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History of Medicine

Digital collections

Digital collections and online exhibitions in the history of the health sciences

  • Alberta Medical History Collection Contains information on the history of medicine in Western Canada and digitized versions of several early Canadian medical journals and books.
  • Alchemy Website This site provides a great deal of digitized textual and visual material, articles, bibliographies and general reference material on alchemy.
  • Alexander Street Counseling Online collection of videos for the study of counseling, social work, psychotherapy, psychology, and psychiatric counseling.
  • Antiqua Medicina: From Homer to Vesalius An on-line exhibition which includes sections such as Medicine in Mythology and LiteratureWomen in MedicineAncient GynecologyByzantine Medicine, and Surgery and Surgical Instruments.
  • Antique Spectacles and Other Vision Aids An online museum and encyclopedia of vision aids.
  • Ask Osleriana A searchable database of Osler essays, such as the collection "Aequanimitas and Other Essays" and Harvey Cushing's biography "The Life of Sir William Osler" (1925). There are also abstracts of papers given at some of the annual meetings of the American Osler Society.
  • Canadian Nursing History Collection The Canadian Nursing History Collection is a rich repository of artifacts and documents held by the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Canadian War Museum and Library and Archives Canada (LAC). LAC also hosts a collection of photographs of Canadian nurses.
  • Catholic Health Alliance of Canada An online collection of digitized books and booklets on the history of Catholic hospitals and Catholic nursing schools in Canada.
  • Changing The Face of Medicine: Celebrating America's Women Physicians Discover the many ways that women doctors have influenced and enhanced the practice of medicine. An exhibit from the National Library of Medicine.
  • Contagion: Historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics This is an online collection of digitized copies of books, serials, pamphlets, incunabula, visual material and manuscripts, a total of more than 500,000 pages, relating to the history of diseases and epidemics worldwide, and is organized around significant “episodes” of contagious disease. The material is drawn from several Harvard libraries.
  • Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts Database of 2,000+ transcripts of counseling and therapy sessions and 44,000 pages of first-person narratives illuminating the experience of mental illness and treatment. Also includes secondary reference works material.
  • Darwin Online - The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online This site contains Darwin's complete publications, thousands of handwritten manuscripts and the largest Darwin bibliography and manuscript catalogue ever published. Created by the University of Cambridge and the Arts & Humanities Research Council.
  • Delta Omega Classics This website contains a collection of public health texts, out of print or not generally available in libraries.
  • Drug Trade: Therapy, Pharmacy and Commerce in Early Modern Europe A virtual exhibit of pharmacy jars and herbals by the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford University.
  • Early Canadiana Online Contains digitzed rare books, periodicals, and government publications from Canada from the 1600s through the 1940s, including The Montreal Medical Journal and others. Search the "Health and Medicine" collection.
  • Gallica Digitized books, dictionaries and periodicals spanning many centuries, including medical and related works. This site is maintained by the National Library of France, so almost all works are in French.
  • Herbal Medicine Classic Works in Herbal Medicine SouthWest School of Botanical Medicine, Brisbe, AZ Describes and makes available the work of John Uri Lloyd, Otto Mausert, Benjamin Colby.
  • The Healing Power of Plants Discover the healing power of plants and the role they play in common items found inside your medicine cabinet. Created by the Coalition of Canadian Healthcare Museums and Archives.
  • History and Policy Offers historical perspectives on British health and welfare policy. This site is a unique collaboration between the Institute of Contemporary British History at King's College London and the University of Cambridge.
  • History of Human Genetics at McGill This is a brief history of the department and its work at McGill.
  • History of Medicine and Health Care The University of Calgary faculty, teaching and research in the history of medicine and health sciences. 
  • History of Phrenology on the Web By John van Wyhe, offers the largest collection of phrenological images and reference sources in the world.
  • History of the McGill Physiology Deparment A brief history of the department, including biographical sketches of the chairs.
  • Immigrants at Grosse-Île Quarantine Station,1832-1937 From the Library and Archives Canada, this is the story of immigrants quarantined to stop the propagation of typhus through a variety of documents, such as lists of births and deaths at sea, hospital registers, journals, letters, photographs and maps.
  • Internet Archive eBooks and Texts Free internet archive of digitized texts,contains many medical texts.
  • James Lind Library A digital library that documents the evolution of fair tests of medical treatments. Produced by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.
