NLM logo

Visit: NLM History Talks

2012 to 2019

Lectures

In 2020 the History of Medicine Lecture Series public program was renamed NLM History Talks.

Open All

  • Thursday, February 28, 2019

    “Fantastic Voyages through the Historical Audio-Visual Collections at the National Library of Medicine”
    Oliver Gaycken, PhD — Associate Professor, Department of English, Core Faculty, Film and Comparative Literature Programs, University of Maryland
    2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an Interview with Oliver Gaycken on our blog Circulating Now.

    The National Library of Medicine houses an extraordinary collection of audio-visual materials numbering nearly 40,00 items. Many of these materials, which range from films to videocassettes to sound recordings and beyond, are rare or unique. Taken together, the collection attests to the presence of a largely unknown history of the twentieth century, where medical media educated and persuaded untold millions of patients and doctors, and documented diseases, innovations, and procedures. This talk will present three case studies that illustrate the range of the NLM’s collections—a voyage through the history of human anatomy with Frank Armitage, Disney animator and medical illustrator; a series of training films for medical students about sexual dysfunction; and a sampling of films by Virginia-based Airlie Productions, which made many films for the United States Agency for International Development. Together, these films demonstrate a variety of approaches to communicating medical knowledge and the enduring value of the medical profession’s audio-visual records.


    Thursday, April 4, 2019 — Special Program

    “Viral Networks, Reconnected: A Digital Humanities/History of Medicine Research Forum”
    Panel Discussion Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD — Chief, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine
    2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.

    This program will be live-streamed globally, and archived, by NIH VideoCasting and is co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Digital Humanities.

    About the Participants

    Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD  Director, National Library of Medicine
    Welcome & Opening Remarks

    Christopher J. Phillips, PhD — Assistant Professor, Department of History, Carnegie Mellon University
    A Network of Number Doctors: Biostatistics at the NIH

    Between roughly 1930 and 1980, statistical analysis became a central component of clinical medicine. Long used in public health and epidemiology, biostatistical tools and concepts were increasingly deployed to answer the most basic of clinical inquiries: Is this therapy effective? How long will this patient survive? Is this substance carcinogenic? Biometricians and biostatisticians at the National Institutes of Health were central to this transformation, both establishing and promoting new techniques. In this presentation I will combine traditional historical tools with newer digital tools to argue that one important way NIH statisticians were able to effect such change was through networks of influence, including project consultation, expert review panels, and co-publication practices. By thinking of statisticians as a network constituted both inside and outside the NIH, we can better understand the rapid transformation of clinical medicine into a field where probabilities, inference tests, and meta-analyses now play decisive roles.

    Read an interview with Christopher Phillips on our blogCirculating Now

    Andrew R. Ruis, PhD — Associate Director for Research of the Epistemic Analytics Lab, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, and Fellow of the Medical History and Bioethics Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Networked History: Developing Quantitative Models of Qualitative Phenomena

    Scholars in the humanities and social sciences are newly confronted with staggering amounts of source material. From digitized collections of historical records to the cyberarchives of online communities, traditional research methods are difficult if not impossible to apply when the volume of data exceeds what a human can reasonably read and evaluate. But as scholars turn to computational techniques designed for distant reading and adapt analytic approaches from other contexts, such as computational linguistics and machine learning, it raises questions about the nature of historical research and criteria by which we evaluate the quality of historical arguments. In this presentation, I explore the use of a network analytic technique, epistemic network analysis, for modeling and investigating the ontological foundations of nutrition over two centuries. Using this case study as a worked example, I examine the strengths and limitations of such an approach and the implications of outsourcing some of our analytic thinking to machines.

    Read an interview with Andrew Ruis on our blogCirculating Now

    Sarah Runcie, PhD — Assistant Professor of African History, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
    Naming, Networks, and Power in Histories of Medicine in Africa

    This presentation will explore how scholars can bring together digital tools and network analysis with key questions of power in histories of medicine in Africa. It will take a particular focus on the potential for digital tools to highlight the role of Africans in biomedical practice during the colonial period.

    Read an interview with Sarah Runcie on our blogCirculating Now

    Commentators

    Brett Bobley — Director, Official of Digital Humanities, National Endowment for Humanities
    E. Thomas Ewing, PhD — Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Professor, Department of History, Virginia Tech
    Katherine Randall — Virginia Tech, doctoral candidate in rhetoric and writing, Department of English, Virginia Tech


    Thursday, May 23, 2019 — 3rd Annual Michael E. DeBakey Lecture in the History of Medicine

    “Dr. Michael E. DeBakey and His Influence in the Changing Business of Healthcare and the Delivery of American Medicine”
    Andrew T. Simpson, PhD — 2017 NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellow in the History of Medicine,
    Assistant Professor, Department of History, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an Interview with Andrew T. Simpson on our blog Circulating Now.

    During his lifetime, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey developed a reputation as a leading voice decrying the growing commercialization of American medicine. At the same time, as the leader of a major medical school and as a clinical and technological innovator, Dr. DeBakey helped to transform how academic medicine and the commercial health care marketplace interacted in Houston and across the globe by working to expand the footprint of cardiovascular surgery in the United States and overseas through program building and consulting agreements as well as developing partnerships between the government, medical schools, and private industry to create and market new medical technologies and devices. Drawing from his papers held by the National Library of Medicine, this lecture will explore how Dr. DeBakey negotiated the tension between the academic mission and commercial imperative of American medicine during the late 20th century, and how his actions helped to build Houston, and Baylor College of Medicine, into global centers for health care innovation and models for navigating the changing currents of the American healthcare system.


    Thursday, September 19, 2019 — 11th Annual James H. Cassedy Memorial Lecture in the History of Medicine

    “Mind-Body Problems: Lobotomy, Science, and the Digital Humanities”
    Miriam Posner, PhD — Assistant Professor, Information Studies Department, University of California Los Angeles
    2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an Interview with Miriam Posner on our blog Circulating Now.

    This lecture will examine the career of Walter J. Freeman II, MD (1895–1972), who was the world’s foremost exponent of lobotomy. Freeman was also an avid photographer who almost invariably captured before-and-after images of his patients. The talk explains how Freeman’s apparently eccentric practice fit into the larger picture of science and medicine in the mid-20th century, and how methods of the digital humanities have helped give context and nuance to Freeman’s work. It concludes with a consideration of what digital humanities methods might offer to historians of medicine in the twenty-first century.

    About James H. Cassedy


    Thursday, October 17, 2019 — Special Lecture in Honor and Memory of Elizabeth Fee (1946–2018)

    “The World Health Organization’s Alma-Ata Declaration of 1978: What Was It Then, Where Is It Now?”
    Ted Brown, PhD — Professor of History and Medical Humanities, University of Rochester
    2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an Interview with Ted Brown on our blog Circulating Now.

