W. Bruce Fye
History of Medicine Library
Materials in the library show the progress of medical knowledge across the centuries
Plummer Building, 15th floor, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
Mayo Clinic employees; external researchers and scholars; visiting clinicians
Research access and tours are available by appointment
8 am-4 pm CST, Monday-Friday; closed on Mayo Clinic holidays
Historic medical books are works of art as well as science
This specialized library, within the Plummer Library, houses important collections in the history of medicine and allied sciences. Several thousand volumes of rare medical classics (from 1479) and early journal literature (from 1665) comprise the core collection of primary literature on all aspects of medicine and allied fields. Early medical imprints (pre-1875) and more recently published histories, biographies, facsimiles and other support material comprise the remainder of the collection. Special strengths include anesthesiology, cardiology, dermatology, immunology, ophthalmology and neurology.
Non-book special collections include medical bookplates, “Vanity Fair” caricatures, Mayo Clinic related cartoons, medical philately and medical heraldry. Exhibits using titles from the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library collection are curated once a year.
An approved request and scheduled appointment are required for researchers to use the collection. Staff services include research assistance, identification of historical works, reference verification and other literature research support.