A brief overview

Special Collections and Archives at Queen's University Belfast holds a wide array of early medical works and medical history. Many of these are nestled within the fascinating Samuel Simms Collection. These works were collected by Dr. Samuel Simms (1896-1967), medical doctor, bibliophile, and local historian.

Simms began collecting the medical collection in 1939 and added items continuously over approximately 20 years. He described his collections as comprising:

"classical medical books of great variety, illustrating the background of famous volumes and many of the masterpieces of medical thought." (Letter, Simms to Queen's Librarian, 25 [month illegible],1962)

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

His substantial library was acquired by Queen's from the family of the late Simms, purchased in phases starting in 1960. In 1968 Queen's paid the estate the sum of four thousand, five hundred pounds for the Simms Collection of medical texts.