The Medical Heritage Library (MHL), a digital curation collaborative among some of the world’s leading medical libraries, promotes free and open access to quality historical resources in medicine. Our goal is to provide the means by which readers and scholars across a multitude of disciplines can examine the interrelated nature of medicine and society, both to inform contemporary medicine and strengthen understanding of the world in which we live. The MHL’s growing collection of digitized medical rare books, pamphlets, journals, and films number in the tens of thousands, with representative works from each of the past six centuries, all of which are available here through the Internet Archive.

Collections Statement
Materials are included in MHL once we have determined, to the best of our knowledge, that the materials are in the public domain under U.S. copyright law, or that the library making the digital version has received permission from the holder(s) of the copyright in the specific materials. If you have questions about the copyright status or permissions regarding a particular item, please contact the relevant digitizing partner via their contact information on the Contact Us page of this site or the digitizing partner’s Collection page on Internet Archive.

Principal Contributors
Any institution that dedicates resources or staff time to achieve MHL goals and objectives. This includes the partners currently digitizing materials and also those organizations that are contributing expertise. Because grant projects are labor-intensive (far beyond grant-sponsored personnel), any participant in such a project would be considered a principal contributor. Principal contributors have a demonstrated commitment to the MHL, thus governance council members are drawn from this group; participation is co-terminus with the contribution.

The Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library at Columbia University and Columbia University Libraries/Information Services

The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

The Cushing/Whitney Medical Library at Yale University

The Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard University

Health Sciences and Human Services Library, University of Maryland, the Founding Campus

The New York Academy of Medicine

UCSF Library and Center for Knowledge Management

U.S. National Library of Medicine

Wellcome Library

Content Contributors
Any institution that adds existing digitized materials to the MHL. Such organizations will be asked to issue a press release about the content contribution, link to the MHL, distribute MHL print materials, display a flyer, and inform us of opportunities for collaboration, such as co-sponsoring a presentation about the MHL to appropriate constituencies.

Clark T. Sawin Memorial Library and Resource Center, Endocrine Society

Health Sciences Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Lamar Soutter Library, University of Massachusetts Medical School

The M.C. Migel Library at the American Printing House for the Blind

NewYork Presbyterian/Weill-Cornell Medical Center Archives

NIH Library

Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine

Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University

Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library, Emory University

Rudolph Matas Health Sciences Library, Tulane University

Rush University Medical Center Archives

United Kingdom Medical Heritage Library

United States Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery’s Office of Medical History

University of Toronto, Gerstein Science Information Centre

University of Toronto, Dentistry Library (Harry R. Abbott)

University of California, San Francisco, Legacy Tobacco Documents Library

University of Illinois at Chicago, Library of the Health Sciences, Special Collections

The Welch Medical LibraryLibrary of the Institute of the History of Medicine, and the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Any institution that publicizes the MHL and promotes its use and development. Our goal is to obtain the participation of history of medicine special collections and other organizations in promoting the use of MHL collections. We hope that contributors will link to the MHL, distribute MHL print materials, display a flyer, and inform us of opportunities for collaboration, such as co-sponsoring a presentation about the MHL to appropriate constituencies

The Bakken Museum

The Chemical Heritage Foundation

We are seeking new contributors. For more information about participation, please see Participation Levels.

Funding Support:

The MHL is pleased to acknowledge funding support from the following agencies and organizations

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Andrew. W. Mellon Foundation

Council on Library and Information Resources

National Endowment for the Humanities


 Medical Heritage Library on the Internet Archive

Full-text search tool

Private Practices, Public Health: Privacy-Aware Processing to Maximize Access to Health Collections

Scholarly Advisory Committee:
Emily Abel
Professor Emerita, Health Policy and Management, and Women’s Studies, University of California, Los Angeles Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health

James Colgrove
Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and Deputy Chair for Masters Programs of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Michelle DiMeo
Chemical Heritage Foundation, Allington Fellow

Janet Golden
Professor of History, Rutgers University

Jeremy Greene
Associate Professor, Elizabeth Treide and A. McGehee Harvey Chair in the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University

Gregory Higby
Director, American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin Madison

Lori Jahnke
Anthropology Librarian, Emory University

Judith Leavitt
Rupple Bascom and Ruth Bleier Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Scott H. Podolsky
Associate Professor of Social Medicine; Director of Center for the History of Medicine, Harvard University

Sally Romano
Resident, Yale University School of Medicine

Charles Rosenberg
Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University

Jennifer Tucker
Associate Professor of History, Science in Society, and Feminist, Gender, Sexuality Studies, Wesleyan University

William Turkel
Associate Professor of History, University of Western Ontario


The Medical Heritage Library was initiated by the Open Knowledge Commons, which was awarded $1.5 million dollars in start-up funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to begin digitization at partner libraries.

Please contact us if you are interested in our work: medicalheritage@gmail.com.


  1. Pingback: New: Medical Heritage Library Adds Digitized Films to Collection | LJ INFOdocket

  2. Pingback: The Daily Dose Presents: The Medical Heritage Library | bschillace

  3. Pingback: Medical History’s “Social” Library- The Medical Heritage Library : Healthcare History

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *