Thursday, May 26, 2011

Great New Medical History Resource from National Library of Medicine!

Via my friends at the Society of Civil War Surgeons comes this GREAT news about an exciting digital resource at the National Library of Medicine for 19th-century history-of-medicine enthusiasts:

The National Library of Medicine, the world's largest medical library and a component of NIH, announces the release of "Medicine in the Americas." A digital resource encompassing over 350 early American printed books, Medicine in the Americas makes freely available original works demonstrating the evolution of American medicine from colonial frontier outposts of the 17th century to research hospitals of the 20th century.

Drawing on the collections of NLM's History of Medicine Division and including works from the United States,Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada, this initial release of Medicine in the Americas encompasses monographs dating from 1610 to 1865. Additional titles, dating up to 1920 and drawing further upon NLM's comprehensive collection of early American printed books, will be available on an ongoing basis in the future.

Medicine in the Americas will be of interest to scholars, educators, writers, students and others who wish to use primary historical materials to help expand knowledge of medical and public health history for the advancementof scholarship across the disciplines and for the education of the general public.

Digital files created for Medicine in the Americas, reside in NLM's "Digital Collections," a repository for access to and preservation of digitized biomedical resources. Digital Collections allows rich searching, browsing and retrieval of monographs and films from NLM's History of Medicine Division. Medicine in the Americas joins the recently launched collection, "The Public Health Film Goes to War," as well as other digital resources, the digital files for which also reside in Digital Collections.

Medicine in the Americas is made possible in part through the participation of the National Library of Medicinein the Medical Heritage Library, a digital curation collaborative supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and administered by the Open Knowledge Commons.

Sample images from works in the Medicine in the Americas collection:

Anatomical tables of the human body,William Cheselden, 1796 and Practical horse farrier, or, The traveller's pocket companion: shewing the best method to preserve the horse in health...,William Carver,1820

There are many titles of interest to Civil War medicine and 19th-century medicine enthusiasts. The digital books are available in many forms, including PDFs.

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