Our journey to digital curation of the Jeghers Medical Index

Lori Gawdyda, Kimbroe Carter, Mark Willson, Denise Bedford

Abstract


Background: Harold Jeghers, a well-known medical educator of the twentieth century, maintained a print collection of about one million medical articles from the late 1800s to the 1990s. This case study discusses how a print collection of these articles was transformed to a digital database.

Case Presentation: Staff in the Jeghers Medical Index, St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, converted paper articles to Adobe portable document format (PDF)/A-1a files. Optical character recognition was used to obtain searchable text. The data were then incorporated into a specialized database. Lastly, articles were matched to PubMed bibliographic metadata through automation and human review. An online database of the collection was ultimately created. The collection was made part of a discovery search service, and semantic technologies have been explored as a method of creating access points.

Conclusions: This case study shows how a small medical library made medical writings of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries available in electronic format for historic or semantic research, highlighting the efficiencies of contemporary information technology.

Keywords


Libraries, Digital; Archives; Search Engine; Hospital Library; Databases; Library Science; Historical Medical Archive

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2017.47

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Copyright (c) 2017 Lori Gawdyda

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