January 20, 2022

New: Medical Heritage Library Adds Digitized Films to Collection

From the Wellcome Library Blog:

A collaboration among some of the world’s leading medical libraries, the Medical Heritage Library (MHL) promotes free and open access to quality historical resources in medicine. Our goal is to provide the means by which readers and scholars across a multitude of disciplines can examine the interrelated nature of medicine and society, both to inform contemporary medicine and strengthen understanding of the world in which we live.

What’s New

An online digital collection of moving images from the collections of the Wellcome Library, Wellcome Film chronicles the history of medicine over the last hundred years and has been freely available in Internet Archive since 2010. The content of Wellcome Film includes rare footage of Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936) filmed at the archaeological digs he funded in the Sudan in 1910s, alongside films exploring the development of medicine in the twentieth century, including specific surgical techniques and drug treatments.

As a content provider, the Wellcome Library becomes the latest historical institution to make its collections available through the MHL.

Direct to Medical Heritage Library (MHL)

See Also: MHL Content Providers

See Also: From the MHL Announcement Page

The earliest footage dates from the era of founder, Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936) who was an American-born pharmaceutical magnate. Included is rare footage from Gebel (or Jebel) Moya in the Sudan 1912-13 showing scenes of everyday life, archaeological digging, communal sports and recreation. Later decades are represented by films featuring breakthrough medicine such as surgical techniques and drug treatments.


[The MHL] was established in 2010 with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation via the Open Knowledge Common to digitize 30,000 medical rare books.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.