Want a visit with groundbreaking medical researchers of the past, a fun peek at how medicine has informed everything from valentines to comic books, or a World War I guide for handling poison gas attacks?
All that and more is available on the Circulating Now blog from the historical collections of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (which is part of the National Institutes of Health). Curated by the experts at the NLM, the world’s largest biomedical library, it offers a regular glimpse into a fascinating and sometimes weird history of medicine as filtered through the NLM’s hundreds of thousands of collected objects.
Circulating Now isn’t a dull litany of the contents of that collection — it’s varied, lively and sometimes surprising. Take Harry Potter. The boy wizard is an unlikely candidate for inclusion on a blog about the National Library of Medicine, but in 2017, he was the subject of no fewer than seven blog posts. One looks back at the Renaissance for some of the history that inspired some of the magic, setting and history in the Harry Potter books and movies.
This year, the blog has featured a variety of materials related to World War I in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Great War. So far, the blog has covered everything from the letters of a British family whose son died in combat to the guide for surviving and treating people who inhaled poisonous gases on the battlefield.
There’s plenty more to discover, but if you want to stay on top of new posts, you don’t even have to visit the blog. On the right-hand side of the page, you can enter your email address to get a notification whenever there’s something new to read — a service more than 330,000 people have already taken advantage of.