The Bixby letter is a brief, consoling message sent by President Abraham Lincoln in November 1864 to Lydia Parker Bixby, a widow living in Boston, thought to have lost five sons in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Along with the Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address, the letter has been praised as one of Lincoln's finest written works and is reproduced in memorials and print. Controversy surrounds the recipient, the fate of her sons, the authorship of the letter. Bixby's character has been questioned, at least two of her sons survived the war, the letter was written by Lincoln's assistant private secretary, John Hay. President Lincoln's letter of condolence was delivered to Lydia Bixby on November 25, 1864 and was printed in the Boston Evening Transcript and Boston Evening Traveller that afternoon; the following is the text of the letter as first published: Executive Mansion, Nov. 21, 1864. Dear Madam, I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom. Yours sincerely and respectfully, A. Lincoln. Mrs. Bixby. Lydia Parker married shoemaker Cromwell Bixby on September 26, 1826, in Massachusetts; the couple had at least six sons and three daughters before Cromwell's death in 1854. Some time before the Civil War and her family settled in Boston. On September 24, 1864, Massachusetts Adjutant General William Schouler wrote to Massachusetts Governor John Albion Andrew about a discharge request sent to the governor by Otis Newhall, the father of five Union soldiers.
In the letter, Schouler recalled how, two years prior, they had helped a poor widow named Lydia Bixby to visit a son, a patient at an Army hospital. About ten days earlier, Bixby had come to Schouler's office claiming that five of her sons had died fighting for the Union. Governor Andrew forwarded Newhall's request to the U. S. War Department with a note requesting that the president honor Bixby with a letter. In response to a War Department request of October 1, Schouler sent a messenger to Bixby's home six days asking for the names and units of her sons, he sent a report to the War Department on October 12, delivered to President Lincoln by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton sometime after October 28. On November 21, both the Boston Evening Traveller and the Boston Evening Transcript published an appeal by Schouler for contributions to assist soldiers' families at Thanksgiving which mentioned a widow who had lost five sons in the war. Schouler had some of the donations given to Bixby and visited her home on Thanksgiving, November 24.
The letter from the President arrived at Schouler's office the next morning. At least two of Lydia Bixby's sons survived the war: Private Arthur Edward Bixby – Company C, 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. Deserted from Ft. Richardson, Virginia on May 28, 1862. Trying to secure a discharge for him, his mother filed an affidavit on October 17, 1862 which claimed Edward had enlisted underage without her permission. Born July 13, 1843 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Returned to Boston after the war. Sergeant Charles N. Bixby – Company D, 20th Massachusetts Infantry. Killed in action near Fredericksburg. Born c.1841 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Corporal Henry Cromwell Bixby – 1st enlistment, Company G, 20th Massachusetts Infantry. 2nd enlistment, Company K, 32nd Massachusetts Infantry. Captured at Gettysburg and sent to Richmond, Virginia. Paroled on March 7, 1864 at City Point, Virginia. Born March 30, 1830 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Died November 8, 1871 in Milford, from tuberculosis he contracted while a soldier.
Private Oliver Cromwell Bixby, Jr. – Company E, 58th Massachusetts Infantry. Wounded at Spotsylvania on May 12, 1864. Killed in action near Petersburg, Virginia. Born February 1, 1828 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Private George Way Bixby – Company B, 56th Massachusetts Infantry. Enlisted under the name "George Way," to conceal his enlistment from his wife. Captured at Petersburg on July 30, 1864. First held prisoner at Richmond but transferred to Salisbury Prison in North Carolina, arriving there on October 9, 1864, his fate after that remains uncertain. Military records report conflicting accounts of him either dying at Salisbury or deserting to the Confederate Army. Born June 22, 1836 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Schouler's report to the War Department erroneously listed Edward as a member of the 22nd Massachusetts Infantry who had died of his wounds at Folly Island, South Carolina. Bixby may have been trying to conceal—possibly from embarrassment or hope of further financial aid—Edward's 1862 desertion.