    The adoption of the Alma-Ata Declaration in September 1978 has been regarded by many as one of the shining moments in the history of international and global health. It was the occasion for the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and 134 signatory nations to declare the goal of “Health for All by 2000” along with strong commitments to “development in the spirit of social justice” and to “essential health care” that was “universally accessible” and an integral part of “the overall social and economic development of the community.” This lecture will review the pre-history and history of the Alma-Ata declaration and will assess recent developments in the early twenty-first century in an attempt to offer a prognosis for the future role of Alma-Ata principles in the world of global health.

    About Elizabeth Fee (1946–2018)

    Close Close All Open All

  • Monday, January 29, 2018

    “The Evolution of Viral Networks: H1N1, Ebola, and Zika”
    Theresa MacPhail, PhD — Assistant Professor Science and Technology Studies, Stevens Institute of Technology
    11:00 a.m. to noon in the NIH Natcher Conference Center, Building 45, Balcony B Auditorium
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an interview with Theresa MacPhail on our blog Circulating Now.

    Author of The Viral Network: A Pathography of the H1N1 Influenza Pandemic (Cornell University Press, 2014), Dr. MacPhail will address the culture of public health, the production of scientific knowledge, networks of expertise, information sharing, and everyday experiences of epidemiologists, microbiologists, biomedical scientists, and medical practitioners. Her lecture is the keynote address of Viral Networks: An Advanced Workshop in Digital Humanities and Medical History, which brings together scholars from various fields of medical history whose innovative research shows promise through the use of methods, tools, and data from the digital humanities. The event is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through a grant to Virginia Tech, and is a collaborative outcome of the NLM’s ongoing partnership with the NEH.


    Thursday, March 1, 2018 — Special Program

    “A Conversation about Graphic Medicine”
    Panel Discussion Moderated by Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, Director, National Library of Medicine
    2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Watch the archived conversation at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an interview with MK Czerwiec on our blog Circulating Now.

    A special public program in conjunction with Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived and Well Drawn, a new NLM special display, traveling banner exhibition, and online exhibition launching in January 2018, will explore the meaning of graphic medicine, an emerging genre of medical literature that combines the art of comics and personal illness narrative.

    About the Participants

    Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD — Director, National Library of Medicine
    Website, Twitter

    Dr. Brennan assumed the directorship of the NLM in August 2016.

    Dr. Brennan came to NIH from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was the Lillian L. Moehlman Bascom Professor at the School of Nursing and College of Engineering. She also led the Living Environments Laboratory at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, which develops new ways for effective visualization of high dimensional data.

    She received a master of science in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in industrial engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Following seven years of clinical practice in critical care nursing and psychiatric nursing, Dr. Brennan held several academic positions at Marquette University, Milwaukee; Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    Ellen Forney — Guest Curator of the National Library of Medicine exhibition Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived and Well Drawn
    Website, Twitter

    Cartoonist Ellen Forney is the guest curator of Graphic Medicine: Ill-conceived and Well-Drawn!, a new exhibition project for the NLM, and author of New York Times bestseller Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me. She is currently working on Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice From My Bipolar Life, a sequel to Marbles.

    Ms. Forney has collaborated with Sherman Alexie on the National Book Award-winning novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, created the Eisner-nominated comic books I Love Led Zeppelin and Monkey Food, and has taught comics at Cornish College of the Arts since 2002. Ms. Forney is a MacDowell Colony and Civitella Ranieri Fellow.

    MK Czerwiec
    Website, Twitter

    MK Czerwiec (pronounced sir-wick) is a nurse and Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and a Senior Fellow of the George Washington School of Nursing Center for Health Policy Media Engagement. Her clinical experience is in HIV/AIDS care and hospice care. She co-runs Graphic Medicine, a website that explores the interaction between the medium of comics and the discourse of health care. She is the creator of Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371. Today, Graphic Medicine is the primary content of her teaching and academic writing. She gives lectures and workshops on drawing in the health care context.

    Michael Green, MD
    Website

    Michael Green MD, MS is a physician and bioethicist at the Penn State University’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He is interim chair of the Department of Humanities, chair of the Hospital Ethics Committee, and director of the Program in Bioethics.

    Dr Green is currently professor in the Departments of Humanities and Internal Medicine, where he cares for patients, teaches medical students and residents, and conducts research in bioethics. He is a pioneer in the field of graphic medicine and has published several landmark articles on the topic including the foundational article in the BMJ titled “Graphic medicine: use of comics in medical education and patient care”. With MK Czerwiec and others, Dr Green wrote Graphic Medicine Manifesto, described in one review as “something remarkable and game changing is being sparked by the alliance between comics and medicine.” Dr Green guest edits the Graphic Medicine section of the Annals of Internal Medicine, and since 2009 has taught a course on Comics and Medicine to 4th-year medical students, whose comics can be viewed online.


    Thursday, April 5, 2018

    “Hard Drives, Databases, and Blogs: Preservation Intent and Source Criticism in the Digital History of Science, Technology and Medicine”
    Trevor Owens — Head of Digital Content Management, Library of Congress
    2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an interview with Trevor Owens on our blog Circulating Now.

    Carl Sagan’s WordPerfect files, simulations emailed to Edward Lorenz, a database application from the National Library of Medicine, a collection of science blogs, a database of interstellar distances; each of these digital artifacts has been acquired by archives and special collections. Born digital primary sources are no longer a future concern for archivists, librarians, curators and historians. As historians of science turn their attention to the late 20th and early 21st century, they will need to work from these born-digital primary sources. We have already accumulated a significant born digital past and it’s time for work with born digital primary sources to become mainstream. This presentation will give a quick tour of individual born-digital artifacts toward two goals: arguing for the need for archivists, curators and librarians to develop reflexively approaches to establishing preservation intent for digital content grounded in a dialog with the nature of a given set of digital objects and its future research use; and suggesting how trends in computational analysis of information in the digital humanities should be combined with approaches from digital forensics and new media studies to establish historiographic practices for born-digital source criticism. Owens will conclude by suggesting the kinds of technical skills archivists, librarians, curators and historians working with these materials are going to need to develop. Just as historians working with premodern documents require language and paleography skills, historians working with digital artefacts will increasingly need to understand the inscription processes of hard drives, the provenance created by web crawlers, and how to read relational databases of varying vintages.

    Owens is author of three books, the most recent of which, The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation, is in press with Johns Hopkins University Press. Learn more about this book, and read a preprint of the draft, here.


    Thursday, May 24, 2018 — 2nd Annual Michael E. DeBakey Lecture in the History of Medicine

    “Transplanting Technology: Dr. Michael DeBakey and Cold War Technology Transfer”
    Heidi Morefield, MSc — 2017 NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellow in the History of Medicine, Doctoral Candidate, Department of the History of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
    2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an interview with Heidi Morefield on our blog Circulating Now.

