Special Collections

W. Bruce Fye Center for the History of Medicine and Historical Archives

The history of Mayo Clinic is the special province of W. Bruce Fye Center for the History of Medicine and Historical Archives. The archival collections contain official records of Mayo Clinic and its administrative offices, official and unofficial publications, departmental annual reports, committee minutes, records of organizations, as well as personal papers and memorabilia pertaining to Mayo Clinic and its programs, staff and students.

Services include research consultations, records retention consultation (for example, department minutes and annual reports), photocopying and assistance with historical presentations (quotes, facts, images). These services are available to Mayo Clinic employees and external scholars by prior appointment.

Use Mayo Archives Xplorer (MAX), our online catalog, to search for archival resources.

For further assistance, call 507-284-4054 or email mayohistorysocial@mayo.edu.

W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library

The W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library houses important collections of the history of medicine and sciences. Several thousand volumes of rare medical classics (from 1479) and early journal literature (from 1665) constitute the core collection of primary literature on all aspects of medicine and allied fields.

Early medical imprints (pre-1875) and more recently published histories, biographies, facsimiles and other support material make up the remainder of the collection of some 23,000 volumes. Resources within the Fye Library may be used with prior approval and by appointment.

Ceiling exhibit

One of the special architectural features of Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, is the ceiling in the main reading room of the Plummer Library, located in the historic 1928 Plummer Building.

The combination of marble arches and double-height, painted beamed ceiling make the architectural space unique. The ceiling serves as a permanent display of 62 names of notable medical men and women selected to represent the best of science and medicine from antiquity to the mid-1930s.

The ceiling of the Plummer Library in the historic Plummer Building

Mayo Medicine

The Mayo Medicine special collection consists of scholarly works edited, co-edited, authored or co-authored by Mayo Clinic staff. Mayo Clinic contributions to scholarship span more than 130 years. The first publication appeared in 1871. Today, approximately 5,350 journal articles authored by Mayo Clinic staff members are published annually, as are approximately 680 books or book chapters.

Mayo Clinic scholarly publications from 1871 to present are contained in the Mayo Authors database, an electronic database produced in the Mayo Medical Library. This bibliographic database contains links to full text and serves as an archival record of significant publication activity at Mayo Clinic. Access to this bibliographic tool is only through the Mayo Clinic intranet.

Medical stamps

Mayo Clinic received a donation of medical stamps from Lawrence Leslie Ware Jr., in honor of Gerald (Jerry) M. Needham, Ph.D., and his wife, Billie B. Needham. Dr. Needham is an emeritus professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Mayo Clinic.

Beginning in 1966, Mr. Ware served as a medical information officer for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command at Fort Detrick, Maryland. He and his colleagues at Fort Detrick pioneered much of the research that influenced the biotechnology industry. Mr. Ware was nominated for the Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 1986 — the second highest award for civilians — and retired that same year.

A medical stamp donated to Mayo Clinic by Lawrence Leslie Ware Jr.

Rare anatomical texts

In the beginning of the 20th century, the early partners in the practice, the Mayo brothers, contributed their personal medical books and journals as a nucleus of the Mayo Medical Library. Many have followed in this tradition, such as Dr. Anthony H. Kelly, who donated 130 rare anatomy books dating from the 16th to 19th centuries.

Mayo Clinic Libraries house rare anatomical texts dating back to the 16th century, highlighting the role that donations have played in developing the Mayo Clinic Libraries.

Feb. 28, 2017