Through active community building and coordinated content selection, the MHL facilitates much needed discourse around the contemporary practice of medicine (anatomy, audiology, gynecology and reproductive health, physiology, surgery), mental health (psychology, psychiatry), nursing, neuroscience, public health, dentistry, infectious disease, and the biological sciences, as well as associated subjects, such as tobacco use, veterinary medicine, gardening, physical culture, and alternative medicine. The MHL includes materials in a variety of languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, Latin, Portuguese, and Dutch. We select materials for scholarly, educational, and historical value.
Founded in 2010, the MHL derives its strength – as a content-centered digital community and as a curated resource – by actively seeking new opportunities to digitize primary resources in the history of medicine through grant-funded initiatives and efforts to identify like-minded institutions willing to share content through the MHL’s Internet Archive collection. Grant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Arcadia Fund, and the Council on Library and Information Resources has made it possible for us to address digitization gaps, negotiate open access, such as for our State Medical Journals project, and build tools to better utilize MHL resources.
How Can I Participate?
The MHL is composed of Principal Contributors, Content Contributors, and Advocates. Our Principal Contributors are those institutions who both deposit history of medicine content to the MHL and make an annual financial contribution (or perform work on behalf of the MHL that is equivalent to an annual financial contribution) to support MHL operations.
Our current Principal Contributors are the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library at Columbia University and Columbia University Libraries/Information Services; The College of Physicians of Philadelphia; The Cushing/Whitney Medical Library at Yale University; the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard University; Health Sciences and Human Services Library, University of Maryland, the Founding Campus; the New York Academy of Medicine; UCSF Library and Center for Knowledge Management; U.S. National Library of Medicine; and the Wellcome Library.
Content Contributors contribute existing digitized content generated by their own institutions that meets MHL criteria and deposit it the Internet Archive tagged as part of the MHL collection. Content Contributors promote their MHL collections, link to the MHL website, distribute MHL promotional and print materials, and seek opportunities for collaboration, such as co-sponsoring events. The MHL has over 30 partner libraries in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom; a complete list may be found on our website.
Advocates publicize and promote the work of the MHL and encourage peer libraries, archives, special collections, faculty, students, or other constituencies to use or develop MHL resources. While advocates do not contribute content to the MHL, they provide the MHL with critical opportunities to expand its audience.