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Medical Heritage Library Awarded NEH Grant for Digitization of Historical Medical Journals

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world’s largest medical library and a component of the National Institutes of Health, is among the Medical Heritage Library (MHL) (www.medicalheritage.org) member libraries participating in a project to digitize an estimated 6,000 volumes from 200 historical American medical journal titles published between 1797 and 1923.

Funding for the digitization of these journals from the collections of Columbia, Harvard and Yale Universities and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia is made available through a two-year grant awarded March 2012 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to Open Knowledge Commons (OKC) (www.knowledgecommons.org).  NLM and other MHL collaborators not directly involved in the digitization will assist the effort by providing journal volumes that the four participants do not hold. The digitized journals will join the more than 33,000 monographs, serials, pamphlets, and films currently available in the MHL. The digitized journals will be made freely available to researchers through the Medical Heritage Library collection in the Internet Archive (http://archive.org/details/medicalheritagelibrary).

About the Medical Heritage Library:
The MHL (www.medicalheritage.org) is a content centered digital community supporting research, education, and dialog that enables the history of medicine to contribute to a deeper understanding of human health and society. It serves as the point of access to a valuable body of quality curated digital materials and to the broader digital and nondigital holdings of its members. It was established in 2010 with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation via the OKC to digitize 30,000 medical rare books. In addition to the participants named above, MHL contributors are Johns Hopkins University, New York Academy of Medicine, the New York Public Library, and the Wellcome Library; content contributors include Duke University, UMass Medical School, and the University of Toronto.

About the NEH/Digital Humanities Program:
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. For more on the NEH Office of Digital Humanities visit http://www.neh.gov/odh/.