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About the Center

A hub of activity around the history of medicine and society, the Center is embedded in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. The Center engages with the faculty, staff, and students of the Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and affiliated institutions. It advises records creators and users and acquires, preserves, and provides access to the published and unpublished records in all formats that are generated by the schools, their faculties, and the disciplines in which they are active. Through the Boston Medical Library (BML), the Center is also connected to the broader medical community.



The Center holds one of the world’s leading collections in the history of medicine, public health, the biosciences, and health care and is honored to steward the BML’s superb collection of rare books and manuscripts. The Center’s holdings attract students and scholars from Harvard University and from around the globe to consult its rare books and journals, archives, manuscripts, photographs, prints, art, and artifact collections, both in physical and digital formats. The Center’s exhibits, tours, lectures, and symposia are open to the public and offer a window on the past and opportunities for health care professionals, scholars, and members of the public to consider how the history of medicine affects their present and informs their future lives and work.