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Genealogy

Genealogical Research in the History of Medicine

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the largest medical library in the United States and is charged with preserving America’s medical heritage. The Library’s History of Medicine Division holds numerous genealogical and biographical resources, in addition to its historical materials.

There are links to pages throughout this website with information to help you prepare for your genealogical research at NLM. While there are no actual records, you will find bibliographical citations, finding aids, and information on how to conduct research using a variety of materials in the collection.

The American Medical Association (AMA) Deceased Physicians Master Card file

From the mid 19th century until 1969, the AMA maintained card files containing biographical information on physicians, including their education, state licensing, places of practice, cause of death, and obituary citations. The American Medical Association Deceased Physicians Master Card File collection consists of approximately 350,000 biographical entries.

Medical School Bulletins and Catalogs

A popular source of historical and biographical information, the Medical School Bulletins and Catalogs describe the schools’ educational programs and list students, faculty, and their achievements. They can be searched by the name of the school in the NLM online catalog, LocatorPlus.

Archival and Manuscript Collections

NLM holds several Archival and Manuscript Collections that support genealogical research. These primary source materials include the U.S. Army Surgeon General’s Office Autobiographical Sketches of Medical Officers; the Biographical Data on American Physicians with the Name of “Mudd;” the National League for Nursing records; and the U.S. Army Surgeon General’s Office Autobiographical Sketches of Naval Medical Officers.