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Galter Library Special Collections

Information on Galter Library's rare books, archives, and historical artifacts.


The Special Collections Department is the steward of Galter Health Sciences Library and Learning Center’s rare, unique, and historical materials. The library’s rare book collections consist of medical and dental works from European and American sources, spanning the 15th through the 20th centuries, with strengths in anatomy, pathology, obstetrics and gynecology, and urology, among others. The department also houses collections of medical and dental artifacts, manuscripts, institutional and personal archives, and more.


The Special Collections department provides historical reference support to the Northwestern University community as well as the general public. If you are conducting genealogical research, please include in your request the individual's full name and, if an alumnus/a, their graduation year, if known.

Instructors wishing to use our materials during class sessions may schedule the use of our reading room. The instructor must be present during these sessions and various security protocols respected. Reservations must be made in advance.


Galter Health Sciences Library and Learning Center is open only to the faculty, staff, and students of Northwestern University and its affiliated hospitals. See our library access policy for more details. The Special Collections reading room, however, is open to the general public by appointment only. Please contact us by phone or email to register as a user.

Contact us Mailing Address

Katie Lattal, Special Collections Librarian

Attn: Special Collections
Galter Health Sciences Library
320 East Superior Avenue
Suite 2-212
Chicago, Illinois 60611