From 1913 to 1975, the American Medical Association's Department of Investigation assembled more than 300 cubic feet of files on health fraud, quackery, "patent" medicines, and alternative medicine. In 1988, the AMA obtained a grant from the National Library of Medicine to process and catalog these materials, now known as the Historical Health Fraud and Alternative Medicine Collection. Using Minaret software (a stand-alone USMARC AMC cataloging system) in combination with WordPerfect word-processing software, the project staff developed procedures that allowed it to generate textual and index entries for the printed guide to the collection as well as upload USMARC AMC records directly to the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) union catalog.

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