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  • LocatorPlus®
    Library Catalog

    LocatorPlus logo.

    NLM’s holdings catalog for records for books, audiovisuals, journals, computer files, and other materials in the Library’s collections.

  • NLM Digital Collections

    Unclassified stamp.

    NLM’s free online resource of digitized biomedical books, still images, and videos available for viewing and download.

  • IndexCat™

    Five men in military uniforms sit at two library tables reading.

    NLM's signature database of medical bibliographic citations in the history of medicine.

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    • LocatorPlus.


      LocatorPlus is the interface provided for onsite patrons in the Library’s reading rooms. It contains information on NLM holdings and circulation status, and provides access to the records in MARC format. Quick limits for searching historical collections and material formats are available. For help with searching LocatorPlus see NLM LocatorPlus Help.


    • The nlm Façade

      NLM Catalog

      The NLM Catalog provides access to NLM bibliographic data for over 1.4 million journals, books, audiovisuals, computer software, electronic resources, and other materials. It contains detailed MEDLINE indexing information about the journals in PubMed and other NCBI databases. Links to the library’s holdings in LocatorPlus are also provided. For help with searching the NLM Catalog see NLM Catalog Help.

      Go to NLM Catalog

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    • A tablet on a shelf of books.


      PubMed comprises more than 26 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites. To find journal articles in the history of medicine, select “Topic Specific-Queries” from the “PubMed Tools” list on the PubMed homepage and select History of Medicine from the “Subjects” list. Full text of historically significant articles can be found in PubMed Central. For further information about PubMed, see NLM Customer Support.

      Go to PUBMED

    Full Text Articles

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    • A medical drip in a glass bottle.

      Guide to Tropical Disease Motion Pictures and Audiovisuals

      The Tropical Disease Motion Picture and Audiovisual Collection is comprised of films, videorecordings, and digital videocasts produced from the 1920s through 2009, with the majority shot prior to the 1960s. All are devoted to health concerns and include material on medicine and public health. Materials range from ideological, documentary, educational, and training films to American war propaganda. The intended audience is diverse and includes military personnel, health professionals, and the general public. The collection will be of particular interest to scholars concerned with the social, economic, and political implications of health disparities in a world where epidemics travel with great rapidity across national and regional borders.

      View GUIDE

    • A cry for help film title over a man in prison.

      Guide to Mental Health Motion Pictures

      references to nearly 200 films and videorecordings produced from the 1930s up to and including 1970. Most deal with mental or psychiatric disorders as defined or recognized at the time the films were produced, as well as their corresponding causes and treatments. Some films focus on improving mental attitudes and thus overall health.

      View Guide



    • A woman takes a patient's blood pressure.

      Online Oral Histories

      NLM has digitized selected material from its oral history collections. Content is organized into seven collections and includes digitized transcripts plus any accompanying audio content when available. Users can browse content by title, interviewee name, and subject. Full-text searching is available across all sub-collections, within each sub-collection, and within individual transcripts.

      Search All Online Oral Histories

      Go to PROJECT PAGE

    • History of Health Services Research Project.

      History of Health Services Research Project

      This project is motivated by the desire to collect the stories and experiences of innovators and leaders in the field of health services research. It is co-sponsored by the National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR) and the History of Medicine Division (HMD). Several initiatives are being pursued: individual oral and video interviews, a historical video for use in training health science librarians and HSR students, and solicitation and archiving of pertinent collections of papers.

      Go to PROJECT PAGE

    • Conversations with Medical Informatics Pioneers logo.

      Conversations with Medical Informatics Pioneers

      Beginning in 2004, Drs. Joan S. Ash and Dean F. Sittig chose and interviewed seventeen medical informatics pioneers to capture their memories. In 2013, NLM acquired the transcripts from the first 15 interviews and began work to make them publicly available, including recruiting and placing photographs to enliven the written words.

      Go to PROJECT PAGE

    • A map of collections.

      Oral Histories in Directory of History of Medicine Collections

      Oral histories are an important resource for historians and other scholars seeking to understand individual careers, the development of institutions and disciplines, and the process of biomedical research. You can find oral history collections around the world through the NLM Directory of History of Medicine Collections. Get Instructions for Searching.

      Go To Directory


    • Islamic Medical Manuscripts Logo

      A Shelflist of Islamic Medical Manuscripts (pdf)

      In 1994, to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the oldest Arabic medical manuscript in its collection, the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine mounted an exhibition entitled Islamic Culture and the Medical Arts. Showcasing the library’s rich holdings in this area, the exhibit was very well received -so much so that there has been a scholarly demand for the library to issue a cataloge of its holdings. This shelflist serves as an interim guide to the collection.



