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History of Medicine Online Resources for Research: Ebooks and Articles

This guide provides a starting point for researchers inside and outside of Yale to find history of medicine resources online.

Library Homepage Search Box-Quicksearch

This is the search box that appears on the Yale University Library home page. Use Quicksearch and enter search terms in the box to get started searching. Don't worry about being too precise at first; you can easily narrow down your results later by clicking on the results and using the choices on the left hand side. 


In your results screen, you'll notice that there is a Books+ column on the left, and an Articles+ column on the right, with "View and filter all...results."  Click on the "View and filter..." which will take you into a new screen where you can filter down the many results you get using options (facets) on the left.  Many of the articles in the Articles+ results are fully available online to the Yale community.
Quicksearch results with Books+ and Articles+ featured

Narrowing down to online books in Quicksearch

In Quicksearch, how do you limit to books that are only available online?
Click on Books+ and hit the Advanced Search button right next to the search box.
Under Format, limit to "online," and add your keywords and publication date range to find books on the topic you want in the time period you are exploring. 
Keep in mind that search terms change over time. For example, instead of city, authors may have used "inner city," "urban," "ghetto," etc., depending on the time period


Google Books

Do you know that you can find primary sources and popular magazines and journals on Google Books?
Here are the steps!

  1. Go to Google Books.
  2. Search for your term (for example, cholera)
  3. In your results screen, you'll see "Any time" just under the Videos tab under the search bar.
  4. In the "Any time" tab, click "Custom Range," and put in the time period you want.
  5. Once you click on a book, if you see a red "E-book free," it is free to download.  You can click the cog in the top right corner of the screen to download the book as a PDF

Be aware that books before 1923 are more likely to be fully available online, because of U.S. Copyright law.  Libraries digitized many of their books before 1923.  After 1923, you may find government publications fully online or previews of certain books.

Google also provides free access to a number of magazines, like Life magazine (one of the most popular magazines between 1950-1970, full of health and medicine articles and advertisements), Ebony and Jet (for African-American audiences).  Click on any of these links, or on any cover of one of the magazines, and you'll see an option to "Search all issues" that you can click right under the search box:

You can search for your topic through all the issues, so no need to click on each cover!  While you can't download the magazines, you have free access to all the content.

Don't forget to use Google Scholar for articles, which you can also narrow down to certain dates.  And make sure you are logged into Yale's VPN, as Google Scholar connects to our VPN to give you access to articles.