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Medline: Medical Information When Minutes Count

MEDLINE makes a vast store of biomedical information immediately available to health care professionals nationwide, helping them in minutes to locate medical information that used to take days to find.

Through MEDLINE, health care professionals can tap into NLM's computerized reservoir of 6 million-plus references to journal articles accumulated since 1965 and growing at a rate of 300,000 per year. Not only does MEDLINE allow individuals to call up a list of pertinent articles in minutes, but it allows users to print abstracts for many of those articles at their own terminals. MEDLINE is accessible at 3,500 institutions, including universities, medical schools, hospitals, government agencies, and commercial organizations. Recently, growing numbers of individual health professionals have been joining the network.

[Current data as of 2008, from MEDLINE Factsheet - over 16 million references to journal articles - citations from approximately 5,200 worldwide journals in 37 languages; 60 languages for older journals - Since 2005, between 2,000-4,000 completed references are added each day Tuesday through Saturday; over 670,000 total added in 2007]

Interior view of the rotunda from the mezzanine that includes the card catalog, offices on the mezzanine, a partial view of the mural, computer terminals, and shelves of reference works.

Interior view of the rotunda and catalog area of the National Library of Medicine.

Patrons seated at tables are using the resources in the National Library of Medicine's reading room.

The NLM collection is available to all members of the health care profession, students and the general public.

An African-American man is seated at a computer terminal with another African-American standing behind him pointing towards the computer screen. Behind the men the men are rows of computer tapes.

NLM's computers offer immediate access to more than 6 million journal article references.


Médecin Chirurgien Major by François-Hippolyte Lalaisse. Battlefield scene: a wounded soldier is being bandaged by the Surgeon Major; instruments and supplies lie on the ground and another wounded soldier sits in the background.


A French print showing military field medicine. Many surgical advances have resulted from the need for finding fast. efficient resolutions to problems and injuries encountered during wartime. This print, entitled "Médecin Chirurgien Major" (Doctor Surgeon Major), is a hand colored lithograph made by Hippolyte Lalaisse in the 1840s.