The Classics of Medicine Collection (previously named the General Rare Book Collection) was established in 1912, when the Washington University School of Medicine purchased the working library of Julius Leopold Pagel (1851-1912), a renowned German medical historian. With the support of the Medical Library Committee, especially its chairman George Dock, and the generous monetary donation of Mrs. Benjamin Brown Graham, the 2,500 volumes were bought and shipped from Berlin to St. Louis.
Dr. Pagel’s 19th century books became part of the Medical School’s Monuments of Medicine Collection, while books published from 1492 to 1820 form the Classics of Medicine Collection. The latter collection kept Pagel’s well-rounded selection of important authors through the history of medicine until its revolutionary change in the nineteenth century and serves as the main resource for the School’s medical history courses and for historical research.
If you would like more information about the collection, please visit the digital exhibit Rare Books at Becker.