University of Utah has long been a pioneer in the digitization of medical visual resources, under the leadership of the Eccles Health Sciences library. Utah is especially notable for the wide variety of its resources, with strong collections in several basic biomedical and clinical areas.

Most of the Eccles digital image collections are listed on the Digital Collections page, although they’re mixed in with resources from other sites around the US, and sometimes difficult to identify as having been developed at Utah. Several of the Utah collections are described below.

NOVEL is the Neuro-Ophthalmology Virtual Education Library. This collaborative effort between Eccles Library and the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (NANOS), brings together 11 collections of visual resources from personal working in the discipline around the US.

NOVEL is the only one of the Utah segments that uses the ContentDM digital collection management system. ContentDM is widely used by libraries in the US for historical/archival subjects, but for some reason it’s rarely used for biomedical or scientific subjects. The NOVEL project is notable because it’s one of the few sites anywhere that does this.

In addition to pictures, some of the collections in NOVEL also have videos. A good example of this is the collection of Shirley H. Wray, from Harvard Medical School — See link below for Nerve Palsy.


WebPath, the Internet Pathology Laboratory for Medical Education, includes over 1900 pictures along with text and tutorials. It was developed by Edward C. Klatt MD in the Pathology Dept at Utah; Klatt is now on the faculty at Florida State University. The heart of the WebPath collection for disease-specific pictures is in the Systematic Pathology section, which has images broken down by organ system.

Notable in the Knowledge Weavers section of the Eccles site is the Dermatology Image Bank, done in collaboration with dermatologist John L. Bezzant. This contains striking dermatologic pictures, which are often found by Google Image Search. Knowledge Weavers also includes well-known sites such as Slice of Life and HEAL.

medicalgenetics_20.JPG Another interesting digital resource at Utah, which is not associated with the library, is pictures from the prominent medical textbook, Medical Genetics (lead author Lynn Jorde, published by Mosby). This site also includes some pictures from WebPath. medicalgenetics_twins_65.JPG

The Digital Library Collections at Yale Medical Library are notable for several reasons, especially the apparent emphasis that’s being given to the effort by the library’s administration — The digital collections section of their website is featured prominently on all of the Collections pages on their site, as shown below.


Yale is unusual for other reasons — They are one of the few medical/health sciences libraries that have included biomedical/scientific pictures in their digitization efforts, in addition to the historical/archival subjects more commonly done by libraries using content management systems. Also, Yale is unusual in using Greenstone software for digital content management, rather than the more commonly used ContentDM.

The main grouping of digital resources at Yale are described on the Digital Library Collections page. This includes 7 collections, which are mainly historical, but also includes the Pathology Teaching Collection (see sample below), which continues to be used as a teaching resource at Yale. The resources in this section, done with Greenstone, have metadata descriptions, and are searchable.

Pathology Teaching Collection
Fuchs Herbal

Other resources are available on the Electronic Texts in the History of Medicine page. This includes 13 historical works, some of which are notable for their illustrations — See example above from Fuchs’ pioneering 16th century herbal, Primi de stirpivm. Also notable are colored illustrations from the herbal of Christian Egenolff. The Electronic Text sources appear to be image scans only (apparently not done with Greenstone), with no metadata, or other associated text, so they unfortunately are not searchable.

About Greenstone — Yale is one of the few US groups using this digital library system, which originated in New Zealand, and is used widely in other countries. Here’s a list of Greenstone sites.

New York Public Library is a rich source of digital resources, both text and images. This is especially interesting because they have done an excellent job in making connections from the library catalog (CATNYP) to digitized resources.

Because NYPL is an active participant in Google Books, their recent text digitization efforts seem to have gone into this. They’ve done a good job of making links from CATNYP to the books from their collection that have been digitized for Google Books.

A searchable list of all NYPL’s Google Books in CATNYP (32000 titles) is here ….

To search a subset of this, add a keyword, either in the address bar directly …
… or add a keyword in the search box.

It’s helpful to have this easy access to NYPL books that are in Google Books through CATNYP, but it’s surprising that the CATNYP record gives no information indicating the print version from which the Google Books version has been digitized. Here’s an example of a book title found in CATNYP, with separate entries for the Google Books and print versions, with neither record linking to the other.

While NYPL’s book digitization efforts seem to be concentrated in Google Books, they continue to do their own image digitization work. As with Google Books, they do a nice job of making links in CATNYP, from the catalog records of books from which they’ve digitized images to the images in the Digital Gallery. The screen-shots below show an example :


This shows links between the CATNYP record for the book American medical botany to the images from the book in the NYPL Digital Gallery.

I see on pages in the Digital Gallery that they’re working on a “new look” for Gallery pages. Here’s the new look for Gallery pages for American medical botany. It’s an improvement in many ways, more streamlined, but doesn’t seem to have a link back to the record for the book in CATNYP.

From the Digital Gallery IT Architecture and Delivery : “Runs on an open, extensible architecture … managed through an Oracle database … ColdFusion software provides the application programming interface that integrates metadata and images for web delivery…”