New York (June 6, 2017) – The New York Academy of Medicine Library announces the launch of its new digital collections and exhibits website, hosted on the open-source framework Islandora and accessible at http://digitalcollections.nyam.org/. The new site makes it easy for the public to access and explore highlights of the Library’s world-class historical collections in the history of medicine and public health.
“The Academy is committed to enhancing access to our Library’s world-class collections through digitization,” said Academy President Jo Ivey Boufford, MD. “With the launch of our new digital collections and exhibits website, users across the globe will have access to an ever-growing number of important resources in the history of medicine and public health.”
The website includes a glimpse into the Library’s rare and historical collections material. In one day, high-end photographer Ardon Bar-Hama, courtesy of George Blumenthal, took photos of a subset of the Library's treasures, which are all accessible via the new website. Visitors interested in cookery can page through the Library’s Apicius manuscript with 500 Greek and Roman recipes from the 4th and 5th centuries. Other highlights includes beautiful anatomical images from Andreas Vesalius's De Humani corporis Fabrica and striking botanicals like this skunk-cabbage (Symplocarpus Fœtida) hand-colored plate from William P. C. Barton's Vegetable Materia Medica.
Also featured is The William H. Helfand Collection of Pharmaceutical Trade Cards, which contains approximately 300 colorful pharmaceutical trade cards produced in the U.S. and France between 1875 and 1895 that were used to advertise a wide range of goods in the nineteenth century. Such cards are now regarded as some of the best source material for the study of advertising, technology and trade in the post-Civil War period.
“It is gratifying to digitize our materials and see them come to life with the launch,” said Robin Naughton, PhD, Head of Digital for the Library. “Our digital collections and exhibits website represent a bridge between the Academy Library’s collections and the world as it intersects with the humanities and technology.”
The Library will continue to launch new digital collections and exhibits, including “How to Pass Your O.W.L.’s at Hogwarts: A Prep Course,” which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and will be launched on June 26. Two other upcoming digital projects focus on the history of the book: “Facendo Il Libro/Making the Book,” funded by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and “Biography of a Book,” funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Projects for the Public grant.
About The New York Academy of Medicine Library
The Academy is home to one of the most significant historical libraries in medicine and public health in the world, safeguarding the heritage of medicine to inform the future of health. The Library is dedicated to building bridges among an interdisciplinary community of scholars, educators, clinicians, and the general public, and fills a unique role in the cultural and scholarly landscape of New York City. Serving a diverse group of patrons—from historians and researchers to documentary filmmakers to medical students and elementary school students—the Academy collections serve to inform and inspire a variety of audiences from the academic to the public at large.