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History of Medicine Collection
Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

1000 Stanton L. Young Boulevard
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73117
United States
Reference Department
(405) 271-2285 x48752
1 405-271-2285
Fax: (405) 271-3297

The History of Medicine Collection houses the rare book and archival holdings of the Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library. The Collection is open to the public from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Materials do not circulate. Most of the Collection's holdings are included in the Library's Catalog at SERVICES: Photocopy and interlibrary loan availability depends on the item’s condition. Several exhibits are on display in and around the Collection. These include a large set of early 20th century surgical instruments; a desk used by six Deans of the OUHSC College of Medicine; and numerous artworks related to the history of medicine.


The Collection contains over 5,000 books, manuscripts, photographs, artifacts, and other archival materials. The holdings are growing rapidly due to support from the Robert M. Bird Society, as well as through individual donations of materials. Strengths of the Collection include the history of medicine, nursing and pharmacy in Indian Territory and Oklahoma, and archival materials from the University and area hospitals. Artifacts include several saddlebag medical kits and one of two existing prototypes of the Breathalyzer. Manuscript collections include those of Dr. Jay Shurley, pioneer in sensory deprivation research who worked with "Genie"; Dr. Stewart Wolf, leader of the Roseto studies on cardiovascular disease; and many prominent Oklahoma physicians and nurses. Holdings also include two oral history collections, one on Nursing in Oklahoma, and one on Medical Education in Oklahoma. Currently cataloged book holdings include: incunabula: 0; 16th c.: 10; 17th c.: 26; 18th c.: 63: 19th c.: 530.

Subject Strengths:
History of Cardiology; History of Hospitals; History of Medicine; History of Nursing; History of Pharmacology and Pharmacy
Last Updated:
29 Jan 2016