At the time of her September meeting with Schouler, Bixby's son George had been a prisoner of war for just over a month, Henry was still hospitalized following his exchange. The War Department failed to use its own records to correct er
Second inauguration of Abraham Lincoln
The second inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States took place on Saturday, March 4, 1865. The inauguration marked the commencement of the second term of Abraham Lincoln as President and only term of Andrew Johnson as Vice President. Lincoln died 42 days into this term, Johnson succeeded to the presidency. Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase administered the Oath of office. Before the president was sworn in, Vice President-elect Andrew Johnson took his oath. At the ceremony Johnson, drinking to offset the pain of typhoid fever, gave a rambling address in the Senate chamber and appeared intoxicated. Historian Eric Foner has labeled the inauguration "a disaster for Johnson" and his speech "an unfortunate prelude to Lincoln's memorable second inaugural address." At the time Johnson was ridiculed in the press as a "drunken clown". This was the first inauguration to be extensively photographed, the pictures have since become iconic. One is thought to show John Wilkes Booth, who would assassinate Lincoln.
While Lincoln did not believe his address was well received at the time, it is now considered one of the finest speeches in American history. Historian Mark Noll has deemed it "among the handful of semisacred texts by which Americans conceive their place in the world." Fellow–Countrymen: AT this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. A statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little, new could be presented; the progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.
On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, the other would accept war rather than let it perish, the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it; these slaves constituted a powerful interest. All knew. To strengthen and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has attained.
Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, each invokes His aid against the other, it may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses. If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?
Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. Burt, John. "Collective Guilt in Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address." American Political Thought 4.3: 467–88. Trefousse, Hans L. Andrew Johnson: A Biography. ISBN 0-393-31742-0 online edition Weiner, Greg. "Of Prudence and Principle: Reflections on Lincoln's Second Inaugural at 150."
Society 52.6: 604–10. White, Ronald C. Lincoln's Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural More documents from the Library of Congress Text of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
Thanksgiving (United States)
Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It originated as a harvest festival. Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, with a proclamation by George Washington after a request by Congress. Thomas Jefferson chose not to observe the holiday, its celebration was intermittent until the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, when Thanksgiving became a federal holiday in 1863, during the American Civil War. Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens," to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the date was changed to the fourth Thursday in November, an innovation that endures to this day. Together with Christmas and the New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader fall–winter holiday season in the U. S; the event that Americans call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621.
This feast lasted three days, and—as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow—it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to celebrating "thanksgivings"—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought. Setting aside time to give thanks for one's blessings, along with holding feasts to celebrate a harvest, are both practices that long predate the European settlement of North America; the first documented thanksgiving services in territory belonging to the United States were conducted by Spaniards and the French in the 16th century. Wisdom practices such as expressing gratitude and giving away, are integral to many indigenous cultures and communities.. Thanksgiving services were routine in what became the Commonwealth of Virginia as early as 1607, with the first permanent settlement of Jamestown, Virginia holding a thanksgiving in 1610. In 1619, 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred in Virginia.
The group's London Company charter required "that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned... in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God." Three years after the Indian massacre of 1622, the Berkeley Hundred site and other outlying locations were abandoned and colonists moved their celebration to Jamestown and other more secure spots. The most prominent historic thanksgiving event in American popular culture is the 1621 celebration at the Plymouth Plantation, where the settlers held a harvest feast after a successful growing season. Autumn or early winter feasts continued sporadically in years, first as an impromptu religious observance and as a civil tradition; the Plymouth settlers, known as Pilgrims, had settled in land abandoned when all but one of the Patuxet Indians died in a plague. After a harsh winter killed half of the Plymouth settlers, the last surviving Patuxet, came in at the request of Samoset, the first native American to encounter the Pilgrims.
Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to catch eel and grow corn and served as an interpreter for them until he too succumbed to plague a year later. The Wampanoag leader Massasoit gave food to the colonists during the first winter when supplies brought from England were insufficient; the Pilgrims celebrated at Plymouth for three days after their first harvest in 1621. The exact time is unknown, but James Baker, the Plimoth Plantation vice president of research, stated in 1996, "The event occurred between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11, 1621, with the most time being around Michaelmas, the traditional time." Seventeenth-century accounts do not identify this as a Thanksgiving observance, rather it followed the harvest. It included 50 people who were on 90 Native Americans; the feast was cooked by the four adult Pilgrim women who survived their first winter in the New World, along with young daughters and male and female servants. Two colonists gave personal accounts of the 1621 feast in Plymouth; the Pilgrims, most of whom were Separatists, are not to be confused with Puritans, who established their own Massachusetts Bay Colony on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630.
