The New York Academy of Medicine

The Academy is home to one of the most significant historical libraries in medicine and public health in the world, safeguarding the heritage of medicine to inform the future of health. The Library is dedicated to building bridges among an interdisciplinary community of scholars, educators, clinicians, and the general public. It fills a unique role in the cultural and scholarly landscape of New York City through its collections and by providing research services and an engaging roster of public programs integrating medicine with history, the humanities, and the arts presented by its Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health.

Created in 1847 for the use of the New York Academy of Medicine’s fellows, the Library opened to the general public in 1878. Today, it is one of a handful of such libraries across the country to provide this level of open access, and the only one of its kind in New York. The library holds over 550,000 volumes, including a rare book collection of approximately 32,000 volumes; 275,000 portraits and illustrations; approximately 400,000 pamphlets; and over 1,600 linear feet of manuscripts and archives. READ MORE

About the Digital Collections

The Library's Digital Collections and Exhibits website provides users with access to our historical collection on the history of medicine and public health. Users can explore some of our unique materials, including our rare books, manuscripts, pharmaceutical trade cards, and many more. The digital collections website was built using Islandora, an open-source software framework that utilizes Drupal (user interface), Solr (search) and Fedora (repository). Items are photographed with the Library's state-of-the-art digitization equipment and care is taken to capture as much detail as possible when digitizing. Partially digitized items are indicated as such. We will continue to add new collections as we digitize our resources. In addition, you can setup an appointment to visit the Library to access materials in-person.

Please feel free to contact us any time. We would love to hear from you.

Permissions & Policies

Images on the digital collections website are public domain (pre-1923) and are freely available to the general public for educational, research, and personal use unless otherwise noted. Images can be downloaded from available download links in the details of certain items, or users can use the clip tool that appears for large images to download the image displayed in the viewer. The clip tool can be used to capture a zoomed-in portion of an image for download.

For permission to publish materials held by The New York Academy of Medicine: Rights and Permissions

For general Library polices: Policies