The National Library of Medicine has just launched an on-line exhibiton about conjoined (‘Siamese’) twins called “From ‘Monsters’ to Modern Medical Miracles“. It contains a number of fine images from the 15h century to the present, with short accompanying texts, based on a careful selection of the most autoritative primary and secondary sources.

Yet I’m not that impressed, because it is far from using the potential of the medium. After all, the strength of web-based exhibitions, compared to IRL exhibitions, is the possibility of using hypertext links. This NLM product does not even make use of internal links to its own bibliography. One has to guess which image is taken from which source.

“From ‘Monsters’ to Modern Medical Miracles” sustains my general impression that libraries are good at finding books and images, but often poor web-designers. Please, send it back to the web curator and ask him/her to revise it!

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