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Special Collections

History of Medicine Collection

The History of Medicine Collection generally contains materials published prior to the 20th century that have historic value to the history of the practice of medicine. Subjects considered for inclusion include: general medicine, cardiology, surgery, nursing, cancer treatment, and other medical practices of historical importance at the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Materials are regularly displayed in the library.


The Archive Collection contains information relevant to the creation and history of the Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA. Some portions of this collection have been digitized. 

Additional materials about the history of the Hershey campus can be found at:

To make an appointment to view History of Medicine and Archive materials, please call 717-531-8626, or email

The library also holds additional special collections available for check out.

  • Leadership Collection
    The Leadership Collection was established in the 1990s by senior hospital administration and consists of resources about issues of leadership such as management practices, LEAN, Sigma Six, etc. 
  • Kienle Collection
    The Kienle Collection was initially established with funds from the Doctors Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine. Materials added to this collection are now funded by the Harrell Health Sciences Library & Research Commons and they support the study of humanistic medicine at the Penn State College of Medicine.  
  • Graduate Career Development
    The Graduate Career Development Collection has materials to support career selection, continuing education, and career development for individuals in the biomedical sciences and, particularly, students in the graduate programs at the Penn State College of Medicine. 
  • Graphic Medicine Collection
    This collection contains graphic novels specifically about the experiences of patients and families when coping with a medical condition as well as graphic novels exploring what it means to be a health care provider. 
  • READ Award Book Selections
    The library selects READ Award winners annually who then choose a book to highlight on their READ poster. A copy of each book selected by an award winner will be purchased and a bookplate will be added to all selected books to indicate that it was a READ Award selection. 
  • Penn State COM Group on Women in and Science (GWIMS) Collection Medicine
    This collection was started with donations of books to the library from GWIMS that highlight issues women face in the professional workplace, including those specific to women in medicine and science. Topics range from negotiation and thriving in the workplace to work/family balance. Books can be checked out for a period of two weeks.