The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.


Collection Description

The University's nursing collection is housed in the Biotech Commons, which serves the research, education, and clinical practice needs of the faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students of the Nursing and Medical Schools, Biomedical Graduate Studies, and employees of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

This document focuses on the ways in which the nursing collection at the Biotech Commons supports the academic programs of the School of Nursing as well as the professional practices of the nursing staff of the University of Pennsylvania Health Systems.

Nursing students are well served by access to the entire Library system where they can become familiar with and utilize the collections of Van Pelt, Lippincott, and other of the 15 libraries on campus whenever appropriate. The Biotech Commons collects materials in nursing and related health-care disciplines while materials in the social sciences and other fields used by Nursing School faculty and students are located throughout the Library system.

Collection development for nursing is undertaken dynamically in order to support evolving clinical practice and academic issues relevant to nurses across the University system. The entire spectrum of nursing activities is supported within the university collections: electronic and print textbooks and journals on nursing practice, research and education; advanced practice and research information in journal article citations from the CINAHL/Nursing database and Medline database; social sciences databases that offer information to support the psychosocial aspects of nursing research and practice. These are only a few of the many resources of interest to nursing that may be accessed both on campus and remotely by current students, faculty, and staff of the University and UPHS via the Health Sciences Libraries Home Page.

In addition to the Library collection, The School of Nursing Center for The Study of The History of Nursing has approximately 1,500 book titles that comprise half of the history of nursing records listed in the Franklin Online Catalog. The remaining titles are at the Biotech Commons and Van Pelt Libraries. This Center is a resource for research to improve the quality and scope of historical scholarship on nursing and to disseminate new knowledge on nursing history through education, conferences, publications, and inter-disciplinary collaboration. The Center collects, processes, and catalogues a collection of primary historical materials and encourages and facilitates historical scholarship on health care history and nursing in the United States. In addition to its books, the Center holds manuscripts of hospitals, schools of nursing and nursing alumni associations, voluntary non-profit associations, professional and military associations, as well as of other groups and of individuals.