most of its users as a free, full-text archive of recent biomedical journals, PMC also reaches back […]

Cover of a congressional document on appropriations. February 18

In the Belly of the Beast: A History of Alternative Medicine at the NIH

Dr. Eric Boyle spoke today at the National Library of Medicine on “In the Belly of the Beast: A History of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.” Dr. Boyle is Chief Archivist at the National Museum of Health and Medicine. Circulating Now interviewed him about his work. Circulating Now: Tell us a little about […]

Archival file folders. February 16

Ceci Doak discusses NLM’s acquisition of the Doaks’ papers

By Rob Logan The National Library of Medicine recently acquired the papers of Cecilia and Leonard Doak, pioneers in the field of health literacy. In a recent telephone interview for Circulating Now, Ceci Doak shared some thoughts on the early days of health literacy research. Ceci’s work on health literacy began when she met her […]

Michael DeBakey and surgical team at work in an operating room. February 12

A Decade of Phenomenal Progress in Heart Surgery

By Susan Speaker In March of 1959, Dr. Michael DeBakey testified in the U.S. House of Representatives about the phenomenal progress made against cardiovascular disease since 1949. Ten years earlier, diseases of the heart and blood vessels consigned millions to lives as invalids, and very often to an early death. These included children born with […]