    At the height of the Cold War, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, one of the most prolific American surgeons of the 20th century, made several trips to China and the USSR to survey the medical landscape on the other side of the Iron Curtain. DeBakey became a broker of valuable medical information, teaching new techniques and introducing new machines in the USSR and China, while reporting on the conditions of Chinese and Soviet medical institutions back home to the American public. His diplomatic success was possible in part because of his willingness to take less high-tech medical systems seriously—he praised the barefoot doctors and was “impressed” with Russian medical inventions that were showcased during his visits. With rich diary entries describing his visits, DeBakey understood medical technology as being appropriate only in context. He situated both the Western technology he helped transplant to the East as well as that which he encountered there within the topography of the Soviet and Chinese medical systems. In reflecting upon DeBakey’s Cold War travels, this talk will interrogate how his influence and mobility shaped perceptions of both American and communist-sphere medical technology. Read Heidi Morefield’s contribution to the NLM History of Medicine blog Circulating Now to learn more about the research she completed during her tenure as an NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellow in the History of Medicine.


    Thursday, September 20, 2018 — 10th Annual James H. Cassedy Memorial Lecture in the History of Medicine

    “Making the Case for History in Medical Education”
    David S. Jones, MD, PhD — A. Bernard Ackerman Professor of the Culture of Medicine, Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine, Harvard University
    2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an interview with David Jones on our blog Circulating Now.

    Historians of medicine have struggled for centuries to make the case for history in medical education. They have developed many arguments about the value of historical perspective, but their efforts have faced persistent obstacles, from limited resources to curricular time constraints and skepticism about whether history actually is essential for physicians. Recent proposals have suggested that history should ally itself with the other medical humanities and make the case that together they can foster medical professionalism. We articulate a different approach and make the case for history as an essential component of medical knowledge, reasoning, and practice. History offers essential insights about the causes of disease, the nature of efficacy, and the contingency of medical knowledge and practice amid the social, economic, and political contexts of medicine. These are all things that physicians must know in order to be effective diagnosticians and caregivers, just as they must learn anatomy or pathophysiology.

    About James H. Cassedy

    Close Close All Open All

  • Tuesday, February 14, 2017

    “Collaboration and Curation: Creating the Exhibition Collaboration and Care”
    Loren Miller, PhD, Curatorial Assistant, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NIH Natcher Conference Center, Building 45, Room E1/E2
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an interview with Loren Miller on our blog Circulating Now.

    In 1967, when the first three physician assistants (PAs) graduated from Duke University, it marked the birth of a new profession. In honor of the field’s 50th anniversary, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Physician Assistant Historical Society (PAHx) partnered to create an exhibition commemorating and celebrating the history of PAs. This lecture will discuss the process of developing the exhibition, Physician Assistants: Collaboration and Care, as a joint endeavor and the importance of shared authority in creating a successful exhibit. It will explore how the organizational partnership combined NLM and PAHx’s resources, knowledge, and archives in order to create the strongest exhibition possible, which represented both organizations’ needs and goals. By practicing shared authority, NLM and PAHx combined the profession’s history and prominent themes to produce an engaging exhibit that will appeal to experts and general audiences, and perhaps inspire a new generation of PAs.


    Tuesday, March 21, 2017 – The Inaugural Michael E. DeBakey Lecture

    ““Intentional Impact:” The Legacy of Michael E. DeBakey Beyond the Operating Room”
    Shelley McKellar, PhD, The Jason A. Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine, Associate Professor with Joint Appointment with the Department of Surgery, Western University, Canada
    “A Brief Look at Michael E. DeBakey's Role in Establishing the National Library of Medicine as It Is Today”
    George P. Noon, MD, Professor of Surgery, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine
    2:00 - 3:30 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an interview with Shelley McKellar on our blog Circulating Now.
    Read an interview with George Noon on our blog Circulating Now.

    Join us on this special occasion to learn about the legacy of Michael E. DeBakey as it exists in modern medical practice and in the ongoing public service of the National Library of Medicine.

    The Michael E. DeBakey Lecture in the History of Medicine, is supported by a generous gift to the NLM by the Michael E. DeBakey Medical Foundation


    Thursday, April 6, 2017

    “World War I Centenary Forum: Stories from the Collections of the National Library of Medicine”
    Masking Devastation: Inside Anna Ladd’s Paris Studio
    Sarah Eilers, Archivist, Historical Audiovisuals, NLM History of Medicine Division
    The Frances Dupuy Fletcher Photo Album
    Stephen J. Greenberg, PhD, Head of Rare Books & Early Manuscripts, NLM History of Medicine Division
    A Call to Service: Red Cross Posters and Postcards During World War I
    Ginny Roth, Archivist, Prints & Photographs, NLM History of Medicine Division
    2:00 - 3:30 p.m. in the NIH Natcher Conference Center, Building 45, Room E1/E2
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read about the Great War on our blog Circulating Now.

    On April 2, 1917, US President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare was against German, stating that: “The world must be made safe for democracy.” Four days later, on April 6, Congress voted overwhelmingly in favor of a war declaration. The National Library of Medicine marks this important occasion with a forum that spotlights some its rich collections related to the war and the American experience of the period. Join us to hear a variety of stories drawn from these collections, as shared by our colleagues in the NLM’s History of Medicine Division.


    Tuesday, June 27, 2017 – Special Event: Celebrating 20 Years of Harry Potter, Part 1

    “A Look into the Pensieve: Reflections on Harry Potter at Twenty Years”
    Elizabeth Bland, Curator of the Library’s exhibition Harry Potter’s World and independent writer and illustrator
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NIH Natcher Conference Center, Building 45, Room E1/E2
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an interview with Elizabeth Bland on our blog Circulating Now.

    On June 26th, 1997, London-based publisher Bloomsbury released Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first novel in the Harry Potter series. Twenty years on, the ever-popular series continues to resonate with new readers. To mark the 20th Anniversary of the Harry Potter series, “A Look into the Pensieve” will revisit the Library’s exhibition Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance, Science, Magic, and Medicine, including links between author Rowling’s fictional world and writings featured in the collections of the Library; themes from the series that have continued relevance today; and the works’ impact on a now-adult fandom who matured right alongside The Boy Who Lived.

    As part of a week-long celebration of the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the National Library of Medicine presents two special lectures. The celebration will also include a special display of the 15th, 16th, and 17th century books that influenced the Harry Potter series along with the six-banner traveling exhibition, Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine. Visit this special exhibition in the History of Medicine Reading Room, June 26 – 30, 2017.


    Thursday, June 29, 2017 – Special Event: Celebrating 20 Years of Harry Potter, Part 2

    “Monsters in the Stacks: How Harry Potter Came to NLM”
    Stephen J. Greenberg, PhD, Head of Rare Books & Early Manuscripts, NLM History of Medicine Division
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NIH Natcher Conference Center, Building 45, Room E1/E2
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an interview with Stephen Greenberg on our blog Circulating Now.

