Tuesday, January 11, 2011


With the Pathology Institute closing in the spring, there's no official requirement to do an annual report this year, but I feel that people should be able to find out what we did. Annual Reports for the time I have run the Archives, 1989-2009 are available on the Museum's website.


Michael Rhode, Chief Archivist
(A) Laura Cutter, Assistant Archivist
(D) Kathleen Stocker, Assistant Archivist
(D) Jasmine High, Archives Technician
(D) Donna Rose, IMC Supervisor Archivist
(D) Amanda Montgomery, IMC Contract Archivist
(D) Johanna Medlin, IMC Contract Archivist
(D) Emilia Garvey, IMC Contract Archivist
(D) LaFonda Burwell, IMC Contract Archives Technician
(D) Karen West, IMC Contract Archives Technician
(D) Anna Korosec, IMC Contract Archives Technician
(D) Erissa Mann, student volunteer

2010 was the last year of almost-normal life in the Archives, although BRAC planning began to take a large amount of time. The year saw a large staff turn-over which affected the amount of work the Archives could accomplish. Jasmine High left early in the year for the Smithsonian’s Natural History museum and the Archives technician position has not been filled due to BRAC restrictions on hiring. Kathleen Stocker left in early summer and was replaced in October by Laura Cutter. All of the IMC staff were transferred off the Museum’s project in September 2010 when the scanning contract was stopped for Museum records. A significant amount of time was also spent in planning for the BRAC move of the Museum, and the new storage systems that will be needed.

Substantial requests for information were handled, frequently regarding sensitive topics. Of the requests that we tracked, we had at over 100 substantial reference requests this year. Rhode presented “Cancer in the Comics: No Laughing Matter,” “The National Museum of Health and Medicine’s History As Seen Through Its Archives,” and moderated “Panel discussion on Use of Social Media to Promote Digital Collections,” while continuing working on the AFIP historical volume. In addition to providing scans of photographs of the Institute and personnel, they also wrote captions while contributing to the layout and editing of the publication. The book featured many photographs from the Archives.

The Medical Illustration Service Library, through the IBM (formerly NISC, formerly IMC) scanning project, ended with approximately 1,250,000 images digitized. Rhode was the Task Order Manager for the MIS part of the project; he and the assistant archivists and technicians selected material for scanning, reviewed the material, and recommended accepting the work on behalf of the government. The assistant archivist provided quality control. The members of the NISC team processed and cataloged the images prior to scanning so the records of the images are complete upon their return. Slightly over 400,000 images were scanned last year. Collections cumulatively scanned are the Reeve collection, HDAC’s Carnegie collection photographs, Arey-Dapena lantern slides, parts of the Blackburn-Neumann, Welker and Yakovlev files, part of the A-Bomb collection, Anatomical’s Orthopathic Pathology collection records, teaching slides from AFIP’s VetPath dept. (given MIS Library numbers and returned), the Army Medical Museum photographs from the Spanish-American War, American Expeditionary Forces (WWI autopsies), Atlas of Tropical Extraordinary Diseases [ATED], Swan and Hansen collections (Vietnam War surgery), Korean War Ballistics photographs, Museum and Medical Arts Service’s WWII photographs, Signal Corps photographs, part of the Medical Illustration Service Library, New Contributed Photographs collection, the unpublished 7th Saranac Silicosis Symposium from the Vorwarld Collection, Hollister Collection dental education photographs, an AFIP Study of 58 Combat Deaths from Vietnam, various museum publications including the Medical & Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, captured Vietcong medical manuals, the Museum’s 19th century curatorial logbooks, one half of John King’s 35mm veterinary slides, AFIP Public Affairs Office photographs (which were given MIS Library numbers), the Spanish-American War photographic collection, WRAIR 1960s-1970s photographs (under a shared contract), WRAMC DPW department photographs (given MIS numbers and returned), the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) photographs (given MIS numbers and returned), Surgical Photographs, Contributed Photographs, and Specimen CDVs. As a reminder, the scanning project did not get through all the accession files. AFIP 657,675-2,372,287 (end of the AFIP-assigned numbers) are not done. Some departmental catalogue records are really displaced accession files. Catalogue records in Anatomical were partly done and integrated into the Accession files. Historical collection catalogue records were not done at all. A few straggling projects continue – the Records Repository is digitizing the microfilm of atomic bomb casualties, and the Radiology Pathathology department is scanning x-rays from the MIS Library. WDMET Vietnam War-era wounding data is also being worked on, and remains in West Virginia.

Computerized cataloguing on the collection has continued on both the collection and item level. Cataloguing of new material coming into the museum was done for the General Medical Products Information Collection, Medical Ephemera, New Contributed photographs, Audiovisual Collection, AFIP Historical Files, WRAMC Historical Collection and other artificial collections. Implementation of a comprehensive computer catalogue for the entire Museum continued with data from the archives added to KE Software’s EMU database. New cataloguing is now done directly into EMU, unless a traditional archival-style finding aid is done. Tens of thousands of records were created or modified for the Archives after the initial data load, and in 2011, all of the IMC records and images will be added into the database.

New material acquired included the Kindred Collection (housed in HDAC), the Miller (Cecil) Collection] of Dr. Cecil R. Miller, who was the NCOIC of the 430th AAFRTU ("Army Air Force Replacement Training Unit," a convalescent center for battle fatigue), Richard Satava’s DARPA Videotape Collection and the Leach Scrapbook, a World War I album of photographs of World War I facial case reconstructions and other surgical injuries. Newly-catalogued as a separate collection was Curatorial Records: Army Medical School Sanitary Chemistry Instruction Cards, 1905. As 2011 began, and AFIP started shutting down the Museum has received a pallet of videotapes from the Radiology dept. and 5 pallets of books and journals from Ash Library which will close at the end of February.

