The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.


This policy describes the Medicine collection which is housed in the Biomedical Library. The primary focus of the collection is on clinical resources that support the Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Health System. That focus is primarily electronic resources such as journals and point of care tools. 

The collection also works in collaboration with the Biomedical Research collection and both serve as the main drivers of what is to be considered the Biomedical Library collection. 

Collection Description

The Perelman School of Medicine was founded in 1765. For nearly 150 years, the physicians and students relied on the Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. In 1931, the rotunda of the Medical Laboratories Building (now the Morgan Building) was set aside for a Medical School Library. (The name was later changed to Biomedical Library.) The collection was formed by the merger of several departmental libraries and the personal collections of several faculty members. Acquisitions for the Medical Library focused on the basic sciences and research needs of the Penn medical community. It was understood that the clinical information needs of the staff were handled by the HUP departmental libraries and, from 1952, by the consolidated HUP Library. In 1987, the HUP library was closed and its unique holdings were transferred to the Biomedical Library. As a consequence, the Biomedical Library was charged with providing a clinical as well as a research collection. Since the early '90's emphasis in the Health System has been placed on expanding its already extensive clinical programs.


Doing Research

A more complete list of databases and other resources can be found on the Biomedical Library homepage.