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Category: Text, Chinese, U.S. National Library of Medicine

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History of Medicine The National Library of Medicine (NLM) holds approximately 2,000 volumes of Chinese medical classics. Here we display a few of the earliest and most interesting texts from the NLM collection. Also included are portraits of a few significant figures in early Chinese medicine whose contributions range from acupuncture to the pioneering uses of herbal medicines to the concept of Yin and Yang. Through the exhibit, we hoped to draw attention to a fascinating part of NLM's historical resources. 23 October 2009

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History of Medicine Introduction The National Library of Medicine has recently acquired a large collection of Chinese Public Health materials, about seven thousand items produced from early 20th century to the year of SARS. The collection has a wide range of media presentations: posters, health newsletters, health newspapers, paintings, pharmaceutical advertisements, calendars, children's chess games, jigsaw puzzles on health topics, playing cards on SARS, lantern slides, negatives, photographs, and health award certificates, as well as books and journals. These materials present rich visual representations of public health concerns which were closely tied to the political, social, economic, and even military engagements of China during different time periods.

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History of Medicine Chinese medicinal compounds were recorded as early as the Han dynasty, 2,000 years ago. Beginning in the 1880s, Western companies – notably Bayer, Hoechst (now Aventis), and Eli Lilly – challenged traditional medicine with the resources of modern capitalism. In turn, Chinese companies entered the new commercial markets: the Tianjin Pharmaceutical Factory, founded in 1921, used western methods to produce and market traditional Chinese medicines. The sheets shown here advertise a mix of European and Asian products, using ideal feminine and masculine images as well as the Tian An Men (Gate of Heavenly Peace). Ads for progesterone and methyltestosterone show the appeal of potent over-the-counter hormone therapies. 21 April 2010

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