Columbia University Library Resources

Resources in the History of Science, Technology, Medicine, and Public Health in the Libraries of Columbia University

Library Subject Specialist in History of Science and Technology: Meredith Levin

The Libraries of Columbia University contain a wealth of holdings of use to scholars of the history of science, technology, medicine, and public health.

  1. Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures from the Special Collections of Columbia’s Libraries(A representative sample of such objects, manuscripts, and books in the history of science from a recent Library exhibition can be seen on this website)

Other collections include:

  1. David Eugene Smith Papers (in addition to books and manuscripts, that include Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic/Persian materials, there is also Smith’s scientific instruments collection): Professional  & Historical
  2. Robert K. Merton Papers
  3. Edward Epstean Collection
  4. George Arthur Plimpton Papers
  5. Edwin H. Armstrong Papers
  6. Elizabeth Blackwell Papers (first female physician in the U.S.)
  7. Charles Chandler Papers
  8. Marie Curie Papers(came with papers of journalist Marie Mattingly Meloney, her U.S. sponsor)
  9. Robert Fulton (a small collection, but with some good information about his steamboats)
  10. George Pegram
  11. Michael Pupin Papers
  12. Otto Rank Papers
  13. Mary Lasker Papers (philanthropist whose foundation has sponsored much medical research):

Our large group of social work collections deal with nursing and public health, including:

  1. Lillian Wald Papers
  2. Community Service Society Papers (includes a large collection of photographs commissioned by CSS)


There are also significant holdings in the Oral History collections, with individual interviews and group projects such as, Physicians for Reproductive Health and Choice, the Thomas Alva Edison Project, and the Radio Pioneers Project.

  1. History of science collections in the Library:
    1. Catalog 4079401
    2. Catalog 6148593
    3. Catalog 8554728
    4. Catalog 4079307
  2. Index-Catalog of the Library of the Surgeon-General’s Office There is an online version as well as printed volumes which might be sometimes more useful for research. 

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