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The History of the American College of Rheumatology Image Library

The Rheumatologist reports on the history of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Image Library. The Image Library, which currently houses more than 2,000 high-quality images of rheumatic diseases, serves as a major repository used by rheumatologists and others around the world. Each year new images are added to the online collection, making this an up-to-date dynamic resource for teaching and education. Numerous people including HSS rheumatologist Michael D. Lockshin, MD, have helped build the Image Library and discuss the contributions they made.

In 1972, rheumatology was just on the cusp of being formally identified as a subspecialty of medicine. “Because rheumatology was new and because relatively rare abnormalities in rheumatologic diseases are highly visible, the powers-that-be felt that a slide collection showing the abnormalities would be a valuable teaching tool," explained Dr. Lockshin. The first clinical slide collection was assembled, a collection comprised of 240 35 mm slides chosen from thousands submitted by 105 physicians. Of these 240 original slides, 191 remain in the Image Library. As the chair of the Image Library subcommittee, Dr. Lockshin spent long hours with other committee members debating the merits of slides and working with photographers Lester and Sylvia Bergman to make the 1972 collection as visually attractive and informative as possible. He praised the Bergmans for their esthetic sense—eliminating extraneous details in photos, such as bedclothing and patient jewelry, to focus on the teaching point—as well as their careful attention to light distribution and tint.

Dr. Lockshin recalled being “rewarded” for his role in assembling the 1972 collection by being asked to present the collection formally during the 1973 International League Against Rheumatism (ILAR) meeting in Kyoto, Japan.

Read the full article at the-rheumatologist.org.