A collage of medical images from different time periods and media.

Top 9 of 2022 from NLM Collections on Instagram

By Krista Stracka ~

A collage of medical images from different time periods and media.Happy New Year! Before we dig into 2023, we’re taking a moment to count down last year’s most-liked Instagram posts from @nlm_collections.  In 2022 we shared news about many events with you, including the relaunch of our Dream Anatomy exhibition in honor of its 20th anniversary, the return of Traveling Exhibitions, the addition of a new Profile for Profiles in Science, an incredible lineup of 12 NLM History Talks, and more. Many of the top posts featured amazing items from our collections including clips from recently digitized films and anatomical works all available in NLM Digital Collections. Ready to revisit them? Here we go!


Blundell’s Gravitator from The Lancet, June 13, 1829 (August 31)

A book illustration of a man giving blood through a system of tubes to a woman lying on a bed. This illustration from an 1829 article in The Lancet shows a human blood transfusion performed by James Blundell. Dr. Blundell developed a device that revived a woman dying of blood loss with her husband’s blood. The device was called a “gravitator,” as it used gravity to transport the donor’s blood to the patient.

This image was featured in NLM’s Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature exhibition. Happy (belated) #FrankensteinDay!


Maʻaśeh Ṭoviyah by Toviyah Kats. (Nidpas be-Ṿinitsiya, 1708) (August 16)

An illustration of a man's internal anatomy compared to the workings of a castle.This illustration from the Hebrew encyclopedic work Ma’a’seh Toviyah (“Work of Tobias”) by Toviyah Kats pairs the interior of a human body with the interior of a house as a visual metaphor. The organs, like rooms in a house, have different functions. Published in 1708, the 3-volume text covered a range of subjects including theology, astronomy, medicine, and hygiene. Kats (1652–1729), one of the first Jews to study medicine at a German university, completed his degree at Padua and served as court physician to the Ottoman Sultan.

The work is featured in NLM’s Dream Anatomy exhibition. Find the volume in NLM Digital Collections.


Photograph of Virginia Apgar examining a newborn baby, circa 1958 (June 7)

A woman in scrubs holds a newborn, touching it on the forehead.“Nobody, but nobody, is going to stop breathing on me!”– Dr. Virginia Apgar, ca. 1950s, explaining why she kept basic resuscitation equipment with her at all times.

Virginia Apgar (born #OTD in 1909) was an American physician who is best known for the Apgar Score, a simple, rapid method for assessing newborn viability. Developed in the early 1950s and quickly adopted by obstetric teams, the method reduced infant mortality and laid the foundations of neonatology. This year marks the 70th anniversary of Apgar scoring which continues to be a standard obstetric practice today. While best known for this achievement, Dr. Apgar was also a leader in the emerging field of anesthesiology during the 1940s and in the new field of teratology (the study of birth defects) after 1960.

Learn more about Dr. Apgar’s life and achievements on NLM’s Profiles in Science site.


Cover illustration from 10 January 1904 issue of Le Petit Parisien (December 21)

An illustration in which a man holds out a flask of red liquid to a woman working at a lab bench.#OTD in 1898, Marie Sklodowska Curie and Pierre Curie discovered the existence of the radioactive chemical element #radium while studying pitchblende ore. This color #lithograph (“Une nouvelle découverte, le radium“) from the 10 January 1904 cover of Le Petit Parisien shows the Curies working in their laboratory. Together with Henri Becquerel, they shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on radioactivity. Marie Curie was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize and the first individual to win twice.

Learn more in The Revolutionary who Discovered Radium on Circulating Now.


The Motion Picture in Medical Education (Sturgis-Grant, 1962) (July 29)

E.coli meets penicillin in this clip from The Motion Picture in Medical Education, produced in the early 1960s. As the antibiotic diffuses, movement of the E.coli rods slows and they become distended. This film includes excerpts from multiple medical teaching titles, the aim being to demonstrate the effectiveness of motion pictures as a pedagogical tool. It’s one of several hundred legacy films in the NLM collection digitally preserved in the past 18 months.

E. coli is the name of a type of bacteria that lives in your intestines. Most types of E. coli are harmless. However, some types can make you sick and cause diarrhea. For current health information on this topic, search for “E. Coli Infections” on MedlinePlus.gov (@mplusgov).

View the full film in the History of Medicine section on NLM’s YouTube channel.


Anatomia per uso et intelligenza del disegno by Bernardino Genga. Rome, 1691. (October 15)

A detailed copperplate engraving showing skeletons gathered around a scene of suffering multitudes.This “portal of death” is the frighteningly beautiful #frontispiece from Anatomia per uso et intelligenza del disegno (“Anatomy for the proper use and understanding of the design”) by Italian scholar and artist Bernardino Genga. Published one year after his death, this work features 59 copperplate engravings of bones and muscles, as well as drawings of famous antique sculptures from a variety of angles. Find the book in NLM Digital Collections.

Explore NLM’s Dream Anatomy exhibition, newly refreshed in celebration of the #20thAnniversary.

Read even more about Genga’s work in “A Portal of Death” on Circulating Now.


Surgical anatomy of the arteries by N.R. Smith. Baltimore, 1832. (December 5)

A medical illustration of the major artery to the heart seated in the rib cage.Happy #AnatoMonday! These images are from Nathan Ryno Smith’s Surgical Anatomy of the Arteries, published in Baltimore in 1832. The plates show the location of the arteries of the thorax and abdomen in relation to the surrounding organs, each illustrated with cloth gracefully draped around the torso. Smith, a surgeon and medical professor, noticed a lack of American publications on the subject and wrote this book to meet the needs of both students and practitioners. Find the book in NLM Digital Collections.


Jinshin gozō no zu. Japan, 1661 (December 26)

A medical illustration with Japanese text of a side view of a body showing the internal organs.Happy #AnatoMonday! Printed in Japan in 1661, this hand-painted illustration is from Jinshin gozō no zu (Illustrations of human internal organs), an anatomical atlas of Chinese traditional medicine. The names and locations of acupuncture points are printed at the top.

This item is part of NLM’s East Asian collection which holds approximately 3,000 books, manuscripts, prints, photographs, and pieces of ephemera from Japan, China, and Korea dating from the 15th-20th century. Nearly 1,000 items date from before 1850.


Initial techniques of basic life support in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Atlanta, 1974 (November 18)

This video from the early 1970s demonstrates life-support maneuvers recommended at the time to resuscitate a patient suffering cardiopulmonary collapse. CPR techniques are reviewed and updated every five years. The video demonstrates the first step in the older “A-B-C” approach—first clear the Airway, then apply rescue Breaths, then deliver chest Compressions. Today, chest compressions happen first, and rescue breathing is no longer recommended for untrained bystanders attempting to help in an emergency. Trained personnel may still apply rescue breathing techniques. Visit NLM Digital Collections to view the full film.

We welcome you to join our over 10,000 followers and check out @nlm_collections at https://www.instagram.com/nlm_collections/. Explore images and videos from our expansive collections of books, manuscripts, archival collections, audiovisuals, journals, and more. Get a peek behind the scenes at conservation work and digitization efforts, and learn about events, lectures, and exhibitions.

Our resolution for 2023 is to feature more content that you would like to see, so let us know in the comments below!

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