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Truman G. Blocker, Jr., History of Medicine Collections
Moody Medical Library
The University of Texas Medical Branch

Archive; Library
9th and Market Streets
Galveston, Texas 77555-1035
United States
Sarita Oertling, Manager, Library Services
(409) 772-2397
1 409-772-2397
Fax: (409) 765-9852

The Moody Medical Library houses the largest collection in the history of medicine and allied sciences in the southern United States. The Truman G. Blocker, Jr., History of Medicine Collections consist of rare books, prints, photographs, archives and manuscripts, postage stamps, microscopes, non-prescription drugs, and medical and surgical instruments. SERVICES: reference questions relating to the holdings; photocopies, photographic reproduction (color and black-and-white prints/slides and digital images).


The Library's holdings in the history of the health sciences (primary and secondary sources combined) amount to over 30,000 titles. Rare Books: incunabula: 34 titles; 16th century: 600 titles; 17th century: 1,000 titles; 18th century: 2,800 titles; 19th century: 12,000 (est.) titles. Subject strengths include the following areas: Immunology: Centered around the impressive Pasteur imprints, this collection of about 800 items traces the development of the germ theory of disease and includes publications of Pasteur's collaborators as well as such individuals as Robert Koch and Paul Ehrlich. Also included are about 400 titles relating to the history of smallpox, works by and about Edward Jenner, and anti-vaccination pamphlets. Anesthesiology: this extensive collection of more than 900 books and pamphlets is rich in 18th century publications on the chemistry of respiration. Among the 19th century figures represented are John Snow, John C. Warren, W.T.G. Morton, and James Y. Simpson. Occupational Medicine: this group of approximately 1,000 books and pamphlets once formed the library of Alfred H. Whittaker, M.D. (co-author of Occupational Health in America, 1962.) The collection is strong in the areas of miners' diseases, military and naval medicine, industrial hygiene and legislation to improve working conditions. Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences: the private library of Haskell F. Norman, M.D., forms the core of this collection of 4,600 books and pamphlets. Works of Philippe Pinel, J.E.D. Esquirol, Jean-Martin Charcot, and Sigmund Freud are well represented. Also noteworthy are holdings in witchcraft, mesmerism, and phrenology. Anatomy and Surgery: holdings in this area include many first editions and anatomical atlases, famous for their striking illustrations. Works of Galen, Vesalius and Harvey are well represented. A major part of the collection consists of the private libraries of Drs. William M. Crawford, Robert J. Moes, and Truman G. Blocker, Jr. Osleriana: the Samuel X. Radbill collection of 400 books and offprints by and about William Osler. Forensic Medicine: more than 500 titles in the history of toxicology, criminology, and legal medicine. Archives and Manuscripts: 500 linear feet, relating primarily to institutional archives, papers of faculty and alumni, and records of state organizations in the health sciences. Visual Materials: 6,000 portraits; 6,000 photographs; 5,400 hospital postcards; 100,000+ postage stamps. Artifacts: 2,000 medical and surgical instruments, microscopes, medals, non-prescription drugs, and assorted medical memorabilia. Printed Catalogs and Finding Aids: Wygant, L.J. comp., The Truman G. Blocker, Jr. History of Medicine. Collections: Books and Manuscripts (1986).

Subject Strengths:
History of Anatomy; History of Anesthesiology and Anesthesia; History of Forensic Medicine; History of Immunology; History of Medicine; History of Military/Naval Medicine; History of Preventive or Occupational Medicine; History of Psychiatry; History of Surgery; History of Toxicology; History of the Allied Health Sciences
Last Updated:
31 Mar 2020