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Bibliothèque d’histoire de la médecine et d’éthique médicale (IUHMSP)

82 avenue de Provence
Lausanne, Vaud 1007
Daniela Vai, Head Librarian
+00 41 21 314 82 22
41 21 314 70 50
Fax: +00 41 21 314 70 55

The University Institute for the History of Medicine and Public Health (IUHMSP) was founded in 1989. This Library holds about 50,000 volumes, the oldest dating from the 16th century. Areas of interest include history of psychiatry and neurosciences; ancient medicine; history of hospitals; history of medicine in Switzerland; anthropology and philosophy of medicine; and ethics (Fondation Chassot et Guex for Medical Ethics). The Library also has a collection of more than 100 periodicals and a collection of offprints and biographical files. The material has been cataloged in a current automated catalog RERO, comprising 5'500 millions bibliographic records from more than 215 research and reference libraries of French speaking cantons of Switzerland. Rero is accessible via the Internet at .

The Library, that is one of the Libraries of Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), is open to the public and easily accessible for the scholar and practitioner. Copies of photographs can be made and books may be photocopied, depending on the condition of the material. Interlibrary loan (against IFLA Vaucher) and loan for special exhibitions are possible but only for books in good condition.


The number of titles in the Library is approximately 45,000, all cataloged. Historical collection consist of more than 10'000 books, 6'000 of them printed before 20th century: 16th century: 20 titles; 17th century: 140 titles; 18th century: 810 titles; 19th century: 4,700 titles. Prints and Photos: local and general iconography (late 19th-20th century) 6,000 prints. Instruments: late 19th-20th century.

The most important historical collection holding by the Library is the professor Henri Stilling's collection (1'630 titles) which contain precious books such as: De re anatomica of Realdo Colombo (Venice 1559); Opera omnia de Thomas Willis (Geneva 1695); the Canon medicinae of Avicenna (Venice 1595); the works of Galen (Basel 1531), of Aetius (Basel 1542), of Paracelsus (Strasbourg 1616); The Stirpium icones et sciagrapia of Dominique Chabree (Geneva 1666); the Adversaria anatomica omnia of Giovanni Battista Morgagni (Leyden 1723), or the Erklarung der anatomisch-chirurgischen nebst Beschreibung der chirurgische Operationen of Ludwig Joseph von Bierkowski, (Berlin)1827. Other important historical collections are: the IBCM collection with precious books of anatomy like De Humani corporis fabrica libri septem of Andreas Versalius (Venice 1568); The Claude Verdan collection with rare books of anatomy and surgery; The Institut Galli-Valerio collection specialized in veterinary medicine; the G. de Morsier/Claparede collection specialized in neurology and psychiatry; the Rodolphe Meyer collection with important books of plastic surgery ; the Hamilton-Garey collection specialized in anatomy; the Pierre-Bernard Schneider, Hans Steck, Alfred Bader and the Auguste Forel collections all specialized in different areas of psychiatry. The Library also holds a collection of ancient thesis of medicine and veterinary medicine, the collection and archives of the LTV (Ligue vaudoise contre la tuberculose) and hosts the historical collection of books owned by the Psychiatric Hospital of Cery.

Subject Strengths:
History of Hospitals; History of Medical Ethics; History of Medicine; History of Neurosciences; History of Psychiatry; History of Public Health; History of Veterinary Medicine
Last Updated:
31 May 2019