The University of Michigan School of Dentistry has added a new star to the universe of the web: Dental Cosmos, the first real American dental journal, has now been completely digitized and placed online. The entire journal run, from its inception in 1859 until its 1936 merger with the Journal of the American Dental Association, can be freely accessed by anyone interested in the history of dentistry. What's more: the issues are all keyword searchable, allowing a researcher to gather all the relevant journal articles on, for example, crowns, or all the mentions of G.V. Black. While the display of the issue list is a little confusing (being, for some reason, out of any chronological order), the site makes up for its shortcomings with lovely digital images taken straight out of the journal.
The announcement from Michigan notes that "Dental Cosmos was considered the source of information for practitioners for more than 70 years. It began as a publication designed to encourage dentists to use the products manufactured by the magazine's founder, the Samuel S. White Dental Manufacturing Company. In time, it became the first enduring national journal for the American dental profession and one of the most significant in the early history of American dentistry."
The popularity of the OHSU Library's complete print run of this journal is clear evidence that the journal continues to inform researchers; the newly available online version will greatly aid local scholars, who until now had to wait for issues to be brought up from the Library's off-site storage facility.
While material of this antiquity is, by law, in the public domain, University of Michigan is asking that researchers contact them for permission to reprint. Let's all try to keep our new year's resolutions to comply with copyright!