Special Collections and Archives


8:30 AM - 4:30 PM Monday-Friday or by appointment

Special Collections

The Special Collections Department consists of rare books, archives, and a few manuscript collections, which relate to thehistory of medicine. The core of the rare book collection was purchased from Dr. Morris Saffron, and is rich in works in venerology, dermatology, and the history of medicine.

Three other collections of note are:

  • Frank B. Norbury Collection (neurology and psychiatry)
  • Kemper/Buckmaster Collection (a 19th-early 20th century working physicians collection)
  • William Moore Collection (homeopathy and popular medical texts)

All books in Special Collections are included in the Medical Library Catalog.


Collection Statistics

Special Collections
Time Period Holdings
Incunabula 0
16th century 13
17th century 26
18th century 138
19th century 1,112
20th century 1,244
Archival size 417 linear feet
Manuscript collection 11
Photographs 878

The total number of volumes in the collection is 5,178.



The SIU School of Medicine Archives consist of 417 linear feet of print and non-print materials of historic value emanating from the School. Popular items in this non-circulating collection include curriculum documents and the School's yearbooks. A few manuscript materials are housed in special collections, mostly related to the central Illinois region.


  • Reference service is available both in person and by phone 217.545.2113.
  • No microfilming is available.
  • Photocopying is by Library staff at their discretion.
  • All rare books are listed in the online library catalog.
  • There is an in-house printed guide for the archival materials.


  1. Researchers must first complete the Special Collections and Archives Form and provide a copy of identification such as a driver’s license or photo ID.
  2. Personal items may be stored outside of Special Collections in a locker at Circulation.
  3. No smoking, eating, or drinking is permitted and please silence cell phones and pagers. 
  4. All material must be used only in the Special Collections Room Monday through Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM or by appointment. Other materials requiring advance notice include photographs, ephemera, papers, etc.
  5. Handle materials carefully, without bending pages or marking, paying close attention to bindings and loose pages.  White gloves are provided for handling books and materials. Notes must be taken in pencil on loose-leaf paper.  Loose-leaf paper is supplied to researchers.  Pens are not allowed in the reading room.  Laptop computers or iPads may be used for researching. Digital cameras may be used; however, flash photography is strictly prohibited. The order and arrangement of the papers must be maintained. 
  6. Please leave all materials on the table when finished for the library staff to reshelve.
  7. Photocopies or scans will be made only by medical library staff and at their discretion.  To request copies, please fill out the appropriate form.  Copyright restrictions also may apply. Entire collections or large portions may not be reproduced.  SIUSM library reserves the right to refuse copying of items.
  8. Photocopies or scans are for personal research only, and are not to be further reproduced without written permission of Special Collections, SIUSM Library. Copies may not be placed in another institution or given to another researcher. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure permission from Special Collections and the holders of copyright of material in the collections before publication.  Permission to photocopy or scan does not constitute permission to publish.
  9. A published work using these materials as sources must acknowledge this library.  A citation should include the following information:
    Special Collections Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL. 

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated in the preservation of this collection.