The Health Sciences Library (HSL) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has recently added the North Carolina History of Health Digital Collection to the Medical Heritage Library. The North Carolina History of Health Digital Collection contains more than 1000 books, journals, reports, bulletins, minutes, proceedings, and histories covering topics in medicine, public health, dentistry, pharmacy, and nursing, dating from 1849 to the present. These materials thoroughly document the development of health care and the health professions within North Carolina and is thus a significant part of the state’s cultural heritage and history, helping to reveal manifold health problems and how these problems were perceived, understood, and treated over time. The digital collection provides consolidated online access to resources that have been difficult to find and utilize in print.
HSL Special Collections Librarian Dawne Lucas particularly likes the public service announcements from The Health Bulletin, which was “sent free to any citizen of the State upon request.” “The public service announcements were an eye-catching way to draw attention to prominent health problems in early 20th century North Carolina,” says Lucas. “Some of them, such as the ones promoting the importance of vaccines, are still relevant today.”
This project was made possible by a multi-year NC ECHO (Exploring Cultural Heritage Online) digitization grant for the creation of the North Carolina History of Health Digital Collection. NC ECHO is funded by the State Library of North Carolina through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).