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NLM and Wellcome Complete Partnership to Provide Free Access to Hundreds of Years of Medical Research

February 12, 2019

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) and Wellcome have completed their partnership to make thousands of full back issues of historically-significant biomedical journals freely available through the National Institutes of Health life sciences repository PubMed Central (PMC), and through its European counterpart, Europe PMC.

The NLM and Wellcome are pleased to report that over two dozen additional titles are now freely available, spanning three centuries and encompassing hundreds of thousands of pages. In total, the collaboration has grown PMC by over 650,000 pages and tens of thousands of individual articles.

These newly-available titles are free to read, download, text mine, and re-use via the PMC Text Mining Collections, which includes the PMC Open Access Subset and the Historical OCR Collection. License terms vary by title; see PMC Back Issue Digitization for more details.

Alongside the previously-announced sixteen titles, the new available titles include:

Researchers, educators, and students will benefit from this vast corpus of historical biomedical information for generations to come. For example, (1) questions about past, present, and future epidemics will more likely have answers; (2) advances in medicine and science during wartime can be better understood, aiding the thoughtful development of new treatments, without unnecessarily retracing steps covered in earlier research: and (3) the development of the medical profession, and changes in the experience of patients, can be appreciated in greater detail, to improve the delivery of healthcare for all. The collaboration to make these titles and others publicly available stems from a 2014 memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together in this important way for the benefit of research and education. This 2014 partnership builds on the Medical Journal Backfiles Digitization Project of 2004-2010 and contributes to the current PMC archive of over 5.3 million articles from medical journals. Learn more about the development of the NLM partnership with Wellcome on the NLM website.


Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library exploring health, life and our place in the world. Through exhibitions, collections, live programming, digital, broadcast and publishing, Wellcome Collection creates opportunities for people to think deeply about the connections between science, medicine, life and art. The library is one of the world's leading libraries of medical history, housing 2.5 million items of extraordinary range and diversity, and a growing collection of contemporary biomedical information resources relating to consumer health, popular science, biomedical ethics and the public understanding of science. Wellcome Collection is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. Both politically and financially independent, we support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate.


The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is a leader in research in biomedical informatics and data science and the world’s largest biomedical library. NLM conducts and supports research in methods for recording, storing, retrieving, preserving, and communicating health information. NLM creates resources and tools that are used billions of times each year by millions of people to access and analyze molecular biology, biotechnology, toxicology, environmental health, and health services information. Additional information is available at

Last Reviewed: February 12, 2019