American Society for Bioethics and Humanities

The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities is an educational organization that promotes a scholarly environment of public engagement through the exchange of ideas among disciplines and communities of practice participating in clinical and academic bioethics and the medical humanities.

This group hosts annual conferences and offers professional development, certification for healthcare ethics consultants, and resources to further these critical exchanges.

American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM)

The American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM)is a professional association of historians, physicians, nurses, archivists, curators, librarians, and others. It was founded in 1925 with the mission to promote and encourage “research, study, writing, and interest in the history of medicine including the history of public health, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing and allied arts, sciences, and professions.”

This association, along with other service contributions, hosts conferences, offers grants, and connects user’s to additional resources in the area of the history of medicine.

American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics

ASLME is a nonprofit educational organization that formed in 1911. Their mission is to “provide high-quality scholarship, debate, and critical thought for professionals at the intersection of law, medicine, and ethics,” and their members “come together to examine big health questions with far-reaching social ramifications.”

To this end, ASLME hosts conferences, runs two publications (AJLM and JLME), and offers the Jay Healey award to professors who teach health law in such a way as to honor Healey’s memory.

MLA Commons: Humanities & Medicine Group

This MLA Commons group provides an “interdisciplinary forum for scholars working on cultural representations of the body, sexuality, health, illness, disease, and health professions. A companion to the MLA Commons blog Literature, Medicine, & Medical Humanities.”

The MLA Commons is open-access resource site for sharing and preserving scholarship in the field.

Society for Medical Anthropology

Founded in 1967, the society maintains a website to support “medical anthropology graduate students, practicing anthropologists, scholars, and scholar activists who address issues of local, national and international health importance. It is the hub of an active research community and a storehouse for information supporting the endeavors of medical anthropologists and their colleagues in allied social science fields. The site further intends to inform the general public and policy-makers of the scope and breadth of medical anthropology.”

The SMA, in striving to bring scholars, educators, and practitioners together, links to their listserv, runs a journal, and offers other resources such as awards and conferences.

Society for the Social History of Medicine

The Society for the Social History of Medicine (SSHM) has “pioneered inter-disciplinary approaches to the history of health, welfare, medical science and practice.” It is an interdisciplinary organization that brings together scholars from such disciplines as history, public health, demography, anthropology, sociology, social administration and health economics,” and offers a range of opportunities, events, prizes, and publications.


Libraries & Museums

Cushing and Whitney Medical Library, Yale University

“The Cushing/Whitney Medical Library serves the biomedical and health care information needs of the Yale-New Haven Medical Center and the University, as well as providing service to area physicians and medical libraries. The collections cover clinical medicine and its specialties, the pre-clinical sciences, public health, nursing, and related fields. They also include the Historical Library’s distinguished holdings. The library now contains more than 411,000 volumes and more than 2,600 medical journals.”

Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

This historical medical library hosts “one of the world’s premier research collections in the history of medicine. The unique holdings of the library include over 400 incunables (books printed before 1500), an extensive collection of manuscripts and archives, and a comprehensive collection of 19th and early 20th-century medical journals.”

Lloyd Library and Museum

This Cincinnati library “holds, acquires, preserves, and provides access to both historic and current books and journals, as well as archival materials, on a wide variety of disciplines that fall under the following subjects: natural history, botany, pharmacy, medicine, scientific history, and the visual arts.”

Morbid Anatomy

“Surveying the interstices of art and medicine, death and culture,” the Morbid Anatomy Library is a research library and private collection covering subjects related to “medical museums, anatomical art, collectors and collecting, cabinets of curiosity, the history of medicine, death and society, natural history, arcane media, and curiosity and curiosities broadly considered.”  The site links to many museums, collections, artists, and their websites, blogs, and image galleries.

Mütter Museum

Also maintained by the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. “America’s finest museum of medical history, the Mütter displays its beautifully preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments in a 19th century “cabinet museum” setting. The goal of the Museum is to help the public understand the mysteries and beauty of the human body while appreciating the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease.”

National Library of Medicine

“The world’s largest biomedical library, NLM maintains and makes available a vast print collection and produces electronic information resources on a wide range of topics that are searched billions of times each year by millions of people around the globe. It also supports and conducts research, development, and training in biomedical informatics and health information technology. In addition, the Library coordinates a 6,000-member National Network of Libraries of Medicine that promotes and provides access to health information in communities across the United States.”

New York Academy of Medicine Library

One of the largest medical library collections in the US, the NYAM library “forms part of the New York Academy of Medicine’s Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health. Established in 2012, the Center builds bridges among an interdisciplinary community of scholars, educators, clinicians, curatorial and conservation professionals, and the general public…. The library now collects in the histories of medicine, public health, and the book.” The Coller Rare Book Reading Room houses primary and secondary sources in the history of medicine.

University of Cincinnati Libraries, Special Collections

The Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library is home to The Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions. Collections, including the Hauck Center for the Albert B. Sabin Archives, house “the papers of Cincinnati’s many accomplished medical and health figures, including Christian R. Holmes, Leland C. Clark, Daniel Drake, Albert Sabin, Henry Heimlich, William Altemeier, and others.” The Ralph E. Oesper Chemistry-Biology Library includes the Oesper Collections in the History of Chemistry, which span the late 16th to mid-20th century; the Oesper Collection of Portraits and Prints; The Apparatus Museum; and the Harry Shipley Fry Papers.

Wellcome Library

The Wellcome is an important library for the study of medical history and “a growing collection of material relating to contemporary medicine and biomedical science in society.” Its resources include archives and manuscripts on the history of medicine in Britain and on European science and culture; a history of medicine collection covering all aspects of medicine; a collection of “printed works of medical and scientific literature published from the 15th century to the present day, including rare books and ephemera”; a digital collection of biomedical images; and a film, video, and audio collection that “covers all aspects of medicine, health and welfare throughout the 20th century and beyond.”


Subject Sites

The website of The American Journal of Bioethics. “In service to anyone interested in bioethics, the website publishes information on the latest journal publications, events, job opportunities, and current news. The site now includes original blog authorship by world-renowned bioethicists, as well as being a one-stop shop for popular syndicated bioethics blogs.”

Graphic Medicine

“Graphic Medicine is a site that explores the interaction between the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare. You’ll find a growing collection of comic reviews, articles, podcasts, links, and coverage of our international Comics and Medicine Conferences. We encourage participation by academics, health carers, authors, artists, fans, and anyone involved with comics and medicine.” Science

National Public Radio’s news page on science offers access to reporting and additional web resources in the areas of environment, energy, space, animals, research news, technology, health, and the delightfully miscellaneous “brain candy.”

Public Health & Social Justice

“This website contains articles, slide shows, syllabi, and other documents relevant to topics in public health and social justice. … The site is aimed at students, educators, and the general public. It addresses the social, economic, environmental, human rights, and cultural contributors to health and illness. Some of the content focuses on the medical humanities and the history of medicine.”