The Rare Book Collections of the McGovern Historical Center has more than 18,000 items in the following main collecting areas: history of medicine; dentistry; gout, rheumatism & arthritis; public health, medical education, and psychiatry & mental health. The books date from the 1490s to the 20th century. A notable work is Andreas Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica (1543), which revolutionized anatomy. The collection covers a wide-range of topics from folk remedies to the works of Sir William Osler, the father of modern medicine.
Manuscript Collections are primarily personal papers. These collections contain materials from prominent leaders, physicians, researchers, nurses, faculty, staff and other healthcare professionals that were influential in the Texas Medical Center. There are many collections related to the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission and rheumatology. The collections contain correspondence, speeches, reprints, financial records, photographs, and audiovisual materials. Manuscript Collections are identified with an MS collection number.
Institutional Collections are records created by organizations. These collections contain materials from institutions in the Texas Medical Center, Houston area hospitals and medical organizations. The collections contain administrative documents, financial records, photographs, newsletters, directories, brochures, and patient log books. Institutional Collections are identified with an IC collection number.
Photograph collections consist primarily of photographic materials. These collections document the history of the institutions and people of the Texas Medical Center, Houston-area hospitals Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, and medical news. Notable collections include TMC Photograph Collection, Memorial Hospital Photograph Collection, ABCC Photograph Collection, Mac Suzuki Photograph Collection, Teresa Hayes Photograph Collection, TMC Library Historical Photograph Collection, and Medical World News Photograph Collection. Many other archival collections contain photographic materials as well. The MHC has a unique collection of photos about the people and medical institutions associated with Houston from the early 1900s to today. Notable collections include Hermann Hospital, the Medical World News, and the Historical Photo Collection.
The McGovern Historical Center is working to digitize and provide online access to many of its collections. Our digital collections document the history of medicine through rare pamphlets and books. In addition, the MHC is dedicated to preserving born-digital materials retrieved from legacy storage, such as floppies, zip disks, and other obsolete formats. Materials are available on this site as well as DigitalCommons@TMC and Internet Archive.
Collections with significant amounts of audiovisual materials (audio, video, and film) include the Texas Heart Institute Film Collection, TIRR (The Institute for Research and Rehabilitation) records, Hermann Hospital Archives records, TMC Historical Resource Project Video Collection, Daniel Creson papers. There are several other collections that contain some audiovisual materials.