History of Medicine

Welcome to the The Leo J. McCarthy M.D. History of Medicine Room

About the Resources

  • The Ruth Lilly Medical Library special collections emphasizes the practice of medicine in the 19th century Indiana and other Midwestern states.
  • The collections books range from the 15th Century to the 20th Century and beyond. 
  • The collection numbers 1,600+ titles with most of the titles from post-1800.
  • The strength of the collection is in the serials.  Approximately 400 titles are pre-1900, 210 being American imprints and 76 Midwestern American imprints.
  • The collection seeks to support the study of 19th and 20th centuries everyday medicine and surgery.
  • Other resources include representative medical instruments and a file index to Indiana medical obituaries.
  • The historical collection of medical books and journals is a state resource
  • Educational outreach programs publicize it throughout the state.


  • Medical historical reference services available to all via the Ask a Question reference services
  • Physician history researched and genealogical consultations available.
  • Consultation available for non-profit Indiana groups concerning medical book, instruments, etc.

Resources from Ruth Lilly Medical Library (RLML)

History of Medicine Resources

Upcoming Presentations

Lance Armstrong, Testicular Cancer and the Tour de Cancer

Presenter: Lawrence H. Einhorn, M.D.

This is our 2nd Leo J. McCarthy M.D. History of Medicine Lecture.


Friday, November 18, 2016 12-1:00 pm, 1st Floor, Dean's Tower

Registration is not required but is recommended. Lunch will be provided.


Monday-Friday 10:00 am to 2:00 pm  Special Hours may be scheduled.

Contact & Location Information

Special Collections & History of Medicine
Ruth Lilly Medical Library
Indiana University School of Medicine
975 West Walnut Street IB 307
Indianapolis Indiana 46202-5121

Contact:, or Ask a medical Librarian

975 W. Walnut Street, IB 100 | Indianapolis, IN 46202 | Ph: (317) 274-7182 | Fax: (317) 278-4506