History of medicine resources

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Last Update

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See also

See also Galen | History of medicine and science | History of surgery in Canada | Maimonides | Ten (10) portals on health librarianship

Important libraries

All have online catalogues, exhibits, and images http://www.hscibib.com/

Bibliographic Guides to the History of Medicine


  • Corsia, Pietro, and Paul Weindling. Information Sources in the History of Science and Medicine. London: Butterworth Scientific, 1983
  • Craig, Barbara L. ‘A Guide to Historical Records in Hospitals in London, England and Ontario, Canada, c 1800-1950.’ [2 parts]
  • Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 8 (1991), 263-388, and 9 (1992), 71-142
  • Miller, Genevieve. Bibliography of the History of Medicine of the United States and Canada, 1939-1960. 2d edn. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1964
  • Garrison Morton medical bibliography & online review via PubMed Central
  • Leslie Morton had a distinguished career as a medical librarian, but was known as compiler of the indispensable reference work Garrison-Morton. GM provides a chronological bibliography of the most important books in medicine. From the 7800 entries in the 4th ed., the fifth was expanded to a total of 8927, making it the most comprehensive medical bibliography available.
  • Pengelly, Eric T., and Daphne M. Pengelly. A Traveler’s Guide to the History of Biology and Medicine. Davis, Calif.: Trevor Hill Press, 1986


Specific Periods in Western Medicine

Ancient, Islamic, and Judaic Medicine

  • Cantor, David, ed. Reinventing Hippocrates. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002
  • Estes, J. Worth. The Medical Skills of Ancient Egypt. Canton, Mass.: Science History Publications U.S.A., 1989
  • Gordon, Andrew H., and Calvin W. Schwabe. The Quick and the Dead: Biomedical Theory in Ancient Egypt. Leiden; Boston: Brill/Styx, 2004
  • Greppin, John A. C., Emilie Savage-Smith, and John L. Gueriguian, eds. The Diffusion of Greco-Roman Medicine into the Middle East and the Caucasus. Delmar, N.Y.: Caravan Books, 1999
  • Halioua, Bruno, and Bernard Ziskind. Medicine in the Days of the Pharaohs, trans. M.B. DeBevoise. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005
  • Hope, Valerie M., and Eireann Marshall, eds. Death and Disease in the Ancient City. London; New York: Routledge, 2000
  • Kottek SS, Leibowitz JO, Richler B. A Hebrew paraphrase of the Hippocratic oath. Med Hist. 1978;22:438-45.
  • Kuriyama, Shigehisa. The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine. New York: Zone Books, 1999
  • Lloyd, G. E. R. In the Grip of Disease: Studies in the Greek Imagination. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2003
  • Lloyd, G. E. R., and Nathan Sivin. The Way and the Word: Science and Medicine in Early China and Greece. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002
  • Maloney, Gilles. Cinq cents ans de bibliographie hippocratique, 1473-1982. St-Jean-Crysostome, Quebec: Editions du Sphinx, 1982
  • Nutton, Vivian. Ancient Medicine. London; New York: Routledge, 2004
  • Potter, Paul. A Short Handbook of Hippocratic Medicine. Quebec: Sphinx, 1988
---. Why We Go Back to Hippocrates. John P. McGovern Award Lecture. Houston, Tex.: American Osler Society, 1998
  • Rosner, Fred. Medicine in the Bible and the Talmud: Selections from Classical Jewish Sources. Augm. ed. Hoboken, N.J; New York: KTAV Pub. House and Yeshiva University Press, 1995
  • Sigerist, Henry E. A History of Medicine. Vol. 1, Primitive and Archaic Medicine. Vol. 2, Early Greek, Hindu and Persian Medicine. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1951
  • Smith, Wesley D. ‘Notes on Ancient Medical Historiography.’Bulletin of the History of Medicine 63 (1989), 73-109

