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URMC / Libraries / Edward G. Miner Library / Rare Books and Manuscripts

Rare Books and Manuscripts

Notice: The History of Medicine Reading Room is closed while it undergoes renovation. We are not hosting in-person researchers at this time. Our apologies for the inconvenience.

Rare Books and Manuscripts is the repository for an impressive collection of primary and secondary resources in the field of medical, dental, and nursing history. The rare book and periodical collections are representative of western medical literature in every period and specialty.

Our manuscript collections focus mainly on UR Medical Center faculty, but also include resources of local interest outside the Medical Center. Both collections are supported by some 5,000 titles on the history of medicine and the biomedical sciences.

Services include:

  • Access to the historical collections by appointment.
  • Bibliographic assistance in locating primary and secondary sources.
  • Medical historical reference services.

The resources and services of the Rare Books and Manuscripts section are available to anyone whose research needs can be met in our collections.

Materials in special collections do not circulate, nor are they available through interlibrary loan.

Rare books, manuscript collections, historical photographs, etc. may be used under supervision in the Rare Books and Manuscripts department during departmental hours. Please contact the curator to make an appointment. For more online information about the History of Medicine, visit the History of Medicine subject guide.

To make an appointment or to ask a reference question:

For reference assistance from the History of Medicine Section, contact us.

Please be aware that reference questions requiring the consultation of rare books and manuscripts are time and labor-intensive: it may take anywhere between 7 business days and two weeks to answer your question. Response times may vary based on demand and staff availability. If your question is time-sensitive, please let us know in your request and we will do our best to address it promptly.

On a limited basis and at the discretion of staff, we may be able to provide low or high-resolution digital reproductions of rare materials. Again, time to completion of the request will vary based on demand and staff availability.


9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday

Reading Room Hours

By appointment only, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesday - Friday