Secondary Sources, Context, and Background

Periodical Indexes

PubMed with full text includes citations of periodical articles formerly accessed through HISTLINE (1965-2000) which included and continued the printed Bibliography of the History of Medicine (1965-1993). To limit to historical sources in PubMed, look at bottom of PubMed search screen and select Topic-Specific Queries. Scroll down to Subject and select History of Medicine. Be sure to look at the MESH (Medical Subject Headings) on pertinent records found with a keyword search by opening "+MeSH Terms". You must have a record that says: Indexed for Medline to do this.

Books, book chapters, and dissertations formerly searched in HISTLINE are now in the National Library of Medicine (NLM) online catalog. To limit to historical sources: Under Publication Types, scroll to More Publication Types, and choose Historical Articles. This retrieves books and other material as well as articles.

For earlier literature see:
Bibliography of the history of medicine of the United States and Canada, 1939-1960, by Genevieve Miller, which cumulates the serial bibliography published in the Bulletin of the history of medicine, which carried on through the commencement of the Bibliography of the history of medicine in 1965.
LOCATION: Countway Medicine: ZWZ 70 M5b 1964
LOCATION: Countway Medicine: Rare Books Z6661.U6 M14 1964
LOCATION: History of Science:
LOCATION: Widener: Med 100.116

A bibliography of articles on the history of American medicine compiled from "Writings on American history" 1902-1937, by Judson B. Gilbert.
LOCATION: Countway Medicine: Rare Books Z6661.U6 G3

Medicine: Dictionaries, Directories, Encyclopedias, Handbooks

Accardo, P. J. 1992. The Medical Almanac: A Calendar of Dates of Significance to the Profession of Medicine, including Fascinating Illustrations, Medical Milestones, Dates of Birth and Death of Notable Physicians, Brief Biographical Sketches, Quotations, and Assorted Medical Curiosities and Trivia. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press, 247 pp.

Apple, R. D., ed. 1990. Women, Health, and Medicine in America: A Historical Handbook. NY: Garland Pub., 580 pp.

Bynum, W. F. & R. Porter, ed. 1993. Companion Encyclopedia of the History of Medicine. 2 v. London: Routledge.

Clarke, E., ed. 1971. Modern Methods in the History of Medicine. London: Athlone, 389 pp.

Cockerham, W. C., ed. 2001. The Blackwell Companion to Medical Sociology. Oxford; Malden, MA: Blackwell, 518 pp.

Hamarneh, S. K. 1995. Directory of Historians of Islamic Medicine and Allied Sciences. Ed. by S. S. al-Attas. Kuala Lumpur: International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, 391 pp.

Includes chronology/summary of activities and bibliography for each person, as well as directory information.

Harding, A. S. 2000. Milestones in Health and Medicine. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 267 pp.

Short, generally less than 1 page, descriptions of diseases, procedures, equipment, and institutions; not people. Timeline, pp. 223-235, antiquity-2000.

Herrera, T., ed. 1996. Diccionario espanol de textos medicos antiguos. 2 v. Madrid: Arco/Libros

Kamal, Hassan. 1975. Encyclopaedia of Islamic Medicine, with a Greco-Roman Back-Ground. Cairo]: General Egyptian Book Organization.

Lee, K. 1998. Historical Dictionary of the World Health Organization. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 333 pp.

Contains bibliography of selected WHO publications and lists of WHO periodicals, bibliography of secondary sources, WHO constitution, WHO chronology, lists of officials, etc.

McGrew, R. E. 1985. Encyclopedia of Medical History. NY: McGraw-Hill, 400 pp.

Schmidt, J. E. 1959. Medical Discoveries: Who and When: A Dictionary Listing Thousands of Medical and Related Scientific Discoveries in Alphabetical Order, Giving in Each Case the Name of the Discoverer, His Profession, Nationality, and Floruit, and the Date of the Discovery. Springfield, IL: Thomas, 555 pp.

Schroeder-Lein, G. R. 2008. The encyclopedia of Civil War medicine. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 421 p.

Sebastian, A. 1999. A Dictionary of the History of Medicine. NY: Parthenon Pub. Group, 781 pp.

Alphabetical list of persons, biomedical terms, syndromes, instruments, etc. Some illustrations, no index.

Travers, B. and F. L. Freiman. 1997. Medical Discoveries: Medical Breakthroughs and the People who Developed them. 3 v. Detroit, MI: UXL. Not at Harvard.

