Ever-evolving: introducing the Medical Heritage Library, Inc.

Emily R. Novak Gustainis


The Medical Heritage Library, Inc. (MHL), is a collaborative digitization and discovery organization committed to providing open access to history of medicine and health resources. Since its founding in 2010, it has aspired to be a visible, research-driven history of medicine and health community that serves a broad, interdisciplinary constituency. The MHL’s goal is to make important historical medical content, derived from leading medical libraries, available online free of charge and to simplify and centralize the discovery of these resources. To do so, it has evolved from a digitization collaborative of like-minded history of medicine libraries, special collections, and archives to an incorporated entity seeking not just to provide online access to digital surrogates, but also to embrace the challenges of open access, the retention and use of records containing health information about individuals, and service to the digital humanities. This organizational expansion was further spurred by the MHL’s recently completed National Endowment for the Humanities grant, “Medicine at Ground Level: State Medical Societies, State Medical Journals, and the Development of American Medicine” (PW-228226-15), which received additional financial support from Harvard University Medical School and the Arcadia Fund through the Harvard University Library.


Library Materials, Digitization; Cooperative Collection Development, Libraries; Digital Libraries, Collection Development

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2019.651


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Copyright (c) 2019 Emily R. Novak Gustainis

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