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    • A map in an Islamic Medical Manuscript

      Islamic Medical Manuscripts

      Here you can learn about Islamic medicine and science during the Middle Ages and the important role it played in the history of Europe. This site, with its biographies, colorful images, and extensive historical accounts of medieval medicine and science is designed for students and everyone interested in the history of Islamic and European culture. The site provides a comprehensive, annotated listing (including images) of the 300 or so Persian and Arabic manuscripts in the National Library of Medicine.

      View Guide

    • Detail of an illuminated letter featuring a man reading a book.

      Early Western Manuscripts at NLM

      The National Library of Medicine has in its collection 90 Western manuscripts written before 1601. Cataloging information for these manuscripts is fragmented and in some cases unavailable to the scholarly community. The following digitized pamphlet is available in the NLM’s Digital Collection.

      View GUIDE

    • Handwritten text in Latin.

      Medieval Manuscripts

      An interpretive overview of medieval manuscript holdings of the National Library of Medicine focused on medicine and medical literature in medieval England, on the sources and transmission of the manuscript texts, and on their later manifestations.

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    • Illustrated trade card.

      Time, Tide, and Tonics: The Patent Medicine In America

      Almanacs, first produced in the middle ages for their astrological information, were, in the nineteenth century, adopted by patent medicine manufacturers to advertise their wares. By the end of the century they had evolved into colorful and heavily illustrated works, displaying catchy and clever cover art.

      View GUIDE

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    • Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General’s Office

      The Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General’s Office (Index-Catalogue) is a multi-part printed bibliography or list of items in the Library of the Surgeon-General’s Office, U.S. Army, the National Library of Medicine’s earliest incarnation founded in 1865. It contains material dated from the 1400s through 1950 and is an important resource for researchers in the history of medicine, history of science, and for clinical research. NLM has scanned all 61 volumes of the printed Index-Catalogue and made them available in NLM Digital Collections grouped by series: Series 1, Series 2, Series 3, Series 4, and Series 5. The originals may be consulted in the NLM History of Medicine Reading Room and at many large research and medical school libraries. This resource is also available as an online, searchable database: see IndexCat™. Read more about Index-Catalogue on our blog Circulating Now.

    • Bibliography of the History of Medicine

      Journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers and proceedings that were published from 1965–1993 are indexed in the Bibliography of the History of Medicine. The Bibliography, a printed version of the discontinued HISTLINE database, was published in six cumulative volumes (1965–1993), and is useful for pre-1993 material. The Bibliography can be consulted in the History of Medicine Reading Room and at many large research and medical school libraries.

    • Index Medicus

      Index to journal articles in biomedical journals worldwide published from 1879–1927. For detailed information about Index Medicus please see Index Medicus Chronology (archived).


      • Dorothy M. Schullian, A Catalogue of Incunabula and Manuscripts in the Army Medical Library, 1950
      • Richard J. Durling, A Catalogue of Sixteenth Century Printed Books in the National Library of Medicine, 1967
      • Peter A. Krivatsy, A Catalogue of Incunabula and Sixteenth Century Printed Books in the National Library of Medicine, First Supplement, 1971
      • Peter A. Krivatsy, A Catalogue of Sixteenth Century Printed Books in the National Library of Medicine. First Supplement, 1971
      • Peter A. Krivatsy, A Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Printed Books in the National Library of Medicine, 1989
      • John B. Blake, Eighteenth Century Printed Books in the National Library of Medicine (1979)
      • Stephen J. Greenberg, A Shelflist of Islamic Medical Manuscripts at the National Library of Medicine, 1996 (Download PDF)
      • Sarah L. Richards, Motion Pictures and Videocassettes about the Public Health Service and its Agencies, 1998 (Download PDF)
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    • LocatorPlus logo.

      New in LocatorPlus Catalog

      Search all new materials added to NLM catalog within the last 6 months. In the Location field select "HMD Collection" to find newly cataloged materials from the historical collections.


    • Western Union Telegram.

      These lists represent brief descriptions of unprocessed collections, or unprocessed additions to collections, and is primarily for informational purposes only. There may be donor imposed restrictions, HMD imposed restrictions, or no descriptions of collection contents. Please contact the HMD Reference Staff regarding access to these collections.

      Note on Access: The majority of these collections are stored offsite and require 30 days prior notice for service. Please contact the Associate Curator of Archives and Modern Manuscripts for access information.

      View 1997–2015

      View Pre-1997

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    • Cover of pamphlet Medlars: The world of Medicine at Your Fingertips.

      NLM Digital Collections

      Selected digitized publications and productions of the National Library of Medicine including bibliographies, catalogs, posters, brochures, programs and audiovisuals relating to its collections, activities, and resources.


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    • Florence Sabin in her lab.

      Profiles in Science

      Celebrating twentieth-century leaders in biomedical research and public health. Profiles in Science makes the archival collections of prominent scientists, physicians, and others who have advanced the scientific enterprise available to the public and promotes the use of the Internet for research and teaching in the history of biomedical science. Many of the collections have been donated to NLM and contain published and unpublished items, including books, journal volumes, pamphlets, diaries, letters, manuscripts, photographs, audiotapes, video clips, and other materials.

