Looking for Medical Images?

Here’s some information from my professional life as a medical librarian — today I read on the Reference Shelf blog about the National Library of Medicine’s revised Image search from their History of Medicine Division. I did a fellowship at the National Library of Medicine in 2001 and am also again currently funded by them while I pursue my MPH degree. I try to keep up with their latest goingson, a feat that becomes increasingly more difficult with everything I have going on, but I was delighted to come across this news.

The Images collection of the National Library of Medicine (more than 70,000 images) can be found here. Their previous search used to be fairly simple and did not offer many options. The new version however is full of great features including

– the ability to embed images
– create collections of images
– compile images & create a presentation
– a “share” link to email to others
– download hi-resolution images
– easy image zoom-in
– ability to drag images around (like you can drag a Google Map around)
– sidebar options to refine results that shows “who”, “what” and “where” details
– printer friendly formatting
-selection of a variety of page display options

and more that I am sure I am not capturing. If you have any medical connections in any of your genealogy work, I recommend spending some time on the site.

I myself did a search on my own university and came across photos of people who’s names I certainly recognize. Now, I bet you anything I could just go upstairs to our Historical Collections and see some of these same pictures (and others), but it’s cool to see them online like this! What would make this an even better resource would be to have the ability to add comments and additional information to the images posted.

As an example, below is the picture of Elliott Voss Newman (1914-1973). He was a cardiologist, biomedical informatics pioneer, and founder/director of Vanderbilt’s Clinical Research Center from 1952 to 1973. My library has his papers collection in our holdings and many of my classmates in my MPH program are members of the university’s Elliott V. Newman Society which supports the research growth of clinicians on campus. It’s nice to put a face to the name. However, none of this information about Mr. Newman is apparent from the NLM entry. This is why I would find it beneficial to allow input from users.

Thanks NLM for an enhanced site!