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History of Medicine - Biographical Resources: Medical Biography Resources

Description of this page

This page is designed to assist students in the History of Medicine class in finding resources on medical biography. Below we recommend:

  1. Books on the shelves at the Health Sciences Library and how to find more;
  2. Electronic books and how to find more;
  3. A method of searching PubMed
  4. Methods for searching NYMCat (our online catalog) for biographical materials.

Please let us know if you think we should add something. Your suggestions are invaluable to us. And as always, ask a librarian for assistance. We are here to help you.

Required Reading

How to Search NYMCat for Biographical Materials


Some basic recommendations for searching for biographical information in NYMCat. For instance, if you were doing your paper on Sigmund Freud:

  1. Search the name of your historical figure as a keyword (e.g. sigmund freud searched as a keyword)
  2. Search topic words AND the word "history" as a keyword (e.g. psychoanalysis AND history)
  3. Search topic words AND the word "biography" as a keyword (e.g. psychoanalysis AND biography)

How to Search PubMed for Biographical Articles

There is a feature in PubMed whereby you can search for "personal name as subject." Following along with our Freud example you could search it this way:

freud s[ps] <-- square brackets around the field label ps (personal name as subject)


Off-campus users must log in to access licensed resources:

HSL Books on Medical Biography

Note that many of the books listed below begin with the call number "WZ." Browsing in these areas is recommended! The books may be downstairs in our "Main Collection," around the stairwell in "Medical Classics," in "Reference," or at the Access Services Desk in "Reserve." 

Ebooks on Medical Biography

Search for ebooks in the Ebooks Portal. Use the dropdown menu next to the search box to indicate "Title Contains All Words," and enter the name of the historical figure. 

Searching the name directly in our ebrary database will allow you to refine your search, and may produce more results because this database searches inside the text of its ebooks. 

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