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

Directory of History of Medicine Collections


Special Collections
Galter Health Sciences Library
Northwestern University

303 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
United States
Ramune Kubilius, Interim Special Collections Librarian
(312) 503-8109
1 312-503-8109
Fax: (312) 503-8028

The Galter Health Sciences Library was originally named in honor of Dr. Archibald Church, who was associated with the Medical School for 25 years, first as professor and then as chair of nervous and mental diseases and medical jurisprudence. A gift from Dr. and Mrs. Church formed the library’s first endowment. Church's name is now given to the rare medical book collection: The Archibald Church History of Medicine Collection. Special Collections also includes the A. D. Black History of Dentistry Collection and the Herman L. Kretschmer on Urology. The Galter Library is open to Northwestern University faculty, staff, students, and alumni. However, Special Collections is open to qualified scholars who wish to use the library’s historical materials. SERVICES: Reference services are available by telephone, e-mail, or U.S. mail. Items do not circulate and use is by appointment only. Please contact the library prior to your visit.


Incunabula: 4 works of Saints Thomas Aquinas (1483); Albertus Magnus (1495 & 1498); Pietro d'Argellata (1499); 16th century: about 208 items, including original editions of Ambrose Paré and Vesalius; 17th century: about 830 works, including first editions of William Harvey and Paré, John Mayow, and Clopton Havers; 18th century: about 2,200 works including Morgagni, Percival Pott, and Valsalva. Approximately 5,000 medical and dental portraits, caricatures, and engravings; medical and dental instruments, microscopes, and manuscript material from the Northwestern University Medical and Dental Schools.

The Galter Library is a valuable resource for information on faculty and graduates of the medical school, its predecessor, the Chicago Medical College, and the Woman's Medical School. The collection includes class photographs, yearbooks, selected administrative correspondence, including that of N. S. Davis, founder of the American Medical Association and the Chicago Medical College, and G. V. Black, Dean of the Dental School (1897-1915).

The A. D. Black History of Dentistry Collection is named for G. V. Black's son, also Dean of the Dental School (1917-1937) and editor/founder of the "Index of the Dental Periodical Literature in the English Language." The A. D. Black Collection is comprised of nearly 1,500 titles, including an 11th century breviary illumination of St. Apollonia's martyrdom; Pietro d'Argellata's "Cirugia magistri" (Venice, 1499); the first book on dentistry, "Artzney Büchlein" (1594); three editions of Pierre Fauchard's "Le chirurgien dentiste"; "Practical Observations on the Human Teeth" (1783) by Robert Wooffendale, the first dentist to practice in the United States; a letter from Dr. John Greenwood to Lt. General George Washington on his denture charges (1799); and papers and memorabilia of G. V. Black.

Subject Strengths:
History of Dentistry; History of Medicine; History of Stomatology; History of Urology
Last Updated:
09 Jun 2015