The National Library of Medicine has decided to discontinue the printing
of the Index Medicus Supplement, sometimes known as the Black and White
MeSH.  We have received a great number of comments on this proposal, and
are grateful for the input.  Overall, it appears that our impression
that few would be inconvenienced by the discontinuation of the printed
edition was correct.  Given the high cost of printing even a few copies
of the book, we do not see the benefit as justifying the expense.   For
those wishing a souvenir copy, the 2007 MeSH will continue to be
available from the Government Printing Office for another 14 months.


In response to concerns expressed by several individuals, we plan to
make available a set of PDF files containing the various hierarchies.
These will be formatted in such a way as to make printing them on 81/2
by 11 inch paper feasible, enabling a user to print out and review an
entire tree easily. 


We encourage all to avail themselves of the resources available at  There is a considerable amount of printable
introductory material, information about how we update MEDLINE, as well
as links to downloable files and the MeSH browser.  The PDF files of the
trees will also be available there.


The current MeSH files are available for download, in one of three
different formats.  Furthermore, the browser at the MeSH website
provides ready access to the current version of MeSH.  The browser
supports partial word searches of three letters or more, and provides
many links between related terms.  As is our practice, all of these
services and files will remain free of charge.  


Once again, we wish to express our gratitude for the many comments


Stuart J. Nelson, MD

Head, Medical Subject Headings

8600 Rockville Pike

Building 38A Room B2 E17

301-496-1495 (Office)

301-402-2002 (Fax)

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world."