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Fact Sheet

IndexCat™ is the user interface that provides access to the following collections:

  • the digitized version of the printed Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon General's Office. The content and coverage is the same as the printed catalog. See: About Index-Catalogue. It reflects the same publishing patterns: series, volumes, references, and the original dictionary arrangement for browsing and display. As a digitized resource, however, search access is not limited to the dictionary arrangement. Users may search all descriptive information as direct search terms.
  • electronic Thorndike and Kibre (eTK for medieval Latin texts) - the expanded digital version of Lynn Thorndike and Pearl Kibre, A Catalogue of Incipits of Mediaeval Scientific Writings in Latin (TK) (Cambridge, MA: Mediaeval Academy of America, 1963), and the two supplements printed in Speculum, vols. 40, 43 (1965, 1968).
  • electronic Voigts and Kurtz (eVK2 for medieval English texts) - the updated and expanded version of Linda Ehrsam Voigts and Patricia Deery Kurtz, Scientific and Medical Writings in Old and Middle English: An Electronic Reference, which originally was a CD-ROM published by the University of Michigan Press, 2000. See eTK/eVK2 Project.
  • a pre-established link to NLM LocatorPlus®- the NLM online catalog of books, journals, audiovisuals and other materials in the Library collections. See LocatorPlus Fact Sheet


  • The Index-Catalogue collection contains online references to over 3.7 million bibliographic items -- 2.5 million items are primarily journal articles; 616,000 items are monographs (books, pamphlets, and reports); approximately 471,000 items are dissertations (theses); and 32,000 are journal titles. Series 1 and Series 2 include portraits as separate citations but Series 3, 4, and 5 indicate portraits in descriptive notes for monographs and dissertations.
  • The eTK/eVK2 collections contain over 42,000 digital records of incipits (the beginning words of a medieval manuscript or early printed book). One can search incipit data by manuscript, library, author/translator, title, subject, date and other invaluable information.
  • The LocatorPlus collection contains over 1.4 million catalog records for materials in the Library's collections along with holdings information or the circulation status of a title, and links to Internet resources.

Search Capabilities

Search IndexCat™ by keywords found anywhere in the bibliographic description. Keywords are not case sensitive and do not need punctuation. Search with a single term or multiple terms: in any order; in a phrase; or with final truncation.

Search results display by collection and users may elect to sort or refine their results. By creating a list of selected citations, users may download or e-mail them.

Search IndexCat™ to:

  • Find journal articles published from late 17th to early 20th centuries
  • Find books, dissertations, pamphlets, and reports from 15th to early 20th centuries
  • Find early concepts, descriptions, and therapies for diseases and medical conditions
  • Find 19th century material on related scientific areas such as anthropology, archeology, biology, botany, or chemistry
  • Find material on 19th century military medicine
  • Find history and statistics by 'localities' - by country, region, city, or town
  • Find all materials by subject, author, or title
  • Identify texts from a 12th century manuscript
  • Identify the location of  manuscript witnesses
  • Find material owned by NLM but not cataloged in LocatorPlus®

Learn more about IndexCat™

For further assistance contact:

History of Medicine Division
National Library of Medicine
Bethesda, Maryland 20894
Phone: (301) 496-5405
FAX: (301) 402-0872
Internet: NLM Customer Support

For general information on NLM services contact:

National Library of Medicine
Customer Service
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894
Telephone: 1-888-FINDNLM (1-888-346-3656)
e-mail: //
NLM Customer Service Form at NLM Customer Support


A complete list of NLM Fact Sheets is available at:
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Or write to:

Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20894
Telephone: (301) 496-6308
FAX:(301) 496-4450