Both groups were strict Calvinists. Puritans wished to remain in the Anglican Church and reform it, while the Pilgrims wanted complete separation from the church. William Bradford, in Of Plymouth Plantation wrote: They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want, and besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to the proportion. Which made many afterwards write so of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports. Edward Winslow, in Mourt's Relation wrote: Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a specia
Presidency of Abraham Lincoln
The presidency of Abraham Lincoln began on March 4, 1861, when he was inaugurated as the 16th President of the United States, ended upon his assassination and death on April 15, 1865, 42 days into his second term. Lincoln was the first member of the recently-established Republican Party elected to the presidency, he was succeeded by Vice President Andrew Johnson. Lincoln presided over the Union victory in the American Civil War. Lincoln took office following the 1860 presidential election, in which he won a plurality of the popular vote in a four-candidate field. All of Lincoln's votes came from the Northern United States, as the Republicans held little appeal to voters in the Southern United States. A former Whig, Lincoln ran on a political platform opposed to the expansion of slavery in the territories, his election served as the immediate impetus for the outbreak of the American Civil War. During the 16 weeks between Election Day and Inauguration Day, seven slave states declared their secession from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America.
After being sworn in as president, Lincoln refused to accept any resolution that would result in Southern secession from the Union. The Civil War began weeks into Lincoln's presidency with the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, a federal installation located within the boundaries of the Confederacy. Lincoln was called on to handle both the political and military aspects of the Civil War, facing challenges in both spheres; as commander-in-chief, he ordered the suspension of the constitutionally-protected right to habeas corpus in the state of Maryland in order to suppress Confederate sympathizers. He became the first president to institute a military draft; as the Union faced several early defeats in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War, Lincoln cycled through numerous military commanders during the war settling on General Ulysses S. Grant, who had led the Union to several victories in the Western Theater. Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation freed about millions of slaves in Confederate-held territory, established emancipation as a Union war goal.
In 1865, Lincoln was instrumental in the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, which made slavery unconstitutional. Lincoln presided over the passage of important domestic legislation, including the first of the Homestead Acts, the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862, he ran for re-election in 1864 on the National Union ticket, supported by War Democrats in addition to Republicans. Though Lincoln feared he might lose the contest, he defeated his former subordinate, General George B. McClellan of the Democratic Party, in a landslide. Months after the election, Grant would end the war by defeating the Confederate army led by General Robert E. Lee. Lincoln's assassination in April 1865, five days after the surrender of Lee, left the final challenge of reconstructing the nation to others. Following his death, Lincoln was portrayed as the liberator of the slaves, the savior of the Union, a martyr for the cause of freedom. Political historians have long held Lincoln in high regard for his accomplishments and personal characteristics.
Alongside George Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt, he has been ranked both by scholars and the public as one of the top three greatest presidents as number one. Lincoln, a former Whig Congressman, emerged as a major Republican presidential candidate following his narrow loss to Democrat Stephen A. Douglas in the 1858 Senate election in Illinois. Though he lacked the broad support of Republican Senator William H. Seward of New York, Lincoln believed that he could emerge as the Republican presidential nominee at the convention after multiple ballots. Lincoln spent much of 1859 and 1860 building support for his candidacy, his Cooper Union speech was well-received by eastern elites. Lincoln positioned himself in the "moderate center" of his party. On the first ballot of the May 1860 Republican National Convention, Lincoln finished second to Seward, but Seward was unable to clinch the nomination. Ignoring Lincoln's strong dictate to "make no contracts that bind me", his managers maneuvered to win Lincoln's nomination on the third ballot of the convention.
Delegates nominated Senator Hannibal Hamlin from Maine for vice president. The party platform opposed the extension of slavery into the territories but pledged not to interfere with it in the states, it endorsed a protective tariff, internal improvements such as a transcontinental railroad, policies designed to encourage the settlement of public land in the West. The 1860 Democratic National Convention met in April 1860, but adjourned after failing to agree on a candidate. A second convention met in June and nominated Stephen Douglas as the presidential nominee, but several pro-slavery Southern delegations refused to support Douglas, as they demanded a pro-slavery nominee; these Southern Democrats held a separate convention that nominated incumbent Vice President John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky for president. A group of former Whigs and Know Nothings formed the Constitutional Union Party and nominated John Bell for president. Breckinridge and Bell would contest the South, while Lincoln and Douglas would compete for votes in the North.