    Join us to learn how staff at the National Library of Medicine became inspired to undertake an exhibition about Harry Potter, drawing on collections of the Library, including works by real historical figures such as the alchemist Nicholas Flamel, who is a key figure in the first Harry Potter novel; the naturalist Conrad Gesner, who wrote about dragons and unicorns; and the mystic and toxicologist Paracelsus, whose potions and prophecies would have made him an excellent addition to the Hogwarts faculty.

    As part of a week-long celebration of the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the National Library of Medicine presents two special lectures. The celebration will also include a special display of the 15th, 16th, and 17th century books that influenced the Harry Potter series along with the six-banner traveling exhibition, Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine. Visit this special exhibition in the History of Medicine Reading Room, June 26 – 30, 2017.


    Thursday, July 13, 2017 – Special Event: Publication of a New Illustrated History of the National Library of Medicine

    “Introducing Images of America: US National Library of Medicine
    Panel Discussion Moderated by Dr. Jeffrey S. Reznick, Chief, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine
    2:30 - 4:00 p.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater, Building 10
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read a serialzed version of the book on our blog Circulating Now.

    June 26, 2017, marked the publication of a new, illustrated history of the National Library of Medicine. The book appears in the popular Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing, and was arranged through a public-private partnership with that publisher. Simultaneously, the complete book and original versions of the 170+ images, which appear in it in black and white, are archived and freely available in NLM Digital Collections. A hardback version of the book is available from booksellers.

    Co-edited by Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, and Kenneth M. Koyle, chief and deputy chief of the NLM History of Medicine Division, Images of America: US National Library of Medicine was made possible through the collaborative research, writing, editing, and technical expertise of staff from across the Library, and many colleagues and friends.

    Many individuals have written about the National Library of Medicine and its origins as the Library of the Office of the U.S. Army Surgeon General. However, this new book is unlike previous publications because it is intended for a general audience, and it illustrates the broad history of the Library from the early 19th century through the late 20th century through over 170 images from its own rich collections, along with a handful of other images from the collections of the National Archives, the National Museum of Health and Medicine, the Smithsonian Institution Archives, and the Rudolph Matas Library of the Health Sciences at Tulane University. The book reveals the work of generations of visionary leaders and dedicated individuals who experienced the American Civil War, the world wars, the Cold War, and the dawn of the Information Age.

    Images of America: US National Library of Medicine is a welcome companion to Hidden Treasure: The National Library of Medicine, produced by the Library in 2011. We hope readers of all ages and backgrounds will appreciate this new broad history of the Library as much as we have appreciated crafting it and making it publicly available in cooperation with so many colleagues and friends here at the NLM and beyond. And we hope this book will inspire readers to learn more about the development of the Library and visit for a tour or conduct research in our world-renowned collections which span ten centuries and represent nearly every part of the globe. As with Hidden Treasure, the Intramural Research Program of the US National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, supported the collaborative research, writing, and editing of Images of America: US National Library of Medicine.

    Speakers at the July 13 symposium will include:

    Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD
    Director, National Library of Medicine
    Interim Associate NIH Director for Data Science
    National Institutes of Health

    Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD
    Chief, History of Medicine Division
    National Library of Medicine

    Kenneth M. Koyle
    Deputy Chief, History of Medicine Division
    National Library of Medicine

    Stephen J. Greenberg, PhD, MSLS
    Head, Rare Books & Early Manuscripts
    History of Medicine Division
    National Library of Medicine

    Susan L. Speaker, PhD
    Historian, History of Medicine Division
    National Library of Medicine

    Close Close All Open All

  • Thursday, February 18, 2016

    “In the Belly of the Beast: A History of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health”
    Eric W. Boyle, PhD, Chief Archivist, National Museum of Health and Medicine, Silver Spring, MD
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Read an Interview with Eric Boyle on our blog Circulating Now.

    In this presentation, Dr. Boyle will provide an overview of his current book project. The story he will tell begins in earnest in 1991, the same year that Time proclaimed the “New Age of Alternative Medicine.” That year, a Senate Appropriations Committee responsible for the budget of the National Institutes of Health reported that it was not satisfied that the mainstream medical community had fully explored the potential that existed in unconventional medical practices. In response, Congress mandated the creation of an unprecedented new office to investigate, evaluate, and validate unconventional health care systems and practices. The original Office for the Study of Unconventional Medical Practices, the renamed Office of Alternative Medicine, subsequently the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), and today the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) have all sought to obtain and disseminate knowledge about alternative medicine to practitioners and the public. But as one advocate and practitioner of alternative medicine noted at a strategic planning session for NCCAM in September 2009, the challenges of studying CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) at the NIH might be likened to working “in the belly of the beast.” While skeptics have doubted the feasibility of this kind of research, practitioner-advocates have persistently warned about the dangers of alternative medicine being swallowed whole by the research behemoth. The central question of “In the Belly of the Beast” is: how did the NIH meet its multifaceted mandate, and how did it tackle the challenges of investigating the field while addressing the priorities and demands of its harshest critics and most sympathetic supporters?

    Dr. Boyle’s presentation is co-sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, and the Office of NIH History.


    Thursday, March 10, 2016

    “Future Historical Collections: Archiving the 2014 Ebola Outbreak”
    Christie Moffatt, Archivist & Manager, Digital Manuscripts Program National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an Interview with Christie Moffatt on our blog Circulating Now.

    When future researchers look back at the recent Ebola outbreak, what resources will they want to explore? What will they want to know? Of the news and information about Ebola that is still being created and shared digitally over the web, what will remain to be examined one, ten, or even fifty years from now? Public health information, first hand experiences, and news about global health events like Ebola are shared moment by moment on websites, blogs, Twitter, YouTube, and more, documenting the personal, national, and international response to the outbreak. This content about the human experience of disease remains in a constant state of change and at high risk for loss. The original intent of these resources is to share news and information—and reaction to this news and information—about the crisis in real time, but it is also likely that this content will have enduring value as historical resources for the future study and understanding of the 2014 Ebola outbreak.

    This presentation will spotlight the development of the National Library of Medicine’s Ebola web archive collection, which has grown since October 2014 when the library took the initiative to capture and preserve selected born-digital web content documenting the 2014 Ebola outbreak. The collection reflects a diversity of perspectives on this health crisis and includes websites and social media from Government and non-government organizations, journalists, healthcare workers, and scientists in the United States and around the world. The presentation will cover how Library staff selected this content and continues to grow the collection, how the collection fits within NLM’s larger web archiving efforts and collection development policy, and how this collecting effort overall advances the objectives of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, of which the Library is a partner.


