Medicine in World War I Online Exhibit

In commemoration of the centennial of America’s entry into World War I in April 1917 through to the Armistice in November 1918, partner institutions contributing to the Medical Heritage Library have developed this collaborative online exhibit on medicine, surgery, and nursing in the war, with texts and images drawn from the digital corpus of the MHL. A significant amount of professional medical and surgical literature was produced even as the conflict continued to rage, and many personal narratives of physicians and nurses and histories of hospitals and army medical units were also published in the years immediately after the war.  A selection of this material is incorporated into the exhibit.

Medicine in World War I is divided into several broad categories: common diseases of the battlefield and camps; injuries and prosthetic devices; shell-shock and stress; military nursing; and the Spanish influenza epidemic.   There are also sections of bibliographic references with links to items in the Medical Heritage Library and a short list of other exhibits devoted to World War I and medicine.


Bookworm screenshot

Our Bookworm tool is live on its very own website — have you used it yet? In case you’re not in the ‘press buttons and see what happens’ school of learners, here are a few tips.

Bookworm is a search and visualization tool that allows users to graph and compare word occurrences in the full text and catalog records of all items in the MHL holdings with a user‐defined period of time. Bookworm delivers item level results and a link to each item via the graph; simply click on any point in the graph to see the results from that year.

  1. Bookworm will search 1, 2, or 3 word phrases in multiple search fields: just click the + to add a new field.
  2. Click all texts to restrict by library, language, or subject.
  3. Click the gear icon for these options:
    1. Change how you view your results.
    2. Changing the date range of the search.
    3. Change the case sensitivity of a search (it defaults to “sensitive”.)
    4. Change the metric you’re searching by (% of words, % of texts, word count, or text count).
  4. Once you’ve made any changes to your search parameters, you need to click search again to run the new query.
  5. To share a link of your results graph, click the chain link icon at top right.
  6. To export your results graph as an image or a document, click the download button at top right.
  7. Click on a point of the graph to see the results of the search from that particular point in time and get links to individual items.

If you have thoughts, comments, or questions please drop us a line.

As always, for more from the Medical Heritage Library, please visit our full collection!

Browse over 3,000 digitized volumes of historical medical journals!

Over the past two years, we have posted a few updates on the MHL’s collaborative project to digitize significant American medical journals, primarily dating from 1797 to 1923. This project, “Expanding the Medical Heritage Library”, was generously funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (grant # PW‐51014‐12) and included MHL partners The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Columbia University Libraries, Harvard’s Countway Library, and Yale’s Cushing/Whitney Library.

We’re proud to say that the project has not only been completed, but that we’ve exceeded our goal of digitizing 1.7 million pages! While we encourage you to explore the full-text search tool available on our website, you can now also browse over 3,000 volumes that comprise our 336 journal titles. If you’d rather browse by date or search all fields, we encourage you to download the CSV file, also available on the journals browse page.

This browse function is a true product of MHL collaboration. Partners worked together to fill-in gaps in each others’ journal runs and to standardize our metadata so that the user could browse a full title run of a digitized journal without needing to worry about where the physical item was located.

Many of the journals selected reflect emerging specialties in the nineteenth century, such as dermatology and pediatrics, and many complete (or nearly complete) runs of significant local and state journals are now freely available for browsing, including the New York Medical Journal and the Maryland Medical Journal.

Stay tuned for more updates, including information about an improved full-text search tool that will allow users to extract even more from our digitized journals!

Digital Connection: LOUISiana Digital Library

The LOUISiana Digital Library has 22 participating libraries, archives, museums, and other historical organizations contributing material to document the history and culture of Louisiana. The LDL has a wide variety of resources available, including textual documents, photographs, video clips, and medical illustrations. Included in this vast amount of material is a great deal to do with the history of medicine and science, both in Louisiana and elsewhere. Continue reading