American Medical Periodicals, 1797-1900

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From the National Library of Medicine and other major institutions American Medical Periodicals, 1797-1900 depicts the evolution of medicine in America and provides a view into 19th-century American life. All aspects of 19th-century American medical thought and development are represented in this comprehensive collection of over 1,200 contemporary periodicals.

Prior to the 19th century, American medical literature consisted of reprints, translations and imitations of European counterparts. With the development of the new nation and the lessening of European influences, American medical societies began to emerge. This, combined with the need for better communication between American physicians, produced the first truly American medical periodical literature.

In 1797, the first issue of The Medical Repository was published. This was the earliest American source of medical news and information, and set the example for other periodicals to follow. With the success of The Medical Repository, other journals began to appear. By the year 1850, over 200 titles were in circulation and every settled area in the United States was represented by a medical periodical publication. By 1900, one thousand more had been published.

The journals of the early period were regional publications, containing a diversity of topics: husbandry, natural history and biographical information as well as medical news. These early journals also trace the development of American medical societies, the demand for definitive ethics in practice, and the reorganization, expansion and adjustment of medical education.

Important social changes in America can be traced through this collection, such as attitudinal changes toward women physicians; a rise in public interest in diet, exercise and fresh air; and drastic changes in the treatment of the mentally ill.

Complete Collection: 750 reels
available in fifteen 50-reel units

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