UIC to house national archive of medical illustration

A historic archive is about to come home to the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Association of Medical Illustrators

Illustration by Tom Jones, founder of the AMI and UIC’s biomedical visualization program.

The Association of Medical Illustrators, a national professional society founded at the UIC College of Medicine in 1945, is moving its archive from Wake Forest University to the UIC Library of Health Sciences this spring.

The original medical illustrations, photographs, slides, journals, newsletters, and working papers collected over seven decades amounts to 78 linear feet of materials, in library terms. It will be housed in the library’s Chicago Special Collections and Archives Department.

When it was announced that the Wake Forest facility would close, UIC’s department of biomedical and health information sciences submitted a proposal that bested those of Johns Hopkins University and Cincinnati’s Lloyd Library and Museum, which collects medical and pharmaceutical materials.

The association’s history at UIC may have influenced the decision, according to John Daugherty, program director and clinical assistant professor
 of biomedical visualization. Daugherty said the association’s founder, Tom Jones, also founded UIC’s program in biomedical visualization.

But there are also pragmatic reasons for UIC to hold the archive, Daugherty said.

“The UIC Library of Health Sciences is one of the largest health sciences libraries in the United States. It is one of eight regional medical libraries for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine,” he said.

The national network designates regional medical libraries for the strength of the library’s collection, the expertise and reputation of its staff, and the library’s ability to deliver services to the region.

“The biomedical visualization faculty will work with the AMI to set policy for the archive. It will be a valuable resource for our students, faculty, alumni and other scholars for years to come,” Daugherty said.