In recognition of the medical school’s 150th anniversary in 2009, the Galter Health Sciences Library began identifying certain materials to be scanned and digitized.

By digitizing selected, unique materials in the Library’s collections and placing them on the Web, access is enhanced and preservation is improved. Previously these items were only available to a select group of researchers. Making high-quality digital images available electronically can reduce wear and tear on fragile items.

One of the completed projects is Dr. Leslie B. Arey’s history, Northwestern University Medical School 1859-1979. It is now available for alumni and friends.

Thanks to support from the Northwestern University Library’s Digital Collections-2E Digital Media Lab , which processed class photos from the 1920s through 2009, and David Darian, who processed the older photographs, the Class Composite Digitization Project is nearing completion.

Conditions of the older composite photos varied from very poor to excellent. In several cases, the Galter Library held the individual portraits only, as the backing material on the composite images had long since disintegrated. Through the magic of new technology, each composite was carefully cleaned and enhanced, producing facsimiles better than the originals.

The Galter Library is still trying to locate class pictures from the following years: 1921, 1922, 1925, 1928, 1930, 1932, 1967, 1972, and 1975-1989. If you or someone you know has access to medical school photos from any of these years, please contact me at the Galter Library.

Meanwhile, we continue to receive gifts of photos from our alumni and other individuals. The most recent donations included composites from 1904, found in a church basement on the North Shore; 1900, from a grand-niece of a graduate; and 1923, from a graduate’s daughter. We also received an offer from an e-Bay seller who asked if we wanted to buy a composite photo, but the Library already had it!

Decisions on how we will format and post the digitized images on the Galter Library’s website are currently under discussion … Watch for the announcement!

That’s all for now,

Ron