History and Special Collections for the Sciences
Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences
Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564)Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564)
Charles Darwin (1809-1882)Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
Isaac Newton (1643-1727)Isaac Newton (1643-1727)

History and Special Collections for the Sciences

The Biomedical Library’s History and Special Collections for the Sciences, formally established in 1964, traditionally collected materials in the broad subject areas of medicine and the life sciences. Both the scope and the name have been expanded to include the physical sciences and engineering.

In medicine the holdings document the history of medical thought and practice from the earliest times to the recent past. The life sciences holdings focus on natural history, zoology, and botany. Although more limited in scope, the collection in the physical sciences and engineering reflects the traditional strength of those collections.


What's New


1889 = 2013: Need a pocket-, wallet-, desk-, or fridge-calendar for 2013? Download and print our Hoyt’s German Cologne & Rubifoam advertising trade card for 1889, which matches the coming year day-for-day. This selection is from a small but growing Collection of medical and scientific calendars (Biomed Ms. Coll. no. 511). Many, like this one, carry a scrapbook-worthy image along with details about a health product of service and perhaps even a testimonial or two.

James O. Page Collection: The UCLA Library is launching an archive and library for the history of emergency medical services (EMS). Named for James O. Page, the father of modern EMS, the Collection will document the field through the publications and archives of its founders and practitioners. Starting with the archives of Page himself, the collection is building in-depth views of EMS history by accumulating correspondence, reports, manuscripts, educational material, speeches, ephemeral publications, personal narratives, audio files, and videos. Some important and interesting documents are being digitized and made available online, and all will be available for visiting historians, students, EMS personnel, and others. The endowed collection is made possible by the generous support of the James O. Page Foundation, Physio Control, and other leaders in the EMS profession.

Baby Books Collection: One of the Library’s most recent endeavors has been building a collection of nineteenth-to-twenty-first-century baby record books.  In these  memory books, parents record a child's activities and developmental milestones, and they also often contain places for photographs, locks of hair, and other mementos.  Many books track individualized medical information, from height and weight to various childhood diseases; some also provide infant health care advice.  The collection of more than five hundred titles and editions, with more than thirteen hundred different copies, now spans 125 years.