October is American Archives Month

Celebrating American Archives Month


By Rebecca C. Warlow ~

This post was originally published in 2016.

Here at the National Library of Medicine (NLM), and at archives across the country, we are spending October celebrating the unique and interesting collections to be found in archives. Archives are collections of documents and records, in varying formats including hand-written papers, images, audiovisuals, databases and others, that are kept for proof, research, or sentimental reasons. They are kept at all levels from personal to national, from corporate to cultural.

Overseen by NLM’s History of Medicine Division, the NLM archives focus on materials related to biomedical research; biotechnology and drugs; public health; military medicine; and much more.  The archives include over 18,000 linear feet of manuscript collections, 150,000 prints and photographs, 10,000 films and videos, and 4.8 terabytes of web-based materials.

Did you know that, in addition to its vast collection of printed works, the National Library of Medicine has one of the largest archival collections related medicine and the health sciences?

We invite you to join us for some of our 2016 American Archives Month activities:

  • October 4 at 2 PM in the Lipsett Auditorium in the NIH Clinical Center, the NLM History of Medicine Division will host a lecture by Dr. Louis Sullivan, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services from 1989-1993.  Dr. Sullivan will speak on “A Personal Perspective on Race, Opportunity, and the U.S. Health System.”  The lecture will also be videocast.
  • October 5, We will be answering questions on Twitter from @NLM_News for Ask An Archivist Day. Tweet us your questions using the hashtag #AskAnArchivistDay.
  • October 5, from 10-4, we will also be participating in the 2016 Archives Fair at the National Museum of American History (West Wing First Floor: Coulter Performance Plaza and SC Johnson Conference Center) with many of our Washington, DC, area colleagues.  Stop by and talk with us about our collections.
  • October 14 we will officially launch the newest Profiles in Science on the work and life of Dr. Louis Sokoloff, 1981 recipient of the Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award for his ground breaking work with PET scans.
  • Through October 14, visit NLM to see the on-site exhibition Confronting Violence, Changing Women’s Lives that features materials from the History of Nursing and Domestic Violence Collection.

If you can’t visit us in person, explore our archival collections online:

And stay tuned to Circulating Now  for more posts about NLM’s archival collections throughout the month.

Portrait of Rebecca Warlow.Rebecca C. Warlow is Head of Images and Archives in the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine.

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