Since the early 20th century, OHSU Library's collections have been distinguished by rare and unique materials. OHSU Historical Collections & Archives is the home of OHSU's collections of rare books, archives, manuscripts, and artifacts. Our staff collect, preserve, and provide on-site and remote access to these valuable primary resources, which are used for research and teaching in fields including health sciences, history, the arts, and interdisciplinary fields.

Archives and Manuscripts

Spanning the late 19th century to the present day, the university archives constitute the documentary record of OHSU and its predecessor institutions. Administrative records, photographs and artwork, campus publications, research data, personal papers, and more are collected in both analog and digital formats. Our holdings also include manuscript collections with an emphasis on health sciences in the Pacific Northwest. Collection guides may be accessed and searched via Archives West.


Our artifact collections include medical instruments, supplies, specimens, uniforms, and other cultural objects. Highlights include the belongings of Oregon's pioneer doctors, artifacts of 20th-century military medicine, 19th-20th century dental instruments, and samples of innovative technologies developed at OHSU. Contact us for more information about our artifacts.

Digital Collections

Our digital holdings include the Historical Images Collection, OHSU's web archives, digitized rare books from HC&A and Oregon National Primate Research Center collections, the Oral History Collection, Public Health in Oregon: Discovering Historical Data, the contemporary campus image collection, theses and dissertations, classic articles, and much more. Access our digital collections.

Rare Books

Our holdings include over 4,000 rare books on the health sciences, dating from the early 16th century to the mid-20th century. Highlights include the 1555 edition of Andreas Vesalius's De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem, and hundreds of other classic titles. Strengths of our collections include anatomy, neurology, ophthalmology, and dentistry; see below for detailed information about sub-collections. Rare books can be searched via the Library's catalog.

Consisting of over 3,000 titles from the early 16th to mid-20th centuries, the History of Medicine Collection is the most extensive of HC&A's rare book collections, with a strong relationship to campus history and the local medical community.

The collection began development under Bertha Brandon Hallam, the first professional librarian at University of Oregon Medical School. Beginning in 1919, Hallam engaged the support of the Portland Academy of Medicine (PAM), the city’s leading organization for medical professionals. PAM directly funded many rare book acquisitions, and facilitated donations of books from members throughout the 20th century.

In the early 20th century, George Emanuel Burget, Ph.D., Chair of the UOMS Library Committee, donated his own book collection to the library. Included were several works by Claude Bernard; Félix Vicq-d’Azyr’s 1786 Traité d'anatomie et de physiologie; and titles by Marcello Malpighi, John Hunter, Alexander von Humboldt, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, R.T.H. Laennec, and many more. PAM and Library Committee members including Adalbert Bettman, M.D., Noble Wiley Jones, M.D., and Ernst A. Sommer, M.D., also made individual donations of rare books. An important donation from Joseph Leggett Miller, M.D. brought works by Roger Bacon, Hermann Boerhaave, Richard Bright, Ambroise Paré, and Benjamin Rush, along with dozens of other titles.

In 1964, the History of Medicine Room was established through the support of PAM and the medical school. At this time the History of Medicine Collection included around 400 16th-19th century volumes.

In 1980, biophysicist and inventor Norman Holter donated his copy of the 1555 edition of Andreas Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica to the library. As one of the greatest works of Western medicine and a landmark of the Renaissance, Holter’s donation raised the profile of OHSU Library’s rare book collections, and encouraged future donations of rare medical classics.

Thanks to donations from faculty, alumni, and the general public, the History of Medicine collection today includes over 3000 titles, and is among the finest institutional collections of rare books in the Pacific Northwest.

The History of Dentistry Collection originated in the School of Dentistry’s library in the 1970s, under the guidance of J. Henry Clarke, D.M.D., and the school’s History of Dentistry Committee. The dental school built the History of Dentistry Collection to around 550 titles from the 18th century to the early 20th century, with strengths in orthodontics, periodontology, anesthesiology, pathology, oral surgery, and dental practice in the Pacific Northwest.

