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Research Guides

History of Science & Medicine

Osler Library of the History of Medicine

"The Osler Library of the History of Medicine opened in 1929 to house the collection of rare medical and other books donated by Sir William Osler, the renowned physician and McGill graduate and professor. Initially comprising 8000 titles listed in the Bibliotheca Osleriana, the collection - the finest of its kind in Canada - has grown to around 100 000 works including older, rare materials as well as current books and periodicals about the history of the health sciences and related areas."

The Wellcome Library

Wellcome Library, History of Medicine Collection

"With its international scope and comprehensive coverage, the collection provides a rich research resource that reflects a broad understanding of the history of medicine, and the course of medical thought and practice from the earliest times and in different social and cultural settings. Materials held in this collection facilitate historical study of all aspects of medicine, both its theory and practice, from anatomy, physiology, surgery, public health, specific diseases, etc. to medical discoveries and procedures, medical education, medical professions, services and organisations, health care and many more. They also include a vast range of biographical and autobiographical works and patient experiences of illness, as well as works on the history of science and other related subjects such as alchemy and chemistry, physics, botany, zoology and other areas of natural history, cookery, pharmacy, etc. There are also numerous works on general and social history, philosophy, religion, art and literature, bibliographies and other reference works such as encyclopaedias and dictionaries."

National Library of Medicine, History of Medicine Division

Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology

"The Dibner Library is the Smithsonian’s collection of rare books and manuscripts relating to the history of science and technology. Contained in this world-class collection of 35,000 rare books and 2,000 manuscript groups are many of the most important works dating from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries in the history of science and technology including engineering, transportation, chemistry, mathematics, physics, electricity, and astronomy."

Heralds of Science, Smithsonian

Medical Heritage Library

The MHL has over 48,000 items in the Internet Archive and is adding new titles almost daily. The MHL is predominantly textual materials, including monographs, journals, pamphlets, and ephemera, but also includes audio-visual material such as the History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group “Wellcome Witness” series of interviews with neuroscientists and the University of California San Francisco Legacy Tobacco Documents Library. The materials in the MHL cover centuries, starting with the oldest book (the Liber Hysagoge Joannici) from 1502 and going through the Wellcome Witnesses series from the 2000s. “History of medicine” has been broadly defined in the MHL collection and subjects include health sciences (nursing, dentistry, audiology, physiology, psychology, psychiatry, biological science), surgery, public health, infectious diseases, gynecology, anatomy, neuroscience, tobacco use,, and titles on spas, weather, veterinary medicine, gardening, physical culture, and alternative medicine. The MHL includes materials in a variety of languages including English, French, Spanish, German, Latin, Portuguese, and Dutch.


Linda Hall Library, History of Science Collection

The Linda Hall Library is a guardian of the collective intellectual heritage with regard to science, technology, and engineering disciplines; a destination for advanced research and scholarship, and a center for public education in the sciences.

Directory of History of Medicine Collections

University of St. Andrews Scotland, History of Mathematics

Needham Institute, East Asian History of Science Library

Philadelphia Area Center for the History of Science

The Wagner Free Institute of Science of Philadelphia