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History of Medicine

Library Catalogs

Links to a few of the library catalogs for major collections in the history of medicine.

Rare Books in the History of Medicine

Finding Books

To locate books written in or about a subject from a specific period of history, try the following when searching the Library catalogs:

  1. When searching for books about the history of medicine during the course of a century, use a "Keyword" search in the catalog and combine the words "history" and "medicine" with the century you are interested in, as represented by its numerical value. For example "medicine history 18" will retrieve books with the subject of the history of medicine in the 18th century. You can also add keywords about the specific subject you are interested in like "history 17 childbirth."
  2. When searching for books published during a specific time, limit your subject keyword search for a date range applicable to your research.
  3. TIP: Since it is possible that the subject headings will sometimes not capture important date information AND since Library of Congress subject headings are sometimes broad in nature, it is often valuable to conduct your search based on keywords alone without limiting your search to specific dates.

For example, in the record below, none of the subject headings contain information about the timeline this book covers.


Race, science and medicine, 1700-1960 / edited by Waltraud Ernst and Bernard Harris.

Imprint: London ; New York : Routledge, 1999.

Description: ix, 300 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.

Series: Studies in the social history of medicine

Topics: Colonization -- Health aspects -- History.
Imperialism -- Health aspects -- History.
Science -- Social aspects -- History.
Social medicine -- History.
Social Medicine -- history.

Archives and Manuscripts

The Special Collections Research Center has created finding aids for modern archival and manuscript collections in medicine and related health science areas.  Collections include records from medical societies, University of Chicago departments and divisions, and organizations as well as professional papers of eminent physicians.

Subject Specialist

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Andrea Twiss-Brooks
Director, Humanities and Area Studies
Chemistry and
Geophysical Sciences

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