Introduction

Touching on aspects of medicine’s history and impact on public health, from ancient medications to smallpox vaccinations and the development of modern antibiotics, from medical education to Arctic exploration, this selection of books, manuscripts, prints, photographs, and artifacts from the Boston Medical Library and the Harvard Medical Library represents just a fraction of the holdings in the Rare Books and Special Collections department. Ranging from the 13th century to the 20th, from the Winter Palace of the Czars of Russia to the assassination of President Garfield, this exhibit celebrates six centuries of significant developments in the history of medicine as documented through the rich and varied collections at the Countway Library.

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