Definition of National Library of Medicine (NLM)

National Library of Medicine (NLM): The world's largest medical library, the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NLM has as its mission to collect, organize, and make available biomedical science information to investigators, educators, and practitioners and carry out programs designed to strengthen medical library services in the United States. Its electronic data bases, including MEDLINE, are used extensively throughout the world.

The NLM is situated on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The Library collects materials in all areas of biomedicine and health care, as well as works on biomedical aspects of technology, the humanities, and the physical, life, and social sciences. The NLM collections stand at 5.3 million items--books, journals, technical reports, manuscripts, microfilms, photographs and images. Housed within the Library are medical history collections of old and rare medical texts, manuscripts, and incunabula. NLM is an invaluable resource for all U.S. health science libraries and for medicine.

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