Special Collections

Need to schedule an appointment?

Dawne Lucas
Dawne Lucas, MA, MLS
Special Collections Librarian

Visit HSL Special Collections in the Wilcox Reading Room, located on the 5th floor of the Health Sciences Library!

Special Collections at the Health Sciences Library (HSL) includes materials such as:

  • printed works (books, pamphlets, journals, broadsides, posters, and ephemera)
  • manuscripts
  • letters
  • photographs
  • student notebooks
  • medical illustrations
  • medical instruments
  • pharmacy artifacts


These materials range in date from the 1500s to the present day, encompassing the history of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, public health, and the allied medical sciences. The history of the health sciences in North Carolina is strongly represented.


A few noteworthy items among many are:


The mission of Special Collections at the HSL is to provide a secure and controlled environment for materials of historic value, fragile condition, or those requiring special treatment, and to provide research services and related programming in the history of the health sciences, such as exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and other events.

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An introduction to surgery that pulses with life…

Sir Charles Bell’s Engravings of the arteries : illustrating the Anatomy of the human body, and serving as an introduction to the Surgery of the arteries. The engraving by David Edwin (1776-1841) is hand colored. 

Engravings of the arteries is included in our online display of early modern books, and is available at the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, Special Collections and Archives (QM 191 .B433 1816).

From our friends at the  Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, Special Collections and Archives, Virginia Commonwealth University. UNC HSL Special Collections has a copy, too!