    Tuesday, April 12, 2016 – Special Program

    “The Analog Patient: Imagining Medicine at a Distance in the Television Era”
    Jeremy Greene, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine and History, Elizabeth Treide and A. McGehee Harvey Chair in the History of Medicine, Institute of the History of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
    11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in the Ruth L. Kirschstein Auditorium, Natcher Conference Center, NIH Building 45
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an Interview with Jeremy Greene on our blog Circulating Now.

    Most histories of medical technology focus on heroic diagnostic and therapeutic innovations—like X-rays and artificial hearts—which stand as visible symbols of medical modernity. Dr. Greene’s research is focused on recapturing how more mundane technologies of communication enabled and altered the production, circulation, and consumption of medical knowledge, from telegraph to text pager, telephone to telemedicine, fax machine to Facebook.

    In this presentation, Dr. Greene examines the particular hopes and fears surrounding the incorporation of the television into medicine. His interest here is not to study the historical representation of medicine on television shows from Marcus Welby to House M.D., but instead to ask how the television became recruited as a new high-tech tool for clinical practice, medical research, and physician education, to explore how the television was briefly situated at the center of attempts to create visual networks of medical knowledge, linking providers and patients in dreams of a “wired nation” several decades before the creation of the internet. The setting is the 20 year period between 1959 and 1979, where hopes and fears for networked televisions—specifically prompted through new technological systems like satellite transmission and the cable system—became grounds for hopes and fears of a new group of technological futurists in medicine, including tele psychiatry activists in the Midwest, Picturephone promoters in the South Side of Chicago, and would be media theorists practicing at Harvard teaching hospitals.

    Dr. Greene’s presentation is part of his current research project, Medicine at a Distance, which examines how changing expectations of instantaneous communications through electric, electronic, and digital media transformed the nature of medical knowledge and also constitutes the keynote address of Images & Texts in Medical History: A Workshop in Methods, Tools, & Data from the Digital Humanities, a program hosted by the NLM, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and made possible through a multi-institutional collaboration involving the NEH, Virginia Tech, the Wellcome Library, and the Wellcome Trust.


    Wednesday, June 22 2016 — The 2016 James H. Cassedy Memorial Lecture

    “The Origins and Evolution of the Mayo Clinic from 1864 to 1939: A Minnesota Family Practice Becomes an International ‘Medical Mecca’”
    W. Bruce Fye, MD, MA, Emeritus Professor of Medicine and the History of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an Interview with Bruce Fye on our blog Circulating Now.

    This presentation will describe the origins and international impact of the Mayo Clinic through 1939, the year that William J. and Charles H. Mayo died. Multispecialty group practice was invented at Mayo at the beginning of the twentieth century. A visiting Canadian surgeon wrote in 1906, “Specialization and cooperation, with the best that can be had in each department, is here the motto. Cannot these principles be tried elsewhere?” Dr. Fye will address the Mayo Clinic’s major (and underappreciated) role in the development of rigorous postgraduate (specialty) training. Unlike traditional academic medical centers that emphasize research, Mayo’s main mission has always been patient care. This patient-centered activity has been undertaken in an environment enriched by extensive programs devoted to specialty training and clinical research. The clinic’s long-standing culture of collaboration is cited as one of the key ingredients of its success.

    About James H. Cassedy


    Thursday, September 20, 2016

    “International Big Data Research in the Humanities & Social Sciences: Collaboration, Opportunity, and Outcomes”
    Brett Bobley, Director, Office of Digital Humanities, National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, DC
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an Interview with Brett Bobley on our blog Circulating Now.

    In 2009, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) launched a new, international research competition called the Digging into Data Challenge. The program aimed to bring together interdisciplinary teams to explore how big data approaches in research could be brought to bear on questions of the humanities and social sciences. Since the launch of the program, Digging into Data grantees have explored how large databases of digital music, images, and texts can be examined computationally in pursuit of humanistic questions. The program has grown enormously in scale and is currently sponsored by sixteen international funders, including the NEH, National Science Foundation, and the Institute for Library and Museum Services in the United States, and research organizations from ten other nations. Join the NEH’s Director, Office of Digital Humanities, Brett Bobley, as he provides an overview of Digging into Data, and discusses its intersections with medical research, joint activities with NLM, and other digital humanities endeavors at the NEH.

    The National Endowment for the Humanities is an executive-branch, independent grant-making agency of the United States of America dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities and in those social sciences that use humanistic methods. NEH accomplishes this mission by providing grants for high-quality humanities projects to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television and radio stations, and to individual scholars.

    In August 2015, the NLM and the NEH reaffirmed their partnership, originally established in 2012, and following on the visit of NEH Chairman William D. Adams to the NLM, to continue to develop initiatives that bring together specialists from the humanities, medicine, and information sciences to share expertise and develop new research agendas.

    Learn more about the collaboration between the NLM and the NEH from:
    Interagency Collaboration: Synergy for the Greater Good,The Public Manager, July 2016, co-authored by Bobley and Jeffrey S. Reznick, Chief, NLM History of Medicine Division,
    Images & Texts in Medical History, a series of posts on the NLM History of Medicine Division’s blog Circulating Now.


    Tuesday, October 4, 2016

    “A Personal Perspective on Race, Opportunity and the U.S. Health System”
    Louis W. Sullivan, MD, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, 1989–1993
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in Lipsett Auditorium, Building 10 on the NIH Campus
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an Interview with Louis Sullivan on our blog Circulating Now.

    In this presentation, Dr. Sullivan relates his life story, growing up in rural Georgia during the period of legally-sanctioned and enforced racial segregation and the impact it had on him, his family, and on the black community.

    He was inspired to become a physician when, at age 5, he met the only black physician in Southwest Georgia.

    After becoming a hematologist and professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, he went on to found the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, followed by an appointment as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services in the administration of George H.W. Bush.

    Dr. Sullivan developed a number of initiatives to increase racial, ethnic and gender diversity in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and in the nation’s health workforce.

    Throughout his career, Sullivan has worked to improve the effectiveness of the U.S. health system, and the diversity of its workforce. The elimination of disparities in health care, which exists between whites and the nation’s underserved minorities is an on-going priority of Dr. Sullivan. Progress to-date and remaining challenges will be discussed.


    Thursday, November 3, 2016

    “Fire and Freedom: Food and Enslavement in Early America”
    Psyche Williams-Forson, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of American Studies, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Read an Interview with Psyche Williams-Forson on our blog Circulating Now.

    What stories can meals tell us about people and places? Meals can tell us how power is exchanged between and among different peoples, races, genders, and classes.

    In the Chesapeake region, during the early colonial era, European settlers survived by relying upon indentured servants, Native Americans, and African slave labor for life-saving knowledge of farming and food acquisition. Without this knowledge, Europeans suffered poor nutrition, in addition to widespread illness caused by the lack of medical care.

    Despite their perilous position, the colonists used human resources, the natural environment, and maritime trade to gain economic prosperity.