Tunis, E. 1999. A Directory of History of Medicine Collections. 9th ed. Bethesda, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, 121 pp.

Ullmann, M. 1970. Die Medizin im Islam. Leiden: Brill (Handbuch der Orientalistik. 1. Abt.: Der Nahe und der Mittlere Osten. Erganzungsband 6, 1. Abschnitt), 379 pp.

Walton, J., P. B. Beeson, R. B. Scott, eds. 1986. The Oxford Companion to Medicine. 2 v. Oxford; NY: Oxford University Press.

Articles on diseases, concepts, historical figures, etc.

Medicine: Chronologies

Morton, L. T. & R. J. Moore. 1997. A Chronology of Medicine and Related Sciences. Aldershot, Hants, England: Scolar Press; Bookfield, Vt., USA: Ashgate Pub. Co., 784 pp.

Schott, H., ed. 1993. Die Chronik der Medizin. Dortmund: Harenberg, 648 pp.

Entries grouped by year for 20 c. by decade for 17th-19th c. and then longer periods. Each time period contains 15-20 short entries, plus several longer illustrated articles.

Sebastian, A., ed. 2000. Dates in Medicine: A Chronological Record of Medical Progress over Three Millennia. NY: Parthenon Pub. Group, 436 pp.

Antiquity-1999. Short, one sentence, descriptions of medical events/discoveries. Some portraits.

Warren, M. D. 2000. A Chronology of State Medicine, Public Health, Welfare and Related Services in Britain 1066 - 1999. London: Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom, unpaged. Not at Harvard

Medicine: Terminology, Eponyms, Quotations

Daintith, J. and A. Isaacs, eds. 1989. Medical Quotes: A Thematic Dictionary. NY: Facts on File, 260 pp. Not at Harvard.

Debru, A. and G. Sabbah, eds. 1998. Nommer la maladie: recherches sur le lexique gréco-latin de la pathologie. (Centre Jean-Palerne, Mémoires, XVII) Saint-Etienne, France: Publications de l'Université de Saint-Etienne, 244 pp.

Firkin, B. G. 1996. Dictionary of Medical Eponyms. 2nd ed. NY: Parthenon Pub. Group, 443 pp.

Glossary of Archaic Medical Terms, Diseases and Causes of Death

Huth, E. J., and T. J. Murray, eds. 2006. Medicine in Quotations: Views of Health and Disease through the Ages. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: American College of Physicians, 581 pp.

Jablonski, S. 1991. Jablonski's Dictionary of Syndromes and Eponymic Diseases. 2nd ed. Malabar, FL: Krieger Pub. Co., 665 pp.

Definitions include information on symptoms, pathology, metabolism, etiology, inheritance, and special characteristics. Some illustrations. Cites original description of each syndrome.

Magalini, S. I. and S. C. Magalini. 1997. Dictionary of Medical Syndromes. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott-Raven, 960 pp.

Rodin, A. E. and J. D. Key. 1989. Medicine, Literature & Eponyms: An Encyclopedia of Medical Eponyms Derived from Literary Characters. Malabar, FL: R.E. Krieger Pub. Co., 345 pp.

One paragraph to 3 page articles with references and some illustrations.

Scarborough, J. 1992. Medical Terminologies: Classical Origins. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 303 pp.

Skinner, H. A. 1961. The Origin of Medical Terms. 2nd ed. Baltimore, MD: Williams and Wilkins, 438 pp.

Skinner's obituary: Canadian Medical Association Journal, 1967, v. 96, p. 1182.

Strauss, M. B. 1968. Familiar Medical Quotations. Boston, MA: Little, Brown. 968 pp.

Quotations and aphorisms grouped under topics with author and keyword indexes.

"Who Named It" ? (Eponyms)

Over 4500 medical eponyms. Includes biographical information and some bibliographies.

Medicine: Institutions and Historic Sites

Lipp, M. R. 1991. Medical landmarks USA: A Travel Guide to Historic Sites, Architectural Gems, Remarkable Museums and Libraries, and other Places of Health Related Interest. NY: McGraw-Hill, Health Professions Div., 550 pp.

Vensel, L. A., ed. 1980. Aesculapian Boston: Being a Guide to Places of Medical Historical Interest in the Hub City and its Environs, with Notes on Famous Personages, Historical Events, and other Related Topics. Boston: Paul Dudley White Medical History Society, 131 pp.

