Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology Announces Anesthesia History Digitization Project

The Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology (WLM) has embarked on a project that will bring its extensive collection of rare books, multimedia materials, and artifacts to people around the world. The most comprehensive collection of information regarding the history of anesthesia resides at the WLM in Park Ridge, Illinois, and its digitization project is bringing its anesthesia library and museum online at http://www.woodlibrarymuseum.org.

The WLM website has been redesigned to make it easier for those interested in anesthesia history to find texts or artifacts of interest. The two-stage website project entails 1) upgrading technology that will allow the digitized artifacts to be easily viewed as well as improving the availability of the rare books, the living history series, and other important historical items from its vast collections, and 2) building on that technology to bring the collections to life. The goal has been to provide a virtual museum and library that the world will be able to view and enjoy for years to come.
Those who are unable to visit the WLM in Park Ridge, Illinois are now able to view the various rare books, apparatus and videos through the virtual museum. Archival collections will also be included in the Artifact Digitization Project, thus allowing pieces that are not on display in the Gallery to be viewed online. WLM has already captured digital images of over 100 of the rare items from its collection, with both 3-D virtual pictures and 2-D images.

The WLM is also in the process of digitizing its collection of rare books and papers. Of its 2,000 plus books and papers, 250 have already been digitized with “turn-the-page” capability so online visitors can read the pages with ease. The WLM is concentrating its efforts on scanning rare books that are not already available in electronic format with the intention of digitally capturing the entire rare book collection for future researchers and scholars to use.

The John W. Pender Living History Collection is also part of the overall digitization project. This oral history collection provides insight and historical perspectives from pioneers and leaders who experienced and contributed to the history of the specialty of anesthesiology. Video interviews, primarily conducted by fellow anesthesiologists, are available to help researchers and scholars understand the historical timeline and the culture surrounding the breakthroughs in anesthesia technology over the years.

The WLM has an amazing collection of items that visually describe the history of anesthesia, which share space with the highly knowledgeable and capable staff at the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) headquarters. In order to adequately accommodate the ASA staff, the WLM Gallery has been completely renovated. With this renovation, the WLM Gallery’s space has been reduced approximately one-third, but at the same time multiple displays are now distributed throughout ASA headquarters thus enhancing the visitor experience at the museum. The WLM showcases specific pieces regarding the history of anesthesia on a regular basis, and the Gallery will have an opportunity to hold special exhibits with its other priceless treasures. All are welcome to visit the Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology in person or online.

Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology 520 North Northwest Highway, Park Ridge, IL 60068-2573, USA Phone: 1.847.825.5586; Fax: 847.825.2085; E-mail: [email protected] www.woodlibrarymuseum.org

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