American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques

Surgical Set collection from 1860 to 1865 - Civilian and Military

Civil War:  Medicine, Surgeon Education & Medical Textbooks

 Dr. Michael Echols  &  Dr. Doug Arbittier


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Surgeon General's Office Library Catalogues of the Civil War

Medical Department's 1840 List   |   SGO Library Printed 1864 List  |   SGO Library Printed 1865 List

The printed catalogues of the Surgeon-General's Office Library are the basis for the Echols' Civil War medical textbook collection and an accurate reflection of Civil War medicine as practice during the war years 1861-1865.  The exact publications (date and edition) as shown in the catalogues are the issues presented in this collection.  The reason for using the catalogued issues is these were the authors who the U.S. Army Medical Department and SGO surgeons thought worthy of being in the library and the ones used for distribution to the U. S. Army surgeons during the Civil War.

The Surgeon General's Library, the collection that would in 1956 become the National Library of Medicine, was arguably the Medical Department's most valuable and lasting contribution to medical science developed in the decades immediately following the Civil War. As new developments in the world of medical science began to grow in number with great rapidity, the nation's best-educated physicians came increasingly to rely on medical libraries, particularly the Surgeon General's Library, for the information that kept them abreast of the work of their colleagues around the world. Much of the library's growth in size and fame resulted from the work of Billings. Working aggressively and imaginatively to increase the library's holdings, he made the most of the meager funds allotted that institution by astute buying and by trading copies of the departments various publications for the books, journals, reports, manuscripts, letters, pamphlets, and portraits he believed it should have.

The following links are to copies of the first (1840) handwritten catalogue, extremely rare copies of the first printed (1864), and the second printed (1865) catalogues which were produced for the Surgeon General's Office Library before and during the Civil War.  Few people have seen these catalogues as only a small number of copies survived and are not available to the general public.  The textbooks were selected by the Surgeon General's Office staff for use by the U. S. Army Medical and Hospital Department prior to, but mainly during the Civil War. 

These super rare printed catalogues (few examples exist) and publications by the U. S. Army Medical Department, are the basis for the Echols' collection.  Where possible, the exact same edition is in this collection as the one shown in the Medical Department's SGO catalogue.  If not the same edition then the intent is to obtain one published during the Civil War.  Any help in adding to this collection would be greatly appreciated.

Surgeon General's Office library 1840 hand-written catalogue   The first handwritten catalog

Surgeon General's Office library 1864 printed catalogue   The first printed catalogue

Surgeon General's Office Library 1865 printed catalogue    The second printed catalogue

Addition information on medical textbooks used during the Civil War

Publications & text-books ordered by the U.S. Army Medical Department during the Civil War

Article on early American Medical Libraries.

Ciba article on Civil War medical education

Ciba article on Civil War medicine during the Civil War

Information on the Surgeon General's Office Library by Wyndam Miles

PDF of Information on the Surgeon General's Office Library by Wyndam Miles

Reynolds Library Civil War era list of books

 Echols' Medical Book Collection Index Sorted by Page or Index Sorted by Author


          Collection Pages: 1 | 1a | 2 | 2a | 3 | 3a | 4 | 4a | 5 | 5a | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 9a | 10

Medical Antiques Index

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques Index

Contact Dr. Arbittier or Dr. Echols



Civil War Medical Collections 


Direct links to all medical & Civil War collections on this site                         

American Surgical Sets:

Pre-Civil War:  1 | 2  -   Post-Civil War:  3  -  Civil War 1861-1865:  4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8   INDEX

Medical Text-Books:

1 | 1a | 2 | 2a | 3 | 3a | 4 | 4a | 5 | 5a | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 9a | 10 | 11 | 12    INDEX

Surgeon General's Office Library printed catalogues: 1840 | 1864 | 1865
Medical Lecture Cards: 1 | 2 | 34 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21    INDEX

Medical Faculty and Authors:


Navy Surgeon Exams:

1863 Navy Surgeon Applicant Exams with Biographies   INDEX ONE | INDEX TWO

Surgeon CDVs, Images:

Army: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8    INDEX

Navy: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8   

Hosp Dep't Bottles, Tins, 

U.S. Army Pannier:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques

Please request permission before commercial use or publication of any content or photos on this site and credit any use with:  "American Civil War Surgical Antiques"   All content and all original photography on this Web Site is copyrighted 1995 - 2015 and may not be used on any other web site or in commercial print without the expressed e-mail permission from Dr. Arbittier:  Contact   All rights reserved. 


Students doing reports or projects are welcome to use the content of this site without permission, but credits would be appreciated.


Please note: information on this site may not be normally referenced as this is an active and long-term educational research project.  Personal notes may not be properly cited for publication.  Various articles are digitally reproduced under the 'fair-use act' of the copyright laws and are intended for educational purposes only.  Many citations are from Google digital 'books' and can be traced backwards via a search of a unique string in the citation.


 Arbittier Museum of Medical History Tour:   1 | 2 | 3


Last update: Monday, December 12, 2016