Category Archives: Collections

Posts highlighting the historical collections of the National Library of Medicine

A map of the continental United States with blue dots. February 21

The Power of Aggregation

By John Rees We all appreciate the convenience of the modern shopping experience. Who doesn’t love visiting a local farmer’s market on a Saturday morning to browse all the variety of local produce and meats from nearby farms, or logging in to your favorite online shopping site to find that perfect shoe for a fancy […]

An illustratration of a man bowing to a woman under a canopy in the desert in silhouette. February 14

The Lay of the Lonesome Lung, 1881

By Krista Stracka Since the end December, the aisles of most drug stores have been awash in red and pink products in anticipation of today, Valentine’s Day, a holiday often expressed through gift-giving—a retailer’s favorite tradition. The flood of love-themed commercials, advertisements, circulars, billboards, and clickbait pour in on every side through today hopeful to […]

Cover of the coloring book from the National Library of Medicine February 06

Color Our Collections – National Library of Medicine

By Ginny A. Roth In 2016, The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) launched a week-long, international, social media coloring event called, #ColorOurCollections, providing historical and cultural institutions the opportunity to share images from their collections in a new and interactive way. Inspired by the recent adult coloring book trend, the event allows participating institutions […]

Late 19th century advertisement for Dr. Seth Arnold's Cough Killer, featuring a little girl holding a dog. February 01

Cough Killer’s Secret Ingredient

By Ginny A. Roth Whereas the statement from Dr. Seth Arnold Medical Company on this late 19th century advertisement, “we are all liable to catch a cold at any moment” is true, the makers of Dr. Seth Arnold’s Cough Killer do not explicitly describe how the medicine will cure consumers of their ailments. This innocently-illustrated […]

Enlarged view of patient record page with Mansion House Hospital heading. January 19

Mercy Street’s Mansion House Hospital

By Stephen J. Greenberg Mercy Street, the popular PBS series now entering its second season, tells the complicated story of a U.S. Army hospital during the American Civil War.  The story is told from many points of view: doctors, nurses, soldiers, patients, including such usually under-represented groups as escaped slaves (“contraband,” as they were called) […]

A banner reading "UUU are Great Marshall" hung in a hallway. January 12

Molecular Biology Behind the Blackboard

By Paul Theerman Originally published in Hidden Treasure: The National Library of Medicine, 2011. The photograph is dramatic, more dramatic in its own way than the famous one of James Watson and Francis Crick. Like that photograph, this one portrays two young scientists in the throes—the joys—of collaboration. The names are not as well known: […]

A teacher reviews a classroom's vaccination status on a blackboard. January 05

The Road to Health and Happiness, 1937

By Sarah Eilers The road to abundant life is not hard to follow and it is not expensive. So we are told in the opening frames of the 1937 silent film The Road to Health and Happiness, produced by Salem, Oregon dentist and filmmaker David Bennett Hill. Mental as well as physical habits are key. […]