I was poking around on NLM’s website, and wandered into the history section. As one of their historical endeavors, NLM is creating digital files that are freely available worldwide. These include books, articles, and videos of health care history. One of the most interesting (I thought) exhibits that I found was something called “Turning the Pages,” which allows the user to virtually flip through the text of classical medical texts. There are 13 books available to look through, including titles such as the Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus (the world’s oldest surviving surgical text), Robert Hooke’s Micrographia, and al-Qazwini’s Wonders of Creation. I flipped through Elizabeth Blackwell’s A Curious Herbal.
The graphics did a really good job of mimicking a real book, with pages turning at the click of a button. Boxes of information would pop up when I moved my mouse over the images, and if I wanted to see something closer, all I had to do was hit the zoom to examine the section more closely.
I love that technology has advanced to the point that ancient works can be made available to so many people in such a high quality format.