Reynolds Historical Library

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The Reynolds Historical Library is a notable collection of over 13,000 rare books, manuscripts and artifacts collected by Lawrence Reynolds and donated to the Birmingham Extension Center of the University of Alabama in 1953.

From 1958 to 1975 the collection was housed in a dedicated building on 7th Avenue South. It is now a part of the UAB Historical Collections along with the Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences and the UAB Archives which is a department of UAB's Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences. Michael A. Flannery is the Associate Director for Historical Collections of Lister Hill Library and is responsible for managing the Reynolds Historical Library, the UAB Archives and the Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences.

Reynolds, a native of Dale County and a graduate of the University of Alabama collected rare medical books while practicing as a radiologist in Detroit, Michigan. He agreed to donate the collection to the Medical College of the University of Alabama in Birmingham in 1953. The transfer was made formally on February 2, 1958 upon the dedication of a small brick building to house the collection.

Among the 6,000 volumes in the historic Reynolds collection are one of three known copies of Rhazes' 9th Book of the Al' Mansuri (1388), a 1485 edition of Arnold of Villanova's Brevarium Practicae Medicinae, and first printings of Andreas Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica (1543) and William Harvey's De motu cordis (1628), and one of five known copies of Nicolas Culpeper's The English Physician (1708), the first medical book published in North America. There are also numerous letters on medical topics by people such as George Washington, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Florence Nightingale and Louis Pasteur and artifacts such as carved monikens used for anatomical study during the Renaissance. Later gifts and purchases have expanded the collection to over 13,000 volumes. Among the most significant additions was the Arnold G. Diethelm American Civil War Medicine Collection, including a complete edition of The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion.

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