[Humanist] 28.336 Medical Heritage Library news

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Sep 18 07:37:25 CEST 2014

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 336.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:24:52 -0400
        From: Medical Heritage Library <medicalheritage at gmail.com>
        Subject: Nearly 60,000 items from the Medical Heritage Library now available in DPLA!

Good morning!

The Medical Heritage Library (MHL) is pleased to announce that MHL content
can now be discovered through the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

The MHL, a specialized research collection stored in the Internet Archive,
currently includes nearly 60,000 digital rare books, serials, audio and
video recordings, and ephemera in the history of medicine, public health,
biomedical sciences, and popular medicine from the medical special
collections of 22 academic, special, and public libraries

MHL materials have been selected through a rigorous process of curation by
subject specialist librarians and archivists and through consultation with
an advisory committee of scholars in the history of medicine, public health,
gender studies, digital humanities, and related fields.  Items, selected for
their educational and research value, extend from 1235 (Liber Aristotil[is]
de nat[u]r[a] a[nima]li[u]m ag[res]tium [et] marino[rum]
[https://archive.org/details/101141503.nlm.nih.gov]), to 2014 (The Grog
Issue 40 2014 [https://archive.org/details/TheGrogIssue402014]) with the
bulk of the materials dating from the 19th century.

“The rich history of medicine content curated by the MHL is available for
the first time alongside collections like those from the Biodiversity
Heritage Library and the Smithsonian, and offers users a single access point
to hundreds of thousands of scientific and history of science resources,”
said DPLA Assistant Director for Content Amy Rudersdorf.

The collection is particularly deep in American and Western European medical
publications in English, although more than a dozen languages are
represented. Subjects include anatomy, dental medicine, surgery, public
health, infectious diseases, forensics and legal medicine, gynecology,
psychology, anatomy, therapeutics, obstetrics, neuroscience, alternative
medicine, spirituality and demonology, diet and dress reform, tobacco, and
homeopathy. The breadth of the collection is illustrated by these popular
items: the United States Naval Bureau of Medical History’s audio oral
history with Doctor Walter Burwell
[https://archive.org/details/BURWELLWalterReleased] (1994) who served in the
Pacific theatre during World War II and witnessed the first Japanese
kamikaze attacks; History and medical description of the two-headed girl :
sold by her agents for her special benefit, at 25 cents
[https://archive.org/details/historymedicalde00buff] (1869), the first
edition of Gray’s Anatomy
[https://archive.org/details/anatomydescripti1858gray] (1858) (the single
most-downloaded MHL text at more than 2,000 downloads annually), and a video
collection of Hanna - Barbera Production Flintstones
[https://archive.org/details/tobacco_djq03d00] (1960) commercials for
Winston cigarettes.

“As is clear from today’s headlines, science, health, and medicine have
an impact on the daily lives of Americans,” said Scott H. Podolsky, chair
of the MHL’s Scholarly Advisory Committee. “Vaccination, epidemics,
antibiotics, and access to health care are only a few of the ongoing issues
the history of which are well documented in the MHL. Partnering with the
DPLA offers us unparalleled opportunities to reach new and underserved
audiences, including scholars and students who don’t have access to
special collections in their home institutions and the broader interested

The MHL collection joins more than 7.6 million items available currently
through DPLA. DPLA, an all-digital library that offers a single point of
access to millions of items from libraries, archives, and museums around the
United States, provides a generous array of interfaces into its collections.
Users can browse and search by timeline, map, virtual bookshelf, and faceted
search; save and share customized lists of items; explore digital
exhibitions, and interact with DPLA-powered apps in its app library.

Robert Miller, Global Director of Books for the Internet Archive, noted,
“Digitizing this collection has breathed new life into rare and unique
texts that were previously only available in printed form. These items have
already been downloaded over 3.7 million times. Combining a digital platform
for access with curated content is a winner for the open knowledge

Creation of the MHL’s digital collection was funded by the Open Knowledge
Commons, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the National Endowment for the
Humanities and by the contributions of many of its principal and content
contributors. The MHL continues to seek new collaborators and content; among
the contributions anticipated for 2015 are oral histories with women leaders
in medicine, 19th century British monographs, and American monographs,
1865-1923. New content is searchable as it is deposited and indexed from the
MHL website [http://www.medicalheritage.org/search/], the Internet Archive
[https://archive.org/details/medicalheritagelibrary], and the DPLA

About the Medical Heritage Library

The Medical Heritage Library (MHL), a digital curation collaborative among
some of the world’s leading medical libraries, promotes free and open
access to quality historical resources in medicine. 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. 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. The MHL can be
found at www.medicalheritge.org, on Facebook, and Twitter

About DPLA

The Digital Public Library of America (http://dp.la) strives to contain the
full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and
culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of
science. Since launching in April 2013, it has aggregated over 7.6 million
items from over 1,300 institutions. The DPLA is a registered 501(c)(3)
non-profit. About the Internet Archive The Internet Archive
(www.archive.org) is a top 200 Internet website with a mission to build a
digital library of internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital
form. By working with great content holders and libraries such as those
above, we can together provide both storage of and access to treasures that
can inform and educate the global community.

Thank you -- if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me!
-Hanna Clutterbuck-Cook 

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

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