Primary Sources for History of Medicine

  • This guide will help you trace primary sources for history of medicine available electronically from Oxford Brookes Library. The library also holds a small selection of diaries, letters and papers which are transcriptions of the originals. These are held in the Library at shelfmark 908. All the material we have is listed on our Library Catalogue. We also hold Punch magazine from 1841-1960 (incomplete).
    This guide provides access to full text resources, as well as indexes which will help you find further primary source material and details of useful Archives.

    Full text primary resources
    Selected electronic indexes for finding primary material
    Selected freely available Web sources for finding primary material
    Archives

    Full text primary resources

    The following full text electronic resources (they provide the whole book or article) provide a range of primary material, including books, journal and newspaper articles, posters, pamphlets and images.

    Books
    Images
    Journals
    Newspapers and news footage
    Parliamentary Papers and legal material
    Posters, Pamphlets and Handbills

    Books

    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.

    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).

    Images

    You can use the following resources to view, print or download freely available images which can be included in your coursework.

    ARTstor (images) - ARTstor offers more than one million images covering a wide variety of subject areas, including history, art, religion, anthropology and literature. The images may be viewed, printed or downloaded for reproduction in coursework.

    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.

    The John Johnson Collection - an archive of materials 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 entertainment, the booktrade, popular topographical prints, advertising, crime, murders and executions.

    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.

    Journals

    British periodicals - an archive of hundreds of full text periodicals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth, covering history, literature, music, philosophy, drama, archaeology, architecture science, art and the social sciences.

    JSTOR - full text journals archive including history and history of medicine, (because of JSTOR's archival aim, there is a gap, typically from 1 to 5 years, between the most recently published journal issue and the back issues available in JSTOR). Also includes over 23,000 pamphlets.

    Nineteenth century UK periodicals online (series 1) - full text 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.

    Newspapers and news footage

    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.

    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 - access to the full text of 48 nineteenth century national and regional British newspapers.

    The Times digital archive 1785 - 1985. The complete digital edition of The Times (London), 1785-1985, including all articles, advertisements and illustrations.

    Factiva - international news database including leading national newspapers and local newspapers. Coverage varies. Earliest from 1980s. 

    Parliamentary Papers and legal material

    British History Online - includes parliamentary papers and journals. Subjects covered include, local and urban history, religious, legal and economic history. Select Sources and Primary sources to view details of legal material.

    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.

    House of Commons parliamentary papers 1688 - 2003/4 - access to the full text of the entire collection of parliamentary papers - Bills, Command Papers and House of Commons Papers - from 1801 to 2003/04. You can browse by collection or century or search by a subject. It also includes official publications from the House of Commons and House of Lords from 1688 to 1834 - sessional papers and other material such as Journals and Private Acts. More recent parliamentary publications are available from the Parliament Website.

    LexisLibrary is a law database which includes case law from 1220 onwards, legislation, journal articles and current articles from UK national and regional news sources.

    Old Bailey Online - contains the proceedings of the Old Bailey 1674-1913.

    The Cause Papers - an online searchable catalogue of more than 14,000 cause papers relating to cases heard between 1300 and 1858 in the Church Courts of the diocese of York.

    UK legislation - the official website of UK legislation 1267 to the present. Select 'Browse' to view details of the types of legislation available or you can search across the whole database.

    Westlaw - is a law database which includes case law from 1220 onwards, legislation and journal articles.

    Posters, Pamphlets and Handbills

    The John Johnson Collection - an archive of materials 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 entertainment, the booktrade, popular topographical prints, advertising, crime, murders and executions.

    JSTOR - includes over 23,000 nineteenth century British pamphlets as well as a large range of full text journals. You can narrow your search to the pamphlet collection from the advanced search option.

    See also the Images section.

    Selected electronic indexes for finding primary material

    The resources listed below are indexes to a range of material. They provide brief references to different resources rather than the resource (eg journal article) in its entirety. Historical Abstracts and In the first person do provide some full text.

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

    Index to theses - theses accepted for higher degrees by the Universities of Great Britain and Ireland. Covers theses written since 1716. Some summaries are provided.

    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.

    Selected freely available Web sources for finding primary material

    Archives Hub - a national gateway to descriptions of archives in UK universities and colleges, detailing what is available and where.

    National Archives - information on the nature and location of manuscripts and historical records that relate to British history

    British History Online - sources includes parliamentary papers and journals, manorial records. Subjects include local and urban history, economic history, religious, administrative and legal history.

    Archives

    The term archive can either refer to the historical research material itself, or the repository which holds it.

    Medical Sciences Video Archive: Oxford Brookes online collection of video interviews with leading figures in the world of medical and clinical science from the 1930s to the end of the 20th century. The interviewees talk about their lives, describing their early influences, schooling, university education and medical training; they give a personal view of the role they played in the development of clinical medicine and science in the period. 

    Wellcome Library - provides access to a wide range of history of medicine resources including manuscripts and archival material.

    National Archives - the holdings of the National Archives span 1,000 years of British history, from the Domesday Book to government papers recently released to the public. From the website users can access catalogues of the holdings, online collections and research guides.

    Archives Hub - a national gateway to descriptions of archives in UK universities and colleges, detailing what is available and where.

    AIM25 - Archives in London and the M25 area. AIM25 is a major project to provide electronic access to descriptions of the archives of over one hundred higher education institutions, learned societies, cultural organisations and livery companies within the greater London area.