Isabel Holowaty, History Librarian
tel: +44 (0)1865 277294
Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine Library
tel: +44 (0)1865 274604
Juliet Ralph, Life Sciences and Medicine Librarian, Radcliffe Science Library
tel: +44 (0)1865 272853
Guides to searching the Libraries
New Wellcome Unit Library books
Search SOLO to find useful books, journals and databases for History of Science, Technology and Medicine. Material that is off-site can be requested by using the Hold option in SOLO.
The Upper Reading Room, (Old Bodleian Library) houses a significant open shelf collection for History of Science, Technology and Medicine, covering some ancient history, but otherwise medieval to modern periods. It includes both legal deposit as well as purchased materials in English and European languages. Books in this collection cannot be borrowed.
The Bodleian History Faculty Library supports teaching and learning in the History of Science. The Library primarily supports undergraduate courses, but some research material can also be found here. Books in this collection can be borrowed by current staff and students of Oxford University.
The Radcliffe Science Library has particular strengths are in 19th century holdings, as it focused exclusively on science and medicine from 1810. Since 1883 the RSL has received, via legal deposit, a copy of all British scientific publications. Older and less-used material is kept in remote store (listed as "Offsite"), including scientific doctoral theses submitted for degrees at Oxford University.
The Department of Special Collections in the Bodleian Library has acquired through purchase and donation scientific books and manuscripts from the medieval period to the present day. For the early modern period the Library holds papers of many individuals of note in science and medicine. Modern collections include papers of contemporary scientists, archives of scientific organisations, and the Marconi archives. See also the Guide to Scientific Papers in the Bodleian Library.
The library of the Museum of the History of Science Library has strong modern and antiquarian holdings in those sciences most involved with instrumentation, particularly astronomy, geometry, optics, chemistry, and physics.
The Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine Library primarily supports the needs of the University's postgraduate students and researchers in the history of medicine. Its holdings comprise around 7,000 monographs, serials and theses on diverse topics, including UK public health administration, hospitals and hospital movements, and tropical medicine.
Primary materials relating to the history of specific subjects can also be found in departmental libraries such as these:
- Philosophy of Science (Philosophy and Theology Faculty Libraries, Radcliffe Science Library)
- Alexander Library of Ornithology
- Sherardian Library of Plant Taxonomy
- Natural History (University Museum Library)
All major history and science full text databases are available online with a full list appearing in OxLIP+.
These include History of Science, Technology & Medicine, Historical Abstracts and Scopus.
Major science and history journals are available via Oxford University e-Journals.
The History of Science and Medicine subject guide on the History Faculty Library website provides more information about suitable e-resources, services and training.