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    • Cummings with tape deck.

      In His Own Words: Martin Cummings and the NLM

      A searchable, online edition of annual Congressional appropriations testimonies and selected speeches and articles by former NLM director Dr. Martin M. Cummings, based on the collection of his papers (MS C 554; 116.0 linear feet) in the Library’s Modern Manuscripts collection. This project represents theNLM’s ongoing commitment to collecting materials related to its own institutional history—as part of the NLM Archives—as well as to digitizing these collections and making them widely available for the benefit of researchers, educators, and students.

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    • Cereal box.

      FDA Notices of Judgment Collection, 1908–1966

      The FDA Notices of Judgment Collection is a digital archive of the published notices judgment for products seized under authority of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act. This digital library, created using the SPER system, allows for browsing the collection as well as searching the collection’s metadata and full-text.

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    • Physicians' Lives in the Shenandoah Valley: Henkel Family Letters, 1786–1907

      The Henkel Family Correspondence collection consists of 828 letters and is largely the product of Caspar C. Henkel’s life. This digital edition is divided into 5-year blocks for ease of navigation and contextual narrative.

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    • Gene therapy article

      Recognizing that web sites, blogs, social media, and other web content plays an increasingly important role in documenting the scholarly biomedical record and illustrating a diversity of philosophical and cultural perspectives in health and medicine, Archives and Modern Manuscripts has begun selectively collecting representative web content to augment our physical personal papers and organizational archives. NLM also periodically captures and archives large portions of its own web domain, including NLM blogs and social media. In addition to directly accessing archived web content through our Internet Archive Archive It service, archived websites are described in the pertinent collection finding aids.

      Archives and Modern Manuscripts collections
      NLM Institutional Archives
      Web archives for NLM content captured between 2004-2015 are findable by searching NLM's main website and exploring the Web Archives subset


    • E-Patient Dave blog.

      Web collecting and archiving is the process of collecting web sites, social media, and other web content to ensure the information is preserved in an archive for future researchers, historians, and the public. NLM librarians and archivists use Archive-It web crawlers to collect web content guided by the Library’s collection development policies... Read More

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    • Postcards

      Browse NLM Exhibitions

      Learn more about the National Library of Medicine’s exhibitions about the social and cultural history of medicine. Exhibitions include online education resources and in some cases Digital Galleries of materials from the NLM’s collection.




    • Two women in a training session.

      About the Exhibition Program

      By creating exhibitions and educational resources about the social and cultural history of medicine, we encourage visitors of all ages to learn more about themselves and their communities. We seek to stimulate people’s enthusiasm for history and to nurture young professionals in history, education, museum studies, and the health professions.



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    • Unfolded Arabic manuscript.

      Images from the History of Medicine

      Public domain images from the historical collections of the National Library of Medicine are accessible through The Commons on Flickr via a photostream. Among the hundreds of images available are book illustrations, photographs, fine art work, ephemera, and posters, including the 1918 World War I Red Cross nurse recruitment poster featured above. Visitors will also find albums (collections of images) including selections from the book Hidden Treasure, patent medicine trade cards, and AIDS posters. Visitors are encouraged to contribute information about images by adding comments and tags.


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    • An open book.

      Turning the Pages Online

      The quest for the “real thing” is not always satisfied. Among the most beautiful and sought after objects of antiquity are the books and manuscripts created hundreds of years ago, and carefully preserved in libraries. Now you can experience some of The National Library of Medicine’s most treasured volumes from your own desk, tablet, or phone. And if you visit the National Library of Medicine, come to the History of Medicine Reading Room and see these volumes in person for yourself.



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    • A detail of an anatomical engraving featuring a skeleton.

      Historical Anatomies

      Historical Anatomies on the Web is a digital project designed to give Internet users access to high quality images from important anatomical atlases in the Library’s collection. The project offers selected images from NLM’s atlas collection, not the entire books, with an emphasis on images and not texts. However, links are provided to the full digitized book on NLM Digital Collections when available. Atlases and images are selected primarily for their historical and artistic significance, with priority placed upon the earliest and/or the best edition of a work in NLM’s possession.


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    • NLM Historical Collections Copyright Information

      Information about the copyright law of the United States as it applies to making reproductions of material found in the historical collections of the National Library of Medicine, with particular information about different formats including exhibitions, audiovisuals, images and other materials. If using any material from Historical collections for publication or production, please include the phrase: “Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.”


    • Patron Guide to Copyright and Historical Materials

      Patrons must make their own rights assessment in light of the intended use. The nature of historical archival collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or impossible to determine. The Library provides some information as a service to aid patrons in determining the appropriate use of an item, but that determination ultimately rests with the patron.


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Last Reviewed: October 9, 2019