The NLM was established in 1836 as the library of the Army Surgeon General's Office. The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and its Medical Museum were founded in 1862 as the Army Medical Museum.
Throughout their history the Army Medical Library and the Army Medical Museum often shared quarters. From 1866 to 1887, they were housed in Ford's Theatre after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
In 1956, the Library collection was transferred from the control of the Department of Defense to the Public Health Service of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and renamed the National Library of Medicine. The Library moved to its current quarters in Bethesda, Maryland, on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in 1962.
With roots in the 19th century, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the world's leader in medical research. Comprised of 27 separate Institutes and Centers, NIH is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research, providing leadership and financial support to top scientists in every state in the nation and throughout the world.