Requesting Medical Historical rare books and materials online

24 July 2015 - 11:48am by Andy Hickner

(By Melissa Grafe)

You can now request locked Medical Historical Library books through Orbis, instead of emailing staff at the Historical Library.  Please do this when you want access to our locked stacks materials, for use in our Historical Library Office/reading room, or any events, sessions, or classes that you may be holding.  For classes or other events, please email Melissa Grafe at to discuss scheduling and support.

From Orbis, in the Holdings area:

Orbis screenshot

The first time you “Request for Use in the Medical Historical Library,”  you will be prompted to register, unless you’ve already registered as a patron at Beinecke or Manuscripts and Archives.  After that, the information will automatically populate in the form. Just put in what date you are planning to come to the Medical Historical Office to view the materials, and Submit the request!  

We may have to take your photograph and check your Yale ID, even if we know you, as part of joining this system with Beinecke/Manuscripts and Archives and updated security protocols.

Within the next few months we will expand the ability to request materials from the Medical Historical Library’s finding aids, which you can discover in the Yale Finding Aid database. The finding aids are lists, usually down to the folder level, from our archival collections, including the papers of doctors, our medically themed sheet music collection, and the William Van Duyn tobacco advertising collection.

If there are materials that are not in Orbis, you can still fill out a request manually, filling in as many details as you know concerning the object you want.  Many of the materials featured in our digitized collections fall in this category.