History of Medicine
In the course of 1872, Billings increased the size of the collection by 150%, from 13,761 volumes to approximately 34,000, making it the largest medical library in America. When Billings left the Library in 1895, the total collection of books, pamphlets, theses, and other titles amounted to 619,558 items. Since then the Library has continued the mission that Billings began, and its collection now numbers nearly 12 million items.
The few inventories taken during the Library's first 35 years show slow increases in collection size up to the "acquisition explosion of 1872."