NIH 1998 Almanac/The Organization/NLM/
National Library of Medicine: Important Events in NLM History
1836--The Library of the Office of the Surgeon General of the Army was established
(the present NLM).
1865--John Shaw Billings, M.D., was assigned to supervise the Surgeon
Generals Library, which he developed into a national resource of biomedical
1880--The first volume of Index Catalogue was published. By 1961, when it
was discontinued after 61 volumes, this publication had listed 3,674,111 citations to
medical books and articles, making it preeminent among scientific bibliographies of the
January 1922--The Library of the Office of the Surgeon General (Army) was renamed
Army Medical Library.
April 1952--The Army Medical Library was renamed the Armed Forces Medical Library.
October 1, 1956--The Armed Forces Medical Library was designated the National
Library of Medicine and placed under PHS.
December 1961--The new building at 8600 Rockville Pike was dedicated.
January 1964--The Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (MEDLARS) became
operational at NLM.
January 1, 1967--A Toxicology Information Program was established at NLM in
response to recommendations of the Presidents science advisory committee.
July 1, 1967--The PHS Audiovisual Facility, renamed the National Medical
Audiovisual Center (NMAC), became a component of NLM.
1968--NLM became a component of NIH. The Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical
Communications, NLMs R&D component, was created by Congress.
October 1971--MEDLINE (MEDLARS Online) was initiated to provide online access to a
major portion of the MEDLARS database.
September 1972--TOXLINE, an online bibliographic service covering pharmacology and
toxicology, became operational.
May 22, 1980--NLMs Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications
(LHNCBC) building was dedicated. The new building, adjacent to the Library, houses
NLMs research and development component (LHNCBC), as well as its grants, toxicology,
and audiovisual programs.
February 5, 1986--Grateful Med, a PC-based user-friendly software for accessing
MEDLARS, was introduced to the health community.
October 1993--NLMs Internet WWW site appeared.
November 25, 1994--The "Visible Human Male," a large computer dataset of
images based on a cadaver, was introduced. The "Visible Human Female" appeared 1
June 26, 1997--All web-based access to NLMs MEDLINE is made free.