Medicine at Ground Level: Digitizing State Medical Journals with the Medical Heritage Library

As part of its partnership with the Medical Heritage Library, the Historical Medical Library (HML) of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia has completed a National Endowment for the Humanities-funded initiative Medicine at Ground Level: State Medical Societies, State Medical Journals, and the Development of American Medicine1900-2000. 


The Medical Heritage Library has released 3,907 state medical society journal volumes free of charge for nearly 50 state medical societies, including those for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, through the Internet Archive ( The journals – collectively held and digitized by Medical Heritage Library founders and principal contributors The College of Physicians of Philadelphia; the Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine; The New York Academy of Medicine Library; the Library and Center for Knowledge Management at the University of California at San Francisco; the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health; the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library at Columbia University and Columbia University Libraries; and content contributor the Health Sciences and Human Services Library, University of Maryland, Founding Campus, with supplemental journal content provided by the Brown University Library, the Health Sciences Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library System, and UT Southwestern Medical Center Health Sciences Digital Library and Learning Center –  consist of almost three million pages that can be searched online and downloaded in a variety of formats.

Read more

Medical Journal Editors Unite

– by Wood Institute travel grantee Jennifer J. Connor, PhD*


A journal has demands that never cease – a perpetual machine, it requires constant attention and lubrication. The metaphor of a machine seems obvious to me – applicable to any small scholarly journal that I have edited, even with the advent of online access – so I was fascinated that early medical journals adopted a ‘life cycle metaphor’ to personify journals as organisms that lived from birth to death. Here, the exhaustion of their “parent-surrogate” editors was seen as the main reason that journals ceased to exist.[1]  I decided to expand my historical research on medical print culture in North America, and the centrality of Philadelphia[2], to learn more about medical editors and the professionalization of that role.

Read more