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About the Directory

The collections described in this Directory database provide research and reference services to scholars interested in the history of the health sciences. Some of the subjects include: dentistry, veterinary medicine, nursing, biomedical sciences, military medicine, and pharmacy. While the Directory is by no means exhaustive, it serves to draw attention to the depth and variety of history of medicine collections available to researchers. In the future, we expect that more institutions will wish to be included.

The Directory also incorporates information about oral history holdings and lists of interviewees drawn from NLM’s previous online Guide to Oral Histories in Medicine and the Health Sciences.

The database is keyword searchable, with the ability to refine your search results by categories: organization type, state/province, country, collection subject strengths and organization name. You may also search for oral history interviews using the "Oral History Name Search" feature.

If you would like to see an overview of the geographical areas represented in the Directory, click on the "Table of Contents" link at the bottom of this page. The records are arranged alphabetically by U.S. state and city, followed by foreign collections then grouped alphabetically by country. For each record, the Abstract field indicates the collection´s scope of coverage and services provided. The Holdings field lists the substance of the collection and identifies guides to the collection. The person named as Contact has provided information about the collection. Interested researchers should get in touch with the contact person for more details.

To see a visual representation of the collections included in the Directory database, users can now access the "Directory Map", a separate resource on the ‘Directory of History of Medicine Collections’ homepage.

We invite libraries, archives, and museums, whose institutions include in their collections holdings in the history of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, nursing, biomedical sciences, military medicine and pharmacy (as well as other collections with holdings in the other topics in medical history) to become part of the Directory. Participating institutions must be able to respond to relevant reference questions pertaining to their collections.

Collections interested in joining the Directory can initiate the process by clicking on the "Add Your Collection" link below to submit an entry. Once submitted, each collection’s entry will be reviewed for inclusion in the Directory database.

To ensure that information is up to date, participating institutions are encouraged to keep their record current. New and revised data can be sent directly to the History of Medicine Division via the "Edit Your Collection" link below.

Prior to March 2010 when the Directory database was created, NLM published its printed counterpart: The Directory of History of Medicine Collections. As of April 2010 NLM has ceased publication of the printed directory.

For additional questions, please contact the person listed below:


Crystal Smith, MLS

History of Medicine Division Phone: (301) 827-4568

National Library of Medicine Fax: (301) 402-0872

Bethesda, MD 20894