Founded 175 years ago, the National Library of Medicine is the world’s largest medical library, with more than 17 million items in a collection that reaches back to the eleventh century, and ranges from rare early medical books to nineteenth-century surgical illustrations and mid-twentieth-century animated cartoons.
To celebrate that anniversary, the Library has released Hidden Treasure – a spectacular sampling of those 17 million items that includes, from the publisher’s description;
‘… a series never before reproduced of hauntingly delicate paintings and illustrations of “monstra” collected in the early decades of the nineteenth century “from the museum of Dr. Klinkenberg” in the Netherlands; charming hand-painted glass “magic lantern slides,” which doctors projected in slideshows to entertain and help cure inmates at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for the Insane; surreal views of mechanically sliced cadavers in the photographic anatomical atlas of fin-de-siècle France’s notorious surgeon-provocateur Eugène-Louis Doyen; and a staggering variety of objects from around the world and through seven different centuries.’
Other entries include such direct links to world history as Hitler’s medical records and a report from the first medical responders to enter Hiroshima after the bomb. Each exhibit is accompanied by a brief essay from a distinguished scholar, artist, collector, journalist, or physician. (You can sample some of the book’s illustrations at this review on Wired’s website.)
This extraordinary collection of medical history can be obtained in store or ordered for delivery to your door through our virtual bookstore.