New York State Library
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Health and Medical Collection

Health Information

The State Library provides health-related information to State government agencies, libraries and individuals. It offers:

  • One of the largest collections of health-related publications in New York State.
  • A trained staff, including certified medical librarians, skilled in providing health information from printed materials and electronic databases.
  • A comprehensive health reference collection for obtaining ready reference information or doing extensive literature searches, with strong resources in related biomedical fields.
  • State documents and Federal documents containing health information, much of it statistical, from the U.S. government, New York State, and other states.
  • Health-related publications from many other countries and from international groups such as the World Health Organization.

Abstracts and Indexes

The Library holds dozens of biomedical print indexes, including a complete file of Index Medicus and a collection of the more than forty subject sections of Excerpta Medica (dates vary). The Selected List of Abstracts and Indexes in Science, Health Sciences and Technology, a guide to the Library's holdings, lists all the biomedical indexes in one section. It is available at the Reference Desk.

Some Special Items in the Collection

Among the many special biomedical materials held are the following:

  • An extensive collection of older medical periodicals, many from the 19th century. (Ask about the special catalog for these publications.)
  • Indexes to historical portraits and biographical information about physicians and other health workers.
  • Health-related manuscript materials of local or regional origin, housed in the Manuscripts and Special Collections Section.
  • A large historical collection of medical pamphlets.
  • All the depository publications of the U.S. Government Printing Office, many of which relate to health.
  • Printed catalogs of other libraries, including that of the New York Academy of Medicine.
  • Medical college catalogs.

Special Services for Physicians

New York State-licensed physicians may borrow books directly if they have registered with the Library. They may also request reference services. However, most physicians now obtain information through the New York State Interlibrary Loan (NYSILL) network and its interface with the Regional Medical Library Program network, accessible through hospital, public, academic and special libraries.

Last Updated: June 11, 2021