History of Medicine and Public Health

A guide to information sources about the history of medicine and public health.

What is a Primary Source?

A handwritten letter Newspapers Photograph of Civil War veterans, Washington, DC, 1865 A diary


Primary sources are records that provide first-hand testimony or evidence of an event, action, topic, or time period. Primary sources are usually created by individuals who directly experience an event or topic, and record their experience through photographs, videos, memoirs, correspondence, oral histories, or autobiographies.

Common Examples of PRIMARY Sources:
Letters, diaries, memoirs, speeches, interviews, photographs, notes, subject files, oral histories, autobiographies, travelogues, pamphlets, newspapers, newsletters, brochures, government documents including hearings, reports and statistical data, military service records, manuscripts, archival materials, artifacts, architectural plans, artistic works, works of fiction, music scores, and sound recordings.

Photo credits:
Letter, clipart.com
20072307 Days go by (Newspapers), Lollyman, photo available on Flickr.com
Washington, D.C. Company D 10th U.S. Veteran Reserve Corps, James Gardner, photographer, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-DIG-cwpb-04379 DLC
writing in bed (Diary), louveciennes, photo available on Flickr.com.

Health / Medicine Archival Collections at UTSA

Health / Medicine Archival Collections at UT Health Science Center

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Medical Archives in Texas

Additional Tools to Find Archival Collections