    But it is through the labor of slaves that we can learn about the ways that meals transcend taste and sustenance. Dr. Williams-Forson’s lecture will examine how these factors interacted, affecting all sides, a subject further highlighted by a new special display in the History of Medicine Division entitled: Fire and Freedom: Food and Enslavement in Early America, a project developed with research assistance provided by staff at The Washington Library at George Washington’ Mount Vernon.

    Close Close All Open All

  • Wednesday, January 28, 2015

    “The Apotheosis of the Dissected Plate: Spectacles of Layering and Transparency in 19th- and 20th-Century Anatomy”
    Michael Sappol, PhD, Historian, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine
    2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Read an Interview with Michael Sappol on our blog Circulating Now.

    This is a story about “topographical anatomy”—a tradition of slicing and sawing rather than cutting and carving—and its procedures for converting bodies from three dimensions to two dimensions and back again. In topographical cross-section anatomy, the frozen or mummified body is cut into successive layers that are then transcribed and reproduced as pages of a book or a sequence of prints or slides (sometimes with the original slices preserved as a sequence of specimens for the anatomical museum). The topographical method influenced, and was in turn influenced by, flap anatomy (the technique of cutting out printed anatomical parts on paper or cardboard and assembling the parts into a layered representation of the human body). In the 20th century, medical illustrators and publishers developed a new technique of three-dimensional anatomical layering: the anatomical transparency—an epistemological/heuristic device which in the postmodern era has come to enchant artists as well as anatomists. This talk features photographs of materials in the NLM collection by artist Mark Kessell.


    Wednesday, February 18, 2015 – African-American History Month

    “The History of Race in Randomized Controlled Trials: Ethical and Policy Considerations”

    Laura Bothwell, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Pharmaceutical Law and Health Services Research, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Harvard Medical School, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
    2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Read an Interview with Laura Bothwell on our blog Circulating Now.

    This lecture will examine how race has been embedded in the history of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Clinical trial research policies and norms have grown increasingly attentive to the inclusion of racial minorities in RCT subject populations. This lecture will consider when race has been measured in RCTs and why, exploring the question of whether racial groups have been fairly represented in RCTs. Relying on broad collections of historical trials and archival materials in the collections of the NLM’s History of Medicine Division, it will include a timeline of racial trends in RCT research subject populations, accompanied by discussion of the role of the NIH in key historic developments related racial diversity in clinical trials.


    Tuesday, March 17, 2015 – Special Program

    “A Tribute to Marshall Nirenberg”
    Myrna M Weissman, PhD, Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health.
    Frank Portugal, PhD, The Catholic University of America
    David Serlin, PhD, University of California, San Diego
    George Thoma, PhD, National Library of Medicine
    1:00 - 3:30 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Watch the archived lecture at NIH VideoCasting.
    Learn more on our blog Circulating Now.

    This special two-and-a-half-hour public program will formally mark the donation of Marshall Nirenberg’s Nobel Prize and certificate to the NLM, newly given through the generosity of his wife, Dr. Myrna Weissman, who will offer brief remarks at the program highlighting Dr. Nirenberg’s thoughts and feelings about science and about his life at NIH. The program will also recognize the publication of Dr. Frank Portugal’s new book about Dr. Nirenberg, and formally announce the release of a new NLM Turning the Pages project involving the Nirenberg genetic code charts held in the NLM historical collections. This event will be webcast for those who are unable to attend in person. See the NIH VideoCast site for more details and to test your computer for compatibility.


    Thursday, May 7, 2015

    “A History of the Food and Drugs Act Notices of Judgment – From the First Case of 1908 to the Digital Archive of 2014”
    John Rees, Archivist and Digital Resources Manager, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine
    Suzanne Junod, PhD, Historian, FDA History Office
    John Swann, PhD, Historian, FDA History Office
    1:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Learn more on our blog Circulating Now.

    A special two-hour program held in collaboration with the FDA History Office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and in conjunction with the NLM’s recent release of the FDA Notices of Judgment Collection, a digital archive of the published notices judgment for products seized under authority of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act

    In 1906 President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Pure Food and Drugs Act, one of many Progressive Era legislative efforts giving the federal government the authority to intervene in economic and social affairs to improve the health, safety, and well-being of the American populace. Under the Act, the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry, which later became the Food and Drug Administration, was directed to inspect food and drugs for misbranding and adulteration; medical devices and cosmetics were added under the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Violators were prosecuted in federal courts and the proceedings summarized and published as Notices of Judgment. In 2004, over 2,000 boxes of evidence files used to prosecute these court cases were donated to the National Library of Medicine. John Rees of the National Library of Medicine and Suzanne Junod and John Swann of the FDA History Office will discuss the history of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and subsequent acts, the Notices of Judgment which resulted from prosecutions under them, and efforts over the last decade to preserve and provide access to these records. They will also provide insight into the medical marketplace of the 20th century that these published and unpublished collections can provide to researchers and scholars.


    Tuesday, June 23, 2015 – The 2015 James H. Cassedy Memorial Lecture

    “Caring for Foreign Bodies: Healthcare’s Role in Immigrant Assimilation, 1890–1945”
    Alan Kraut, PhD, American University
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Read an interview with Alan Kraut on our blog Circulating Now.

    In 1914, during a peak era of immigration to the United States, E. A. Ross, a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin insisted that the “foreign blood being injected into the blood of ‘our people’ is ‘subcommon.’ He scoffed at the unassimilable foreigners, taking aim at Southern Italians, Slavs, and Eastern European Jews. Others targeted Latinos and Asians. Newcomers and their advocates disagreed. Foreign bodies became contested terrain in the battle over whether newcomers’ bodies were fit for America. Because migration has been and continues to be so central to the America’s peopling, the subsequent process of integrating newcomers into American society has been an essential and recurring aspect of the American narrative. However, in every era there have been those who doubt that foreign bodies can be assimilated. This presentation demonstrates how in the period from 1890 to 1945 physicians, many of them immigrants themselves, became cultural mediators in the assimilation negotiation, encouraging newcomers to forge robust bodies even as their respective ethnic or religious groups organized and supported healthcare institutions responsive to both newcomers’ medical requirements and cultural preferences, a pattern that remains a dimension of the current dialogue over assimilation of the foreign-born.


    Tuesday, August 25, 2015

    “Medical Identity and Ethnicity in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans”
    Amy Wiese Forbes, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair of History Director of European Studies Millsaps College
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Read an interview with Amy Wiese Forbes on our blog Circulating Now.

    This lecture will explore the development of New Orleans physicians’ understanding of their responsibilities, both medical and social, during the 19th century. Professionalization in New Orleans involved disputes, with both words and weapons, between French- and American-trained physicians, battles over French and English language medical societies and journals, institutionalizing medical practice and education, and creating legitimacy in the eyes of the American government. A range of NLM materials document physicians’ ambitions and obstacles, and efforts to drive the public from medical debates. They suggest the advantages and disadvantages for what might be called a medical “habit of mind.”


