News from the NLM History of Medicine Division


Greetings from the National Library of Medicine History of Medicine Division. We hope 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 launches two new exhibitions:

*   Making a World of Difference: Stories About Global Health – Read the NLM news announcement and visit the exhibition web site.

*   Outside/Inside: Immigration, Migration, and Health Care in the United States – Read the NLM news announcement and visit the exhibition web site.

*   The Washington Post featured the first NLM History Talk of 2021, by Dr. Naa Oyo Kwate, 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. Over 500 viewers tuned-in to hear Dr. Kwate speak on “‘Savages cry easily and are afraid of the dark’: What It Means to Talk about Race and African American health.” Watch the archived livestream of her talk freely here, along with previously-archived NLM History Talks.

*   Tune-in to our next NLM History Talk on Thursday, March 25. Dr. Annmarie Adams, Professor, Department of Social Studies of Medicine (Chair) and School of Architecture, McGill University, will speak on “Placing Women in Medicine: Maude Abbott and the Archaeology of Friendships.” Look for our interview with Dr. Adams on Circulating Now, as part of our ongoing series of interviews.

*   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 (1.8 TB). A new Circulating Now blog post, published January 28, reflects one year of collecting on this important topic, initiative which now includes 6200+ Seed URLs, encompassing 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 continues to actively review recommended content for inclusion in the archive (8300+ 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 NLM also continues to participate as an institutional contributor to a broader International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) Novel Coronavirus outbreak web archive collection. Learn more about NLM’s efforts in the Journal of the Medical Library Association article “The National Library of Medicine Global Health Events web archive, coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic collecting,” and the broader context of documenting the pandemic published in Nature on December 17 “What are COVID archivists keeping for tomorrow’s historians?”

Thank you for sharing this news with interested colleagues, and keeping healthy and in touch with us-and with each other.

Very sincerely,


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