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Special Collections: Collections

Rare Books

Originally donated to the Health Science Center in the early 1970s by the Bexar County Medical Society, the superb core collection of over 6,000 volumes includes original works by:

  • Andreas Vesalius (De Humani Corporis Fabrica - 1543)
  • Bernhard Siegfried Albinus (Tables of the Skeleton and Muscles of the Human Body - 1749)
  • Aulus Corenelius Celsus (De Medicina - 1481)
  • Avicenna (Ibn Sina) (The Canon of Medicine - 1486)
  • Robert Burton (Anatomy of Melancholy - 1632)
  • Robert Hooke (The Micrographia - 1667)

The library regularly features a historical book of the month on the Treasures of the P.I. Nixon Historical Blog

Digital Archive

Select materials from the Nixon Library have been digitized and added to the library's Digital Archive. The Digital Archive consists of four main collections: History of Medicine, University History, Electronic Theses, Dissertations, and DNP projects, and Open Education Resources. Each of these collections promotes and preserves historically significant resources and facilities learning and creativity. To learn more about these collections, visit the Digital Archives page. 

For questions about the Digital Archive contact the digital archive team at

University Archives

The University Archives serves as a repository for the preservation of historically significant university records and contains over 531 linear feet of publications, papers, and other records that document the history of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. Items in this collection include university publications, correspondence from key officials, meeting minutes, yearbooks, videos, photographs, oral histories, and more. 

Local Historical Documents

The Nixon Library also houses several manuscript collections that are related to the history of medicine and health care in Bexar County and South Texas. The manuscripts range in years from 1800-1930, and many include photographs, letters, and journals. Visit the Archives Projects page to view a list of archival collections that have been digitized.

Finding aids for many of our archival collections can be found on the Texas Archival Resources Online Repository

Archives Request Form: Request photos or documents from the Library Archives.

For more information about the Archives, visit the Archives Policies page. To make an appointment to view archival materials contact Mellisa DeThorne, Special Collections Assistant, at 210-567-2470 or

Popular History of Medicine Books

The Friends group has also purchased a collection of popular books about the history of medicine which are available for check-out. The books highlight significant periods and events in medical history and are located in the library's general collection. View a complete list of titles and locations