Founded in 1929, we are the oldest academic department of the History of Medicine in the English-speaking world. We are dedicated to scholarship on the histories of medicine, disease, the health sciences, and their relationships to society.

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February 12, 2024
February 12, 2024 to March 23, 2024All working days 9:00 am / 5:00 pm

HIV/AIDS Education & Messaging Exhibits @ the Welch Medical Library

The Welch Medical Library is hosting two complementary exhibitions highlighting the illustrated history of public health messaging as a response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. These exhibitions will be on display in the second floor gallery of the Welch Medical Library building. The building is open form 9-5, M-F. National Library of Medicine Exhibition:  AIDS, Posters, and Stories of Public Health: A People’s History of a Pandemic This exhibition explores how AIDS posters serve as highly adaptable, durable, cost effective, efficient tools in sharing public health messaging. Created by communities bonded together by illness and a desire to make change, these posters provide a gateway to AIDS history, illustrating how, in the face of illness, neglect, and, early on, the unknown, people came together to connect, create, and save one another's lives. Today, AIDS posters continue to be valuable resources for the ongoing epidemic. They teach us about community organizing processes and the ways that groups dealing with HIV heal, share fears, and strategize toward wellness together. AIDS, Posters, and Stories of Public Health: A People's History of a Pandemic includes selected AIDS posters from Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture, the 2013 exhibition about the history of HIV/AIDS in the United States. The Exhibition Program By creating exhibitions about the social and cultural history of science and medicine, we encourage visitors of all ages to learn more about themselves and their communities. These exhibitions and supportive resources engage diverse audiences and connect visitors to National Library of Medicine trusted health information resources. Patricia Tuohy Head, Exhibition Program Julie Botnick Exhibition Technical Information Specialist Jiwon Kim Exhibition Educator Carissa Lindmark Traveling Exhibition Assistant Erika Mills Community Outreach Coordinator Jane Markowitz Traveling Exhibition Services Coordinator Tannaz Motevalli Exhibition Coordinator Curation Theodore (Ted) Kerr Guest Curator Writer, Organizer, and Founding Member of What Would an HIV Doula Do? Creative Services Link Studio Website Design & Development HealyKohler Design Exhibition Design Education Contributors Eric W. Boyle, PhD U.S. Department of Energy Washington, DC Special Acknowledgements History of Medicine Division Jeffrey Reznick, PhD Chief, History of Medicine Division Kenneth Koyle Deputy Chief Allison Cao Web Program, Pathways Student Lindsay Franz Systems Librarian Elizabeth Mullen Manager of Web Development and Social Media Ginny Roth Manager of Prints and Photographs   Office of Computer and Communications Systems Wei Ma Chief, Applications Branch Winston Churchill Applications Branch Joe Potvin Applications Branch Ying Sun Applications Branch   Public Services Division Jean (Bob) Edouard Collection Access Section  
  Johns Hopkins Medicine Exhibition:  Spreading the Word: HIV/AIDS Education and the People's Health The CDC reported the first cases of AIDS on June 5, 1981. In 1985, scientists confirmed that AIDS was caused by a virus, later named the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. Since the first reported cases of the disease, HIV/AIDS has killed some 40 million worldwide. In response to the pandemic, activists, artists, community-health organizations, public health experts, and healthcare professionals created a variety of visually engaging materials that sought to educate the public about the disease and its prevention. In other instances, HIV/AIDS became the subject of specific pieces of art and popular culture. On display are two complimentary exhibits highlighting examples of these visually engaging materials. The National Library of Medicine’s traveling exhibit, AIDS Posters and Stories of Public Health: A People’s History of a Pandemic, highlights the cultural output of community workers, activists, and artists who sought to educate the public about HIV/AIDSIn the exhibit Spreading the Word: HIV/AIDS Education and the People’s Health, 1983-2001, visitors will see how different types of print media and images were used in public-health initiatives, AIDS education, art, and popular culture in the United States from 1983 to 2001. These media and images range from public health posters and pamphlets to graphic novels and comic books. Both exhibits encourage us to think about how HIV/AIDS messaging has changed over time and to interrogate how some of the messaging was delivered. The exhibits remind us, too, about the impact HIV/AIDS has had on the lives of people in the U.S. and beyond. The exhibits also stand as another important reminder. Despite the historical material on display, HIV/AIDS is not a thing of the past. Exhibit designed by: Jason M. Chernesky, Terri Hatfield, and Michael Seminara    
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We are committed to exploring the history of medicine in its broadest sense, both geographically and chronologically; we offer a range of graduate and undergraduate courses on topics such as the History of Chinese Medicine; Colonial Knowledge; Health and Healing in Early Modern England; Darwin, Freud, and Pasteur; and Disease Control in Historical Perspective.

About us

Welch Medical Library Building

The Institute of the History of Medicine is located in the William H. Welch Medical Library, named after the first Chair of the Department of the History of Medicine. In establishing the first Department of the History of Medicine in the English-speaking world, Welch sought to provide a humanistic component to medical education and public health.


The Department of the History of Medicine trains PhDs in the history of medicine, and teaches in the schools of medicine and public health. We offer courses for undergraduates and graduate students on the main arts and sciences campus of Johns Hopkins University.


The departmental library of the Institute, the Historical Collection is also the resource center for the history of medicine for the Hopkins community, and hosts visiting scholars from the United States and abroad. A research collection covering all aspects of the history of medicine, public health and allied sciences, it contains over 70,000 volumes. A large, comprehensive library of secondary sources accompanies a smaller, but choice collection of rare books, manuscripts, prints, photographs, medals, stamps and objects.


Meet our faculty, the largest department of medical historians in the US, staff, current graduate students, alumni, and postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars from around the world.


The Bulletin of the History of Medicine is the official publication of the Johns Hopkins Institute of the History of Medicine and the American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM) and is published by The Johns Hopkins University Press. A leading journal in its field for more than three quarters of a century, the Bulletin spans the social, cultural, and scientific aspects of the history of medicine worldwide.


The Department of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins, the first department of its type in North America, is proud to introduce new online CME modules that provide a historical perspective on issues of relevance to clinical practice today.