Library stacks at the Syracuse University College of Medicine McBride Street Campus (1905)
Library stacks at the Syracuse University College of Medicine McBride Street Campus (1905)


Archives and Special Collections is Upstate Medical University’s only repository for archival and rare printed and 3-dimensional materials, making it an invaluable resource for faculty and students and visiting researchers interested in the history of medicine and science. We welcome researchers year-round. Please see our Using Archives and Special Collections page to plan your visit.

The Archival holdings currently include more than 2000 linear feet of records relating to Upstate Medical University and its predecessor institutions, Geneva College of Medicine (1834-1871) and Syracuse University College of Medicine (1872-1949). Finding aids have been made available online to assist researchers in using collections that have been processed.

Notable Archival Collections:

  • The 52nd General Hospital Unit Collection (WWII)
  • The Geneva College of Medicine Collection
  • The Syracuse University College of Medicine Collection
  • The Medical Photography Unit Collection (beginning in 1929)
  • The Herman G. Weiskotten PhD Papers
  • Papers relating to Elizabeth Blackwell MD
  • The Oral Histories Collection

The Special Collections holdings include nearly 13,000 volumes of rare books and journals and more than 330 pieces of antique medical and laboratory equipment, textiles, ephemera and pharmaceuticals.

Notable Special Collections holdings:

  • An Inaugural Dissertation on Insanity by Theodric Romeyn Beck (1811)
    • The first Psychiatric Dissertation written by an American
  • American Medical Botany by Jacob Bigelow (1817)
    • The first color illustrations printed in America
  • The Moral Education of the Young In Relation to Sex: Under Medical and Social Aspects by Elizabeth Blackwell (1879)
    • A scarce issue written by the first woman to receive an MD (graduated from Geneva College of Medicine in 1849)
  • On the Morbid Appearances of The Absorbent Glands and Spleen by Thomas Hodgkin (1832)
    • The first separately published edition of the classic description of lymphadenoma or Hodgkin’s Disease. Our copy was signed by Dr. Hodgkin.
  • The trowel used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to lay the cornerstone of Weiskotten Hall in 1936
  • The first known microscope used in the city of Syracuse, which was owned by Alfred Mercer MD
  • A Japanese gas mask from WWII
  • Early stethoscope c. 1840s
  • Ward-Mueller models designed by Justus F. Mueller, long time faculty member