Enriching Our Collections

Informing Care With Lessons from the Past

Enriching Our Collections

Informing Care With Lessons from the Past

The Wangensteen Historical Library is the preeminent library for historical medical research in the Midwest. In its new location in the Health Sciences Education Center, it will offer even greater access to a world-renowned collection of rare books, manuscripts, and artifacts dating back to the 15th century.

Your investment in our historical collection will support learners at all levels as they apply knowledge from primary source material to gain essential skills in research, writing, and critical thinking.

Support historical scholarship

How we’re informing care with lessons from the past

Breaking new ground

Meet Bridget McKenna – budding scholar, future nurse. McKenna recently completed a project in partnership with the curators of the Wangensteen Historical Library to document the library’s infant feeding collection.  This project reflected McKenna’s interest in photography, nursing, and pediatrics. “I want to work with babies. I want to be a labor and delivery nurse,” says McKenna. Along the way, she required important skills related to primary and secondary research, academic writing, and data visualization that will serve her throughout her academic and professional career.

Primary Sources and the Digital Generation

Teaching today’s undergraduate students can be a challenge because of the distractions of “buzzing phones and binging Facebook apps,” says Emmie Miller, U of M instructor and graduate student in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine program. Her solution? Encourage students to use modern technology to study ancient texts at the U’s Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology. “My vision was that students’ phones would be full of images of century-old texts, instead of steamed-milk hearts in their lattes,” says Miller.

Your contribution matters


Supports a student’s attendance in a class to learn about primary resources


Creates a plexiglass book cradle


Buys portable exhibit furniture


Hires a student worker for one year


Supports a graduate research assistant for one year


Endows the Curator position

Our spaces provide numerous distinct naming opportunities for donors who want to invest in the next generation of inquisitive health providers. Contact ?? to learn more about naming opportunities.

For more information, please contact Heather Beaton, Director of Development, University Libraries, at 612-624-8207.