Skip Navigation Bar

About the Consortium

The History of Medicine Finding Aids Consortium is a pilot project to explore the feasibility of crawling, indexing, and delivering web accessible content from external institutions in a union catalog format. The site leverages NLM's enterprise search engine Vivisimo. Using a variety of crawl protocols that are target-site specific, we are able to crawl, index, and provide access to finding aids that exist in a variety of data formats such as xml, html, or pdf. By crawling and indexing content locally with referring links back to an owning repository, NLM can offer a multi-institutional discovery service, but is relieved of the burden of managing external data. Crawls are currently performed on a monthly basis. Our method and tools allow for a widely-inclusive harvesting and search, but at the expense of advance-level services such as author or subject-based browsing or searching. We encourage the use of EAD, as it could provide the consortium more functionality and hope the project evolves in that direction.

The pilot partners were chosen based on the variety of data formats, storage architectures, and willingness to experiment. For example, the UVA, VCU and UCSF entries are harvested from existing EAD consortia (Virginia Heritage and the Online Archive of California) that make their xml avaliable. Johns Hopkins and Columbia both deliver collection-level html find aids, but with internal links to separate ancilary files carrying additional information such as box and folder lists. Thanks to Joan Klein, Jodi Koste, Tim Pennycuff, Lisa Mix, Nancy McCall, Phoebe Evans Letocha, and Steve Novak for volunteering their finding aids and providing feedback. Thanks also to Steve Majewski at Virginia Heritage and Adrian Turner at the Online Archive of California.

We invite other repositories who focus their collecting in the history of medicine and its allied sciences to join. Partners must be able to respond to reference requests about their own collections. Please contact John Rees, NLM Curator Archives and Modern Manuscripts if you are interested in joining or simply learning more about our techniques.

NLM would also like to offer its EAD infrastructure to help institutions create finding aids if they do not already do so. We offer a free Microsoft Access database to assist in creating EAD and a search and delivery platform, DLXS, outside the consortium environment. The consortium also crawls this DLXS content.

Current List of Participating Institutions (finding aid count)
  • NLM History of Medicine Division (505)
  • American Philosophical Society (80)
  • Bellevue Alumnae Center for Nursing History (12)
  • Boston Children's Hospital Archives (36)
  • The College of Physicians of Philadelphia (27)
  • Columbia University Health Sciences Library (306)
  • DeWitt Wallace Institute for the History of Psychiatry Weill Cornell Medical College (22)
  • Drexel University College of Medicine (26)
  • Duke University Medical Center Archives (151)
  • Eskind Biomedical Library Vanderbilt University (87)
  • Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine (152)
  • George Washington University (20)
  • Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library (24)
  • McGill University Osler Library Archives (212)
  • Medical Archives, Johns-Hopkins University Medical Institutions (317)
  • Mount Sinai Medical Center (28)
  • New York Academy of Medicine (35)
  • New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center (88)
  • NMHM Otis Historical Archives (49)
  • Ohio State University Medical Heritage Center (117)
  • Oregon Health & Science University (118)
  • Rockefeller Archive Center (69)
  • Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College (82)
  • State Historical Society of Missouri Research Center (24)
  • UMBC Center for Biological Sciences Archives (10)
  • University of California-San Francisco (180)
  • UPenn Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing (95)
  • University of Mississippi Archives and Special Collections (69)
  • University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston (148)
  • University of Virginia Health Sciences Library (52)
  • UT Health Science Center at San Antonio (20)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (38)
  • Washington University School of Medicine (380)
  • Wright State University Special Collections and Archives (59)
  • Yale University Library (47)