Introducing the Medical Heritage Library

James W. Roosevelt’s In sickness and in health; a manual of domestic medicine and surgery, hygiene, dietetics, and nursing (1896)

James W. Roosevelt’s In sickness and in health; a manual of domestic medicine and surgery, hygiene, dietetics, and nursing (1896)

James Birch Sharpe’s Elements of anatomy : designed for the use of students in the fine arts (1818)

James Birch Sharpe’s Elements of anatomy : designed for the use of students in the fine arts (1818)

The Medical Heritage Library (MHL) is a digital curation collaborative among some of the world’s leading medical libraries. Our goal is to provide the means by which readers and scholars across a multitude of disciplines can examine the interrelated nature of medicine and society, both to inform contemporary medicine and strengthen understanding of the world in which we live.

We seek to promote free and open access to quality historical resources in medicine and provide the means by which readers and scholars across a multitude of disciplines can examine the interrelated nature of medicine and society, both to inform contemporary medicine and strengthen understanding of the world in which we live. The MHL’s growing collection of digitized medical rare books, pamphlets, journals, and films number in the tens of thousands, with representative works from each of the past six centuries, all of which are available through the Internet Archive.

British Medical Association, American Medical Association, and Henry S. Wellcome joint publication, Anglo-Saxon Leechcraft (1912)

British Medical Association, American Medical Association, and Henry S. Wellcome joint publication, Anglo-Saxon Leechcraft (1912)

The MHL began digitization of monographs in 2010 with an initial grant from the Sloan Foundation. Work on the MHL project has contin ued with funding support from collaborating institutions, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Council on Library and Information Resources.

The collection includes books, pamphlets, journals, and video and audio recordings in a variety of languages including Latin, Dutch, German, French, and Hawaiian and covering a variety of topics in the history of medicine. Topics include the health sciences generally (nursing, dentistry, audiology, physiology, psychology, psychiatry, biological science) and titles on spas, weather, veterinary medicine, gardening, physical culture, and alternative medicine. A working list of subject headings is available here. Our collection includes George Sigerson’s translations of Jean-Martin Charcot’s lectures, the Latin edition of Jacob Rueff’s midwifery manual, and Walter Murray Gibson’s Sanitary Instructions for Hawaiians in English and Hawaiian.

systehro00comb_0010

George Combe’s A system of phrenology (1835)

Users can access and search the collection in a variety of ways, all of which are absolutely free. The Internet Archive page provides access to the full collection, allowing users to search either via the search box on the MHL page itself or via the Archive’s own Advanced Search page.

Additionally, the MHL has recently released a Beta version of its own full-text search tool. We welcome feedback! If you use the tool and have thoughts, comments, or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to email us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>