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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New acquisition!: Physiology of the Wedding Night, by  Octavius de St. Ernest (pseudonym of Charles Chabot). In addition to the therapeutic treatments mentioned above, this book, a translation of the French Physiologie de la première nuit des noces, includes a variety of advice and pithy sayings. 

Such as: Matrimony is an urn containing gold – and a viper, too.

Intrigued? You can see the entire book via the U. S. National Library of Medicine Digital Collections.