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

Directory of History of Medicine Collections


History and Special Collections Division
Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library

12-077 Center for Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Box 951798
Los Angeles, California 90095-1798
United States
Katharine E. S. Donahue, Head
(310) 825-6940
1 310-825-6940
Fax: (310) 825-0465

The History and Special Collections Division collects primary and secondary materials in two broad subject areas: the history of medicine and its allied fields, and the history of biology. The Division collects and preserves rare books, journals, manuscript and archival materials, pamphlets, original art, prints, and photographs. Medical instruments and artifacts are acquired selectively. Acquired on a selective basis are microfilms and audiovisual materials. Primary materials in medicine are collected regardless of format from the earliest times to approximately 1920. In biology the collecting period is mid-15th century onward. Although most formats are present in the collections, the emphasis is on printed works. The secondary collection contains approximately 30,000 volumes. The Division receives approximately 100 journal titles and possesses a large reference collection. SERVICES: reference, reproduction (photocopy, photography, microfilm, digitizing), tours. Outreach: exhibits (in-house, travelling, and online); lecture series: UCLA Programs in Medical Classics (see http://guides.library.ucla.edu/library-special-collections/biomed/programs.).


Rare book titles: incunabula: 34; 16th century: 1,300; 17th century: 1,200; 18th century: 3,330; 19th century: 10,669; 20th century: 7,337. Manuscripts: 110 collections; museum artifacts: approx. 150 objects. Named collections: the John A. Benjamin Collection of Medical History; the Elmer Belt Florence Nightingale Collection; the S. Weir Mitchell Collection; the Maurice N. Beigelman Collection (ophthalmology); the Webb Haymaker Photographic Archive; the Charles Donald O'Malley Papers; the Barlow Medical Library of the Los Angeles County Medical Association; the John C. Liebeskind History of Pain Collection (see http://www.library.ucla.edu/special-collections/discover-collections/online-exhibits )

Subject Collections (selected): Arabic manuscript collection (pre-20th century), Persian manuscript collection (pre-20th century), Japanese and Chinese medical and natural history works including prints (pre-20th century), anti-vaccination pamphlet collection (19th century), Pain: the history of pain research and pain therapy (primarily 20th century); medical books and charts with dissected plates or flaps; neuroscience(in conjunction with the Neuroscience History Archives, UCLA Brain Research Institute - (see http://www.NeuroscienceArchives.org). Music and the Brain.

Printed Catalogs: The John A. Benjamin Collection of Medical History (1964); The John A. Benjamin Collection of Medical History, Catalogue and First Supplement (1968); The John A. Benjamin Collections of Medical History, Second Supplement (1968); The Elmer Belt Florence Nightingale Collection (1958); Iskandar, A. Z., A Descriptive List of Arabic Manuscripts on Medicine and Science at the University of California, Los Angeles (1984); Richter-Bernberg, Lutz, Persian Medical Manuscripts at the University of California, Los Angeles, a Descriptive Catalogue (1978). Finding Aids available from the History Division and Online Archive of California (see http://www.oac.cdlib.org/).

Subject Strengths:
History of Medicine
Last Updated:
31 Mar 2020