Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213-3890
Hunt Institute was originally founded in 1961 as Hunt Botanical Library by Rachel McMasters Miller Hunt (1882-1963), who gave her well-known private collection of botanical rare books, artworks, portraits, letters and manuscripts to Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University). Her collections would form the basis for a research institute focused on the history of botany and the history of botanical publication. Of particular interest to users of the National Library of Medicine would be the herbals and the works on medical botany and pharmacy in the library. The archives also includes an extensive file of biographical citations on 3x5 cards, developed over 50 years, that are now being databased. Services include reference assistance, on-site research assistance, provision of scans or photocopies (depending on the condition of the object being copied), photographic reproductions for publication and consultation, occasional lectures by staff, and tours by arrangement.
In general, we hold (all figures are approximate): 30,150 book and serial titles – 29,270 prints, drawings and watercolors – 29,000+ portraits – 2,000+ letters and manuscripts – 300+ collections of papers – 243,000 detailed bibliographic records of botanical books and periodicals.
The library collection includes the following of particular interest to NLM:
Herbals: Incunabula, 8 titles – 16th century, 145 titles – 17th century, 56 titles – 18th century, 20 titles – 19th century, 24 titles – also 20th and 21st century material.
Medical botany: 16th century, 3 titles – 17th century, 8 titles – 18th century, 58 titles – 19th century, 91 titles – also 20th and 21st century material.
Pharmacy: 16th century, 3 titles – 17th century, 8 titles – 18th century, 33 titles – 19th century, 57 titles – also 20th and 21st century material.
There are also a few publications of medical interest in the Strandell Collection of Linnaeana, as that was one of the subject areas Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) wrote about, although his primary focus was botany.