News from the NLM History of Medicine Division


Greetings and Happy New Year from the National Library of Medicine History of Medicine Division. We hope all of you and your colleagues and loved ones are remaining healthy and safe.

With continued appreciation of each and every member of our outstanding team, we have following news to share:

Division staff continue to work remotely to support YOU in your research and can be reached via the NLM Support Center via the “Write to the Help Desk” blue button. NLM Reading Rooms remain temporarily closed to the public in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and to promote social distancing. NLM online collection resources remain available, including NLM Digital Collections and PubMed Central. For the latest NLM Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service information check here. For the latest NLM Reading Room information check here.

NLM Announces 2021 History Talks the first of which will take place on February 11, 2021, at 2pm ET via NIH Videocasting. Join us to welcome Naa Oyo A. Kwate, PhD, Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of Human Ecology, Rutgers University, who will speak on “Savages cry easily and are afraid of the dark“: What It Means to Talk about Race and African American health.” Dr. Kwate’s talk will be co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Digital Humanities, as part of the recently reaffirmed partnership between NLM and NEH to collaborate on research, education, and career initiatives.  All NLM History Talks are free and open to all, and you can watch previous talks-also freely-via the NIH Videocast archive.

NLM Launches a New Online Exhibition – Fifty Years Ago: The Darkening Day , recognizing the 50th anniversary of The Darkening Day, an NLM exhibition on the health aspects of environmental pollution, which opened at the library in 1970. Featuring selected works from the NLM collection, Fifty Years Ago: The Darkening Day highlights examples of research, programs and policies, public messaging, and action taken by the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare and federal scientists from the Public Health Service (PHS), as awareness of pollution’s detrimental impacts on health grew in the years preceding 1970. The exhibition complements the history explored in Darkening Day: Air Pollution Films and Environmental Awareness, 1960-1972, a critical examination of six public health films from NLM’s historical audiovisuals collection, curation which is part of Medicine on Screen: Films and Essays from NLM.

Reminder! 2021-2023 Application Deadlines Announced for NLM Grants for Scholarly Works in Biomedicine and Health Questions? Contact our NLM colleague Dr. Alan VanBiervliet via email at

The NLM Web Collecting and Archiving Working Group continues to identify and select web and social media content documenting the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak as part of NLM’s Global Health Events web archive collection. Now including 5,400+ Seed URLs (1+ terabyte), the collection includes federal, state, and local government COVID-19 pages, websites of disaster relief agencies and NGOs, and content documenting life in quarantine, prevention measures, vaccine development, the experiences of healthcare workers, patients, and more. The group is actively reviewing recommended content for inclusion in the archive (7600+ URLs nominated to date), scoping and running crawls of content using Archive-It and Conifer (formerly Webrecorder), reviewing archived sites for quality, and adding metadata. The group continues to engage with other cultural heritage organizations archiving the history of COVID-19, including a group spearheaded by the leadership of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, as well as the group of federal agencies who meet regularly to discuss their respective initiatives. The NLM Web Collecting and Archiving Working Group also continues to engage with the Society of American Archivists Web Archiving Section, the Archive-It community, the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, and is contributing to and following the growing list of institutions collecting COVID-19 related content maintained by the Documenting the Now project. Nominations for content to include in NLM’s Global Health Events collection remain welcome via

Thank you for sharing this news with interested colleagues, and keeping safe and in touch with us-and with each other-as we look to the new year.

Very sincerely,



Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, FRHistS

Chief, History of Medicine Division

National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health

8600 Rockville Pike

Bethesda, Maryland 20894-3819

Landline (301) 827-4596

Mobile (301) 742-7027


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