LIBRARY & ARCHIVES
The origins of Liverpool Medical Institution Library can be traced back to Liverpool Medical Library, instituted in 1779, and initially sited in Liverpool’s first Infirmary on Shaw’s Brow, then in The Dispensary on Church Street, eventually returning to the Infirmary. Later, in 1833, Liverpool Medical Society was formed, and the two organisations eventually merged to form Liverpool Medical Institution in 1839-40. It was decided that the Medical Library needed to be housed in a new building, and the building we know today was completed in 1837. A new wing was added in 1966.
Our books, journals and pamphlets number just under 12,000 items, and we also have an interesting collection of historic medical instruments and a small archive.
From its inception in 1779 onwards, the Library has benefited from many generous gifts of medical Books. These date from the early sixteenth century to the present day. Members are permitted to borrow the more modern stock, and older items can be consulted in the Library.
The Pamphlet Collection is a unique collection eighteenth and nineteenth century medical pamphlets, including items such as John Douglas' Animadversions on a late pompous book, intituled, Osteographia; or, The anatomy of the bones by William Cheselden, 1735, and many items of local interest such as Samuel Malins' Remarks on the necessity for establishing, in Liverpool, a dispensary for children, 1832.
We hold many long, uninterrupted runs of Journals. For example, we are the only library in the UK to hold Surgical Forum before 1987. Our earliest journals date back to the eighteenth century, and we also take a small number of current medical and history of medicine journals, e.g. The BMJ.
Browse our Library Catalogue:
Our archives document the history of the institution from the time of Liverpool Medical Library through to the formation of Liverpool Medical Institution, and beyond to the present day.
Liverpool doctors have made significant contributions to medicine and we are fortunate to hold some of their personal papers. Of particular interest are those of Hugh Owen Thomas (a pioneer of orthopaedics), his nephew Sir Robert Jones (orthopaedic surgeon) and David Waldie (one of the first to use chloroform for general anaesthesia).
In addition we hold archives of medical societies with strong ties with the Institution.
For enquiries regarding the history of medicine and health in Liverpool, other good sources of information are:
Who can use the Library and Archives?
The Library & Archives are available to all members of Liverpool Medical Institution as part of their annual subscription. Non-members and interested researchers wishing to access the historical collections should apply to the Library for further information or alternatively complete the contact form below. An appointment is necessary in advance of any visit.
Monday to Friday 9.30 am to 5.30 pm by
Telephone: (0151) 709 9125
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