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USU Archives: Military Medical History

USU Archives

1987 Graduates

USU groundbreaking with President Gerald Ford

Dr. Robert J.T. Joy with students

Original location of USU, Bethesda, Maryland

Studying in the LRC

Dr. Robert J.T. Joy

President Ronald Reagan at 1987 Commencement

First USU Commencement, 1980

Dr. Jay Sanford and early USU staffers

Curreris and Sanfords celebrating USU groundbreaking

Dr. Anthony Curreri

Dr. Jay Sanford

USU Construction

Charter Class Students

Artist's Rendering of Cafeteria

Board of Regents and Dr. James Zimble

Artist's Rendering of Campus View

USU Construction

AFIP Welcome

1999 Graduates

1980 Graduates

Rare Book Collection

Rare Book Collection

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Telephone: (301) 295-3350

Featured Rare Book

Related Institutions

The following are links to other institutions with collections and exhibits that complement the material in the USU Archives. 

National Museum of Health and Medicine

National Library of Medicine

National Archives and Records Administration

Military Medical History Collections

The Archives collects unpublished material and rare books pertaining to the history of military medicine and public health. The Archives is in the process of arranging and describing its manuscript collections to make them more accessible to users. Most of the rare book collection has been catalogued and can be found in the Learning Resource Center's online catalogue. Please contact the Archives with any questions about our collections.

USU Rare Book Collection

The USU Rare Book Collection consists of over 3,000 books covering surgery, obstetrics, psychology, the American Civil War, and World Wars I and II, among other subjects. The majority of the collection dates from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but there are books from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries as well. The LRC's oldest book is Certaine Workes of Chirurgerie by Thomas Gale, from 1563. 

Much of the collection was donated to USU in 2005 as part of the Sommer Family Collection. Drs. George Sommer I and II, two New Jersey surgeons, collected these volumes over the course of the 20th century. The collection amassed by these two prominent physicians contains medical books and periodicals dating back to 1672.

The Archives displays a selection of Featured Rare Books on our homepage. Information about these books can be found here.  

The links below are a selection of books from the Rare Book Collection that have been scanned by the Archives. Other scanned books can be viewed and downloaded by searching the Archives' digital collection under the heading Military Medical History Documents.

Gale Primary Sources - Nineteenth Century Collections Online

The James A. Zimble Learning Resource Center/USU Archives subscribes to an online collection of digitized 19th century archival material from preeminent libraries and archives around the world. Curated by historians and archivists, this collection is interdisciplinary but contains two sections on Science, Technology, and Medicine. These sections explore the rapid acceleration of scientific, technical, and medical knowledge in the 19th century through journals, books, reports, and personal documents.

Search PowER Search for Rare Books

Search PowER Search to find rare books in the library's catalog. Select "Library Catalog" from the drop down menu when searching.

Rare Book User Policy

  • The USU Archives is available by appointment. Researchers are encouraged to contact the USU Archives to make arrangements to use the collections.
  • Materials may only be used with a member of the LRC staff present. Copies/scans/digitization/etc. may only be made by the LRC staff, and will be done at the department’s discretion, based upon copyright or preservation concerns.
  • Rare books must be checked out to the patron’s LRC user account for the duration of use and checked back in at the end. If necessary, the books may be checked out by a member of the LRC staff while the patron uses them, with the approval of the Archivist. The rare books may be checked out for a two hour time limit. This alerts the patron and the circulation desk staff that a rare book is being checked out and that it cannot be removed from the LRC.
  • No eating or drinking is allowed while handling the materials.
  • Only pencils may be used while working with archival material and rare books. Do not make marks on archival materials or take notes on top of them. Please do not erase any existing marks in books, but bring them to the attention of the LRC staff.


James A. Zimble Learning Resource Center • 4301 Jones Bridge Rd. Bethesda, MD 20814 • Main Number: 301-295-3189 • AMI Helpdesk: 301-295-3358

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