[Humanist] 28.258 Wellcome Medical Heritage Library

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Aug 13 10:29:52 CEST 2014

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 258.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2014 13:04:16 -0400
        From: "Clutterbuck, Hanna" <Hanna_Clutterbuck at hms.harvard.edu>
        Subject: Medical Heritage Library update on new Wellcome Library project

Dear friends,

Hope you've been enjoying the summer. We've got some news that might make the fall even more fun.

The Wellcome Library http://wellcomelibrary.org/ , an MHL principal contributor, announced in March of 2014 a project designed in partnership with Jisc http://www.jisc.ac.uk/  and Research Libraries UK <http://www.rluk.ac.uk/>  and now with support from the Higher Education Funding Council for England http://www.hefce.ac.uk/  that will digitize over 30,000 nineteenth century rare books to form the core of a UK Medical Heritage Library (UK MHL). MHL and UK MHL content will be copied and shared across the two repositories, extending and deepening MHL resources.

This week, Wellcome Library and Jisc announced its nine collaborators in the ambitious digitization project: UCL (University College London), the University of Leeds, the University of Glasgow, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, King's College London, and the University of Bristol along with the libraries of the Royal College of Physicians of London, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and the Royal College of Surgeons of England. These libraries join the 22 MHL collaborators from the United States, Canada, and the UK to create an international digital library collaboration comprised of some of the most renowned medical special collections in the world. The nineteenth century content selected from the new collaborators both supplements and complements existing MHL holdings (see more below).

The MHL is proud to be associated with the library leaders and organizations (this includes you!) who are working to make research resources more accessible and useful to the global scholarly community.

The new content will be available as it is deposited. See the MHL full text and metadata-only search interfaces at http://www.medicalheritage.org/search/. Remember, our full text search box is easily embeddable on any HTML-web page (http://www.medicalheritage.org/developmhl/, scroll to bottom).

Please let me know if you have questions.


Hanna Clutterbuck-Cook

Processing Assistant, Center for the History of Medicine and
Project Coordinator, Medical Heritage Library (http://www.medicalheritage.org/)

>From the  Wellcome Library press release, courtesy of Holly Story and Simon Chaplin:

Approximately 15 million pages of printed books and pamphlets from all ten partners will be digitised over a period of two years and will be made freely available to researchers and the public under an open licence. By pooling their collections the partners will create a comprehensive online library. The content will be available on multiple platforms to broaden access, including the Internet Archive [in the Medical Heritage Library collection], the Wellcome Library http://wellcomelibrary.org/ , and Jisc<http://www.jisc.ac.uk/> Historic Books.

The project's focus is on books and pamphlets from the 19th century that are on the subject of medicine or its related disciplines. This will include works relating to the medical sciences, consumer health, sport and fitness, as well as different kinds of medical practice, from phrenology to hydrotherapy. Works on food and nutrition will also feature: around 1400 cookery books from the University of Leeds are among those lined up for digitisation. They, along with works from the other partner institutions, will be transported to the Wellcome Library in London where a team from the Internet Archive will undertake the digitisation work. The project will build on the success of the US-based Medical Heritage Library<http://www.medicalheritage.org/> consortium, of which the Wellcome Library is a part, which has already digitised over 50 000 books and pamphlets.

Simon Chaplin, Head of the Wellcome Library, said: "We are pleased that these nine institutions have chosen to add their valuable collections to the Medical Heritage Library. As well as our partners Jisc and Research Libraries UK, we will be working closely with our Academic Advisory Group to produce an online resource that is both a repository for a superb wealth of content and an effective research tool for a broad range of users."

Peter Findlay, digital portfolio manager, Jisc, said: "We are delighted that the Wellcome Library team has been able to identify such valuable collections, which will be digitised to a high standard, freed from the confines of their original format and made openly available for teaching, learning and research. By working closely with the partner institutions to build the UK Medical Heritage Library, we are converting books into searchable data so that users can explore every aspect of 19th-century medicine and develop new insights into this period of unprecedented medical discovery."

More at the Wellcome Library website (http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/News/Media-office/Press-releases/2014/WTP056966.htm).

Processing Assistant, Center for the History of Medicine and
Project Coordinator, Medical Heritage Library (http://www.medicalheritage.org/)

More information about the Humanist mailing list