The development of botanical knowledge is intertwined with the history of medicine, with the use of plants in medical treatment documented to at least 5,000 years ago in written records and 60,000 years in archaeological studies. “Herbals” are books that identify and describe plants and their usage, both medical and non-medical. They provide guidance for use and help pass botanical knowledge on to new practitioners. As seen here, many also include beautiful illustrations.
This exhibit includes books significant to the history of botany, medicine, and science. It also includes books that have lovely imagery. January in the Midwest is cold and snowy, and spending a cozy evening dreaming of warmer weather with garden seed catalogs is a customary practice. At the very least, maybe this exhibit will serve as a reminder that spring is right around the corner.
Curated by the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library staff with assistance from the W. Bruce Fye Center for the History of Medicine staff.
As you scroll through the author galleries below, click on the images for a closer view.
This exhibit was designed and curated by the staff of The W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library. All books and artifacts are from the Library collection.
To learn more about Mayo Clinic history, heritage and the history of medicine, visit: