Sites for Genealogists and Medical Historians

Established by the The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Library at Dallas the  Texas Physicians Historical Biographical Database consists of citations to biographical information related to early Texas physicians from the Texas State Journal of Medicine for 1905-66. Additional citations from other sources (ca 1870s-1966) include early Texas medical journals such as the Texas Courier-Record of Medicine , Polk's directories, Texas newspapers, and assorted histories of Texas. The library's History of the Health Sciences Collection  contains records pertaining to the history of medicine in Dallas, biographical records of Dallas physicians, and other materials.

The  Truman G. Blocker History of Medicine Collection ,located in the Moody Medical Library at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston , is the largest collection in the history of medicine and allied sciences in the southern United States. The Blocker Collection consists of rare books, portraits, prints, photographs, postage stamps, postcards, archives and manuscripts, microscopes, nonprescription drugs, and medical and surgical instruments. Of particular interest to genealogists are the UTMB Archives (1891-present), Texas Surgical Society Archives (1915-98), and oral history tapes including interviews conducted during research for UTMB's 75-year and centennial histories.  

The John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center in the Houston Academy of Medicine- Texas Medical Center Library. Holdings include the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners Collection (ca 1907-75), which includes licensure applications, letters, and usually a photograph. The McGovern Center's  digital collection includes Polk's Medical and Surgical Directory of the United States  (Texas Portion) for 1886, 1896, 1902, and 1906. Two in-house databases, The Register of Texas Physicians and the Gazetteer of Texas Physicians , can be consulted for further information about Texas physicians. 

The  P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library is located in the Briscoe Library at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio . Among holdings are Sixty -five Notable Milestones in the History of Medicine in the Bexar County Medical Library and materials relating to the history of health sciences in South Texas.

The Historical Resources Center (HRC) at the Research Medical Library at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston encompasses official M.D. Anderson archives and special collections, including the History of Cancer Collection of rare books, pamphlets, and journals. Archival collections consist of the executive administrative records, departmental and program files, and publications. Special collections include audiovisual material, historical photo collections, oral history interviews, and the papers of prominent faculty, staff, and others. Together they document patient care, research, education, and cancer prevention activities at M.D. Anderson, as well as cancer medicine and science in Texas, nationally, and internationally .  

The Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library is part of the Preston Smith Library of the Health Sciences at Texas Tech University. The Edwina McConnell Collections contain Indian Service nursing history and World War I field hospital nursing. The Wheeler Collections relate to pharmacy and medical antiques. The Allensworth/Kenner Collection is of medical instruments. The Joseph Alvin Chatman Collection includes records of the Lone Star State Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association that was founded in 1886 as the Lone Star Medical Club for African American physicians practicing medicine in Texas.

Cushing Memorial Library and Archives  is located in the Texas A&M Health Science Center . The Medical Sciences Library collection chronicles the history and development of the College of Medicine and the Health Science Center. There are extensive special collections related to veterinary medicine. The Cushing Memorial Library and Archives has a much larger collection with some material specific to medicine in Texas.

The Special Collections section in the  Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library   at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth  contains archives documenting the history of osteopathic medical education and the osteopathic profession in Texas. Among them are documents that trace the development and organization of the field of cranial osteopathy founded by William G. Sutherland; historical records and publications relating to the Texas Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, now known as TOMA; and oral histories of leaders in the field in digital format.

The Handbook of Texas online is maintained by the Texas State Historical Association. It is a valuable and easily searchable database with hundreds of entries on all aspects of medicine and numerous physicians. To gain an idea of the scope and variety of this database, enter "medicine" in its search engine. More than 500 entries appear. The entries include Satank, a Kiowa medicine man; Universe, the Texas location of the Headache Springs Medical Laboratory of the Confederate States of America; Forensic Medicine; Medical Societies; and Grace Danforth, MD, a pioneer physician and suffragette of Granger, Texas. 

The Handbook of Texas Medicine is a joint project between TSHA, TMA, and the University of Texas Medical Branch. Upon completion, it will be the first state-based online medical encyclopedia. 

The  History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine is home to numerous genealogical resources. Among these is the American Medical Association Deceased Physicians Card File, a collection of nearly 400,000 index cards created by the American Medical Association between about 1901 and 1969, focusing on everyone in the United States who received a medical degree. The cards were updated throughout the physician's career with information about degrees obtained, licensing, addresses, cause of death, and sometimes obituary citations and portraits.

Also online is The National Library of Medicine's Bathtub Collection , an archive of materials found in the old bindings of the library's rare book collection when items were rebound and conserved in the 1940s and 1950s. It is called the "Bathtub Collection" because then-curator Dorothy Schullian took the leftovers of conservation work home and soaked them in her bathtub to retrieve the often interesting bits and pieces of medieval manuscripts and early printed ephemera.

Cyndi's List is known globally as a valuable resource for genealogy researchers. Begun in 1996 by Cyndi Howells, it categorizes and cross-references search links both broad and narrow. Always expanding, the list contained more than 244,400 links at the end of May 2008, including  Medical & Medicine , a category index and related categories with more than 200 links, and U.S. - Texas , with more than 8,700 links.

Last Updated On

April 19, 2022

Originally Published On

March 23, 2010

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