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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

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: 

Emily Brown, Librarian


Upcoming Events

“Earl Wood: From centrifuge to bedside - Investigating human physiology in challenging environments"

Presented by: Jan Stepanek, MD, MPH, FASMA and E. Andrew Wood, MS, PT, CBES

Earl H. Wood was a physiologist, scientist and world-renowned researcher at the Mayo Clinic for over 40 years. He is best known for his groundbreaking research on the human centrifuge and combat aircraft that allowed the G-suit to be used by pilots during World War II and into the jet and space age.  In the 1950s and 60s he directed research in cardiac catheterization, the development of the pulse oximeter and cardiac angiography. Later in his career he and his team of scientists created the Dynamic Spatial Reconstructor (DSR), pioneering video three-dimensional computer reconstruction of the chest cavity and other body structures.  His unique team approach to medical research allowed him to be successful through sharing ideas, using better instrumentation, accurate measurement and data analysis.

This presentation will discuss Dr. Wood’s background, the challenges faced with advancing aviation technology before and during World War II and the post war clinical benefits of the research that was conducted in the Mayo Clinic Aero Medical Laboratory.  In addition, we will discuss Earl H. Wood the person: as a leader, mentor, innovator and coach. 

Monday, October 2, 2023

Phillips Hall

Lecture to begin at 6:00 p.m. CT

Light buffet served at 5:30 p.m. CT

For In Person Attendance, RSVP is required by 9/22. Please contact Emily Brown or 507-284-3676

Please click the link below to join the webinar. M2lUOHlTT1VSaUtuZ2NNRGJwdz09

Passcode: 650410 Webinar ID: 928 2222 6645


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

For more information contact 

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