Amazing Archive of US Army Medical Illustrations and Photos Now Free Online


Can't blog ... lost in AMAZING ARCHIVE OF MEDICAL IMAGES!  Today from BoingBoing:  

This previously unreported archive at the National Museum of Health and
Medicine in Washington, D.C., contains 500,000 scans of unique images
so far, with another 225,000 set to be digitized this year. Mike Rhode, the museum's head archivist, is working to make tens of
thousands of those images, which have been buried in the museum's
archive, available on Flickr. Working after hours, his team has posted
a curated selection of almost 800 photos on the service already,
without the express permission of the Army.

"You pay taxes. These are your pictures," Rhode said. "You should be able to see them."

The entire thing is unbelievable.  Some of my favorites so far:  The finger transplanted to a face as a prosthetic nose (above - for larger image follow link).  Welding tools for amputees.  And arrestingly beautiful picture of a civil war soldier with a gangrenous foot (wow!).  Early blood transfusions, and the entire VD collection, which is simply hilarious.  The whole collection is beautiful.  Check it out.

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Rebecca, thanks for this. I'm a reformed medical writer (JAMA in the 1970s) married to a medical illustrator/photographer, so this archive is more than a curiosity, it's a treasurehouse. One nit I'll pick with you: the VD illustrations may seem funny now, but pre-penicillin, they were, in the realest way, deadly serious.

By Paul Sampson (not verified) on 18 Mar 2009 #permalink

Why do you find the idea of educating soldiers about STDs to be hilarious? Does it amuse you to think of a 19-year old American GI surviving the Battle of Reims only to contract deadly syphilis in Paris? Do you think it is funny to educate Africans (or Americans, for that matter) about HIV/AIDS? Honestly, I don't get where you're coming from.

By Neuro-conservative (not verified) on 13 Apr 2009 #permalink

Hi Becca: I'm doing my own online procrastinating tonight and I came across your culture dish. I've written about the medical photograph archive that contains that amazing photo of the young man with the bad foot. Here's the reference, FYI. I'm looking forward to your book being out! Your dogs are cute! Newman, Kathy. âWounds and Wounding in the American Civil War: A Visual History,â Yale
Journal of Criticism 6 (1992): 63-86

By kathy newman (not verified) on 22 Apr 2009 #permalink