    Thursday, September 17 – Special Program

    “From Private Matter to Public Health Crisis: Nursing and the Intervention into Domestic Violence”
    Catherine Jacquet, PhD, Louisiana State University
    1:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Read an interview with Catherine Jacquet on our blog Circulating Now.

    The late 20th century witnessed a significant shift in how the medical community responds to victims of domestic violence. Once a “private matter” that doctors shied away from, domestic violence became recognized as a public health crisis requiring serious medical attention. This change came as a result of the tireless efforts of reformers within the medical profession, a substantial number of whom were nurses. In this talk, Dr. Jacquet will focus on the work of pioneer nurses who made it their life’s work to properly identify and treat victims of violence and to prevent further harm to them. In so doing these nurses were critical figures in reforming a once negligent medical system and, ultimately, improving the lives of thousands of women nationwide.

    Dr. Jacquet’s lecture coincides with the opening of Confronting Violence, Improving Women’s Lives, a new special display curated by her, which will open in the NLM History of Medicine reading room on Monday, September 14, accompanied by a website and traveling banner exhibition.

    This special program will include an overview by exhibition curator Dr. Catherine Jacquet, assistant professor of history and women’s and gender studies at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge), as well as remarks by nurses who figure prominently in the exhibition, including Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, professor at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) School of Nursing (Baltimore), and former JHU professor Dr. Daniel Sheridan, currently professor at the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College (St. Louis). Kimberly Suiters, consumer investigator for ABC 7/WJLA-TV, will serve as master of ceremonies.


    Thursday, November 5, 2015

    “Gathering and Spreading Knowledge: Publications and the Army Medical Library around World War I”
    Sanders Marble, PhD, Senior Historian US Army Office of Medical History
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Read an interview with Sanders Marble on our blog Circulating Now.

    Dr. Marble will provide a brief overview of the Army Medical Library and Museum, their post-Civil War work in acquiring and disseminating knowledge, involvement in the Spanish American War, and analysis of why WWI is distinct and meaningful for the Library and their efforts to collect, create, and share military medical information.

    Close Close All Open All

  • Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    “Sir John Pringle, MD, Early Scottish Enlightenment Thought & the Origins of Modern Military Medicine”
    Stephen Craig, MD, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Read an interview with Stephen Craig on our blog Circulating Now.

    Military medicine as an academic discipline consists of preventive modalities to maintain the health of an army and clinical therapeutics, both medical and surgical, to restore sick and injured service members to full duty. Although the practice of military medicine has been made more efficient and effective by technological and scientific advancements, the theoretical foundation of that practice has not changed since John (later Sir John) Pringle, MD established it in his Observations on the Diseases of the Army in Camp and Garrison published in April 1752.


    Thursday, March 13, 2014 – Women’s History Month

    “‘Medicine is a Man’s Game?’ – Women Doctors in the Movies”
    Patricia Gallagher, MLS, MA, National Library of Medicine, NICHSR
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Read an interview with Patricia Gallagher on our blog Circulating Now.

    In 1952, the first biographical film about a woman physician, The Girl in White, was released by MGM. What at first glance seems like a unique achievement in Hollywood, the story of Emily Dunning Barringer, a woman doctor who chooses career and husband rather than just opting to be a housewife, The Girl in White was actually one in a number of films in which women physicians opt to remain on the job after marriage. While other career women in film were giving up their careers, what made movie MDs fall into a different category? Why did Hollywood opt to portray women who could have both a home life and a career, when films portraying other jobs sternly showed that they could not? This paper will discuss this phenomenon, and what makes medicine a totally different career choice.


    Tuesday, June 17, 2014

    “Losing The Miracle? Agriculture, the FDA, and the Controversy Over Farm Antibiotics”
    Maryn McKenna, MSJ, Senior Fellow, Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Brandeis University
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Read an interview with Maryn McKenna on our blog Circulating Now.

    The discovery that antibiotics could improve yield in livestock production was made in 1948, at the start of the antibiotic era, and within a decade, the drugs’ administration became routine. By 1969, the first alarms had been raised that antibiotic resistance was moving off farms to undermine the drugs’ usefulness to society, and in 1977, the US Food and Drug Administration proposed withdrawing its approval for farm use. It was never successful; agricultural antibiotic use continued. Fifty years later, non-therapeutic use of antibiotics remains common in US agriculture; meanwhile, public health and medical, and even Congressional, opposition have risen—and so has the rate of emergence of antibiotic resistance worldwide. Will the dispute ever be resolved?


    Tuesday, July 15, 2014 – The 2014 James H. Cassedy Memorial Lecture

    “Anatomy Acts and the Shaping of the American Medical Profession’s Social Contract”
    Dale Smith, PhD, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Read an interview with Dale Smith on our blog Circulating Now.

    A profession is a self-regulating community of experts given special privileges by a society in return for meeting special obligations, the members do socially significant work that the average person cannot do for themselves. This relationship has often been called a social contract. Great physician leaders since the time of the Hippocratics had been offering society a profession—a community of practitioners committed to patient care, high moral values, and lifelong learning—but societies across the ancient world and early modern Europe were reluctant to set physicians apart, only doing so in very limited ways and, commonly, only for the well to do.


    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

    “Pictures of Nursing: The Zwerdling Postcard Collection”
    Julia Hallam, PhD, University of Liverpool
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Read an interview with Julia Hallam on our blog Circulating Now.

    Dr. Hallam will discuss her curatorial work with the NLM’s Zwerdling collection of postcards about nurses and nursing, which is the centerpiece of Pictures of Nursing, a new special display, future traveling banner exhibition, online presence with education resources, and a digital gallery highlighting nearly 600 postcards from this unique collection.


    Wednesday, October 8, 2014 – Hispanic Heritage Month

    “Early Latin American Medicine in the NLM Collections”
    Michael North, MS, MSLS, Head, Rare Books and Early Manuscripts Section, NLM
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Read an interview with Michael North on our blog Circulating Now.

    The NLM collections contain a number of pre-1880 Latin American publications, with such imprints as Mexico City and Lima, Peru. This lecture will provide an introduction to these items, and place them in the larger context of medical printing and publishing in the hand-press era.


    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    “Antibiotic Pasts and Futures: Seven Decades of Reform and Resistance”
    Scott Podolsky, MD, Director of Center for the History of Medicine, Countway Library, Harvard University
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Visitors’ Center, Building 38A
    Read an interview with Scott Podolsky on our blog Circulating Now.

