The NLM History of Medicine Division (HMD) Reading Room is open to the public free of charge. Here you have access to one of the world's richest collections of historical material related to human health and disease. You can save valuable research time by learning as much as possible about our holdings before you visit. We encourage you to plan your research and welcome you to contact us in advance.
At the NLM main entrance, pass through the Guard Station and immediately turn right to the History of Medicine Reading Room (Map of Reading Rooms).
Looking for the NLM General Collections? Go to NLM Main Reading Rooms and Services.
About the History of Medicine Collections
Holdings include pre-1914 books, pre-1871 journals, archives and modern manuscripts, medieval and Islamic manuscripts, a collection of printed books, manuscripts, and visual material in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean; historical prints, photographs, films, and videos; pamphlets, dissertations, theses, college catalogs, and government documents. Find out more about the historical collections.
The Reference Collection in the History of Medicine Reading Room
The History of Medicine Reading Room collection includes the major bibliographic resources necessary for historical research, as well as standard works in the history of medicine.
The collection includes general histories of medicine, histories of diseases, medical directories, encyclopedias, biographies and collective biographies, and reprints of medical classics. Reference sources, such as directories, handbooks, regulations, abstract tools, statistical sources, card catalogs, and prepared bibliographies are used by patrons and by staff to answer reference questions.