The Mütter Museum is now open to the public! Please note we are closed on Tuesdays.
dissection scene
The Historical Medical Library
One of the world's premier research collections in the history of medicine.

PLEASE NOTE: We are closed to research appointments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Library staff continue to work remotely. The health and safety of our staff and researchers are of utmost importance.


The Library is not currently accepting any donations of materials at this time. 

The unique holdings of the library include over 400 incunabula (books printed before 1500), an extensive collection of manuscripts and archives, historical medical photographs, and a collection of 19th-century medical journals.

Library Hours 

Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10:00am to 4:30pm, by appointment only.

To make an appointment to use the Library or to ask questions about the collections, please email


The reading room for the Historical Medical Library is wheelchair accessible via the Van Pelt Street entrance on the rear side of the building directly behind the Museum, parallel to 21st and 22nd Streets. At the right of the glass door marked “College of Physicians of Philadelphia," you will see an intercom speaker and talk button. Press the button, and when someone responds, say that you are visiting the Historical Medical Library and need wheelchair access. Someone will come to assist you.

spinal nerves

Interested in traveling to research in our collection? 

The F.C. Wood Institute for the History of Medicine at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia offers grants to cover travel and lodging expenses for researchers who wish to use the College's collection of texts, manuscripts, archives, images, artifacts, and specimens in the history of medicine for short-term research.  

The Historical Medical Library is a member of the Medical Heritage Library, a digital curation collaborative among some of the world’s leading medical libraries.