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History of Science, Technology, and Medicine: Getting Started

General guide to Duke library resources in science, technology and medicine.

History of Medicine Collection

Rubenstein Library

This special collection  on the history of medicine includes rare books, archival sources and realia. The Archivist in charge of this collection is Rachel Ingold.

The web home for the History of Medicine collection is HERE

Key Sources

The history of sciences and technology, and the history of medicine are relatively young and broad interdisciplinary fields, involves the social sciences; the sciences, including engineering; and the humanities. This guide is designed to serve as a brief introduction to the wide range of sources, which can be found in the Perkins Library system. Emphasis is on publications that treat general aspects of the history of science - including technology - in the Western world of primarily and mainly works in the English language.

Since the History of Medicine Collection in the Rubenstein Library has an excellent collection of material (and an excellent guide) on the history of medicine, this field, as well as the history of other specific fields, such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc., are not emphasized here. This collection includes  archival material and published materials.

Archival materials are available online in a number of collections including the early microfiche edition entitled Landmarks of Science.

Books on the history of separate fields of science can be found by use of the online catalog (use the headings "Biology --History", "Botany--History", "Physics--History", etc.). Some journals that cover the history of these fields are listed in  this guide. For further help in locating and using the sources for these specific fields, the researcher is urged to consult Carson Holloway,  other  appropriate  science librarians, or  the Perkins Library Research Services Department.




History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Indexes journal articles, conference proceedings, books, book reviews, and dissertations in the history of science, technology, medicine, and allied historical fields. Corresponds to Isis Current Bibliography of the History of Science (1976-present) and Current Bibliography in the History of Technology (Technology and Culture) (1987- present), the Bibliografia Italiana di Storia della Scienza, and the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine.

American Periodicals Series

Provides access to scanned articles from over 1000 magazines and journals first published from 1740 to 1900. Coverage extends to 1940.


America History and Life

Index of literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. With indexing for 1,700 journals from 1964 to present. Also includes citations and links to book and media reviews.


Historical Abstracts

Index of published secondary resources in History except for North America
Making of the Modern World  1450-1945 a compilation of  primary sources that includes printed works on economics, technology, science, medicine and social movements.


Contains citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books, dissertations and technical reports in psychology


Medline  or PubMed

Useful to identify historical articles in the medical literature. Some overlap with other sources but especially useful for recent history of medicine

Your Librarian

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Carson Holloway
Librarian for Military History, History of Science and Technology, Britain, Ireland and Commonwealth

Perkins and Lilly Libraries