Databases for the History of Medicine

  • Databases can help you find journal articles, newspapers, books, images and other resources relevant to your subject area. They can be subject specific or cover a wide range of subjects. The majority of databases will provide a summary of the information found and in some cases they will link to the full text of the item. You may also want to look at the guide to Primary Sources for History of Medicine which provides access to additional online primary source material including legal resources and details of useful Archives.

    Many Web databases require confidential passwords, particularly if you are using them off campus. This is normally your Brookes ID and password - if not, your PIP page (Personal Information Page) also provides details of the relevant passwords.

    Key databases for the History of Medicine
    Useful medical databases
    Other useful databases
    Newspapers - current and historical
    Historical books, journals, posters, broadsides
    Images and Multimedia - including cartoons, TV news, film and sound

    Key databases for the History of Medicine

    Web of Science - formerly known as Web of Knowledge. It is a large, multi-disciplinary database of key research journals and includes the Science, Social Science and Arts & Humanities Citation Indexes.

    Historical Abstracts - covers the history of the world from 1450 to the present (excluding the United States and Canada), indexing articles, books and other publications from 1950 onwards; contains quite extensive abstracts for most entries and some links to full text.

    JSTOR - provides an archive of full-text articles from a range of academic journals. Most journals covered do not give access to issues which are less than 3-5 years old.

    Bibliography of British and Irish History - provides bibliographic details of historical writing dealing with the British Isles, and with the British Empire and Commonwealth, from 55BC to the present. It lists books, articles in books and articles in journals.

    Useful medical databases

    AMED - Allied and alternative medicine. Covers material published since 1985

    CINAHL (Cumulated Index of Nursing & Applied Health Literature) - nursing and allied health

    MEDLINE via PubMed - covers biomedicine and nursing

    ProQuest medical library and hospital collection - provides access to a huge range of full text medical journals

    PsycINFO - psychology database

    Other useful databases

    Oxford dictionary of national biography - an illustrated collection of full text articles providing the life stories of over 55,000 people, ancient and modern, who have shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond.

    Sociological Abstracts - primarily abstracts from journals, includes abstracts from books and reports and links to relevant web sites. Covers sociology and social history.

    Zetoc - covers about 20,000 current journals and conference proceedings in a range of subject areas. It also includes the Zetoc Alert service which enables you to receive journal table of contents and details of newly added material matching your search criteria.

    Newspapers - current and historical

    Factiva - a current international news database providing an archive of 10,000 sources from 152 countries in 22 languages. It includes national and local newspapers. Articles are mainly full text. It is an up-to-date database with some coverage back to the 1980s.

    The Guardian and The Observer 1791-2003 - contains the complete digital edition of The Guardian from 1821-2003 and The Observer from 1791-2003. The database includes all articles, advertisements and illustrations.

    LexisLibrary is a law database which includes current articles from UK national and regional news sources. It includes lots of legal material - to search for news articles, click on 'News' from the top menu bar on the initial screen.

    Seventeenth-eighteenth century Burney Collection newspapers - the collection, gathered by the Reverend Charles Burney, includes pamphlets, proclamations, newsbooks and newspapers published in England, Ireland and Scotland during the 17th and 18th centuries, plus a selection of papers from British colonies in the Americas and Asia.

    Nineteenth century British Library newspapers - contains digital editions of a wide variety of national and regional British newspapers from the 19th century. The database also provides contextual essays about the role of newspapers during the period.

    Times Digital Archive - the complete digital edition of The Times (London), 1785-1985, with all articles, advertisements and illustrations.

    Historical books, journals, posters

    Early European Books - Early European Books is a comprehensive digitised collection of works printed in Europe between 1450-1700, with full-colour, facsimile images scanned directly from the original printed sources.

    Hansard 1803 - 2005 - this site provides access to information from Hansard, the Official Report of debates in Parliament. More recent parliamentary publications are available from the Parliament Website.

    Historical texts - consists of the following collections: Early English Books Online (EEBO), Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) and 19th Century books from the British Library collection (previously known as JISC Historic books).

    John Johnson collection - an archive of printed ephemera which document everyday life in Britain in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. The materials include facsimile images of posters, handbills, broadsides and pamphlets covering 19th century entertainment, the booktrade, advertising, crime, murders and executions.

    Nineteenth century UK periodicals online - contains digital editions of some 100 UK periodicals published between 1800 and 1900. Coverage ranges from Boy's Own to the British Women's Temperance Journal, and from Punch to the Racing Times.

    Images and Multimedia

    ARTstor (images) - ARTstor offers more than one million images covering a wide variety of subject areas, including history, art, religion, anthropology and literature.

    Box of Broadcasts (BOB) - this service gives you access to thousands of recorded radio and TV programmes including films from an online archive. Users can record programmes, watch programmes from the archive, create clips, compile playlists.

    Bridgeman education - Bridgeman Education provides images useful for a wide range of subjects including history and medicine.

    British Cartoon Archive - provides access to a wide range of cartoon artwork covering a variety of topics. The collection dates back to 1904. 

    Wellcome Images - one of the world's richest image collections, with wide ranging themes including medicine, disease, social history, culture and war. The images are free to download for study purposes.