University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Department of History is the home to the University of Wisconsin’s Graduate Program in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology (HSMT), one of the oldest such programs in the country. Eleven faculty are formally affiliated with the program, and these are complemented by several other History Department members and affiliates who work in overlapping areas. The HSMT Graduate Program is just one node in a wider campus network, though. Partners in the present application include the Department of Medical History and Bioethics in the School of Medicine and Public Health, the Historical Collections of Ebling Health Sciences Library, UW – Madison Memorial Library Special Collections, and the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy (through the School of Pharmacy).

Specialty

Research university; history of science and medicine collections with strengths in rare science and illustrated natural history books, alchemy and chemistry, science and religion, optics and opthamology, health sciences, and pharmacy

Collections

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Special Collections was founded upon the Thordarson Collection of rare science and illustrated natural history books, and these areas remain a signal strength of the Department. Other history of science highlights in Special Collections include the Duveen and Cole collections of alchemy and chemistry, the Schadewald Collection on Pseudo-Science, the Science and Religion Collection, and the Albert Collection on optics and ophthalmology. Within the School of Medicine and Public Health, Ebling Library maintains one of the preeminent collections of rare and older health sciences books in the country. Ranging in date from the late fifteenth century to the early twentieth century, the collection encompasses the development of western medicine and related disciplines as it is recorded in books, journals, and pamphlets. Our final library partner, the American Institute for the History of Pharmacy (AIHP, founded in 1941 at the University of Wisconsin to serve the pharmaceutical profession) is supported by the School of Pharmacy through its named chair in History of Pharmacy. The Institute has its own collections, archives, and staff. Its materials include the Kremers Reference Files, containing biographical material and other historical records, including artifacts and ephemera. In addition, the AIHP houses the Metta Lou Henderson Women in Pharmacy Collection; the Drug Topics Photograph Collection, with over 17,000 photos documenting the pharmacy profession between 1945 and 1970; and the Pharmaceutical Trade Catalog Collection, with over 450 trade catalogs published between 1829 and the 2000s.

Collections URL

Holding Highlights

  • Thordarson Collection of rare science and illustrated natural history books
  • Duveen and Cole collections of alchemy and chemistry
  • Schadewald Collection on Pseudo-Science
  • Science and Religion Collection
  • Albert Collection on optics and opthalmology
  • Ebling Library on medicine and public health
  • American Institute for the History of Pharmacy

Information for Researchers

Fellowship URL