Outlook through the years

Becker Library creates repository for Outlook magazine

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Mirroring a medical school
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BY Holly Edmiston

From its humble beginning as a mimeographed, five-page news-sheet to today's four-color, 36-page, high-quality glossy magazine and multimedia online presence, Outlook magazine has long been the featured source of information about the people and events of Washington University School of Medicine.

Now complete issues of Outlook — from the first issue released in 1964 through October 2011 — are available in PDF format, thanks to archivist Stephen A. Logsdon and colleagues at the School of Medicine's Bernard Becker Medical Library. Logsdon, along with Angie M. Rosengarten, nighttime circulation manager, and Jolie L. Braun, library assistant, scanned 179 issues to complete the project.

While partial content from back issues is available on the Outlook website dating back to 2000, Logsdon feels that the long-term retention of the entire magazine — in all formats — is an integral part of preserving the School of Medicine's history.

"Web pages are not a good long-term preservation solution," says Logsdon. "Links get broken, and web pages seem to 'age' very quickly and are often updated or deleted. While PDFs don't look as nice as web pages, I wanted to keep an 'archival' copy of Outlook in the PDF format so that future researchers are able to access the online-only issues."

Even print copies are hard to come by any further back than the 1980s. Logsdon's efforts ensure that the groundbreaking research, clinical care, education mission and alumni activities documented in Outlook will live on.

The project is part of Becker Medical Library's Digital Commons@Becker, a digital repository for hosting the scholarly work created at Washington University School of Medicine and enhancing its visibility and accessibility to scholars, researchers and the public.

"The Outlook project underscores the value of Digital Commons@Becker as a means of publicizing the unique contributions of Washington University to a global community," says Paul A. Schoening, associate dean and director of Becker Medical Library.

To learn more about Digital Commons@Becker, contact Bob Engeszer at engeszer@wustl.edu or Cathy Sarli at sarlic@wustl.edu.

To view issues of Outlook over the decades, please visit: http://digitalcommons.wustl.edu/outlook.

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