United States National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health
History of Medicine

Directory of History of Medicine Collections


University of Manchester
Special Collections

Archive; Library
Special Collections The John Rylands Library University of Manchester 150 Deansgate
Manchester, England M3 3EH
United Kingdom
Julianne Simpson, Rare Books and Maps Manager
+44 (0)161 2758749
44 (0)161 275 3764
Fax: ---

The University of Manchester Library Special Collections has custody of an internationally significant collection of printed books, archives, manuscripts and visual materials. The Special Collections Division was created in 1972 by the merger of the University of Manchester Library and the John Rylands Library. Our holdings include extensive printed and archive collections relating to the history of medicine. The medical collections are held on two sites: the main University Library (post-1801 medical printed collections and medical archives) and the John Rylands Library (pre-1801 medical printed collections).

SERVICES: Imaging service; written, email and phone inquiries. Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 10:00 a.m. - 7.00 p.m. Thursday; 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sundays and bank holidays. New readers will need to show evidence of identity and proof of permanent address.


Printed collections are based on the library of the Manchester Medical Society founded in 1834, and also incorporate the libraries of the Manchester Royal Infirmary and St Mary's Hospital. There are approximately 75,000 volumes including 2,500 pre1701, 19,000 1701-1800 and 54,000 post 1800.

Archive collections include the Manchester Medical Collection, an assemblage of documents on the history of medicine in Greater Manchester from the 18th century to the present day; the medical manuscripts collection, which includes papers of Thomas Radford, Joseph Jordan, and Charles Clay; archives of local medical and health care societies including the Manchester Medical Society, the Association of Certifying Factory Surgeons, Association of Medical Officers of Health (North West branch), and International Society of Radiographers and Radiographic Technicians; and the personal archives of the Harry Platt, Geoffrey Jefferson, John Charnley, John Wilkinson, Ian Isherwood and Robert Stirland.

Subject Strengths:
History of Anatomy; History of Dentistry; History of Dermatology; History of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases; History of Forensic Medicine; History of Gerontology; History of Gynecology and Obstetrics; History of Health Regulation; History of Hospitals; History of Immunology; History of Inoculation Vaccination and Immunization; History of Medical Education; History of Medical Ethics; History of Medical Missionaries; History of Medicine; History of Midwifery; History of Neurology; History of Nursing; History of Oncology; History of Ophthalmology and Optometry; History of Orthopedics; History of Otorhinolaryngology; History of Pathology; History of Pediatrics; History of Pharmacology and Pharmacy; History of Physiology; History of Psychiatry; History of Psychology; History of Public Health; History of Radiology; History of Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy; History of Reproductive Health; History of Surgery; History of Women in Medicine; History of the Allied Health Sciences; History of the Practice of Medicine
Last Updated:
23 Jul 2015