HomeAbout the LibraryStaffMelissa Grafe, Ph.D

Melissa Grafe, Ph.D

John R. Bumstead Librarian for Medical History, Head of the Medical Historical Library
Medical Historical Library
Liaison to: 
Program in the History of Science and Medicine
  • Serve as your single point of contact to all things library
  • Tailor an instruction session for you or your class, incorporating the Medical Historical Library's special collections.
  • Receive your suggestions for new purchases – books, journals, databases, videos, and any other type of material.  Purchase special collections for the Medical Historical Library.
  • Help you search for information in any of the Medical Library’s and University Library's many databases.
  • Identify special collections in the Medical Historical Library based on your research topic, and help to provide physical and/or online access.
  • Discuss the process for gifts and donations to the Medical Historical Library.
  • Organize exhibitions within the Medical Library using Medical Historical Library collections.
  • Manage the Medical Historical Library and help coordinate daily operations.
  • Assist in Cushing Center tours and operations.

    Contact me for:

  • Any research question relating to topics in the history of medicine.
  • Discovering online historical materials.
  • Understanding and using bibliographic citation management systems such as Zotero.
  • Creating and refining search strategies to find information on your research topics in databases such as History of Science, Technology, and Medicine.
  • Donations to the Medical Historical Library.
  • Staging exhibitions in the Medical Library.
  • Digitizing Medical Historical Library collections.



  • CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) postdoctoral fellow, Lehigh University, 2009-2010
  • Ph.D, Johns Hopkins University, 2009
  • BA, Ursinus College, 1999


Medical Heritage Library, Steering Committee Chair
American Association for the History of Medicine
Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences
Affiliate, Program in the History of Science and Medicine, Yale University

Selected Publications:

  • "Finding 19th and Early 20th Century Materials
    Online," MLA News, 55, no. 6 (June/July 2015): 1.
  • Co-authored with Denise Hersey, Sarah Calhoun, Gwyneth Crowley, and Jana Krentz, a paper on "Understanding the Research Practices of Humanities Doctoral Students at Yale University" 2015.  Available at: http://works.bepress.com/denise_hersey/10
  • Book Review of: Jeanne E. Abrams, Revolutionary Medicine: The Founding Fathers and Mothers in Sickness and in Health. By Jeanne E. Abrams, (2013), in Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 45, no. 1 (Summer 2014): 85-86.
  • Book review of: Elaine G. Breslaw.  Lotions, Potions, Pills, and Magic: Health Care in Early America, (2012), in Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 68, no. 4 (2013).
  • Co-authored with Daniel Dollar, Julie Linden, and Greg Eow, “Distinctive Collections: The Space Between ‘General’ and ‘Special’ Collections and Implications for Collection Development,” Accentuate the Positive: Charleston Conference Proceedings 2012. Edited by Beth Bernhardt, Leah Hinds, and Katina Strauch. West Lafayette, Ind: Purdue University Press, 2013.
  • Co-authored The History of Atlantic Science: Collective Reflections from the 2009 Harvard Seminar on Atlantic History…with members of the 2009 Harvard International Seminar in the History of the Atlantic World in “Itineraries of Atlantic Science -New Questions, ­New Approaches, ”Atlantic Studies, 7, no. 4 (2010): 493-509.
  • Dissertation: “Making "Medical Hall":  Dr. John Archer, medical practice, and apprenticeship in early America, 1769-1820,” Johns Hopkins University, 2009.

Selected Presentations:

  • “Collaborations between Subject Liaisons and Special Collections Staff,” Reference, Instruction and Outreach Committee Forum with Sarah Calhoun, Elizabeth Frengel, Bill Landis, and David Gary, Yale University Library, October 2014.   
  • “Omeka: Piloting a Web Platform for Digital Exhibitions at Yale,” SCOPA Presentation with Francesca Livermore, Yale University Library, October 2014.
  • “Bones in the Archives: Medical and Health Special Collections at Yale,” SCOPA Presentation with Bill Landis, Yale University Library, July 2014.
  • “Maximizing the Medical Heritage Library’s Usefulness for Research: New Content, New Tools.”  Co-presenter at the American Association for the History of Medicine, 2013, in Atlanta.
  • “Give Back the Head: Learning Medicine in Early America.” Presentation for the Beaumont Club, Yale University, January, 2013.
  • “Building a Medical Practice: Smallpox, Inoculation, and Community, 1775-1783”- American Historical Association, Boston, 2011.
  • “Making a Medical Practice: the Business of Medicine in Early America”-Lehigh University, November 2009.
  •  “‘An Almost Infallible Remedy’: Seneka Snakeroot, Medical Practice, and the Circulation of Knowledge in the Atlantic World”- International Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World, 1500-1825, Harvard University, August 2009.
  • ‘“To Medicine and Attendance’: the shape of medical practice in Maryland, 1769-1820,”-American Association for the History of Medicine, April 2008.

Read the Yale Medicine article, "How an 18th- century doctor enticed a librarian to study the history of medicine" on my work and research.