Thursday, March 31, 2011

dusty digital archives

Some of you may have been reading texts from the Internet Archive for some time (my brother-in-law sent me a wonderful link to a Kite book several years ago), but I have recently rediscovered this amazing resource after receiving this email in my inbox:
I work with the Medical Heritage Library and I was hoping to be able to bring our resources to the attention of your discussion list by having the MHL included in your list of Web resources. The MHL is a collaboration of major research libraries in the United States, including the Francis A.Countway Library of Medicine, the National Library of Medicine, the Columbia Library of Health Sciences, and the College of Physicians in Philadelphia. We digitize and make available through the Internet Archive ( a wide range of materials pertaining to the history of medicine, including texts on military medicine, general surgery and surgical history, spiritualism, sanitation, hygiene, tropical medicine, medical jurisprudence, psychology, gynecology, phrenology, crimes, criminology, electrotherapeutics, climatology, and homeopathy. (For a fuller list of topics, go here:!) -Hanna
Although searching through these archives did not have the same feel as winding up the stacks or dusting off marbled covers, with a few strikes of my keyboard and a couple of clicks I found a treasure of publications about pneumatic tubes.

These time-worn digital books included the facts and general information relating to pneumatic despatch tubes of the Batcheller Pneumatic Tube Co., a report of the Postmaster-general to Congress relative to an inviestigation of pneumatic tubes systems for delivering mail and a brailed, stamped copy of the concise treatment of the principles, methods and applications of pneumatic conveyance.

The Internet Archive is certainly a site to linger and travel back to. In fact you can travel back, way back, in time using the marvellous
WayBack Machine, which I have been using for my research. Beware, this is a site to get lost in for hours!

Images from The Pneumatic Despatch Tube System.

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