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Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences  

Last Updated: Sep 15, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

History of Medicine Print Page
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Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences (ALHHS)

    Hosted on the UCLA Library web site, the ALHHS is established exclusively for educational purposes to serve the professional interests of librarians, archivists, and other specialists actively engaged in the librarianship of the history of the health sciences by promoting the exchange of information and by improving standards of service.

Databases for the History of Medicine

  • Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General's Office. U.S. Army. Series 1
    This is a pilot release of NLM's IndexCat search system.
  • PubMed
    A new subject subset (formerly known as HISTLINE), History of Medicine, is now available on the Subset pull-down menu on the PubMed Limits screen.
    (Directory of Information Resources Online) is the National Library of Medicine's online database containing location and descriptive information about a wide variety of information resources including organizations, research resources, projects, and databases concerned with health and biomedicine. This information may not be readily available in bibliographic databases. Each record may contain information on the publications, holdings, and services provided. (Search for the phrase History of Medicine.)

Images on the Web - People, Places, and Things

  • Burns Archive Medical Collection
    The Burns Medical Collection is generally recognized as America's largest and most comprehensive accumulation of early medical and dental photography.
  • DScriptorium
    DScriptorium is devoted to collecting, storing and distributing digital images of Medieval manuscripts (D is for Digital).
  • Founders of Neurology - A Photographic Exhibit
    A Photographic Exhibit of some of the founders of neurology from the Louis D. Boshes, M.D. Archives Center for the History of Neurosciences
    James L. Stone, MD, FACS, Curator at the University of Illinois at Chicago
  • The Index of Medieval Medical Images
    (IMMI) 2001 Pilot Project
    The Index of Medieval Medical Images with digitized images linked to the cataloging.
  • Images from the History of Medicine
    This system provides access to the nearly 60,000 images in the prints and photograph collection of the History of Medicine Division (HMD) of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

History of Medicine Collections

History of Medicine Collections

The various collections of the History and Special Collections Division support the study of the history of medicine and biology. Collections consist of books, journals, manuscript, prints, portraits, and medical artifacts. For further assistance in locating manuscripts, prints, portraits, or other artifacts, please inquire in the division.

Our goal is to have an online record for every book, journal, manuscript, manuscript collection, artifact, print, and portrait in the collection and where appropriate, to make selected content available on the web.

Books and Journals in the History of Medicine and Biology

Search the UCLA Library Catalog. Almost all of the books and journals (this includes rare books, and journals, reference works, and histories and biographies) held by the History and Special Collections Division may be found in the UCLA Library Catalog. A few special collections of books are described below.

UCLA Library Acquires Historical Collection of Medical Texts
The UCLA Library has acquired a historical collection of books and journals from Germany, primarily medical texts in the field of otorhinolaryngology. The materials were originally in the private library of Dr. Cäsar Hirsch, a specialist in the field, who was forced to leave all his belongings behind when he and his family fled Germany in 1933. 

Prints, Portraits, and Artifacts

Currently, detailed information about these collections is available only in the History Division. Many of the images are recorded in a card catalog located in the Division.

Museum Artifacts

Although small, the Division's museum collection contains artifacts which provide insight into the practice of medicine in different eras. Surgeon's instrument cases, microscopes, scarifiers, thumb lancets, anesthesia masks, phrenological heads, cupping instruments, and glass eyes all bear witness to ideas and practices of the past.

Collection Highlights

  • Baby Books Collection
    One of the library’s most recent endeavors has been building a collection of 19th-21st century baby record books. These are memory books in which parents record a child’s activities and developmental milestones, and which provide a place to gather photographs, locks of hair, and other mementos. Many books track individualized medical information, from height and weight to various childhood diseases; some also provide infant health care advice. The collection of more than 500 titles and editions, with more than 1300 different copies, now spans 125 years.
  • The John C. Liebeskind History of Pain Collection
    The Liebeskind Collection is a multi-disciplinary collection focusing on the history of pain alleviation in all of its manifestations. Oral histories with major figures in the pain field form the backbone of the collection, but we also have and collect the papers of individuals and the records of organizations. Pre-20th century historical materials also form an important part of the collection and are interpreted through exhibits and symposia.
  • IASP Online Archives
    Features excerpts from Pain: A Universal Problem and an International Field, an exhibition for the 9th World Congress on Pain (Vienna, 1999) to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)
  • Bloodletting
    Presented here is a brief selection of material, in word and image, on bloodletting.
  • James O. Page Collection
    An Archive and Library for the History of EMS
  • Antikamnia Calendar 1900 = 2007
    The Antikamnia ("Opposed to Pain") Chemical Company of St. Louis, Missouri produced several calendars (1897-1901) illiustrated with Skeleton Sketches--chromolithographed series based on watercolors by the local physician-artist Louis Crucius. A downloadable copy of the 1900 calendar is available.
  • The Neuroscience History Archives
    An Affiliated Collection.
    The Neuroscience History Archives, Brain Research Institute, UCLA, and the Biomedical Library, History & Special Collections collaborate to document the history of the Brain Research Institute and the broader history of neuroscience.
  • UCLA Biomedical Library Manuscript Collections
    This is a partial listing of the manuscript holdings of the History & Special Collections Division.

Digital Projects

Aids Posters Collection Aids Posters Collection - "Aids Apple"

The UCLA Library launched an online collection of more than 600 AIDS posters from countries around the world on Friday, December 1. The release of this digital project has been scheduled in conjunction with World AIDS Day. “The collection provides a fascinating insight into the many approaches that have been used to try to modify risk behaviors,” said Roger Detels, MD, MS, UCLA professor of epidemiology and infectious diseases. “The posters range from terrifying to amusing and reflect the many cultures from which they have been drawn, which include national cultures and risk group cultures. The collection should be of interest to anyone interested in the history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and attempts to control it.” The physical collection is held in the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections.

Spices - Exotic Flavors and Medicines

Spices - Exotic Flavors and Medicines is an online exhibit exploring the history of spices from their earliest uses to current research. Through text and image, the topic is explored indepth. Irwin Ziment, Profesor Emeritus of Clinical Medicine, UCLA, researched and wrote the narrative in conjunction with the History & Special Collections Division.

The Index of Medieval Medical Images (IMMI)

The Index of Medieval Medical Images project began in 1988 and aimed to describe and index the content of all medieval manuscript images (up to the year 1500) with medical components held in North American collections. The goal of this 2001 pilot project was to make the descriptions and the images available via a searchable database on the Web.

Indexing the Web

These sites aim to list, index, or inventory the great variety of material appearing on the Web that relates to the history of medicine and science.

Library Catalogs

  • LOCATORplus
    The web catalog of the National Library of Medicine.
  • WILDCat
    The online catalog of The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine via telenet.