National Library of Medicine Exhibits

The Exhibition Program at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) creates lively and informative exhibitions and educational resources that enhance awareness of and appreciation for the NLM collections.

Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature
NLM Touring Exhibit: May 7 - June 16, 2018

Displays the abiding relevance of the Frankenstein story to contemporary questions about science and technology. Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel explores individual and societal responsibility through its discussion of scientific advancement and medical ethics.

confronting violence
Confronting Violence: Improving Women's Lives
NLM Touring Exhibit (with support from the Office of Research on Women’s Health): May 8 - June 17, 2017

Explores images, manuscripts and records that tell the stories of the nurses who witnessed firsthand the effects of domestic violence and campaigned for change. Through both their research and practice, nurses were among the first to identify women who were battered as a population with specific health needs that were largely neglected by the medical community.

zwerdling postcard collection
Pictures of Nursing: The Zwerdling Postcard Collection
NLM Touring Exhibit: Jan 16 - Feb 25, 2017

Nurses and nursing have been the frequent subjects of postcards. This display is a unique archive of 2,588 postcards and over 100 years of images of nurses and the nursing profession from around the world. These images are informed by cultural values; ideas about women, men, and work; and attitudes toward class, race, and national differences

pick your poison
Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures & Medical Prescriptions
NLM Touring Exhibit: June 27 - August 6, 2016

The classification of mind altering drugs has shifted at different times throughout the history of America. While some have remained socially acceptable, others have been outlawed because of their toxic and intoxicating characteristics.

george washington
Every Necessary Care and Attention George Washington and Medicine
NLM Touring Exhibit (with support of George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, Museum, and Gardens): February 8 - March 20, 2016

Explores the story of George Washington’s own health and examines the ways in which he sought to safeguard the health and wellness of his family, staff, slaves, and troops. Washington’s story also illuminates the broader context of the experience of illness and the practice of medicine.

Surviving and Thriving
Surviving & Thriving: AIDS, Politics & Culture
NLM Touring Exhibit: May 11 - June 20, 2015

Explores the rise of AIDS in the early 1980's and the evolving response to the epidemic over the last 30 years. The title, Surviving and Thriving, comes from a book written in 1987 by and for people with AIDS that insisted people could live with AIDS, not just die from it.