The Archives has a significant presence on the Internet including the Guide to the Collections of the Museum on the museum website which remains the main way researchers begin to use the archives. Cutter did finding aids for St. Elizabeths Hospital collection and American Board of Forensic Odontology (ABFO) records and inventoried videotapes from Richard Satava. No more archival collections were listed in the Library of Congress' National Union Catalogue of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC); however, finding aids should still be sent to NUCMC in the future for the different audiences it reaches.

In fall 2006, archives staff began adding interesting photographs to Flickr’s website. By December 31, 2009, we wrapped up the year with slightly under a million views - 906,255 for approximately 1800 images. As of the first week in January 2011, 1,515 people had chosen to be contacts of the Museum’s Flickr site. This number had increased drastically in December when the web post “Candid photographs of Civil War battlefield injuries” by Maggie Koerth-Baker (Boing Boing Dec 27, 2010; picked up the Archives posting of Civil War images from the Contributed Photographs collection. The Flickr daily view statistics for roughly ~250 images were December 27, 2010: 327,779; December 28: 245,041; December 29: 83,579; December 30: 30,834; December 31: 14,260; January 1: 8,268 and January 2: 10,569 for a 7-day total of 720,330 views. The entire Flickr group of photographs had 3,281,103 views of about 2,600 images by December 28th. A Repository for Bottled Monsters, an unofficial blog for the museum, continues to attract a worldwide audience. The notice about sharing the Civil War images was first posted to the blog and picked up from there. Since January 19, 2010, transcriptions of a ‘Letter of the Day’ from the Archives files have been posted to the blog with only July 4th not having a letter found for it.

Books and documents scanned by IMC were uploaded to the free Internet Archive, where they are available for downloading. Titles uploaded included a score of scans of the Museum’s nineteenth century logbooks, the three 1866 printed Catalogues of the Museum, captured handwritten medical manuals from the Vietnam War, the Medical Report of the Joint Commission for the Investigation of the Effects of the Atomic Bomb in Japan vol 6 (manuscript), Carry On: a Magazine on the Reconstruction of Disabled Soldiers and Sailors (08/1918) and audio recordings from the AFIP Oral History Project.

Rhode served on the AFIP's Institutional Review Board and HIPPA committees as well as Museum committees including the Admin group, the collections committee (as did Stocker and Cutter), and the database committee (as did Stocker).

Research and historical material, mostly on military medicine, was provided to AFIP, especially the Public Affairs Office for which High in particular has pulled scores of photographs for a new history of the AFIP. External users included the following institutions: NYU Langone Medical Center Office of Communications & Public Affairs, National Library of Medicine Dept of History of Medicine, University of Virginia Center for Bioethics, Alaskan Heritage Bookshop, University of Queensland Centre for the History of European Discourses, Dept. of Justice ATF Historian, National Park Service’s Fort Scott National Historic Site, Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History’s Repatriation Office, The New York Times Magazine, Pictures on the Waves, McGraw-Hill, William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History, History Works, Inc., Society for the History of Navy Medicine, LaGuardia Community College’s LaGuardia and Wagner Archives, Oakland University, Walter Reed Army Medical Center Directorate of Public Works, Ritsumeikan University’s College of Policy Science, National Institutes Of Health’s NAIAD, New York State Museum, University of Pennsylvania’s Dept. of History and Sociology of Science, WRAMC Historian’s Office, Weider History Group, Inc., Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, University of Western Ontario, Fort Buford State Historic Site and Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center, Washington Post, Burns Archive, USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Ft. Baird Historic Preservation Society, Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History’s Dept. of Anthropology, Gina McNeely Picture Research, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History, Oxford University Press Medical Books, University of Illinois, Case Western University’s Dittrick Medical History Center, Walter Reed Army Institute Of Research, US Navy Group 2, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), United States Army Medical Research Institute for infectious diseases’s Visual Information Office, Kaplan Fuller Group, National Library of Medicine Prints and Photographs division, Thompson Rivers University Dept. of Philosophy, Food and Drug Administration, Loopline Film, Rutgers University Dept of American Art and Visual Culture, Brera Fine Art Academy, Quercus Books, Elsevier Publishing Services, Anker Productions, Inc., Clement Railroad Hotel Museum, Texas Military Forces Museum, PRI Healthcare Solutions, Papers of Abraham Lincoln, North State Forensic Psychiatry PLLC, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island’s The Stroke Center, The Valley Hospital’s Diagnostic Imaging, Longwoods Publishing, University of Maryland Baltimore County UMBC Honors College, Sam Weller Books, Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC), U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, University of Delaware Dept. of History of American Civilization, Virginia Historical Society, Universidad Nacional’s Dept. of Anthropology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Field Museum’s Dept. of Anthropology, Auckland Hospital, Universit√© de Picardie’s Facult√© d'Histoire, University of Michigan’s Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry, O&P Business News, Open University of Israel, Writing and Editorial Services, and American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.


1. Rhode, M. moderator, “Panel discussion on Use of Social Media to Promote Digital Collections,” Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences & Medical Museums Association joint meeting, (April 29)
2. Rhode, M. “Cancer in the Comics: No Laughing Matter,” American Association for the History of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, (May 1, 2010),
3. Rhode, M. “The National Museum of Health and Medicine’s History as Seen through Its Archives,” Society of American Archivists’ Government Records Section, (August 13, 2010)

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