Republicans were confident after these party conventions, with Lincoln predicting that the fractured Democrats stood little chance of winning the election. Lincoln carried all but one Northern state to win an Electoral College majority with 180 votes to 72 for Breckinridge, 39 for Bell, 12 for Douglas. Lincoln won every county in New England and most of the remaining counties in
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library that serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States; the Library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C.. The Library's functions are overseen by the Librarian of Congress, its buildings are maintained by the Architect of the Capitol; the Library of Congress has claimed to be the largest library in the world. Its "collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages."The Library of Congress moved to Washington in 1800 after sitting for 11 years in the temporary national capitals in New York City and Philadelphia. The small Congressional Library was housed in the United States Capitol for most of the 19th century until the early 1890s. Most of the original collection had been destroyed by the British in 1814 during the War of 1812, the library sought to restore its collection in 1815.
They bought Thomas Jefferson's entire personal collection of 6,487 books. After a period of slow growth, another fire struck the Library in its Capitol chambers in 1851, again destroying a large amount of the collection, including many of Jefferson's books. After the American Civil War, the Library of Congress grew in both size and importance, which sparked a campaign to purchase replacement copies for volumes, burned; the Library received the right of transference of all copyrighted works to deposit two copies of books, maps and diagrams printed in the United States. It began to build its collections, its development culminated between 1888 and 1894 with the construction of a separate, extensive library building across the street from the Capitol; the Library's primary mission is to research inquiries made by members of Congress, carried out through the Congressional Research Service. The Library is open to the public, although only high-ranking government officials and Library employees may check out books and materials.
James Madison is credited with the idea of creating a congressional library, first making such a proposition in 1783. The Library of Congress was subsequently established April 24, 1800 when President John Adams signed an act of Congress providing for the transfer of the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington. Part of the legislation appropriated $5,000 "for the purchase of such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress... and for fitting up a suitable apartment for containing them." Books were ordered from London, the collection consisted of 740 books and three maps which were housed in the new United States Capitol. President Thomas Jefferson played an important role in establishing the structure of the Library of Congress. On January 26, 1802, he signed a bill that allowed the president to appoint the Librarian of Congress and establishing a Joint Committee on the Library to regulate and oversee it; the new law extended borrowing privileges to the President and Vice President.
The invading British army burned Washington in August 1814 during the War of 1812 and destroyed the Library of Congress and its collection of 3,000 volumes. These volumes had been left in the Senate wing of the Capitol. One of the few congressional volumes to survive was a government account book of receipts and expenditures for 1810, it was taken as a souvenir by British Admiral George Cockburn, whose family returned it to the United States government in 1940. Within a month, Thomas Jefferson offered to sell his personal library as a replacement. Congress accepted his offer in January 1815; some members of the House of Representatives opposed the outright purchase, including New Hampshire Representative Daniel Webster who wanted to return "all books of an atheistical and immoral tendency." Jefferson had spent 50 years accumulating a wide variety of books in several languages and on subjects such as philosophy, law, architecture, natural sciences, studies of classical Greece and Rome, modern inventions, hot air balloons, submarines, fossils and meteorology.
He had collected books on topics not viewed as part of a legislative library, such as cookbooks. However, he believed, he remarked: I do not know that it contains any branch of science which Congress would wish to exclude from their collection. Jefferson's collection was unique in that it was the working collection of a scholar, not a gentleman's collection for display. With the addition of his collection, the Library of Congress was transformed from a specialist's library to a more general one, his original collection was organized into a scheme based on Francis Bacon's organization of knowledge. He grouped his books into Memory and Imagination, which broke down into 44 more subdivisions; the Library followed Jefferson's organization scheme until the late 19th century, when librarian Herbert Putnam began work on a more flexible Library of Congress Classification structure that now applies to more than 138 million items. In 1851, a fire destroyed two thirds of the Jefferson collection, with only 2,000 books remaining.
