Since its origins in the 1890s as the “reading room” of the Omaha Medical College, the library of medicine has had historical, rare, and special collections in various forms.
Various areas of special collections:
University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) archives:
Each of the four campuses in the University of Nebraska system is charged with preserving its own institutional history. The UNMC archives includes official university records, Board of Regents minutes, personal papers of faculty and administrators, year books, college bulletins, annual reports, commencement programs, departmental newsletters, master’s thesis and doctoral dissertations, nursing research papers, photographs (campus and institutional related, Nebraska doctors, Nebraska hospitals, etc.), monographs, journals and ephemera.
When the 6th and 7th floors of the library were renovated in 2000-2001, Nebraska-specific materials were pulled from the circulating collections and set aside in their own area. These include monographs and serials specifically related to the history of medicine and the other health professions in the state. Items such as the Nebraska State Medical Journal, published from 1916-1996, and other professional organization journals; biographies of physicians, donors, and others; annual reports of various state health organizations, etc.
History of Medicine collections:
These collections include monographs from the early-to-mid-20th century, as well as various journals, and vertical file materials (e.g. clippings, reprints, scrapbooks, reports, realia), by topic and by individual. Also included are equipment, instruments, and objects representing the history and development of the health sciences, especially in Nebraska. Of note is a collection of over 100 moulages (wax anatomical models) which were made by a medical artist on our campus in the 1930s, based on cases from the University Hospital.
Rare Book collections:
These collections include a medical manuscript from the 1300s by Albertus Magnus. The oldest printed works date to the 1490s. Included in the rare book collections are medical incunabula; printed works from 16th through 19th centuries, including concentrations in general anatomy, obstetrics and gynecology, and orthopedics and military medicine. Works by authors such as Newton, Jenner, Darwin, Vesalius, Rosslin, Hunter, etc. are included in the collection. Other rare book collections include the Charles F. Moon collection of obstetrical works, the Leon S. McGoogan collection in obstetrics and H. Winnett Orr rare book collection (especially orthopedics), which belongs to the American College of Surgeons and is on permanent loan to the library.
Special collections include works of art, some specifically medically related, including, paintings, portraits, prints, photographs, and sculpture; many by regional artists of some note; others by alumni, students, faculty and staff.