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Gerstein Science Information Centre

HPS 318: History of Medicine from Antiquity to the Renaissance

This guide is a supplement for:

Looking for a translation?

Try searching the name of the work or the author name in the following database: 

Three ways to find primary sources:

  1. Start with what you already have: to uncover references to primary sources
  2. Use the library catalogue to find primary sources
  3. Browse or search reliable online collections, such as the ones in this research guide:

For a refresher on the difference between primary sources and secondary sources, click here.

1. Start with what you already have

The following may refer you to good primary sources on your topic. 

  • class notes
  • course readings
  • bibliographies/footnotes/endnotes of your textbook, journal articles, or other secondary sources
  • historical encyclopedias

They can also help you identify relevant historical figures authors, or keywords for searching library databases. 

2. Find books and other primary sources in the library catalogue

Combine keywords for different kinds of primary sources with keywords for your topic to find them in the library catalogue.

Primary source keywords

documents    sources
texts correspondence
facsimile pamphlets
personal narratives

early works




plague documents

medical botany early works

syphilis facsimile

anatomical plates

Sample Catalogue Searches for HPS318 Primary Sources at UTL

Plague Early Works  

Anatomy Early Works, limited to 16th Century

Hippocrates Author, limited to English Language

3. Major Over-Arching Collection of Primary Sources

Type your topic keywords into these major databases, and see what comes up.