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Visual Repositories for the History of Medicine: External Medical History Resources

Secret Weapons

Medical Heritage Library - Collection of tens of thousands of digitized medical rare books, pamphlets, journals, and films number in the tens of thousands, with representative works from each of the past six centuries. Contributed by a number of libraries in North America and Europe.

National Library of Medicine, Historical Anatomies on the Web - Digitized high quality images from important anatomical atlases in the NLM Collection.

National Library of Medicine, Images from the History of Medicine - Collection includes portraits, photographs, caricatures, genre scenes, posters, and graphic art illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine dating from the 15th to 21st century.

National Library of Medicine, Turning the Pages - Digitized images of rare and historic books in the biomedical sciences.

National Museum of Health and Medicine, Otis Historical Archives - Collection of photographs in the public domain NMHM.


Antiqua Medicina: From Homer to Vesalius - Online exhibition by the University of Virginia featuring sections such as Ancient Gynecology, Byzantine Medicine, Medicine in Mythology and Literature, Women in Medicine, and Surgery and Surgical Instruments.

Country Doctor Museum Collections - The oldest museum in the United States dedicated to the history of America's rural health care. Digital collection hosted by East Carolina University. Contains over 5,000 medical artifacts and many volumes of historic texts gathered from across the nation.


UNC Health Sciences Library, De humani corporis fabrica: In Color - Digitized colored woodcuts from the library's first edition of Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.


UNC Libraries, The MacKinney Collection of Medieval Medical Illustrations - Digitized slide collection of Professor of medieval history and specialist of medieval medical history, Loren C. MacKinney.


American Eugenics Movement - Image archive on the American Eugenics Movement. Materials from the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor, the center of American eugenics research from 1910-1940.

Bakken Library and Museum Artifacts Database - Images and information for over 2,500 medical artifacts dating from the 18th century onwards.

College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Historical Medical Library - A searchable image database and exhibition platform dedicated to the history of medicine. Nearly 1,000 images drawn from the Historical Medical Library collection, with strengths in the history of anatomy and botanical medicine.

College of Physicians of Philadelphia, History of Vaccines - History of vaccinations with timeline, articles, image gallery and interactive games.

Disability History Museum, Visual Stills Collection - An historical collection of over 900 digitized images of material such as photographs, paintings, lithographs and postcards relating to physical and mental disabilities.

Museum of Historical Medical Artifacts - Digitized collection of artifacts belonging to M. Donald Blaufox, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and University Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

National Library of Medicine, Chinese Public Health Posters - Online exhibition created from Dr. Liping Bu's presentation, titled "Public Health and Chinese Society from 1930s to SARS," at Seminar in the History of Medicine, National Library of Medicine, August 15, 2006. 

National Library of Medicine, Visual Culture and Health Posters - Online exhibit of health related posters from the twentieth century. Subject areas include: Infectious Disease, Environmental Health. Anti-Smoking Campaigns and HIV/AIDS.

National Museum of Health and Medicine - Digitized works on U.S. Military Medicine from the nineteenth and 20th centuries and virtual exhibitions.

New York City Municipal Archives Collection, Department of Public Charities/Hospitals - Department of Public Charities/Hospitals, ca. 1890 to 1960. 2,800 images in collection of buildings, patients, and staff in hospitals and health-related facilities throughout the city. 

Science History Institute - Formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Online exhibits on the history of chemistry and alchemy.

Smithsonian Libraries, Image Collection - A selection of medical book illustrations, photos, drawings, and other images from across the Libraries.

UCLA Digital Collections, AIDS Posters - Hosted by the UCLA Digital Library Program, held by the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections. 625 posters from forty-four countries.

UCLA Digital Collections, Index of Medieval Medical Images - Aims to describe and index the content of all medieval manuscript images (up to the year 1500) with medical components held in North American collections.

UCLA Digital Collections, Patent Medicine Cards - Collection of 247 patent medicine trade cards, touting particular remedies and cures.

University of Iowa Digital Collections, John Martin Rare Book Room Images - Contains several hundred digital images from medical works in the Hardin Library, University of Iowa.


British Library, Online Gallery, Elizabeth Blackwell's A Curious Herbal - Digital edition from the British Library.

European Library, Sciences and Machines: Scientific and Technological Development since 1800 - A virtual exhibition that gives access to European collections, including numerous medical works.

Karger Medical & Scientific Publishers, Transforming Vesalius - Extensive images from the newest translation of De humani corporis fabrica.

McGill University, Hospital Architecture in Montreal - Digital resource containing over 1,000 images from 1642 to the present.

McGill University Library, The Osler Library Prints Collection - Searchable website of 2,500 prints, photographs, drawings, posters, and cartoons on the history of medicine from the 17th to 20th centuries.

McGill University Library, William Osler Photo Collection - Chronicles Sir William Osler's life from his childhood in the Canadian wilderness to his medical education at McGill University, his innovative days as a doctor and teacher in Canada and the United States, and the final years of his life in Oxford, England.

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford University, Drug Trade: Therapy, Pharmacy and Commerce in Early Modern Europe - A virtual exhibit of pharmacy jars and herbals.

University of Toronto, Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library, Anatomia CollectionCollection featuring approximately 4,500 full page plates and other significant illustrations of human anatomy selected from the Jason A. Hannah and Academy of Medicine collections in the history of medicine. There are ninety-five individual titles represented, ranging in date from 1522 to 1867.

Wellcome Images - The Wellcome Trust Medical Photographic Library is the world's leading source of images on the history of medicine, modern biomedical science and clinical medicine. This site has over 160,000 historical and contemporary images.

Wellcome Moving Image and Sound Collection - Open access archive of historical medical films from the Wellcome Library with strong holdings in public health information films, surgical training films, and broadcast radio and television programmes.