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Research Guides@Tufts

Classics 176: Seminar in Ancient Medicine: Guide to Research Resources

Professor Joanne Phillips.

Table of Contents

Welcome to the Tisch Library guide to resources for Classics 176: Seminar in Ancient Medicine. Use the table of contents below to find key resources for completing your assignments in this class. If you don't find what you are looking for or need help navigating this guide or any of the resources it contains, don't hesitate to contact your librarian!.

Research Basics

Finding Books

Finding Articles

Citing Sources

Guidelines on Using Chicago Style

Key Sources

Cambridge World History of Human Disease. R131.C233 1993 (print)

  • treats disease conceptually (i.e., how different cultures at different times thought about disease), by medical specialty, by geography, statistically, and by individual disease.
  • sample pages in PDF

Encyclopedia of Pestilence, Pandemics, and Plagues RA652 .E535 2008 (print) Encyclopedia of Pestilence, Pandemics, and Plagues 

  • The main body of the book is organized alphabetically and includes mapping, timelines, and useful bibliographies for each entry.

Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography.  Comprehensive online resource.

Bibliography of the History of Medicine. No.1-, 1965-. Z6660.B582 (print bibliography)

  • Annual, with quinquennial cumulations (each volume supercedes the last). Latest volume is 1990-93.
  • Note: this has advantages in terms of being browseable, but is now seriously out of date.
  • sample pages in PDF

PubMed. National Library of Medicine, 1966-

  • (Freely available) Includes over 17 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s.


  • Different packaging for Pubmed, with some full text, more powerful search tools, and better integration with Find It @ Tufts

LOCATORPlus (online catalog)

  • Catalog of books, journals, and audiovisuals in the NLM collections

L'Année Philologique (online index)

  • Online edition of the annual bibliography of classical studies containing over 810,000 records.
  • Includes citations for scholarly books, book chapters, essays, and articles in multiple languages

Oxford Bibliographies

  • Combines the features of an annotated bibliography with a high-level encyclopedia
  • Directs researchers to some of the best-available scholarship in a specific subject

WorldCat (online catalog)

  • a catalog of library catalogs worldwide. Thousands of libraries, over 50 million items.

New Pauly Online

  • a comprehensive encyclopedia of antiquity, at least up to the letter S. Major and minor events, people, and places covered in some detail. Solid bibliographies, but...
  • abbreviations used in bibliographies

Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

Background sources provide context for your search. Specialized scholarly encyclopedias can be a good way to get an overview of an unfamiliar topic or an unfamiliar aspect of a topic. Specialized scholarly dictionaries can help you learn the jargon for your topic. Both are written by experts and both often have references to suggested reading.

Online Encyclopedias & Dictionaries:

The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 4th Edition
Oxford University Press, 2012

Essential reference for the classical era.

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Paleopathology
Cambridge University Press, 2011​
Major reference work for the identification of disease in human remains.

The Oxford Illustrated Companion to Medicine
Oxford University Press, 2006
Detailed attention is given to the historical development of medicine.

Dictionary of the History of Science
Princeton University Press, 1981
Dictionary of the concepts or ideas that characterize the core features of recent Western science. Focuses on the last 5 centuries.

The Merck Index
Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013
For over 120 years The Merck Index has been regarded as the most authoritative and reliable source of information on chemicals, drugs and biologicals.  It contains over 11,500 monographs – including historic records not available in the print edition.

The Cambridge Historical Dictionary of Disease
Cambridge University Press, 2003
An interdisciplinary history of medicine and human disease.

Print Encyclopedias & Dictionaries:

Companion Encyclopedia of the History of Medicine. London: Routledge, 1993.
R131.C65 1993 vol. 1 and 2

A Dictionary of the History of Medicine. New York: Parthenon Pub.Group, c1999.
R121.S398 1999

Dictionary of the History of Science. Princeton: Princeton University Press, c.1981.



The Elements of Library Research: What Every Student Needs to Know. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008
Print call number: Z710 .G44 2008. E-book available at the link.

Techniques for Student Research: A Comprehensive Guide to Using the Library. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, c2000.
Z710 .L36 2000

Information Searching in Health Care. New York: Slack Inc., 1992.
R118.2.W675 1992

Biographical Dictionaries

Dictionary of Medical Biography. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 2007.
Print. 5 vols., R134 .D57 2007

Cambridge Dictionary of Scientists. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Oxford Dictionary of Scientists. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Larousse Dictionary of Scientists. New York: Larousse, 1994.
Print. Q141.L368 1994

A cyclopedia of American medical biography, comprising the lives of eminent deceased physicians and surgeons from 1610 to 1910Baltimore: The Norman, Remington Company, 1920. (e-book)

A specimen of the medical biography of Great Britain. London: Printed for J. Johnson, No. 72, St. Paul's Church-Yard, 1775. (e-book)

Online Databases, Indexes & Bibliographies

Tufts subscribes to about 40,000 journals in electronic form, as well as print and microfilm. They come packaged in dozens of subject and publisher databases, or are described in indexes. Here are a few starting places--we have much, much more available.

Print Bibliographies

Isis Cumulative Bibliography: A Bibliography of the History of Science. 1-90, 1913-65. Magda Whitrow, ed. (London) Mansell, in conjunction with the History of Science Society, 1917-84. 3 vols. Tisch Reference Z7405.H6 I2

Morton's Medical Bibliography: An Annotated Check-list of Texts Illustrating the History of Medicine. Philadelphia: Lipincott, 1970.
Tisch Reference Z6658 .G243 1970

The History of the Health Care Sciences and Health Care 1700-1980: A Selective Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1984.
Tisch Book Stacks R148.E74 1984

Online Collections of Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Handbooks

Other Online Indexes & Bibliographies (General & Tangential)

Selected Journals held at Tisch Library

Current issues of these key journals are available online. Bound periodicals containing older issues are arranged by call number on shelves on the ground floor of the library.

Selected Web Resources for Medical History

The following sources can help you to locate information on medical history from a variety of governmental and educational institutions:

Sources for Locating Images

General Sources:


Medicine-specific Sources:

Additional Sources for Classics

You can find additional helpful resources for research in Classics in the Classics research guide.