Primary Sources

Periodical Indexes

Child development abstracts and bibliography, 1928-
LOCATION: Countway Medicine: ZWS 105 C45
LOCATION: Gutman Education: Ref Abstracts HQ750.A1 C45
LOCATION: Psychology Research: Serial
LOCATION: Social Rel-Sociol: Serial
LOCATION: Tozzer: Harvard Depository L.SOC.

Selected child development abstracts currently published in the Journal of nervous and mental disease, the Wistar Institute bibliographic service, American journal of diseases of children, Archives of neurology and psychiatry, Psychological abstracts, Physiological abstracts, Biological abstracts, Chemical abstracts, Endocrinology, 1927.
LOCATION: Countway Medicine: ZWS 105 C45
LOCATION: Gutman Education: Ref Abstracts HQ750.A1 C45
LOCATION: Tozzer: Harvard Depository L.SOC.
LOCATION: Widener: Med 5160.44

EMBASE (Excerpta Medica) (1974- ) offers abstracts for all areas of biomedicine and pharmacology. Good international coverage.

Health and British Magazines in the Nineteenth Century, by E. M. Palmegiano. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1998, 282 pp.
--Articles arranged under periodicals, which are listed alphabetically. Subject index.

Hospital and health administration index, 1995-1999.
LOCATION: Countway Medicine: Ref.21 ZWX 100 C8h

Hospital literature index, 1957-1994.
LOCATION: Countway Medicine: Ref.21 ZWX 100 C8h

Hospital periodical literature index, 1955-1957
LOCATION: Not at Harvard

Index of current hospital literature, 1945-1954
LOCATION: Not at Harvard

Non-Harvard Boston-Area Locations:
Boston College, O'Neill Library (1976-92- )
Boston Public Library, Research Library, Science Reference (1965- )
Boston University, Mugar Reference (1945-94)
MIT Dewey Library (1969-93)
Northeastern University Snell Ref. Abstract (1978-94)
Tufts Health Science, Boston (1950-94)
University of Massachusetts, Medical Main (1945-48, 1975-94)

Medical Literature on Central Africa (1878- ) covers medical and veterinary publications on Congo-Kinshasa (formerly Zaire), Rwanda, and Burundi.


Where can I find medical statistics on a topic? (National Library of Medicine)

Statistics Sources: Health Sciences (University of Washington) (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

Vital Statistics of the United States, 1898-

A. D. Cliff, P. Haggett, and M. Smallman-Raynor's. Deciphering global epidemics: analytical approaches to the disease records of world cities, 1888-1912 (1998) has appendices which discuss international and national data sources and epidemiological agencies.
Internet Archive Full Text

Facts on the major killing and crippling diseases in the United States today: heart diseases, cancer, mental illness, arthritis, blindness, neurological diseases, and other health problems, compiled by the National Health Education Committee, Inc. New York : National Health Education Committee, 1955-1971.
Full text (1966)

Continued by:
The killers and cripplers : facts on major diseases in the United States today, compiled by the National Health Education Committee. 11th ed. New York : McKay, 1976, 333 p.


Berkowitz , J. S. 1984. Portrait Catalogue. College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Philadelphia College of Physicians, 244 pp.

Burgess, R. 1972. Portraits of Doctors and Scientists in the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine: A Catalogue. London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 459 pp.

Catalog of Biographies in the Library of the New York Academy of Medicine. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1960, 165 pp.

Center for the Photographic Images of Medicine and Health Care. 1984. Illustrated Catalogue of the Slide Archive of Historical Medical Photographs at Stony Brook. Compiled by R. D. Apple. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 442 pp.
--Includes indexes by personal or institutional name, photographer, geography, medical or surgical condition, chronology and subject. Slide copies of any photographs in this catalog can be ordered.

Choulant, L. 1920. History and Bibliography of Anatomic Illustration, in its Relation to Anatomic Science and the Graphic Arts. Univ. of Chicago Press, 435 pp. Reprints, NY: Schuman's, 1945 (with additional introductory essays); NY: Hafner, 1962; Cambridge, MA: M. Martino, 1993. [Translation of German of 1852]
HathiTrust Full Text
--Laage, R. J. ter. 1970. Reflections on Johann Ludwig Choulant and his medico-historical bibliographies. Pp. 115-133 in P. Smit and R. J. ter Laage, eds., Essays in Biohistory. Utrecht.

