Solomon M. Hyams Collection of Hebraic Medical Literature


In 1930, the Godfrey M. Hyams Trust presented the Boston Medical Library with $25,000 to build and maintain a collection of rare books and manuscript materials on Jewish medicine and science. Early manuscripts and a 1491 edition of the Canon medicinae of Avicenna—the only medical work to be printed in Hebrew during the 15th century—form the cornerstone of the Hyams Collection. Other rare items include first editions of the Aphorismi secundum doctrinam Galeni (1489), De astrologia (1555) and De regimine sanitatis (circa 1481) of Maimonides, the Liber Elhavi (1486) of Rhazes, early works on circumcision, and Garcia de Orta’s Coloquios dos simples, e drogas he cousas mediçinais da India—the third book to be published in India. Another jewel of the Hyams Collection is the Hand-apparat, a 4,000-item pamphlet collection of August von Wassermann (1866-1925), the German bacteriologist who worked with Robert Koch and devised a test for syphilis.

Items in the Solomon M. Hyams Collection of Hebraic Medical Literature Collection

Calendar- and almanac-making manuals were commonly used to calculate the solar and lunar Jewish calendar. In the fourth century CE, a fixed calendar was established based on astronomical and mathematical calculations. This calendar is still used, and…

This first printed edition of the collected works of Isaac Israeli includes the tract on fevers. The title-page woodcut depicts an impossible meeting of Isaac with his eleventh century commentators Constantine the African and Ibn Abi al-Rijal.

Maimonides was probably the most famous Jewish physician of all time but known also as a philosopher, theologian, and astronomer. The De Astrologia, his letter to the rabbis of Marseilles condemning astrology, was composed in 1194; this is the first…

This series, in 4 volumes, covers childbirth and childhood illnesses, hygiene, and first aid.

"The Art of Prolonging Life" is the best known of Hufeland’s works, and is often cited as the origin of the concept of macrobiotics.

Collection Tree