By 2008, the Librarians of Congress had found replacements for all but 300 of the works that were in Jefferson's original collection. On December 22, 1851 the largest fire in the Library's history destroyed 35,000 books, about two–thi
National Museum of Health and Medicine
The National Museum of Health and Medicine is a museum in Silver Spring, near Washington, DC. The museum was founded by U. S. Army Surgeon General William A. Hammond as the Army Medical Museum in 1862. An element of the Defense Health Agency, the NMHM is a member of the National Health Sciences Consortium; the AMM was established during the American Civil War as a center for the collection of specimens for research in military medicine and surgery. In 1862, Hammond directed medical officers in the field to collect "specimens of morbid anatomy...together with projectiles and foreign bodies removed" and to forward them to the newly founded museum for study. The AMM's first curator, John H. Brinton, visited mid-Atlantic battlefields and solicited contributions from doctors throughout the Union Army. During and after the war, AMM staff took pictures of wounded soldiers showing effects of gunshot wounds as well as results of amputations and other surgical procedures; the information collected was compiled into six volumes of The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, published between 1870 and 1883.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, AMM staff engaged in various types of medical research. They pioneered in photomicrographic techniques, established a library and cataloging system which formed the basis for the National Library of Medicine, led the AMM into research on infectious diseases while discovering the cause of yellow fever, they contributed to research on vaccinations for typhoid fever, during World War I, AMM staff were involved in vaccinations and health education campaigns, including major efforts to combat sexually transmissible diseases. By World War II, research at the AMM focused on pathology. In 1946 the AMM became a division of the new Army Institute of Pathology, which became the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in 1949; the AMM's library and part of its archives were transferred to the National Library of Medicine when that institution was created in 1956. The AMM itself became the Medical Museum of the AFIP in 1949, the Armed Forces Medical Museum in 1974, the NMHM in 1989.
During its peak years on the National Mall in the 1960s, every year the Museum saw "as many as 400,000 to 500,000 people coming through". But after its moves to obscure and out-of-the-way sites, it fell into a period of relative neglect. By the 1990s, it was attracting 50,000 visitors a year. In 1989, C. Everett Koop commissioned the "National Museum of Health and Medicine Foundation", a private, nonprofit organization to explore avenues for its future development and revitalization, with the aim of returning its collection to a venue on the National Mall. Proposed was “a site on land, located east of and adjacent to the Hubert H. Humphrey Building ”. In 1993, a draft bill authored by Sen. Edward Kennedy proposed $21.8 million for moving the existing collection to a new facility to be constructed on that site. That bill, was never introduced owing to political difficulties including objections from Constance Breuer—widow of Marcel Breuer, architect of the Humphrey Building—who objected to the view obstruction that would be entailed by the proposed construction.
A letter from the Department of Defense to Koop in the mid-1990s, expressed hope that the NMHM exhibits would "one day be provided the appropriate and prominent home they deserve back at the National Mall in the new National Health Museum". But the DoD backed away from contributing to funding a new museum; the Foundation was superseded by a new organization, dedicated to creating a National Health Museum, focused on public health education. Although the effort for a physical museum appears to be defunct, the museum maintains a virtual prescence Due to the closure of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, National Museum of Health and Medicine has relocated—for the tenth time—to U. S. Army Garrison-Forest Glen in Silver Spring, Montgomery County, Maryland. Authority over the Forest Glen garrison was transferred from WRAMC to Fort Detrick in October 2008; the NMHM closed its exhibits on April 3, 2011, reopened in a new building on September 15, 2011. On October 1, 2015, the NMHM became part of the Defense Health Agency.
The NMHM embodies five collections consisting of about 25 million artifacts, including 5,000 skeletal specimens, 8,000 preserved organs, 12,000 items of medical equipment, an archive of historic medical documents, collections related to neuroanatomy and developmental anatomy. The museum's most famous artifacts relate to President Abraham Lincoln and his assassination on April 14, 1865, by John Wilkes Booth. On display are a copy by sculptor Avarel Fairbanks of Lincoln's life mask and hands made by Leonard Volk in 1860, the bullet fired from the Deringer pistol which ended the President's life, the probe used by the U. S. Army Surgeon General to locate the bullet during autopsy, pieces of Lincoln's hair and skull, the autopsy surgeon's shirt cuff, stained with Lincoln's blood. In 2010 the heirs of American pathologist Thomas Harvey transferred all of his holdings constituting the remains of Albert Einstein's brain to the NMHM, including 14 photographs of the whole brain never before revealed to the public.
