Access to the College Green area of campus will be restricted until further notice. PennCard holders and some Penn affiliates may enter and exit Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center through the Rosengarten Undergraduate Study Center on the ground floor, and may enter and exit the Fisher Fine Arts Library through the 34th Street entrance to Meyerson Hall. See our Service Alerts for details.

From its founding, Penn has been a training ground for students of chemistry, medicine, dentistry, nursing, and veterinary medicine. Penn Libraries collections support not only these fields but also research into their history and social contexts, from innovations that improve health through medicine, to understanding the impact of humans on climate and the ways in which health affects the betterment of society across all peoples. These collections span centuries, from medieval herbals to the papers of 20th century medical activists Walter Lear and Elizabeth Fee, to make Penn a globally significant center for research into the history and impact of health science.

Anchor Collections

Vintage photograph of Edgar Fahs Smith in his office in Harrison Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania.

Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection

The Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection is devoted to the history of chemistry and collects broadly in that field, emphasizing periods prior to 1900. The collection includes early and modern works on chemistry, alchemy, early medicine and pharmacology, dyeing, metallurgy, mineralogy, and pyrotechnics; biographies of chemists; works on the chemical industry; and the history of chemical education.