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National Library of Medicine Joins The Commons on Flickr

The National Library of Medicine is pleased to announce that it is now a participating institution of the Commons on Flickr.

The Commons on Flickr was launched in 2008 as a pilot project in partnership with the Library of Congress in order to increase access to publicly-held photography collections and to invite the general public to provide information about the collections. The National Library of Medicine now joins a distinguished, international group of nearly one hundred cultural institutions in providing greater access to its collection and inviting public use of and engagement with these images held in the public trust through The Commons on Flickr.

Images from the historical collections of the History of Medicine Division, including public health posters, book illustrations, photographs, fine art work, and ephemera, have always been available through the Images from the History of Medicine database, which includes over 70,000 images illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine dated from the 15th to the 21st century. Now, people can also access them through the Commons on Flickr via a photostream where visitors can contribute information about the images by adding comments and tags. By adding a new way to see our collections through Flickr we hope to learn more details about our collections, create dialog about our holdings, and share knowledge with the public. Our collection of images on Flickr will continue to grow so we hope visitors will check back frequently for new content.

A dark illustration of a nurse with her arm around a woman dressed in street clothes. The nurse points down to a wounded man being tended by another nurse.
We Need You, 1912

Poster from the American National Red Cross

A posed photograph of a woman in a white cap and apron with an elbow length grey cape and a pin bearing a red cross.
Nurse Wearing a Uniform from Germany, ca. 1961

Part of a series of photographs from the Helene Fuld Health Foundation foreign nurse uniform photograph collection


On a wood framed glass slide, a magnified flea menaces an ax- and shears-wielding man
Glass Lantern Slide, "The Attack of the Monster (Pulex Irritans)," ca. 1855

Slide no. 136 in the St. Elizabeths magic lantern slide collection


The world's largest biomedical library, the National Library of Medicine maintains and makes available a vast print collection and produces electronic information resources on a wide range of topics that are searched billions of times each year by millions of people around the globe. It also supports and conducts research, development and training in biomedical informatics and health information technology.