The UCSF Library is collaborating with four other preeminent medical libraries on a project to digitize and make publicly accessible state medical journals. The Medical Heritage Library (MHL), a digital resource on the history of medicine and health developed by an international consortium of cultural heritage repositories, has received funding in the amount of $275,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities for its proposal “Medicine at Ground Level: State Medical Societies, State Medical Journals, and the Development of American Medicine and Society.“ Additional funding has been provided by the Harvard Library.
The project will create a substantial digital collection of American state medical society journals, digitizing 117 titles from 46 states, from 1900 to 2000, comprising 2,500,369 pages in 3,579 volumes. State medical society journal publishers agreed to provide free and open access to journal content currently under copyright. Once digitized, journals will join the more than 75,000 monographs, serials, pamphlets, and films now freely available in the MHL collection on the Internet Archive. Full text search is available through the MHL website . MHL holdings can also be accessed through the Digital Public Library of America – DPLA, and the Wellcome Library’s UK-MHL.
State medical society journals document the transformation of American medicine in the twentieth century at both the local and national level. The journals have served as sites not only for scientific articles, but for medical talks (and, often, accounts of discussions following the talks), local news regarding sites of medical care and the medical profession, advertisements, and unexpurgated musings on medicine and society throughout the 20th century. When digitized and searchable as a single, comprehensive body of material, this collection will be able to support a limitless array of historical queries, including those framed geographically and/or temporally, offering new ways to examine and depict the evolution of medicine and the relationship between medicine and society.
UCSF is collaborating on this project with: The College of Physicians of Philadelphia; the Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard University; the Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health at The New York Academy of Medicine; and the Health Sciences and Human Services Library, University of Maryland, the Founding Campus (UMB). The participants are currently reviewing their holdings, establishing workflows and will start digitizing the volumes this fall (UCSF holdings will be sent to the Internet Archive scanning facility in San Francisco); the project will be completed in April 2017.