Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library: Home

W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library


The W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library is a specialized library housing important collections in the history of medicine and allied sciences. Several thousand volumes of rare medical classics (from 1479) and early journal literature (from 1665) comprise the core collection of primary literature on all aspects of medicine and allied fields.  More recently published histories, biographies, facsimiles, and other support materials comprise the remainder of the collection of some 23,000 total volumes.  Special strengths include anesthesiology, cardiology, dermatology, immunology, ophthalmology and neurology.  The library also has a large collection of Mayo physician bound reprints. 

Library Catalog
The W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine collection can be searched online at 

Borrowing Privileges
Older works are non-circulating and may be used by calling for an appointment (266-7425). Contemporary support materials (recently published historical accounts, biographies, etc.) are available for circulation. Borrowing privileges are extended to faculty, students and employees of Mayo Clinic.


  • Tours by appointment only
  • Reference consultations
  • Image research for historical medical figures and subjects
  • Digital imaging by arrangement 

Loan Policies

  • Classic monographs and journals: non-circulating
  • Selected contemporary monographs/journals: Two weeks, two renewals
  • Media: Two weeks, two renewals

Upcoming Events

Mayo Clinic History of Medicine Society Upcoming Lectures

Please join us for the next Mayo Clinic History of Medicine Society Lecture on Tuesday, October 4th at 6pm CST.

In April of 1949, the world learned of one of the landmarks of 20th century medicine. A new drug developed at Mayo Clinic had been given to patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The astonishing results were captured on film. Patients who could barely walk were seen moving with ease after only a few days of treatment. It was the result of a 20-year collaboration between an innovative chemist, a dedicated physician, and their colleagues. This film tells the intriguing story of their search for a mysterious hormone that ultimately led to new hope for patients, an important new class of medications and the Nobel Prize. A preview of the film is available on the Heritage Days website. 

During this event, the film will be shown, followed by a panel discussion with the scriptwriter and physicians from Mayo Clinic's Division of Rheumatology. They will discuss the film's themes, the impact of the discovery of cortisone on patients as well as the medical community and answer your questions.


  • Eric Matteson, M.D., Emeritus Consultant, Rheumatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • Thom Rooke, M.D., John and Posy Krehbiel Professorship in Vascular Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 
  • Kenneth Warrington, M.D., John F. Finn Minnesota Arthritis Foundation Professorship; Division Chair, Rheumatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • Tom Williams, Writer and Director, Mayo Clinic Heritage Films      

Please click the link below to join the webinar. pwd=cmgrQm95aUFWVVZaSnFURXM5bU85QT09
Meeting ID: 910 7827 8298

Passcode: 317315

Lecture presentations will be delivered via Zoom webinar and begin at 6:00 p.m. CST. 

Previous lectures are available on the Video Exchange and additional information is available here

For more information contact 

Hours and Access

The W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library is located on the 15th floor of the Plummer Building.

Research access and tours are available Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm by appointment only. At least 24 hours notice is preferred. 

Call or email for arrangements:


In The Spotlight