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  • Medical historical reference services available to all via the Ask a Question reference services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


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