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Conferences and Symposia in the History of Medicine

Conferences and Symposia in the History of Medicine

The History of Medicine Division (HMD) regularly sponsors conferences and symposia on a wide variety of topics related to the history of medicine, health care, and health practices. Recent programs have looked at biomedical funding and research after World War Two, the visual culture of public health campaigns, and histories of cancer in the twentieth century. Beginning in 2001, HMD inaugurated a series of bi-annual symposia that bring together participants from around the world around a particular theme. All conferences and symposia sponsored by HMD are free of charge and open to the public.

Upcoming Events

This February, the National Library of Medicine’s History of Medicine Division invites you to the following special programs and events:

  • Today through February 28, 2011

    Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine, a special display in the History of Medicine Division Reading Room, which highlights the contributions of African American surgeons and nurses during the Civil War and examines how their work as medical care providers challenged the prescribed notions of race and gender, and pushed the boundaries of the role of African Americans in America. Learn more about "Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries" in NLM in Focus:,

  • Monday, February 7, 2011, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
    NLM Conference Room B, Building 38, Mezzanine

    The National Library of Medicine’s Profiles in Science Web site, featuring the newly-released collection on Charles R. Drew

    The National Library of Medicine’s Profiles in Science Web site presents historical exhibitions featuring the digitized manuscripts of leading innovators in science, medicine, and public health. Our most recent collection highlights the achievements of Dr. Charles R. Drew, African American surgeon and researcher who organized America’s first large-scale blood bank and trained a generation of black physicians at Howard University. Please join us to learn more about Profiles in Science, Dr. Drew, and the new additions to the site. Visit the Profiles in Science site at
    Presented by:
    Christie Moffatt, Manager, Digital Manuscripts Program, National Library of Medicine and Susan Speaker, Historian, Digital Manuscripts Program, National Library of Medicine.

  • Tuesday, February 8, Through Noon, Friday, February 11, 2011

    The Physician, The Intern, and The Patient: Artifacts from the First Documented Description of Sickle Cell Anemia, NLM History of Medicine Reading Room, Building 38.
    A temporary display of original papers and photographs relating to Dr. James B. Herrick (1861-1954) and the 1910 Herrick case report on sickle cell anemia, the first such documented case in Western medical literature. Also on display will be the original artwork for the 2004 Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Stamp, courtesy of the United States Postal Service. This display was originally presented as part of the November 2010 trans-NIH James B. Herrick Symposium – Sickle Cell Disease Care and Research: Past, Present, and Future, and with the support of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

  • Thursday, February 10, 2011, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
    NLM Conference Room B, Building 38, Mezzanine

    Within These Walls: Contraband Hospital and the African Americans Who Served There
    The story of African American medical personnel serving during the Civil War is an often neglected part of Civil War history and histories of Civil War Medicine often overlook the participation and contributions made by African Americans. This presentation will explore one hospital in Washington, D.C. that treated black soldiers and civilians, and the African American men and women who served there as surgeons and nurses. Read more about Within These Walls in NLM in Focus:
    Presented by:
    Jill L. Newmark, Exhibition Specialist/Registrar, National Library of Medicine.

  • Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m,
    Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A

    African American History Month Lecture

    Intensely Human: The Health of Black Soldiers in the American Civil War
    Presented by: Margaret Humphreys, Duke University

About NLM’s History of Medicine Division

The National Library of Medicine houses within its History of Medicine Division one of the world’s largest history of medicine collections and an award-winning exhibition program. The division collects, preserves, and makes available to researchers and the public, print and non-print materials that document the history of medicine, health, and disease in all time periods and cultures. We invite researchers, students, and the general public to explore our catalogs, finding aids, exhibitions, and other resources online and onsite in NLM’s Building 38.

For future programs, please consult

Sign language interpretation is provided at NLM/HMD programs. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate may contact Stephen Greenberg at 301-435-4995, e-mail:, or the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339).

Due to current security measures at NIH, off-campus visitors are advised to consult the NLM Visitors and Security website: