P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

Interior photograph of the Nixon Library


Monday – Friday, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm (by appointment)

Address & Contact Information

7703 Floyd Curl Dr.
Briscoe Library, 5th Floor
San Antonio, TX 78229
(210) 567-2470

The Special Collections of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

The P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio houses approximately 6,000 rare and classic texts in the history of medicine, nursing, dentistry, and other health care disciplines, dating from the 15th to early 20th centuries. TheHoAClass2016_6 Nixon Library also houses the University Archives and a small collection of local historical documents.

The Nixon Library is located on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library and is open by appointment Monday through Friday from 9:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Tours of the Nixon Library, including viewings of the rare books, can also be arranged by making an appointment. For more information contact Andrea N. Schorr, Head of Collection Resources at (210) 567-2403 or specialcollections@uthscsa.edu.

Please review the Special Collections Policy prior to your visit.

A Brief History

San Antonio physician and historian Dr. Pat Ireland Nixon was the founder of the Bexar County Medical Library Association in 1919. Dr. Nixon was an avid collector of rare books, and his efforts helped the Bexar County Medical Library accumulate a large collection of historical medical books. This collection of books was donated to the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio, Texas in 1970. The collection was named after Dr. Nixon in honor of his tireless efforts to build it, and is housed in the Briscoe Library. Strengths of the Nixon collection are in the areas of ophthalmology, surgery, and anatomy. To learn more about Dr. Pat Ireland Nixon, visit the P.I. Nixon information page.


Rare Books

Originally donated to the Health Science Center in the early 1970s by the Bexar County Medical Society, the superb core collection of over 6,000 volumes includes original works by Andreas Vesalius (De Humani Corporis Fabrica – 1543), Bernhard Siegfried Albinus (Tables of the Skeleton and Muscles of the Human Body – 1749), Aulus Cornelius Celsus (De Medicina – 1481), Avicenna (Ibn Sina) (The Canon of Medicine – 1486), Robert Burton (Anatomy of Melancholy – 1632), and Robert Hooke (The Micrographia – 1667).

The library regularly features a historical book of the month on the Treasures of the P.I. Nixon Historical Blog


University Archives

The University Archives serves as a repository for the preservation of historically significant university records and contains over 531 linear feet of publications, papers, and other records that document the history of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. Items in this collection include university publications, correspondence from key officials, meeting minutes, yearbooks, videos, photographs, oral histories, archived school catalogs, and more.

Local Historical Documents

The Nixon Library also houses several manuscript collections that are related to the history of medicine and health care in Bexar County and South Texas. The manuscripts range in years from 1800-1930, and many include photographs, letters, and journals. Visit the Archives Projects page to view a list of archival collections that have been digitized.

Finding aids for many of our archival collections can be found on the Texas Archival Resources Online Repository.

Archives Request Form: Request photos or documents from the Library Archives

For more information about the Archives visit the Archives Policies page. To make an appointment to view archival materials contact Mellisa DeThorne, Special Collections Assistant, at 210-567-2470 or dethorne@uthscsa.edu.

Digital Archive

Visit the Digital Archive

Select materials from the Nixon Library have been digitized and added to the library’s Digital Archive. The Digital Archive consists of four main collections: History of Medicine, University History, Electronic Theses, Dissertations, and DNP projects, and University Records. Each of these collections promotes and preserves historically significant resources and facilitates learning and creativity. To learn more about these collections visit the Digital Archive page.

For questions about the library’s Digital Archive contact the digital archive team at DigitalArchive@uthscsa.edu.

The Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

Interested in learning more about the history of medicine? Join the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library group. The Nixon Library has an active Friends group that meets regularly to view presentations and discuss a variety of topics about the history of medicine. Membership is open to all. For more information, visit the Friends page.

The Friends group has also purchased a collection of popular books about the history of medicine which are available for check-out. The books highlight significant periods and events in medical history and are located in the library’s general collection. To view a complete list of titles and locations click here.