Available Until 12/31/2024

History of the Health Sciences: A Practical Guide for the Working Librarian (Recording)

Particularly now, when history-making events seem to come with every news cycle, the working librarian needs a basic understanding of the history of the health sciences to make sense of where we are and how we got here. This webinar series will address four topics of current interest, place them in their historical context, and give guidance in providing both brief and in-depth answers to internal and external inquiries.

The four topics are (1) Evidence-based medicine and practice; (2) Health care disparities; (3) Plagues and pandemics; and (4) They also serve: nurses, librarians, and other health professionals.

In a broader sense, the series will also provide a template for independent research into other topics in the history of the health sciences.

This is a special 2-part webinar for the price of a single webinar.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the webinar series, participants will be able to:

  • Be able to place the four specified topics in a broader perspective in the history of the health sciences.
  • Understand better how the historical record affects current-day themes and issues in medical research and in the provision of health care.
  • Be familiar with medical and non-medical research resources for these and other topics in the history of the health sciences.


The course is targeted to reference, outreach, and public service librarians, but it will be of use to ANY librarians or archivists seeking to better understand their collections.


Stephen Greenberg, AHIPStephen Greenberg, AHIP, received his doctorate in Early Modern History from Fordham University in 1983 with a dissertation on early printing and publishing. After teaching for several years, he returned to school and earned his library degree from Columbia University in 1991, specializing in Rare Books and Archival Management. Since 1992, he has worked in the History of Medicine Division at the US National Library of Medicine where he is currently heads the Rare Books and Early Manuscripts Section. His research and publications span a number of fields, including the history of printing and publishing, the social history of medicine, the history of medical librarianship, and the history of medical photography. In the past few months, his publications have ranged from the historiography of medicine in the 20th century, the history and future of library card catalogues, the influence of Florence Nightingale on the occasion of her 200th birthday, and the history of medicine in the “Outlander” books and TV series.

Dr. Greenberg is a past chair of the Medical Library Association (MLA) History of the Health Sciences Section and past president of Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences (ALHHS). He has lectured and taught nationwide through such groups as the NIH Speaker’s Bureau, the Medical Library Association’ Continuing Education Program, and Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. He is a Distinguished Member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP), and the recipient of numerous awards, including the ALHHS Publication Award (2011) and National Institutes of Health Award of Merit in 2013. In 2018, Dr. Greenberg received the ALHHS Lisabeth E. Holloway Award “for significant contributions through leadership and service to ALHHS and the profession.”

Dr. Greenberg is also an adjunct professor at both the Catholic University of America and the College of Library and Information Studies at the University of Maryland (College Park) where he lectures on the history and curatorship of rare books.

Registration Information

  • Length: Two 1.5 hour recorded webinar sessions
  • Technical information: After you have registered, go to My Learning in MEDLIB-ED to access the recorded webinar, resources, evaluation, and certificate.
  • Register, participate, and earn 3 MLA continuing education (CE) contact hours.