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History of the Health Sciences -- Resource Guide: Ready Reference Sources

This site provides an introduction to resources used in research dealing with the history of medicine and other health sciences.

Guides, Textbooks, Dictionaries

Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science [online]

Companion encyclopedia of the history of medicine / edited by W.F. Bynum and Roy Porter. 1993. [a good starting place for addressing any topic in the history of the health sciences]

The greatest benefit to mankind : a medical history of humanity / Roy Porter. 1997. Arguably, the best single volume text on the history of medicine.

The Evolution of Modern Medicine / Sir William Osler. 1913 [online].  A highly readable history of medicine through the first decade of the 20th century

A dictionary of the history of medicine / Anton Sebastian. 1999.  

Encyclopedia of medical history / Roderick E. McGrew, with the collaboration of Margaret P. McGrew. 1985. 

Nursing, the finest art:  an illustrated history / M. Patricia Donahue. 1996.

Historical encyclopedia of nursing / Mary Jane Snodgrass. 1999.


Oxford dictionary of medical quotations / Peter McDonald. 2004. 

Familiar medical quotations / edited by Maurice B. Strauss. 1968.

Medicine in quotations : views of health and disease through the ages / edited by Edward J. Huth, T. Jock Murray. 2000. 

Medically speaking : a dictionary of quotations on dentistry, medicine, and nursing / selected and arranged by Carl C Gaither and Alma E Cavazos-Gaither ; illustrated by Andrew Slocombe. 1999.

Biographical Information

Dictionary of medical biography / edited by W. F. Bynum and Helen Bynum. 2007.

The Nobel Prize winners. Physiology or medicine / edited by Frank N. Magill. 1991.

A biographical history of medicine: excerpts and essays on the men and their work / [by] John H. Talbott. 1970.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [online]
"56,000 biographies of people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond, from the earliest times to the year 2004."

American Nurses Association - Hall of Fame.  Thumbnail sketches of the most prominent American nurses from the 19th century to the present.

Dictionary of American nursing biography / Martin Kaufman. 1988.


Damien Ihrig

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Damien Ihrig
319 335-9154
Curator, John Martin Rare Book Room