Disease in Africa since 1960 - hist 396

Liaison librarians

  • mary.yearl [at] mcgill.ca (Email) 514-398-4475 x09847
  • eamon.duffy [at] mcgill.ca (Email) 514-398-4697

Reference Sources (Encyclopedias/Dictionaries)


  • Cambridge Historical Dictionary of Disease. This reference work has detailed entries for 161 diseases, describing both their histories and characteristics.
  • Dictionary of Medical Biography. This work has over 1,000 entries of practioners, primarily in the western medical tradition, but also including those in alternative and traditional Chinese, Indian and Islamic medicine.
  • Oxford Reference Online This source searches multiple reference books, providing definitions and brief information for terms and people in medicine, history and poltical science, amongst other subject areas. This resource can be searched in total or by specific subject areas.


  • The Cambridge World History of Human Disease. Osler Ref folio QZ 11.1 C178 1993
  • Companion Encyclopedia of the History of Medicine. Osler Ref WZ 13 C737 1993. many good essays, with bibliographies, such as "Medicine and Colonialism".
  • A Dictionary of the History of Medicine. Osler Ref folio WZ 13 S443d 1999
  • Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence: from Ancient Times to the Present. Osler Ref folio WA 13 E565 2001

Article Indexes and Databases


  • Historical Abstracts This contains references to journal articles, book reviews and some dissertations about the history of all parts of the world from 1450, EXCLUDING Canada and the United States. Its subject coverage is broad and includes medical topics.
  • History of Science, Technology and Medicine (HSTM) The HSTM database has references to journal articles, conference proceedings, books, book reviews, and dissertations in the history of medicine and allied fields, science and technology.

    NOTE Most of the medical entries date from 1991 to 2004, so it is best to also use additional sources if you require more references. To locate earlier works on the history of medicine it is best to consult the Subject Catalogue of the History of Medicine and Related Subjects (Osler Ref folio ZW 1 W447s 1980 - 18 volumes), published by the Wellcome Library, for material published between 1900 and 1978. Material from 1979-1991, and a great deal more, can be found in the The Wellcome Library online catalogue, which contains records for books, journals, reports, pamphlets, theses, patents and images.

  • Africa-Wide: NiPAD. This database contains over 2 million references drawn from 40 different databases. Records go back to the nineteenth century. A great variety of sources are indexes, such as journal and magazine articles, books, book chapters and others. Some full text.
  • Medicine
  • African Index Medicus Created by the African Regional Office of WHO, this database indexes books, journal articles and reports related to health and medicine in Africa. Material referenced is multilingual, with some full text. Because the material is published in Africa, you may need to order things via Interlibrary Loan.
  • EMBASE is a major biomedical and pharmaceutical database indexing over 3,500 international journals in a number of medical fields. It's European content makes it a good complement to Medline, although there is some overlap. EMBASE CLASSIC is drawn from 43 Excerpta Medica biomedical and pharmacology print journals published between 1947 and 1973.
  • Global Health Archive Contains over 800 000 citations of articles, books, reports and conference proceedings on topics such as public health, tropical and communicable diseases, nutrition, helminthology, entomology and mycology in several languages from 1912 to 1983.
  • MEDLINE Produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) MEDLINE is a major bibliographic index of journal articles covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and the pre-clinical sciences going back to 1950.
  • Other
  • Anthropological Literature Anthropological Literature is the most comprehensive international resource for the fields of anthropology. It is an index to the anthropology and archaeology literature in the collections of Harvard University. The coverage is from the late 19th century to the present.
  • Factiva This database includes current and archival full-text items from over 9,000 local and international news sources from 118 countries in 22 languages, dating back over twenty years.
  • PAIS International Covers many aspects of international relations and politics, including health conditions and policies, drawn from a variety of sources. Coverage dates from 1972 to the present. PAIS Archive indexes material from 1915 to 1976.

Social Science & Medicine




  • Recent Doctoral Dissertations This is a list of recent doctoral dissertations in the history of medicine and related fields, medical humanities and bioethics. These are linked to ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, so you can often get the full text as long as you are working on a McGill computer or are using VPN.



  • McGill University's Library Catalogue contains information on almost all of the printed and electronic holdings in the various branches of the McGill Library. Books, journal titles (but not articles) and some government information is listed.

Government Information



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