Medieval and Early Modern Medicine

  • Bullough, Vern L. Universities, Medicine and Science in the Medieval West. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004
  • French, R. K. Medicine before Science: The Rational and Learned Doctor from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003
  • Garcia Ballester, Luis. Galen and Galenism: Theory and Medical Practice from Antiquity to the European Renaissance, ed. Jon Arrizabalaga. Aldershot: Ashgate/Variorum, 2002
  • Mitchell, Piers D. Medicine in the Crusades: Warfare, Wounds, and the Medieval Surgeon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004
  • Nutton, Vivian, ed. Medicine in the Renaissance City. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001
  • Pormann, Peter E., and Emilie Savage-Smith. Medieval Islamic Medicine. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007
  • French, Roger, and Andrew Wear, eds. The Medical Revolution of the Seventeenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989
  • King, Lester S. The Road to Medical Enlightenment, 1650-1695. London: MacDonald, 1970
  • McVaugh, Michael R. Medicine before the Plague: Practitioners and Their Patients in the Crown of Aragon, 1285-1345. Cambridge: Cambridge Univer­sity Press, 1993
  • McVaugh, Michael R., and Nancy G. Siraisi, eds. Renaissance Medical Learning: Evolution of a Tradition. Philadelphia: History of Science Society, Osiris, 2nd ser., 6 (1990)
  • Schatzmiller, Joseph. Jews, Medicine, and Medieval Society. Berkeley and Los Ange­les: University of California Press, 1994
  • Savage-Smith, Emilie. ‘Gleanings from an Arabist’s Workshop: Current Trends in the Study of Islamic Science and Medicine.’Isis 79 (1988), 246-66
  • Siraisi, Nancy G. Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine: An Introduction to Knowledge and Practice. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990

---. History, Medicine, and the Traditions of Renaissance Learning. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007

  • Taavitsainen, Irma, and Päivi Pahta, eds. Medical and Scientific Writing in Late Medieval English. Cambridge, England ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004
  • Wear, Andrew, R.K. French, and I.M. Lonie, eds. The Medical Renaissance of the Sixteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985

Modern Medicine, from the Eighteenth Century

  • Bynum, W.F. Science and the Practice of Medicine in the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994
  • Bynum, W.F., and Roy Porter, eds. William Hunter and the Eighteenth-Century Medical World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985
  • Cunningham, Andrew, and Roger French, eds. The Medical Enlightenment of the Eighteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990
  • King, Lester S. The Medical World of the Eighteenth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958
  • Lessard, Renald. Health Care in Canada during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Hull, Quebec: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1991
  • Lindemann, Mary. Health and Healing in Eighteenth-Century Germany. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996

Shryock, Richard Harrison. The Development of Modern Medicine: An Interpretation of the Social and Scientific Factors Involved. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1974

Non-Western and Alternative Medicines and Their Interfaces

Chinese Medicine

  • Van Alphen, Jan, and Anthony Aris, eds. Oriental Medicine: An Illustrated Guide to the Asian Arts of Healing. Boston: Shambhala, 1997
  • Bates, Don, ed. Knowledge and Scholarly Medical Traditions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995, esp. 175-276
  • Furth, Charlotte. A Flourishing Yin Gender in China's Medical History, 960-1665. Berkeley University of California Press, 1999
  • Hoizey, Dominique, and Marie-Joseph Hoizey. A History of Chinese Medicine. Trans. Paul Bailey. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1993
  • Huard, Pierre, and Ming Wong. Chinese Medicine. Trans. Bernard Fielding. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1968
  • Lo, Vivienne, and Christopher Cullen, eds. Medieval Chinese Medicine: The Dunhuang Medical Manuscripts. London; New York: Routledge, 2005
  • Minden, Karen. Bamboo Stone: The Evolution of a Chinese Medical Elite. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994
  • Taylor, Kim. Chinese Medicine in Early Communist China (1945-63): Medicine of Revolution. London; New York, NY: Routledge Curzon, 2005
  • Unschuld, Paul U. ‘The Chinese Reception of Indian Medicine in the First Millennium A.D.’ Bulletin of the History of Medicine 53 (1979), 329-45

---. Medicine in China: Historical Artifacts and Images. Munich; New York: Prestel, 2000 ---, ed. Approaches to Traditional Chinese Medical Literature. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1986

