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MeSH XML and ASCII Files Available for Download

A variety of formatted versions of the entire MeSH vocabulary are available to download from our download page provided you are in aggreement with our Memorandum of Understanding

For downloading the large files, we recommend that you save the file to your local hard drive rather than open it here. To do this, you must right-click the link and then select either Save Link... or Save Target..., depending on your browser. The XML and ASCII formatted versions of the entire MeSH vocabulary are listed below. To download MeSH/MARC files Click here.


2017 MeSH Files

These files are listed under ftp://nlmpubs.nlm.nih.gov/online/mesh/MESH_FILES/

MeSH XML Files
Record TypeFull FileSizeZIP fileSizeGZ fileSize
Descriptors desc2017.xml 286 MB desc2017.zip 15 MB desc2017.gz 15 MB
Supplementary Records supp2017.xml 571 MB supp2017.zip 39 MB supp2017.gz 39 MB
Qualifiers qual2017.xml 274 KB
Substances with
Pharmacologic Action
pa2017.xml 4.9 MB
MeSH ASCII Files
Record TypeFull FileSize
Descriptor Records d2017.bin 28 MB
Supplemental Records c2017.bin 89 MB
Qualifier Records q2017.bin 88 KB
MeSH trees mtrees2017.bin 2.3 MB

2016 MeSH Files

These files are now listed under ftp://nlmpubs.nlm.nih.gov/online/mesh/2016/


Full MeSH Data FTP Archive - Years 1999-Present

MeSH data can now be accessed directly from our MeSH FTP Archive. The folders are organized according to year starting with the years 1999 - 2010 in one folder and a separate folder for every year afterwards. Note that the format of the each of the data file names in the FTP site follows the same pattern shown in the tables shown above. For example the 2016 Descriptor XML data file is named "desc2016.xml".

For questions concerning the content of MeSH files, downloading from FTP, or to provide feedback:
Click here  to submit an online request for assistance.