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Photo Depository: US National Library of Medicine

Photo Depository section Bird in Flight shares with its readers the most interesting photo archives found in the Web. In today’s issue: mud baths in the Crimea, field hospital lab in Papua New Guinea, nurses from the Russo-Japanese War period and other images from the archives of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.



The National Library of Medicine (NLM), on the campus of the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, is the world’s largest biomedical library in the world. Since its founding in 1836, it collects, maintains, and makes available the most complete collection of materials on a wide range of topics related to human health and disease: a total of 600,000 books and manuscripts, 150,000 drawings and photographs, 15,000 videos and audio records.

A separate section for images related the history of medicine (IHM) was started in 1879, with 6,000 engraved portraits of prominent physicians that John Shaw Billings, head of the Library of the Surgeon General’s Office of the Army, purchased at an auction in Amsterdam. By 1962, the archive contained nearly 60,000 documents.

IHM collection provides access to over 70,000 images: portraits, photographs, caricatures, genre scenes, posters, and graphic art illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine dated from the 15th to 21st century. The library is constantly bringing in new acquisitions. There are also portraits of prominent scientists, hospital footage from World War I, illustrations from books and library manuscripts, anatomic atlases, snapshots of medical equipment, posters and caricatures meant to fight against smoking, drug abuse, and AIDS.

The website also makes available interactive photo exhibitions featuring doctors of the Civil War time, postcards with pin-up pictures of nurses, and a whole illustrated history of women in the medical profession. It even boasts an illustrated Frankenstein story.




{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-03.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 03”, “text”: “Surgery, King George Military Hospital, 1915.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-04.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 04”, “text”: “Kind George Military Hospital, A5-B5 ward kitchen, Sister Chapman, 1915.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-05.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 05”, “text”: “King George Military Hospital, throat and nose department, Dr. Murrison, 1915.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-06.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 06”, “text”: “Medical men use the library reading room, ca 1940.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-07.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 07”, “text”: “Mud baths at a health resort in Saki.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-08.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 08”, “text”: “Cold virus research, Petri dishes.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-01.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 01”, “text”: “Female laboratory technician feeds baby monkeys.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-02.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 02”, “text”: “Little girl getting a new leg cast.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-09.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 09”, “text”: “Deola Lange Cyrus and student nurse-midwife, between 1946 and 1976.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-10.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 10”, “text”: “Presentation of stretches on wheels for evacuation. Gungahlin, Australia, ca 1905.The Russo-Japanese War period.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-15.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 15”, “text”: “Nurses beside a train, ca 1095. The Russo-Japanese War period.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-12.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 12”, “text”: “A surgeon’s tent. Gungahlin, Australia, ca 1905.The Russo-Japanese War period.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-11.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 11”, “text”: “Dentist’s surgery in the 65th station hospital. Darwin, Australia, 1944.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-13.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 13”, “text”: “Lab in the 363rd Station Hospital, Port Moresby, Papua-New Guinea, 1942.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-14.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 14”, “text”: “Choir at a hospital show of talents. Australia, 1943.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-16.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 16”, “text”: “Ear examination. The 22nd field hospital. China, 1944.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-17.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 17”, “text”: “Male nurse preparing a blood donor for a venepuncture. USA, ca 1951.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-18.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 18”, “text”: “Vice-consul Cyrus Follmer, Milton, Pa., awarding the Purple Heart U.S. Army Signal. Ca 1945.”}


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/fond-med-19.jpg”, “alt”: “IHM Collection 19”, “text”: “Doctor and his students by the bedside of a sick old man, the Netherlands.”}

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