"Hidden Treasure" at the National Library of Medicine
The 175-year-old National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Md., is best known these days for its PubMed database, the pre-eminent digital catalog of the biomedical literature. But like many digital giants, the library has its dusty analog past — otherwise known as a closet full of stuff....
Many of the 450 color prints in “Hidden Treasure” record the efforts of generations of anatomists to recreate the body in two-dimensional printable form. In 1543, the great Vesalius thought a pair of statuesque paper dolls might do the trick; his readers could cut out little paper organs and paste them in the right places. An 1835 British obstetric text used paper flaps instead, with one set coyly tracing the progress of a pregnancy under a woman’s dress; at the end of the volume, a pair of pop-up hands performs a forceps delivery....
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