The Wangensteen Historical Library (WHL) strives to make its unique holdings widely and easily accessible. Curators support and promote research, teaching, and learning, while at the same time preserving the rare and unique collections. Collections are open to the public for research and are available for consultation in the rare books reading room.
The WHL collection consists of 73,000 print materials that broadly represent health, medicine, and biological sciences from 1430 to 1945 including rare books, manuscripts, and medical and scientific journals (1679 to 1930). The rare book and manuscript collection covers a wide range of subjects of materials mainly produced in Western Europe, North America and East Asia.
Collection strengths include anatomy, women’s health, surgery, natural history, including botany and ornithology, and pharmacy. A selection of WHL rare books and manuscripts are available through our digitized collections. WHL also holds 8,000 artifacts related to the practices of surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, pharmacy, and more.