The Historical Medical Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Repository ID: 0027 | Metadata type: TEI

Documents from the Historical Medical Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia

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About the Historical Medical Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Established in 1788, the Historical Medical Library was Philadelphia's central medical library for over 150 years, serving its medical schools, hospitals, physicians and other health professionals.

Today, it is an independent research library devoted to the history of medicine and the medical humanities, serving hundreds of scholars, health professionals, students and popular writers each year.

The College's collection of early printed books includes more than four hundred incunabula or editions printed before 1501. Among our more than 12,000 other rare books are the majority of editions that laid the basis of modern biomedicine-including one of the world's best copies of William Harvey's De motu cordis (1628) which first described the circulation of the blood, and two copies of De humani corporis fabrica (1543) by Andreas Vesalius, which was instrumental in the development of both modern anatomy and modern medical illustration.

In addition to its rare books and nineteenth- and twentieth-century collections, the Library is notable for its manuscripts and archives. Within this collection are the College's own archives, the archives of other Philadelphia medical institutions, and letters, case books, and student notebooks that document the personal life and professional practice of doctors in the Philadelphia region and around the world. Among our most important manuscript collections are the bulk of extant letters written by S. Weir Mitchell-Civil War surgeon, neurologist, physiologist, novelist, and leading member of the College for more than fifty years.

OPenn includes some of the items from the Historical Medical Library. For more information on all of the special collections available at the Historical Medical Library see:

Image standards and specifications

Images from the Historical Medical Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia were shot and processed by the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image. In general, The Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image follows the NISO standards as articulated in A Framework for Building Good Digital Collections, 3rd Edition:

The following represents specific standards adopted by SCETI in their capture of digital images.

Image specifications

Imaging and processing equipment

Master images are captured at a resolution of at least 600 pixels per inch of the image subject. Once all of the images for a manuscript have been captured they are color-corrected, deskewed, and cropped.

The documents on OPenn