The U.S Health Activism History Collection is a group of archival collections centered on health care, health policy, and medical reform movements. Topics covered in these collections included poverty, civil rights, women's health, and many others. The original collector, Walter J. Lear (1923-2010), was a pioneering LGBT doctor and medical activist.
From its founding, Penn has been a training ground for students of chemistry, medicine, dentistry, nursing, and veterinary medicine. Penn Libraries collections support not only these fields but also research into their history and social contexts, from innovations that improve health through medicine, to understanding the impact of humans on climate and the ways in which health affects the betterment of society across all peoples. These collections span centuries, from medieval herbals to the papers of 20th century medical activists Walter Lear and Elizabeth Fee, to make Penn a globally significant center for research into the history and impact of health science.
The Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection is devoted to the history of chemistry and collects broadly in that field, emphasizing periods prior to 1900. The collection includes early and modern works on chemistry, alchemy, early medicine and pharmacology, dyeing, metallurgy, mineralogy, and pyrotechnics; biographies of chemists; works on the chemical industry; and the history of chemical education.
This webpage provides an overview of special collections in the Penn Libraries relevant to the study of the environment and ecology, presented thematically across a broad range of historical time and geographic space.