Medical Heritage Library

Looking to find older books and articles that the Health Sciences Library doesn’t have? Searching for a book or article we do have but is located off-site – and you need to see it immediately? The Medical Heritage Library may be the solution.

Founded in 2010 by a consortium of leading U.S. medical libraries to digitize books and journals relating to the history of the health sciences, the Medical Heritage Library (MHL) currently provides access to almost 300,000 items including books, journals, manuscripts, movies/videos, and audio. Since 2015, it has included works digitized by the UK Medical Heritage Library, a similar consortium in Great Britain. Works date from the 11th century to the 21st century, although the bulk are from the period 1750-1920. The materials in the MHL are open to all: you don’t need to be affiliated with an academic institution, nor are there any paywalls.

The MHL has completed two projects that may be of particular interest to our patrons. The Historical American Medical Journals project digitized over 3,000 volumes (more than 1.7 million pages) of medical journals, primarily dating from 1797-1923. These volumes comprise 336 journal titles, of which many are complete or nearly complete runs. They may be accessed through either the general MHL site, which also includes an alphabetical listing of titles, or can be searched through the MHL page in Internet Archive.

A similar project is the State Medical Society Journals which provides digital access to 97 state medical society journals – comprising over 2.7 million pages in over 3,800 volumes. The bulk date from 1900-2000 although a few titles extend back to the 19th century. State medical society journals document the transformation of American medicine in the twentieth century at both the local and national level.

Another exciting resource recently introduced by the MHL is its Flickr stream comprising over 3.6 million images extracted from its digitized content; many of these are in the public domain.

The MHL offers a variety of download options for users including PDF, Kindle, and torrent. You can search within individual items or search the entire collection using its full-search tool. Try it soon!