Ayurvedic, Hindu, Indian Medicine

  • Attewell, Guy N. A. Refiguring unani tib: plural healing in late colonial India. New Delhi: Orient Longman, 2007
  • Arnold, David. Colonizing the Body: State Medicine and Epidemic Disease in Nineteenth-Century India. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993
  • Bates, Don, ed. Knowledge and Scholarly Medical Traditions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995, esp. 277-343
  • Bhattacharya, Sanjoy. Expunging Variola: The Control and Eradication of Smallpox in India, 1947-1977. New Delhi: Orient Longman, 2006
  • Bhattacharya, Sanjoy, Mark Harrison, and Michael Worboys. Fractured States: Smallpox, Public Health and Vaccination Policy in British India, 1800-1947. New Delhi: Orient Longman
  • Chattopadhyaya, Debiprasad. Science and Society in Ancient India. Amsterdam: B.R. Gruner B.V., 1978
  • Chowdhury Amiya Kumar Roy, and K. Ray Chawdhury. Man, Malady, and Medicine: History of Indian Medicine. Calcutta: Das Gupta, 1988
  • Gupta, K.R.L. Hindu Anatomy, Physiology, Therapeutics, History of Medicine, and Practice of Physic. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications, 1986

---. Madhava Nidana: Ayurvedic System of Pathology. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications, 1987

  • Harrison, Mark Climates and Constitutions: Health, Race, Environment and British Imperialism in India, 1600-1850. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999
  • Kumar, Deepak. Disease and Medicine in India: A Historical Overview. New Delhi: Indian History Congress;Tulika, 2001
  • Lambert, Helen. ‘The Cultural Logic of Indian Medicine: Prognosis and Etiology in Rajasthani Popular Therapeutics.’ Social Science and Medicine 34 (1992), 1069-76
  • Lewis, Milton James, and Kerrie L. Macpherson, eds. Public Health in Asia and the Pacific: Historical and Comparative Perspectives. London; New York: Routledge, 2008
  • Meulenbeld, Gerrit Jan, ed. Medical Literature from India, Sri Lanka, and Tibet. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1991

---. A History of Indian Medical Literature. 5 vols. Groningen: E. Forsten, 1999 ---, and D. Wujastyk, eds. Studies on Indian Medical History. Reprint ed. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2001

  • Savnur, H.V. Ayurvedic Materia Medica: Principles of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications, 1984
  • Weiss, Richard S. Recipies for Immortality. Oxford; Oxford University Press, 2009
  • Wujastyk, Dagmar, and Frederick M. Smith, eds. Modern and Global Ayurveda: Pluralism and Paradigms. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008
  • Wujastyk, Domink. The Roots of Ayurveda, rev. ed. London, New York: Penguin Classics, 2003
  • Zimmermann, Francis. ‘From Classic Texts to Learned Practice: Methodological Remarks on the Study of Indian Medicine.’ Social Science and Medicine 12 (1978), 97-106

---. The Jungle and the Aroma of Meats: an ecological theme in Hindu medicine. Bekeley: University of California Press, 1987 ---. Le discours des remèdes au pays des épices : enquête sur la médecine hindoue. Paris: Payot, 1989Zimmermann, Francis. Le discours des remèdes au pays des épices : enquête sur la médecine hindoue. Paris: Payot, 1989 ---. Généalogie des médecines douces: de l’Inde à l’Occident. Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1995

  • Zysk, Kenneth G. Asceticism and healing in ancient India: medicine in the Buddhist monastery. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991

North American Aboriginal Medicine and Its Interfaces

  • Coppermine: Consequence of Contact with the Outside. Videofilm, based on research by Walter J. Vanast. Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 1992
  • Decker, Jody. ‘Depopulation of the Northern Plains Natives.’ Social Science and Medicine 33 (1991), 381-93
  • Herrick, James William. ‘Powerful Medicinal Plants in Traditional Iroquois Culture.’ New York State Journal of Medicine 78 (1978), 979-87
  • Isaacs, Hope L. ‘Comparative Perspective on American Indian Medicine Concepts.’ New York State Journal of Medicine 78 (1978), 824-9
  • Lux, Maureen K. Medicine That Walks: Medicine, Disease and Canadian Plains Native People, 1880-1940. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001
  • Kelm, Mary-Ellen. Colonizing Bodies: Aboriginal Health and Healing in British Columbia, 1900-50. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1998.
  • Kunitz, Stephen J. Disease and Social Diversity: The European Impact on the Health of Non-Europeans. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994

‘* Plants and the Indigenous Peoples of North America: Proceedings of Botany 80 Symposium.’ Canadian Journal of Botany 59 (1981), 2189-325

