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Archives and Rare Books Section
Becker Medical Library
Washington University School of Medicine

Archive; Library
Campus Box 8132 660 South Euclid
St. Louis, Missouri 63110
United States
Stephen Logsdon, Archivist
(314) 362-4236
1 314-362-4236
Fax: (314) 454-6696

The Division administers nine collections of rare books and journals, the Washington University Medical Center archives, and a wide range of pictorial resources and ephemeral materials. Begun in 1912 with the acquisition of Julius Pagel's personal library from Berlin, the collections are among the oldest in the U.S. There is a strong subject coverage in European medicine since the late 15th century and all periods of American medicine. The Section is open 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. SERVICES: include reference and consulting, and (with varying restrictions) digitization and photocopying. Special arrangements may be made for photographic services and tours. The monograph holdings and rare medical journal titles are searchable through the Library's Bibliographic Access and Control System, its E-Catalog and OCLC.


The Rare Book Collections include five that have specific disciplinary or subject focuses: the Bernard Becker Collection of Ophthalmology and Optics (see L. Wechsler, C. Hoolihan, and M. Weimer, comps., The Bernard Becker Collection in Ophthalmology: An Annotated Catalog, 3d ed., 1996); the Max Goldstein C.I.D. Collection in Otology and Deaf Education, the Henry J. McKellops Rare Book Collection in Dental Medicine; the H. Richard Tyler Collection of the American Academy of Neurology Library; and the Robert E. Schlueter Paracelsus Collection. The Classics of Medicine Collection, the James Moores Ball Collection, the Monuments of Medicine Collection, and the Rare Medical Periodicals Collection are more general in scope, although their contents offer strengths in such subjects as early anatomy and surgery, neurological sciences, and obstetrics and gynecology. The Archives houses materials primarily relating to the history of Washington University School of Medicine and its affiliated institutions. These materials include records of the School of Medicine Administration, the 19th century forerunners of the School, the Barnes Hospital, the Jewish Hospital of St. Louis, and St. Louis Children's Hospital. The Archives also holds many personal manuscript collections, among them the papers of William Beaumont, Carl F. Cori, Evarts A. Graham, Joseph Erlanger, and Carl V. Moore. Collections of archival photographs of Medical Center staff, operations, and facilities include more than 50,000 items. Holdings also include oral history interviews in the ongoing Washington University School of Medicine Oral History Project. Many of recordings and transcripts are available on the Becker Medical Library web site. The Division is also the official repository for records of the American Academy of Neurology. See C. Hoolihan and P. Anderson, comps. Special Collections, Library, Washington University School of Medicine (1981).

Subject Strengths:
History of Anatomy; History of Gynecology and Obstetrics; History of Hospitals; History of Medical Education; History of Medicine; History of Neurology; History of Ophthalmology and Optometry; History of Otorhinolaryngology; History of Stomatology; History of Surgery
Last Updated:
14 Dec 2018