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HSHM 475/HIST 128J: Race and Disease in American Medicine: Ebooks and Articles

Guide for Sakena Abedin's seminar, HSHM 475/HIST 128J: Race and Disease in American Medicine

Racism and Medicine History Ebooks

There are a number of scholarly works related to race and medicine.  Below is a small selection, but please dive into the Syllabus: A History of Anti-Black Racism in Medicine, published by the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), and this guide produced by the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, which includes contemporary and historical sources.

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. 

TERMINOLOGY IS VERY IMPORTANT WHEN RESEARCHING RACE HISTORICALLY!  Terms like minority, ethnicity, race, underserved, urban health, and third world are terms employed in the 20th century to describe race.  More specifically, use terms like Hispanic (or search by country), Latino, Latina, Puerto Rican, Chicano, Mexican-American, colored, Black, African-American, negro, white, Caucasian, Native American, Indian (or search by tribe), Asian (or search by country), Nippon (Japanese), etc.


Image of Yale Library landing page with a search box


In your results screen, you'll notice that there is a Books column in the middle, and Journals & Magazine articles column on the right, with additional boxes as you scroll down the page. On the left you'll find a menu to allow you to limit your search.

Quicksearch results

Google Books

Image from Ebony, November 1970

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.