The art of JAMA : one hundred covers and essays from the Journal of the American Medical Association, ed. by M. Therese Southgate. St. Louis : Mosby, 1997, 221 p.

Picturing medical progress from Pasteur to polio: a history of mass media images and popular attitudes in America, by  Bert Hansen. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2009, 348 p.,
Online Version

Mass media images and impact on health: a sourcebook, by Nancy Signorielli. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1993, 226 p.
Topical chapters (see HOLLIS record)  and numerous references

Cushing/Whitney Medical Digital Library (Yale)

Fox, D. M. and C. Lawrence. 1988. Photographing Medicine: Images and Power in Britain and America since 1840. NY: Greenwood Press, 357 pp.
--Overview of British medical photograph collections, pp. 327-329.

Historical Images in Medicine. History of Medicine Collections, Duke University

Images from the History of Medicine (IHM) includes prints and photographs from the History of Medicine Division (HMD), U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Images From the History of the Public Health Service: a Photographic Exhibit. National Library of Medicine.

Index of Medieval Medical Images offers records of manuscripts from six North American libraries.

Kisch, B. 1957. Iconographies of medical portraits. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 12(3): 366-387, 524.

LeFanu, W. 1960. A Catalogue of the Portraits and other Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture in the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Edinburgh: E. &. S. Livingstone, 119 pp.

Masson, A. H. B. 1995. Portraits, Paintings & Busts in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Edinburgh: Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 244 pp.
--Biographies of about 100 surgeons with facing color photgraphs of portraits and busts. Includes brief biographies of the 60 artists, pp. 226-232.

National Library of Medicine (NLM), Online Exhibitions & Digital Projects

New York Academy of Medicine Library. 1960. Illustration Catalog. Boston: G.K. Hall, 200 pp.

New York Academy of Medicine Library. 1960. Portrait Catalog. 5 v. 3 suppl. to 1975. Boston: G. K. Hall.

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. 1995. Portraits, Paintings & Busts in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Ed. by Alastair H. B. Masson. Edinburgh: The College, 244 pp.

Sakula, A. 1988. Portraits, Paintings and Sculptures [in the Royal Society of Medicine (Great Britain)]. London: Royal Society of Medicine, 194 pp.

Schupbach, W. 1989. The Iconographic Collections of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine. London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 71 pp.

Szladits, L. L. 1953. Medical illustrations and portraits: A brief survey of collections in America. Eye to Eye: Bulletin of the Graphic History Society of America, v. 1, pp.13-22.

Thornton, J. L. & C. Reeves. 1983. Medical Book Illustration: A Short History. Cambridge: Oleander Press, 142 pp.

Wellcome Images

Wolstenholme, G. & J. F. Kerslake. 1964, 1977. The Royal College of Physicians of London: Portraits. 2 v. London: J. & A. Churchill; Amsterdam: Elsevier.


Paietta, A. C. and J. Kauppila. 1999. Health Professionals on Screen. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 430 pp.
WID-LCWID-LC PN1995.9.P44 P35 1999 (In-Library use only
--Short descriptions of motion pictures and televison films and series, with subject index.

University of Michigan Historical Health Film Collection


Davis, A. B. 1981. Medicine and its Technology: An Introduction to the History of Medical Instrumentation. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 285 pp.
--Chapter 2: Literature sources of medical instruments, pp. 15-35. Overview of primary and secondary literature.
--Chapter 3: Collections of medical instruments, pp. 37-57. Overview and history of collections.

Edmonson, J. M. 1986. Nineteenth Century Surgical Instruments: A Catalogue of the Gustav Weber Collection at the Howard Dittrick Museum of Historical Medicine. Occasional Contributions to the History of the Health Sciences from the Historical Division of the Cleveland Health Sciences Library, no. 3, 69 pp.

Edmonson, J. M. 1997. American Surgical Instruments: An Illustrated History of their Manufacture and a Directory of Instrument Makers to 1900. (Norman surgery series no. 9). San Francisco, CA: Norman Publishing, 352 pp.
--Biographical information on numerous instrument makers. Directory of surgical and dental instrument makers and dealers, 1785-1900, pp. 170-269. By state and city.

Hibbard, B. M. 2000. The Obstetrician's Armamentarium: Historical Obstetric Instruments and their Inventors. San Francisco: Norman Pub., 324 pp.