  • John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center The Center has notable historical collections on the foundations of the medical specialties, Texas medicine, and North American public health. The website also has digitized Works of Sir William Osler and a digitized copy of Andreas Vesalius 1617 edition of Anatomia.
  • John Snow Prepared by the School of Public Health at UCLA on John Snow, the pioneer epidemiologist and anaesthetist.
  • Lepramuseum Münster-Kinderhaus A site, in German, on the history of leprosy.
  • Livingstone Online Colonial explorer and Dr. David Livingstone's correspondence.
  • Massachusetts General Hospital Nursing History An online exhibition of historical photos.
  • Medical Heritage Library.  This is a growing collection of digitized medical rare books, pamphlets, journals, and films numbering in the tens of thousands, contributed by a number of libraries in North America and Europe.  These are available through the Internet Archive.
  • Medical History of British India There are a number of digitised reports relating to disease and public health in India in the 19th and 20th centuries drawn from the collection of the National Library of Scotland
  • Medicina Antiqua A scholarly introduction to the history of medicine with lists of resources, essays, and English translations of some important ancient medical works. Hosted by the University College London Centre for the History of Medicine.
  • Medicine and Madison Avenue This website explores the complex relationships between modern medicine and modern advertising.
  • Medicine in the Americas 1610-1914: A Digital Library A collection of scanned books representing different periods and aspects of U.S. medical history created by the National Library of Medicine This is an ongoing project in which more material should be added, including works from Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Muslims and Medical History Information on Islamic medicine.
  • National Museum of Health and Medicine The NMHM site has digtized works on U.S. Military Medicine from the nineteenth and 20th centuries and virtual exhibitions.
  • Nuremberg Trials Project - Case One Medical Trial Digitized documents from the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal's prosecution of German doctors after the Second World War.
  • Object Lessons The online version of the University of Edinburgh's exhibition of artifacts relating to the major themes of Space, Bodies – Inside and Out, The Human Face, Sounds, Landscape and the Environment.
  • Physicians’ Reflections on Fifty Years of Patient Care: 1954-2004 30 short essays written by graduates of the 1954 Medical School Class of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry about how changes in medicine have affected their relationship with patients and patient care.
  • Science History Institute Digital Collections Explore the digital collections of historical objects, artworks, photographs, books, oral histories, and archives.
  • Sciences and Machines: Scientific and Technological Development since 1800 A virtual exhibition from the European Library, an online portal that gives access to European collections. Includes numerous medical works.
  • The System and Method of Medicine An online tutorial in medical thinking and clinical judgement based on the teachings of Sir William Osler.
  • Thomas Shapter: The History of the Cholera in Exeter 1832 Dr. Thomas Shapter,(1809-1902) was born in Gibraltar, graduated from Edinburgh University, and arrived in Exeter in the year cholera arrived, 1832. Today, Dr. Shapter is best known for the account he wrote of this devastating cholera outbreak - a copy of which is in the Osler Library.
  • Time, Tide and Tonics: The Patent Medicine Almanac in America A short exhibit of historical medical almanacs, which includes many scans, from the collection of the National Library of Medicine.
  • Turning the Pages Digital reproductions of five classic medical works: Robert Hooke's " Micrographia"; Andreas Vesalius' "De Humani Corporis Fabrica" (On the Fabric of the Human Body); "Historiae Animalium" (Studies on Animals), by Konrad Gesner; "Oeuvres" (Collected Works) by Ambrose Paré and Johannes de Ketham's "Fasiculo de Medicina" (the first illustrated printed medical book).
  • US Surgeon General's Office. Office of Medical History Links to a number of online histories and publication dealing with military medicine in the United States.
  • Wellcome Moving Image and Sound Collection An open access archive of historical medical films from the Wellcome Library. It has particularly strong holdings in public health information films, surgical training films, and broadcast radio and television programmes.
  • Wellcome Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue Medical and health-related archive material from antiquity to the present, including medical treatises and lecture notes, case books and diaries, ledgers and accounts, recipe books, laboratory notes and correspondence.
  • Wilder Penfield Digital Collection A searchable database with a digitized selection of materials from the Osler Library's archival fonds of celebrated neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield.
  • World Health Organization. WHO Library Historical Resources The historical collection of WHO has digitized documents produced by WHO and the Office international d'Hygiène publique (OIHP) on epidemics, such as plague, cholera, yellow fever, smallpox and malaria. The site also has a collection of historical digitized books on the subjects.

List of history of medicine e-journals

A list of e-journals in the history of health sciences, both free and requiring authentication, has been created by David S. Crawford, Emeritus Librarian, McGill University.

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