Monday - Friday
9am - 5pm
Please make an appointment by email.
The History of Health and Medicine Collection
The History of Health and Medicine collection has been a part of the Health Sciences Library since its beginning in 1966. The study of the history of the health sciences has always been considered an integral part of the curriculum and the library collection.
Goals and Scope of the Collection
The collection has two important goals:
- To support undergraduate teaching in the history of health and medicine (both in the Faculty of Health Sciences and across the University more generally).
- To support the advanced scholarship conducted by faculty, visiting scholars, and graduate students.
Although the health sciences throughout world history is covered to a basic level, the main emphasis of the collection is on the Canadian experience during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Works published about the North American, British and French experience form the bulk of the collection.
Both secondary and primary source material are available in the collection. New items are always coming into the collection, many through the generosity of our donors.
C. Barber Mueller History of Health and Medicine Room
Secondary sources include a large number of histories, biographies and bibliographies, periodicals and indexes. They sit on shelves in the C. Barber Mueller History of Health and Medicine room and most are available for circulation.
The room is a very pleasant and popular place to study in the Health Sciences Library. It has large study tables with electrical outlets for plugging in laptop computers as well as comfortable chairs and a fireplace.
Rare Book Room
Adjacent to this room is the Rare Book Room which contains primary source material published pre 1920, very rare and fragile items. It is an environmentally controlled space to provide the best possible preservation for these materials.
Primary sources include:
- nineteenth century Canadian medical journals
- early publications in Ontario public health
- a collection of 19th century annual reports of psychiatric facilities in Canada, Britain and the United States
- early publications in medical specialties as well as homeopathy, military medicine and patent medicines
It also includes a collection of publications by the great Canadian clinician and educator, Dr. William Osler.
The Archives of Hamilton Health Sciences and the Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University
Also adjacent to this room is the Archives. Its mandate is to collect, preserve and provide access for research purposes the historically important records of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Hamilton Health Sciences. It is also an environmentally controlled space to provide the best possible preservation for these materials.