    Antibiotics served as the leading edge of the post-World War II wonder drug revolution. But from the beginning, they also served as the leading edge of concerns regarding the irrational development and use of the wonder drugs. Rising apprehension over antibiotic resistance and the prospect of a post-antibiotic era have drawn attention to the possible means of preventing such an “apocalypse.” Making extensive use the Archives & Modern Manuscripts Collections at NLM, including the papers of James Goddard, Herbert Ley, and John Barlow Youman, this talk narrates the history of antibiotic reform from the 1940s onward, and it explores the evolving relationships between industry and academia, town and gown, and education and regulation, as reformers have attempted to promote a rational and enduring antimicrobial therapeutics. Dr. Podolsky’s book on the subject, The Antibiotic Era: Reform, Resistance, and the Pursuit of a Rational Therapeutics, is forthcoming from The Johns Hopkins University Press.


    Monday, December 1, 2014

    “Surviving and Thriving: The Making of an Exhibition”
    Jennifer Brier, PhD, Director of Gender & Women’s Studies and Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies/History at the University of Illinois-Chicago; Guest Curator, “Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Read an interview with Jennifer Brier on our blog Circulating Now.

    In 1981, a new disease appeared in the United States. As it spread, fear and confusion pervaded the country. The infectious “rare cancer” bewildered researchers and bred suspicion, but the worry was not the same for everyone. Many feared contact with those who were ill. Others, particularly but not exclusively gay men, feared for their lives and the lives of loved ones. In 2013, to record and remember these moments, and to examine the current status of AIDS and HIV in America, NLM’s History of Medicine Division created “Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture,” a banner and web exhibition, to highlight where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going in the social and clinical understanding of HIV/AIDS. This lecture will examine the process of building the exhibition.

    Close Close All Open All

  • Tuesday, February 12, 2013 – African American History Month Lecture

    “Oak Leaves on his Shoulders: Discovering African American Civil War Surgeons in the NLM Collections”
    Jill L. Newmark, National Library of Medicine
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    View the Poster


    Thursday, February 21, 2013

    “Calculating with Mortalities in Restoration London: John Graunt and his Natural and Political Observations”
    Kristin Heitman, PhD; Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    View the Poster


    Tuesday, March 12, 2013 – Women’s History Month Lecture

    Dr. Sarah Loguen Fraser’s Legacy of Social Justice in Medicine”
    Sarah Berry, PhD; Hobart and William Smith Colleges
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A


    Tuesday, April 30, 2013

    “‘Scourge on Wane; Fatalities Fewer’: Interpreting Newspaper Coverage of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic”
    E. Thomas Ewing, PhD; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Visitor Center, Building 38A
    This lecture will be held in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of NLM’s 2012 Memorandum of Understanding with that agency.
    View the Poster


    Wednesday, May 29, 2013

    “Ink and Silver: Medicine, Photography, and the Printed Book, 1845–1880”
    Stephen Greenberg, PhD; National Library of Medicine
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    View the Poster


    Friday, June 28, 2013 – LGBTQ Awareness Month Lecture

    “A history of Salutaris.”
    Panel TBA from Salutaris: The National Institutes of Health Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Employees’ Forum
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    This lecture, to be held on the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, will recognize June as LGTBQ Awareness Month and draw attention to history of Salutaris, the organization of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) and allied NIH employees whose mission is to foster an atmosphere at NIH that is open and inclusive of all employees regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
    View the Poster


    Wednesday, July 10, 2013 – The 2013 James H. Cassedy Memorial Lecture

    “When a Masterpiece Becomes a Chameleon: Re-Making a Popular Medical Book in the 1830s and 40s.”
    Mary Fissel, PhD; The Johns Hopkins University
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    View the Poster


    Tuesday, September 3, 2013

    “The Civil War, The Army Medical Museum, and the Surgeon General’s Library: Medical Practice and the Science of American Medicine”
    Shauna Devine, PhD; Western University, London, Ontario
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    Read an Interview with Shauna Devine on Circulating Now


    Tuesday, November 19, 2013

    “Vessels, Tubes and Tanks: Historic Biotechnologies at the Smithsonian”
    Diane Wendt, Associate Curator, National Museum of American History
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Visitor Center, Building 38A
    Read an Interview with Diane Wendt on Circulating Now

    Close Close All Open All

  • Thursday, February 2, 2012

    “Introducing Dr. Charles Whitten: Scientist, Humanitarian, Family Man Introducing Dr. Charles Whitten: Scientist, Humanitarian, Family Man”
    Dr. Wanda Whitten-Shurney, CEO/Medical Director, Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc., Michigan Chapter
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    View the Poster


    Tuesday, February 28, 2012

    “Shrew Taming and Other Tales of the Four Humors”
    Gail Kern Paster, Ph.D., Folger Shakespeare Library
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    View the Poster


    Thursday, March 22, 2012

    “Nursing History and Health Policy: Moving from Advocacy to Analysis”
    A panel discussion with Julie Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN; Cynthia Anne Connolly, PhD, RN, FAAN; and Barbra Mann Wall, PhD, RN, FAAN, of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    View the Poster


    Thursday, April 19, 2012

    “The Future for Books in a Digital Age”
    Michael F. Suarez, S.J., D.Phil., Director, Rare Book School, University of Virginia
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    View the Poster


    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

    “Digitizing the Foundations of Modern Genetics: Challenges and Opportunities”
    Simon Chaplin, Director, Wellcome Library
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    View the Poster


    Wednesday, May 30, 2012 – Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    “Model Minority Myth: Health Disparities in Asian American Communities”
    Sunmin Lee, PhD, School of Public Health/Asian-American Studies Program, University of Maryland – College Park
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    View the Poster


    Monday, June 18, 2012 – LGBTQ Awareness Month

    “AIDS Research and the Gay Community”
    Victoria Harden, PhD (retired NIH Historian)
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    View the Poster


    Friday, July 13, 2012 – Cassedy Memorial Lecture

    “Pharmacology and Folklore: The Arsenic Eaters of Styria”
    John Parascandola, PhD (retired chief, HMD; Adjunct Professor, Dept. of History, University of Maryland, College Park).
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    View the Poster


    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

    “The Venoms Doo Cure the Diseases”: Separating Poison and Medicine in Early Modern Europe
    Frederick W. Gibbs, PhD; Assistant Professor of History, Department of History and Art History Director of Digital Scholarship, Center for History and New Media George Mason University
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A
    View the Poster


    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

    “Fred L. Soper and the First 50 Years of International Health Campaigns in the Americas”
    Susan Speaker, PhD; Historian, HMD Digital Manuscripts Program
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Visitor Center, Building 38A
    View the Poster


    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 – Native American Heritage Month

    “Researching the Gold Book: The Indian Health Service 50th Anniversary History Project”
    James Rife, History Associates and Alan Dellapenna, BS, MPH, USPHS Commission Corps (ret).
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Visitor Center, Building 38A
    View the Poster


    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

    “The Romantic Imagination Revisited: The Physiological Imagination and Imagined Physiology”
    Richard Sha, PhD, Professor of Literature, American University
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Visitor Center, Building 38A
    View the Poster

    Close Close All Open All

Last Reviewed: December 22, 2020