Thursday, February 12, 2015

Now Available! Recommended Practices for Enabling Access to Manuscript and Archival Collections Containing Health Information about Individuals

Medical Heritage Library collaborators the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions [] and the Center for the History of Medicine at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine [] are pleased to announce the distribution of their jointly authored recommended practices to enable access to manuscript and archival collections containing health information about individuals [available here under "Documentation."] These recommendations are intended to alleviate many of the concerns repositories have related to collecting and preserving health services records, especially those repositories that are not affiliated with hospitals or medical schools.

The recommendations are presented in four categories: 1) Determining an Institution’s Status and Policy Needs; 2) Implementing Policy and Fostering Process Transparency; 3) Communicating the Nature of Restrictions; and 4) Describing Records to Best Enable Discovery and Access. Those who care for and provide access to records containing health information about individuals are invited to test the recommendations and provide feedback on their utility; those who use such records in their research are equally invited to comment on their scope.

Researchers who have used or are seeking access to primary sources containing health information about individuals are encouraged to share their experiences and difficulties accessing health services records. Visit the MHL’s researcher access survey site [] and contribute to our efforts to improve access to these important records.

For more information, please contact the Medical Heritage Library at

This work was made possible through the generous funding of the Mellon Foundation through the Council for Library and Information Resources’ Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives [] program (2012: Private Practices, Public Health: Privacy-Aware Processing to Maximize Access to Health Collections []).

Thank you!
-Hanna Clutterbuck-Cook (on behalf of Emily Gustainis and Phoebe Evans Letocha)
Processing Assistant, Center for the History of Medicine and
Project Coordinator, Medical Heritage Library (

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NLM History of Medicine Lecture - African American History Month

You are cordially invited to the next NLM History of Medicine lecture, to be held on Wednesday February 18, from 2pm to 3pm in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD.  In recognition of African-American History Month, Laura Bothwell, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Pharmaceutical Law and Health Services Research, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Harvard Medical School, will speak on "The History of Race in Randomized Controlled Trials: Ethical and Policy Considerations"
This lecture will examine how race has been embedded in the history of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Clinical trial research policies and norms have grown increasingly attentive to the inclusion of racial minorities in RCT subject populations. This lecture will consider when race has been measured in RCTs and why, exploring the question of whether racial groups have been fairly represented in RCTs. Relying on broad collections of historical trials and archival materials in the collections of the NLM's History of Medicine Division, it will include a timeline of racial trends in RCT research subject populations, accompanied by discussion of the role of the NIH in key historic developments related racial diversity in clinical trials
All are welcome.
Sign language interpretation is provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate may contact Stephen Greenberg at 301-435-4995, e-mail, or the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339).
Due to current security measures at NIH, off-campus visitors are advised to consult the NLM Visitors and Security website:
Sponsored by:
NLM's History of Medicine Division
Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, Chief
Event contact:
Stephen J. Greenberg, MSLS, PhD
Coordinator of Public Services
History of Medicine Division
National Library of Medicine, NIH

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

3000th BUMED item uploaded to online Medical Heritage Library

Survey Of U.S. Navy Medical Personnel In Operation Desert Shield / Storm (May 1993) at
is the 3000th item BUMED's medical history office has uploaded to the Medical Heritage Library at

All of our items can be seen at and range from  an 1862 Surgeon's diary from the American Civil War through a 2015  video on the mechanics of blood donation at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

The items uploaded by BUMED have had over 130,000 downloads in the three years that we have been adding material to the project.

Michael Rhode
Archivist / Curator
US Navy BUMED Communications Directorate (M09B7)
Office of Medical History
Photographs -
Documents -

mailing address:
7700 Arlington Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22042

physical address:
BUMED Detachment, Falls Church.
Four Skyline Place, Suite 602,
5113 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA