Comprehensive index to WU medical center publications now available to researchers

W.U. Record


An extensive index to Washington University Medical Center publications is now available via the Becker Archives. This new resource consists of nearly 7,000 index headings for faculty, staff, departments, programs and events related to the School of Medicine and its affiliated hospitals. Collectively, the headings point to over 35,000 unique citations in medical center newsletters and magazines published over the course of the last century.

Publications referenced in this newly accessible index include: Washington University Magazine, WU Record, Outlook Magazine, Washington University Medical Alumni Quarterly, Focal Spot (Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology), Barnes Hospital Bulletin, 216 Jewish Hospital Newsletter, and many others. Full-text issues of each of these publications is available online in the Digital Commons@Becker.

This remarkably large index was created in-house by Becker Library’s archives staff over the course of 30 years. In order to generate this incredible resource, current and former staff members scrupulously read through each issue of every newsletter and magazine published on the medical campus in the last hundred years. The staff then identified relevant subject headings as they read through every publication, and then painstakingly recorded the citation for each.

Initially, each index entry was added via typewriter to individual sheets of paper that were carefully organized by subject headings. Now, after a considerable data migration effort by the library staff in order to make this index more accessible, all of the information from the index has been incorporated into the Becker Archives Database. Users may keyword-search across all 35,000+ entries alongside descriptions of all archival collections at the Becker Library.

The addition of the index entries to the database provides a seamless, yet significant, enhancement for researchers. Notably, because nearly all of these medical campus publications have had limited circulation (mostly limited to just employees of Washington University’s medical campus), and because very few copies are publicly accessible, it is highly improbable that a researcher would come across any of these references via their own efforts without the aid of this scrupulous index.

The 6,838 subject headings in the index can be browsed from A to Z at this link.

In order to make the most effective use of this index, pair the individual citations in the archives database to their corresponding articles in the Digital Commons. PDFs of the full runs of the various newsletter and magazine titles included in this index may be found in BJC Healthcare Publications and Washington University Publications.

Happy searching!