Museum collections include: The Historical Collections document changes in medical technology since the early 19th century. Included in this growing assemblage of more than 12,000 objects are x-ray equipment, surgical instruments and anatomical models; the Anatomical Col
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated d/b/a OCLC is an American nonprofit cooperative organization "dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs". It was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog in the world. OCLC is funded by the fees that libraries have to pay for its services. OCLC maintains the Dewey Decimal Classification system. OCLC began in 1967, as the Ohio College Library Center, through a collaboration of university presidents, vice presidents, library directors who wanted to create a cooperative computerized network for libraries in the state of Ohio; the group first met on July 5, 1967 on the campus of the Ohio State University to sign the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit organization, hired Frederick G. Kilgour, a former Yale University medical school librarian, to design the shared cataloging system.
Kilgour wished to merge the latest information storage and retrieval system of the time, the computer, with the oldest, the library. The plan was to merge the catalogs of Ohio libraries electronically through a computer network and database to streamline operations, control costs, increase efficiency in library management, bringing libraries together to cooperatively keep track of the world's information in order to best serve researchers and scholars; the first library to do online cataloging through OCLC was the Alden Library at Ohio University on August 26, 1971. This was the first online cataloging by any library worldwide. Membership in OCLC is based on use of services and contribution of data. Between 1967 and 1977, OCLC membership was limited to institutions in Ohio, but in 1978, a new governance structure was established that allowed institutions from other states to join. In 2002, the governance structure was again modified to accommodate participation from outside the United States.
As OCLC expanded services in the United States outside Ohio, it relied on establishing strategic partnerships with "networks", organizations that provided training and marketing services. By 2008, there were 15 independent United States regional service providers. OCLC networks played a key role in OCLC governance, with networks electing delegates to serve on the OCLC Members Council. During 2008, OCLC commissioned two studies to look at distribution channels. In early 2009, OCLC negotiated new contracts with the former networks and opened a centralized support center. OCLC provides bibliographic and full-text information to anyone. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat—the OCLC Online Union Catalog, the largest online public access catalog in the world. WorldCat has holding records from private libraries worldwide; the Open WorldCat program, launched in late 2003, exposed a subset of WorldCat records to Web users via popular Internet search and bookselling sites.
In October 2005, the OCLC technical staff began a wiki project, WikiD, allowing readers to add commentary and structured-field information associated with any WorldCat record. WikiD was phased out; the Online Computer Library Center acquired the trademark and copyrights associated with the Dewey Decimal Classification System when it bought Forest Press in 1988. A browser for books with their Dewey Decimal Classifications was available until July 2013; until August 2009, when it was sold to Backstage Library Works, OCLC owned a preservation microfilm and digitization operation called the OCLC Preservation Service Center, with its principal office in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The reference management service QuestionPoint provides libraries with tools to communicate with users; this around-the-clock reference service is provided by a cooperative of participating global libraries. Starting in 1971, OCLC produced catalog cards for members alongside its shared online catalog. OCLC commercially sells software, such as CONTENTdm for managing digital collections.
It offers the bibliographic discovery system WorldCat Discovery, which allows for library patrons to use a single search interface to access an institution's catalog, database subscriptions and more. OCLC has been conducting research for the library community for more than 30 years. In accordance with its mission, OCLC makes its research outcomes known through various publications; these publications, including journal articles, reports and presentations, are available through the organization's website. OCLC Publications – Research articles from various journals including Code4Lib Journal, OCLC Research, Reference & User Services Quarterly, College & Research Libraries News, Art Libraries Journal, National Education Association Newsletter; the most recent publications are displayed first, all archived resources, starting in 1970, are available. Membership Reports – A number of significant reports on topics ranging from virtual reference in libraries to perceptions about library funding. Newsletters – Current and archived newsletters for the library and archive community.
Presentations – Presentations from both guest speakers and OCLC research from conferences and other events. The presentations are organized into five categories: Conference presentations, Dewey presentations, Distinguished Seminar Series, Guest presentations, Research staff