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2011 MAY–JUNE No. 380
May 31, 2011 [posted]

National Library of Medicine Releases Digitized FDA Court Case Summaries, 1940-1966

[Editor's Note: This is a reprint of an announcement published on the NLM Web site on May 25, 2011. To be notified of announcements like this subscribe to NLM-Announces e-mail list.]

The Archives and Modern Manuscripts Program at the History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine® (NLM®) is pleased to announce the third release of additional court case summaries published as the Food and Drugs Act Notices of Judgment (NJs) (// The National Library of Medicine, a component of the National Institutes of Health, is the world's largest medical library.

These NJs complete the collection of judgments involving adulterated and misbranded foods and drugs published together from 1908 to1943, totaling 31,162 cases. Currently in process are NJs published between 1940 and1966, covering foods solely.

The collection is a digital archive of the notices judgment for products seized under authority of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The NJs are resources in themselves, but also lead users to the over 2,000 linear foot collection of the evidence files used to prosecute each case. These files include materials such as correspondence, lab results, photographs, and product samples and labeling. This collection offers insight into US legal and governmental history, as well as the evolution of clinical trial science and the social impact of medicine on health. The legal history of some of our best-known consumer items of today, such as Coca-Cola, and companies like Merck Pharmaceuticals, can be traced in the collection.

Users can perform full-text searching and browse the archive by Case Title, Defendant Name, Adjudicating Court Name, Geographic Seizure Location, and Case Publication Date.

Sample images:

FDA Title Page

Title page from April 1935 NJ, Food and Drugs Sub-Collection, NLM


 Bromo_Seltzer Ad

Evidence File Sample Content c. 1939, Food and Drugs Sub-Collection, NLM


National Library of Medicine Releases Digitized FDA Court Case Summaries, 1940-1966. NLM Tech Bull. 2011 May-Jun;(380):e11.