Institute of the History of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University
The Historical Collection was established in 1929 in association with the Institute of the History of Medicine, which occupies the top floor of the William H. Welch Medical Library. The rare book collection consists largely of gifts received by the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. The largest single donor was Howard O. Kelly, Hopkins's first professor of gynecology. A small, but important collection of books by and about Michael Servetus was the gift of Leonard Mackall, a noted Baltimore bibliophile. The Jacobs Collection is strong in 19th century French clinical medicine and pathology; smallpox vaccination and inoculation; tuberculosis in the 18th and 19th centuries; Louis Pasteur; and Rabelais. The Historical Collection has extensive collections of secondary works. We attempt to collect all current scholarship in the history of medicine published in Roman alphabet European languages, and to selectively acquire materials in related fields, such as history of science and technology; sociology and anthropology of medicine; literature and medicine; women in medicine; and history of the occult. SERVICES: Reference service provided in person, by telephone, and by mail. Interlibrary loans are handled by the Welch Medical Library.
Incunabula: 11 volumes; 16th and 17th century: about 2,000 volumes; 18th century: about 4,000 volumes; 19th and 20th century rare medical books are in both the Historical Collection and the general collection of the Welch Library. Secondary works on history of medicine and related fields: about 30,000 volumes. Our holdings are in OCLC and the Welch Library's online catalog. Scholars interested in the history of Johns Hopkins medicine should be aware of the Alan Mason Chesney Archives, which is a separate unit