The make-up of Simms Collection

Simms collected an assortment of approximately 6,000 books throughout his lifetime; these were donated to Queen’s University, beginning in 1960, and they relate to a variety of disciplines.

The texts, however, held in the captivating Simms Collection relate exclusively to medicine and medical history; a wide range of subject matter is covered, including:

  • neurology
  • gynaecology
  • obstetrics
  • immunology
  • epidemiology
  • psychiatry
  • cardiology
  • anatomy
  • and publications dealing with the physiology of an array of human (and even animal) living matter.

The Simms medical collection is, without question, remarkable, mesmerizing, abundant and yet, also, an untapped resource, sadly, not used or accessed as much as its fabulous content warrants! It is a magnificent collection of medical treasures that will be of interest to students of medicine and those interested particularly in the history of medicine. Across the collection, there is much to sample, deliberate on, examine, research and get lost in! The time period covered by the collection is between 1539 to 1924 so it is an impressive survey.

The collection is truly fascinating owing to the extensive assortment of medical texts, the existence of spell-binding plates and illustrations, unique covers and fascinating content.

The collection can be searched using our library catalogue:

Sources cited:

Elizabeth Lake, "Medicine," in James H. Murphy (eds.), The Oxford history of the Irish book. Volume IV: The Irish book in English 1800-1891 (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 575-584.