Skip to Main Content

History of Medicine

A guide to The Huntington's collections in the history of medicine.

Juan de Valverde de Amusco, Anatomia - HEH 176808The Huntington's rare print holdings in the history of medicine comprise over 10,000 rare books and tens of thousands of periodicals, all of which are described in the library catalog. These pertain primarily to the history of medicine in Western Europe and America, with select highlights in the history of Japanese medicine. Major collections include:

The Los Angeles County Medical Association Collection
Consists of over 7,000 rare volumes and journals in the history of medicine in Europe and the Americas. The materials were compiled as part of the library of the Los Angeles County Medical Association Collection, a professional institution founded in 1871 and designed to regulate and encourage the development of medicine in Los Angeles. Highlights include Mundinus's edition of Ketham's "Fasciculus medicinae" (1513); a first edition of Vesalius's "De humani corporis fabrica" (1543); Thomas Geminus's "Compendiosa totius anatomiae delineatio" (1559), with flap anatomies; and Rudolf Virchow's "Cellularpathologie" (1858). Major strengths in the LACMA Collections include:

Los Angeles County Medical Association Printed Materials Collection, 1856-1989
This collection contains publications and other printed items related to hospitals, medicine, medical education and public health, chiefly in Southern California in the 20th century. The bulk of the collection consists of meeting programs, annual reports and directories.

The Lawrence D. Longo and Betty Jeanne Longo Collection in Reproductive Biology
Approximately 2,700 rare books and 3,000 articles and pamphlets in this collection cover the Western practice of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology from the 16th through the 20th centuries. Highlights include Eucharius Rösslin's "Der swangern Frauwen vnd hebammen Rosegarten" (1513), Angélique du Coudray's "Abrégé de l'art des accouchemens" (1769), Folkert Snip's Vroedkundige "Aanmerkingen en Afbeeling eener Bezwangerde Baarmaeder" (1793) and dozens of early modern dissertations on generation and related subfields.

Medical Incunabula
By the time of his death in 1927, Henry Huntington had amassed 532 medical incunables—herbals, astrological texts and treatises that cover the wide gamut of health before 1501—for his library. To learn more about these books, see: Herman Ralph Mead, "Incunabula Medica in the Huntington Library." Additional pre-1501 medical books have been added to the collections after the publication of this article; learn how to search for incunabula in our online research guide. Selected materials have been added to the Huntington Digital Library.




Image credit: Juan de Valverde, Anatomia del Corpo Humano..., 1559. RB 498768.