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Reynolds Historical Library
Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences
UAB Archives
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Archive; Library; Museum
Library: 300 Lister Hill Library Building, Archives: 1700 University Boulevard
Birmingham, Alabama 35294-0013
United States
Michael A. Flannery, Associate Director For Historical Collections
(205) 934-4475
1 205-934-4475
Fax: ---

Historical Collections at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is comprised of three units: the Reynolds Historical Library, the Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences, and the UAB Archives. These units house a combined collection of rare and important medical books and manuscripts; equipment, instruments, and objects from the health sciences; the official records of the university; and private manuscript collections with an emphasis on the health sciences. Each academic year, the Reynolds Historical Lecture Series addresses some aspect of the health sciences. A newsletter, Treasures, is published three times a year.


Reynolds Historical Library: Medical manuscripts, some dating to the Middle Ages; medical incunabula; printed books from the 16th through the 20th centuries, including concentrations in the fields of dentistry, Arabic language medical texts, and Daniel Drake; letters of Florence Nightingale, Louis Pasteur, Sir William Osler, and John R. Smythies; and a collection of rare medical manikins carved in ivory. Significant collections include printed works by and about the pioneer American physician Daniel Drake and the papers of the Southern Surgical Association. Guides to the Collection: Rare Books and Collections of the Reynolds Historical Library (1968); Rare Books and Collections of the Reynolds Historical Library, vol.2 (1994); and A Catalogue of Books, Both Printed and Manuscript, in the Reynolds Historical Library Produced during the Course of the Eighteenth Century (1993).

Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences: Preserves and displays equipment, instruments, and objects representing the history and development of the health sciences with special emphasis on the State of Alabama, and including the fields of medicine, nursing, ophthalmology, dentistry, public health, and allied health. The Nott Pathological Specimens, one of the most impressive collections at the Museum, are on permanent display. The wax anatomical models, representing common medical conditions in the 18th and 19th centuries, were purchased in Europe by Dr. Josiah Nott [1804-1873] and brought to Mobile, Alabama, in October 1860. Other exhibits are mounted on a rotating basis.

UAB Archives: Over 1,700 cubic feet of university records and personal papers; over 40,000 photographic images; a collection of over 400 oral history interviews from Health Center personnel; and videotape and audiotape recordings. Health science holdings include personal papers of founding medical dean Dr. Roy R. Kracke, founding dental dean Dr. Joseph F. Volker, and founding nursing dean Dr. Florence A. Hixson; the papers of pioneering heart surgeon Dr. Luther Leonidas Hill; the papers of numerous health center faculty; and the official records of the vice presidents for Health Affairs and of the deans of medicine, dentistry, and nursing. Publications: Building on a Vision: A Fifty-Year Retrospective of UAB's Academic Health Center (1995); and Dictionary of Academic Units at UAB (1997).

Subject Strengths:
History of Nursing; History of Ophthalmology and Optometry; History of Pathology; History of Public Health; History of Stomatology; History of Surgery; History of the Allied Health Sciences
Last Updated:
31 Dec 2018