About the HMS Historical Library
The Hartford Medical Society was founded in Hartford, Connecticut in 1846, primarily to legitimize the profession and regulate fees, but also as a venue for socializing and professional development. They met twice a month, for lectures and discussion and their library, in its heyday, contained upwards of 27,000 volumes. Some of the founding members were bibliophiles who donated their rare medical books from the 16th through the 18th centuries. Most of the collection was purchased or donated in the 19th and early 20th centuries; a time of seismic change in the way medicine was researched and practiced.
As research and publishing picked up the pace, it was difficult to keep up with the new literature. When the University of Connecticut opened a medical school in nearby Farmington in the late 1960s there was less need for the Society as an educational resource. Gradually the library evolved from a current medical library to a remarkable collection representing the history of medicine, especially during the 19th century. Eventually, a deal was struck with the UConn Health Center in Farmington. The collection was weeded by members with a solid knowledge of the literature, and a distilled version of the library was moved to Farmington in 2009.
The Hartford Medical Society is still active. You can view their Website here.
Research & Instructional Services/
HMS Historical Library