In 2003, the collection and its oak bookcases were transferred to OHSU Library. The transfer of the collection to OHSU Library established a new partnership for preserving and providing access to the school’s unique historical collections. Since 2003, over 100 additional titles have been added to the collection, including several historic works on 18th-19th century dental anatomy and technology.

Portrait of Frank G. Everett, D.M.D., posed in suit.
Dr. Frank G. Everett (photo courtesy of Everett family)

Dr. Frank G. Everett was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1907. He graduated from the University of Vienna Medical School in 1932 and received a Dental License from the University of Vienna Dental School two years later. In the late 1930s, Everett and his wife, Leonie Lea Everett left Austria for America. They visited a number of cities in the United States and, by 1939, had arrived and decided to stay in Portland, Oregon. Here, Dr. Everett continued his education, receiving a D.M.D. from North Pacific College in 1941 and a Master of Medical Science from the University of Oregon Medical School in 1948. He served on the faculties of both the Dental and Medical Schools from 1939 continuously up to his passing in 1976; at the time of his death he held the rank of Professor Emeritus in the Department of Periodontology.

Dr. Everett began his contributions to research, literature and dentistry early in his career. He wrote more than 60 papers for national and international dental and medical journals, served as co-author of four editions of Orban's Periodontics, and contributed to four other texts. He was a distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Periodontology, recipient of the Orban Memorial Award from Loyola University (Chicago), honorary member in Verein Osterreichischer Zahnarzte (Vienna), and Guest Speaker of the Main Address at the Sesquicentennial Celebration for the University of Vienna Dental School in 1971 on which occasion he was named “Outstanding Alumnus and Teacher” and had his portrait hung alongside the other “Greats of the Vienna Group” (Bernhard Gottlieb, Balint Orban, Harry Sicher, Joseph Peter Weinmann).

OHSU’s Historical Collections & Archives is home to the Frank G. Everett papers, which document his research and scholarly output, and the Frank G. Everett Historical Collection, which consists of many books collected by Everett once housed in the Everett Library within OHSU’s School of Dentistry. These volumes were donated to HC&A when the school relocated to the Skourtes Tower on OHSU’s South Waterfront campus. Since the initial donations, additions have been made by the Everett family.

Additional resources:

  • "Biography of Dr. Frank G. Everett," School of Dentistry Dental Bites, July 2020, pp. 8-11.
  • Schunck, Timo, and Dominik Gross. “Persecuted in the Third Reich, Revered in the USA: Frank Everett (Birth Name: Franz Ehrenfest) and His Contribution to Periodontology (1907-1976).” Jewish Culture and History, vol. 22, no. 3, July 2021, pp. 272–93. (paywall; contact us for access help)

The Rosenbaum History of Neurology Collection includes classic works in neurology from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Learn more about Herbert Rosenbaum, M.D., and the Rosenbaum History of Neurology Collection.

First developed under the direction of Bertha Hallam, the Sydenham Collection contains 19th-century books published by the Sydenham Society and the New Sydenham Society, London-based publishers of reprints of classic medical works.

First developed under the direction of Bertha Hallam, the First Class Collection was built from a list of the textbooks used by students in the first session of the University of Oregon Medical School (1887-1888). It provides a fascinating glimpse of 19th century medical education.

Statement on harmful content

OHSU’s Historical Collections & Archives (HC&A) contain records that are historical in nature and products of the time and society in which they were created. Some materials within our collections, including the language used to describe them, may contain language or images that users find inappropriate, offensive, or harmful. OHSU does not endorse the views expressed in these materials, which are inconsistent with our commitment to creating an inclusive, open, accessible, and anti-racist learning community. Historical items have been retained as they originally existed to preserve the integrity of the historical record and to foster accountability for the actions and decisions of the records creator.  

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding materials you’ve found in our online collections. Offensive description brought to our attention will be addressed and revised as soon as possible.