The MHL at AAHM 2017!

Have ideas for digitization or digital projects using MHL materials?  Would you like to meet members of the MHL? Visit us at Studio 7 in the AAHM conference hotel Saturday in Nashville from 8-8:30 a.m.!  Bring some breakfast and tell us about your work, or feel free to email our Project Co-ordinator at hanna_clutterbuck@hms.harvard.edu.

Freeing the LAMS from the Silos; or, How We Learned to Love MARC for the Sake of BIBFRAME

On April 1st, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia released what we lovingly refer to as the “Digital Spine,” one of the few MHL_image_1catalogs in the United States that merges descriptions of, and access to, library, archival and museum collections.

Approximately 145,000 bibliographic records for collections in the Historical Medical Library and approximately 28,000 records for objects in the Mütter Museum will be merged in a single, cross-searchable database.  To sample this integration, go to https://cpp.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/library and search for “foreign bodies.”

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Museum records are slowly being released into the online public access catalog (OPAC).  One of the biggest problems with integrating these two collections is the lack of standardization for describing museum objects (of any kind).  In library description, we have “title.” In museum description, something akin to a title can be found in “Remarks” or “Description” or “Object Description” or “Object Name.”  Building crosswalks between library and museum descriptions is an engaging activity.

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Another problem is the interim use of the MARC format to catalog museum objects.  The long-term goal of the Digital Spine project is to expose collections metadata to crawling by search engines.  In order to do this, we had to start with MARC, which seems antithetical, since MARC is not a structure that is understood by search engines. The College selected SirsiDynix as the vendor for this project because of SirsiDynix’ recent release of its BLUEcloud LSP.  BLUEcloud Visibility pulls a library’s records and transforms them using BIBFRAME, which exposes catalog records as linked data.  Here, for example, is part of the “Person” record for Chevalier L. Jackson, the “father” of American laryngology, whose foreign body collection, items referenced above, is one of the first museum collections to be released into the OPAC.

 

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In the near future, we anticipating spending a lot of time tidying museum records and releasing them to the OPAC; retrospectively cataloging original library material that never made it into the original conversion to electronic format; and working with SirsiDynix to create an archives “module” to accommodate hierarchically described collections.  In the long term, we plan to expand the reach of our metadata as linked data – how extensible can we be?  In answering that question, we will truly free the LAMs from the silo.

 

 

Margaret Humphreys to Speak on African Americans in Civil War Medicine

You are cordially invited to attend a lecture by the distinguished historian and professor Dr. Margaret Humphreys titled “African Americans in Civil War Medicine”. Many histories have been written about medical care during the Civil War, but the participation and contributions of African Americans as nurses, surgeons, and hospital workers has often been overlooked. The event will be held on May 10, 2017 at 5:30 PM at the Knowledge Center of the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences located at 701 West 168 Street (Fort Washington Avenue) on the Columbia University Medical Center campus. Continue reading

Yale Medicine Goes to War

Melissa Grafe, current co-chair of the MHL Governance Committee and John R. Bumstead Librarian for Medical History at the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, participated in two video presentations for the Yale Office of Public Affairs and Communications to commemorate the WWI centennial and the Medical Library’s exhibits on the war.

Yale Goes to War – Profiles in Medicine
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Yale Goes to War – Mobile Hospital No. 39
 

Check out more MHL resources on World War I here.

Congratulations to UCSF and Partners!

NEH awards leading San Francisco institutions $315,000 to digitize AIDS archives

The Archives and Special Collections department of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Library, in collaboration with the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Historical Society, has been awarded a $315,000 implementation grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The collaborating institutions will digitize about 127,000 pages from 49 archival collections related to the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the San Francisco Bay Area and make them widely accessible to the public online. In the process, collections whose components had been placed in different archives for various reasons will be digitally reunited, facilitating access for researchers outside the Bay Area. Continue reading