Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness explores the interconnectedness of wellness, illness, and cultural life for Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. In the exhibition, visitors will discover how Native concepts of health and illness are closely tied to the concepts of community, spirit, and the land. Native Peoples’ healing traditions have rich histories that extend into the distant past. An interactive timeline highlights key events and themes, from antiquity to the present, to help us understand the importance of some of these ongoing traditions. Visitors will also discover the meaning behind the NLM’s Healing Totem and the model of the Hōkūle‘a voyaging canoe.
Current Exhibition in the History of Medicine Division Reading Room
Nurses and nursing have been the frequent subjects of postcards. Pictures of Nursing: The Zwerdling Postcard Collection examines how these postcard images are informed by cultural values; ideas about women, men, and work; and by attitudes toward class, race, and national differences. Pictures of Nursing presents a selection of historic postcards from NLM’s recently-acquired Zwerdling postcard collection, spanning a century of nursing imagery. Pictures of Nursing investigates the hold these images exert on the public imagination—then and now.
The online exhibition features a range of resources for educators and students including a lesson plan developed for high-school courses, and a higher education module developed by a scholar, working in the discipline, for undergraduate and graduate students and instructors.
The Exhibition Program at the National Library of Medicine provides traveling exhibition services to libraries across the United States. Exhibitions are based on original scholarly research and address a wide range of topics related to the social and cultural history of science, medicine, and technology. Browse the list of traveling exhibitions to learn more about the format, content, and availability.
Treasures recently added to NLM historical collections are displayed in exhibit cases in the History of Medicine Reading Room.
Bronze Busts of Maimonides, Jenner, and Pasteur
Bronze portrait busts of three giants of medicine are mounted on pedestals at the rear of the History of Medicine Reading Room. Sculptor Karen Leigh created the busts. Dr. Sheldon Cohen commissioned the trio and donated them to the Library.
Medals of Great Personages in the History of Medicine
Bronze medals depicting 20 important figures in the history of medicine are on display in a vertical case in the History of Medicine Reading Room. Sculpted by Abram Belski and commissioned and donated to the Library by Dr. Sheldon Cohen, the medals depict such luminaries as Ambrose Paré, William Harvey, and Andreas Vesalius.
Turning the Pages (TTP)
At the Turning the Pages kiosk in the History of Medicine Reading Room cloak room, visitors can "turn the pages" of Elizabeth Blackwell's A Curious Herbal, a beautifully illustrated 18th century book of medicinal plants. You can also veiw the online version of Turning the Pages.