NPOs and students: Feel free to use or download – but please cite

Local Libraries and Historians: feel free to duplicate, and/or cut and paste.   

Re: As for publishers in these fields I cover, I don’t believe there are any. 


Excluding the Curriculum Vita and Project Management (Epidemiology and GIS work)  pages, I produced most of the information presented at this site in various forms throughout the years.  From 1981 to 2005 I instructed classes in a variety of topics in Earth Sciences, Biology, Environmental Sciences/Ecology, Botany, Taxonomy/Chemotaxonomy, Phytochemistry, Medical Chemistry and Toxicology, Public Health, Spatial and Traditional Epidemiology, Disease Ecology, Geography and GIS, Regular and Spatial Statistics, Ethnobotany, and the History of Science, Medicine and Pharmacy.  The bulk of the history of medicine information was obtained from 1981 to 1993 and used throughout my years of teaching the history of science and medicine.

Copyright Notes

Feel free to use any and all items at this portion of my site, ranging from text information to imagery. 

I would appreciate it if any and all students who produce term papers with this information please make the appropriate references to your sources, with page title, date accessed and http address at the time; this is important because the layout and locations of some pages undergo periodic updates and changes.

A number of the text items in this site were obtained from original documents, which extend back to the late 16th century (late 1500s).     Many of these items are in my possession, and have been for almost thirty years. I usually try to provide a full citation for each rare book or article, and/or provide the title page of the book with this information.  If  one wishes to cite the book alone, avoiding mention of the html, and knows that points in grading will not be lost for this, then cite the original source as an “electronic copy” (review your citations format book on how to do this.)

Another series of documents I used for this work are in photocopy and/or electronic form.  That is to say they were either photocopied at a library or scanned using a traditional desktop scanner or photographed using either a digital or non-digital camera depending upon the time and year they were photographed.  At some point, the sources for these documents may be provided, although with today’s electronic library, noting the source for other researchers may become an obsolete practice.

There are also some word document items that were either transcribed and/or scanned from the original text and then converted into text by an old Xerox/TM scanning program.   I try to read through these documents as much as possible but have found that these documents are still subject to spelling errors.  Efforts are made to review these documents for expected errors as a result of the pdf-text conversion, but some misspellings are bound to be missed the first few times through.

Some documents were also obtained as pdfs or some other electronic form designed for readers.  All of these documents are in the public domain and come from a variety of sources.   Some additional items were purchased as CDs (large multivolume collections for example), but in recent months I have found than many of these as well are now available for free downloading.  Information that is obtained from other traditional web sources are noted in the text, and attached reference list or within endnotes of a page of section.   No information at this site is never simply cut and paste from another site, for this can perpetuate errors that exist in those documents produced by their authors.  (For which reason many of my references and links even avoid recently written or cut-and-paste information sites–always go back to the original source.)

It is recommended that if an original copy is desired and not available at this site, or if the link to such a document doesn’t exist, that the document be searched for at any of a number of electronic copy sites which provide copyright-free public  domain documents.  {Listed below}.


I am often asked what the most valuable resources were for my work in the History of Science and Medicine– The Index-Catalogue of the Surgeon’s General’s Office.  This series was published from approximately 1876 to 1906.  It is an extensive bibliography of the original National Library of Medicine holdings, and delves into topics in such a way that primary references (mostly books and pamphlets) are bibliographed in 12 font, and the journal articles in 8-9.5 font.  Each book is in folio form, measuring approximately 10″ x 13.5″ x 2.5-4′ thick.  A single popular topic, for example ‘Asiatic cholera, etiology or causes’ could cover nearly 100 pages, and contain hundreds of book titles and thousands to tens of thousands of published serial set and journal articles.  Unfortunately, this set is not fully available yet in electronic form.

My second source are the electronic catalogues, which will be detailed later.

My third source is my own rare book collection.

The purpose for providing these documents is severalfold. 

First, a number of items I have acquired over the decades are especially hard to find, and even once they were found, such as in a library setting, it was hard for me to obtain a copy of the document due to restrictions and institutional rules and regulations.   I have found some libraries are fairly restricting to students and even to professors at times (must be engaged in ongoing research to visit or use the collection), and feel such restrictions are not of a truly academic mindset.  Therefore, if and when copies are obtained of the hardest to find information, I like to make them available to the students in general.  Most of these copies were either obtained in photographic or xerographic form and/or in some electronic form.  In some cases, 10 years ago or more, I hired private photographers to produce copies of some of these original items, such as at genealogy and local history libraries.   Generally speaking, the further back the document goes in my research history, the more likely I was allowed to copy and/or personally photograph it.

Second, after more than twenty years of work as a professor within the university setting, I am convinced there are better ways to perform research on the history of science and medicine.  Much of the research performed tends to be 80-90% reiteration of already published authors and 10-20% originality.  This approach is supportive of past accomplishments, but has a tendency to form a writer’s final impressions well before the actual research begins.  For this reason, I have approached many of my topics from the past forward.  This process takes considerably more time (years and sometimes decades), but is worth it in the long run.  By engaging in this more time-consuming method, new discoveries will be made. 

Efforts are made to note important secondary writers (recent “discoverers” and “rediscoverers” of history, but I am hesitant to regurgitate much of their work.  By doing so I could be simply adding to the already published information out there, including the mistakes some researchers make.  I feel it is more efficacious in terms of time spent during my past and present work, in order to release items that I have found, especially those that are unusually hard to find, or require a large amount of persistence to find.  These items need to be in better reach of the other scholars/students out there in my areas of study.  Chances are there are a number of documents here, in multiple languages, from innumerable libraries and rare document resources, that are worth perusing  if you have the time.  This will shave off several months or years of research time if you are into the history of medicine (especially in New York and along the Overland Trail to Oregon) and the use of plants in medicine.

Third, the potential sources for these documents are becoming more available via the internet.  I am surprised to find that tens of thousands of items are being added to the internet libraries each year.  I recommend these sites be perused as well for any research that requires a considerable amount of research.  The best sites to begin with, in descending order of user friendliness, are:

  • Google Books

I will add sites as I recall them and then review them once again for ongoing problems or limitations.

Note 1.  Google Book search engine is more open in the query options.  The disadvantage to using GoogleBooks for the time being is an unknown and undefineable glitch in the system, that makes this site limit your time spent and ability to review and/or download copyright free documents.  The more downloading you do, the fast it will prevent you from accessing the Google Books search site again.  This limitation appears to be time-related in that once you are interpreted as being an automated downloading tool (which of course you are not), and your access is halted, it is possible that this problem autocorrect over night , or perhaps even within an hour or two. [Each time this has impacted me, almost on a daily basis, I notify the GoogleHelp people of my problem by clicking a link near the bottom of the screen, a few lines up, that allows you to report more information about yourself/your search engine and tools.]

Note 2. is limited somewhat due to strong dependence on major categories and topics; using of 3 or more words to perform a search in this site usually produces no results.  This makes this site an excellent follow-up site to peruse.