  • Vogel, Virgil J. American Indian Medicine. Norman: Oklahoma University Press, 1970
  • Waldram, James B., D. Ann Herring, and T. Kue Young. Aboriginal Health in Canada: Historical, Cultural, and Epidemiological Perspectives. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995, esp. 97-121

African Medicine

  • Digby, Anne. Diversity and Division in Medicine: Health Care in South Africa from the 1800s. Oxford; Bern: Lang, 2006
  • Feierman, Steven, and John M. Jantzen, eds. The Social Basis of Health and Healing in Africa. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992
  • Fontenot, Wonda L. Secret Doctors: Ethnomedicine of African Americans. Westport, Conn.: Bergin & Garvey, 1994
  • Makinde, M. Akin. African Philosophy, Culture and Traditional Medicine. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Center for International Studies, monograph no. 53, 1988
  • Tuck, M. W. "Africana Sources at the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine." History in Africa 28 (2001), 439-44
  • Yoder, Stanley P., ed. African Health and Healing Systems. Proceedings of a Symposium, 1980. Los Angeles: University of California at Los Angeles African Studies Center, 1982

Alternative or Complementary Medicine

  • Bynum, W.F., and Roy Porter, eds. Medical Fringe and Medical Orthodoxy, 1750-1850. London: Croom Helm, 1987
  • Cayleff, Susan E. Wash and Be Healed: The Water-Cure Movement and Women’s Health. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987
  • Connor, J.T.H. ‘“A Sort of Felo de Se”: Eclecticism, Related Medical Sects, and Their Decline in Victorian Ontario.’ Bulletin of the History of Medicine 65 (1991), 503-27
  • Cooter, Roger, ed. Studies on Alternative Medicine. Basingstoke; London: Macmillan, 1988
  • Fuller, Robert C. Alternative Medicine and American Religious Life. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989
  • Gevitz, Norman, ed. Other Healers: Unorthodox Medicine in America. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988
  • Kirschmann, Anne Taylor. A Vital Force: Women in American Homeopathy. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2004
  • Rogers, Naomi. An Alternative Path: The Making and Remaking of Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital of Philadelphia. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1998
  • Micozzi, Marc S., ed. Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1996
  • Risse, Guenter B., Ronald L. Numbers, and Judith Walzer Leavitt, eds. Medicine without Doctors: Home Health Care in American History. New York: Science History Publications, 1977
  • Wharton, James C. Nature Cures: The History of Alternative Medicine in America. New York: Oxford, 2004

Some Associations, Institutes, and Museums for the History of Medicine

(all have websites and many offer events, conferences, and publications)

  • American Academy of the History of Dentistry
  • American Association for the History of Medicine
  • American Association for the History of Nursing
  • American Institute of the History of Pharmacy
  • American Osler Society
  • American Veterinary Medical History Society
  • Associated Medical Services, Toronto
  • Association of Archivists and Librarians in History of the Health Sciences
  • Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine
  • Australian Veterinary History Society
  • Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, Philadelphia
  • Boerhaave Museum, Leiden
  • British Society for the History of Medicine
  • Canadian Association for the History of Nursing
  • Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, London Ont.
  • Canadian Society for the History of Medicine
  • Dittrick Medical History Museum, Cleveland
  • Great Canadian Scientists
  • History of Anesthesia Society
  • History of Science Society
  • Hunterian Museums, Glasgow and London
  • Institut d’histoire de la médecine et de la santé, Geneva
  • Institute for the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University
  • International Society for the History of Medicine
  • International Society for the History of the Neurosciences
  • La Specola Museum, Florence
  • Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database, New York University
  • Medical Humanities Directory, New York University
  • Medical Museums Association
  • Musée de l’Assistance Publique, Paris
  • Musée de l’histoire de la médecine, Paris
  • Musée de l’Hôpital Notre Dame, Montréal
  • The Museum of Health Care at Kingston has over 30,000 artefacts and a searchable online catalogue.
  • Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
  • Mutter Museum, Philadelphia
  • Nobel Foundation
  • Société française d’histoire de la médecine
  • Society for the History of Technology
  • Society for the Social History of Medicine
  • Thackray Museum, Leeds
  • Veterinary History Society
  • Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, London
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