Public health has a long and distinguished visual record. From seventeenth-century engravings to the latest digital images, visual representations have played a critical role in educating the public about modern health crises. But what purposes do these images serve beyond their immediate role in disease prevention and health education? What do they tell us about the history of health care, or attitudes toward our bodies, or the world that we live in?
As part of its Profiles in Science project, the National Library of Medicine has digitized and made available over the World Wide Web a historical exhibit of Visual Culture and Health Posters for use by educators and researchers. This Web site provides access to the posters selected for inclusion in an exhibit designed for the NLM sponsored "Visual Culture and Public Health" symposium, held on October 16-17, 2003. Individuals interested in conducting research in the Visual Culture and Health Posters are invited to contact the National Library of Medicine.
This online Exhibit is designed to introduce you to the history of the Visual Culture and Health Posters in the twentieth century. It is divided into sections that focus on the subjects covered in the collection. We suggest that new visitors begin with this exhibit, which includes a small selection of visuals. Each section begins with a "Background Narrative," which leads to "Visuals."
Visitors may access additional materials through Search on the navigation bar. They may also view the materials alphabetically or chronologically by choosing Browse on the navigation bar. Visuals in these lists are arranged by format and then either alphabetically by title or chronologically.