Library’s Medical Artifacts Now Online

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These apothecary scales from 1820 are one of the over 350 items now available online in the UVA Medical Artifacts Collection.

These apothecary scales from 1820 are one of the over 350 items that can be viewed online in the UVa Medical Artifacts Collection.

Beginning this week, researchers will be able to view from the comfort of their homes some of the rare and unique medical artifacts housed at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library. A new online resource, the University of Virginia Medical Artifacts Collection, displays over 350 artifacts from the library that relate to the history of medicine and the UVa health system.

The digital collection is made available to researchers through the University of Virginia Library’s online catalog, Virgo. Researchers can employ facets in Virgo to search just the artifact collection or they can discover individual items in the collection using subject or keyword searches of the entire library catalog. For example, the term “8th Evacuation Hospital”, when entered in the catalog’s basic keyword search field, will retrieve artifacts in our collection related to the hospital, as well as related photographs from the UVa Visual History collection, and related books in our stacks. Users can also download images of the artifacts directly from Virgo for republication and personal use.

Results in Virgo for the "8th Evacuation Hospital" retrieves, photographs, artifacts, and an archival finding aid related to the same topic.

Results in Virgo for the phrase “8th Evacuation Hospital” retrieves, photographs, artifacts, and an archival finding aid related to the search term.

 

The current digital collection represent less than 20% of the total number of artifacts housed in the health sciences library. The library plans to gradually digitize the rest of the collection and, as new technologies become available to us, work to improve how we deliver this resource to users.

The online collection is the result of a multi-year collaboration between the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library and the University of Virginia Library. We would like thank the following people who played a role in producing this resource: Ashley Churchill, Joan Echtenkamp Klein, Dan Cavanaugh, Emily Bowden, Andrew Sallans, Janet Pearson, Claudia Sueryas, Bart Ragon, Jocelyn Triplett, Ivey Glendon, Steve Majewski, Paula Roy, and Tatiana Sokolova.

If you have questions about the University of Virginia Medical Artifacts Collection or about any of the historical collections at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library don’t hesitate to contact Joan Echtenkamp Klein, the Alvin V. and Nancy Baird Curator for Historical Collections, at jre@virginia.edu.