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Historical Collections

March 2018: The Historical Collections at the Health Sciences Library are being rearranged in advance of potential renovations in the Library’s space. Please contact Library Administration for assistance finding materials, or prior to making a donation.

Historical Collections at the LSUHSC-S Medical Library

Recognizing the importance of our medical and scientific past, the Health Sciences  Library at LSU Health Shreveport seeks to preserve its unique history. To that end, a variety of resources that document the history of medicine are collected and comprise the History of Medicine Collection, the Medical Artifacts Collection and the Archival Collections. Many materials from these collections are digitally represented inLSUHSC-S Chronological History, a website that graphically documents more than 140 years of significant events in the institution's history.

History of Medicine Collection

History of Medicine Room

The History of Medicine Collection contains approximately 6,000 monographs and serials dating from 1743 to the present. Included are early medical imprints, histories of medicine, reprints and facsimiles of classic early works, biographies, and journals. These books are housed in the History of Medicine Room, renovated in 2007 with funding provided by Medical Center Clinics, Inc. Highlights of the Collection include the three-volume Medicinal Dictionary published in 1743; theManual of Military Surgery for use in the Confederate States during the Civil War, published in 1863; eleven editions of William Osler's most famous work, The Principles and Practice of Medicine, dating from 1893; and multiple editions of Gray's Anatomy, including an edition in Chinese that was printed from woodblocks, published in the late 1800s. This Collection continues to grow through generous contributions of our donors including the Edgar Hull Memorial Fund, Dr. Richard K. Langford, Dr. C. Elmo Boyd, Ed Simonton, Drs. Joe and Alice Holoubek and H. Whitney Boggs, III.

Medical Artifacts Collection

Serving as a complement to the monographs and serials, the Medical Artifacts Collection of more than 1,000 items contains medical instruments and apparatus, pharmaceuticals, general supplies, scientific equipment, machinery and medical memorabilia. Highlights of the Collection are a Civil War-era amputation kit, vintage electrocardiographs, microscopes, and early electroconvulsive therapy equipment. Surgical and diagnostic instruments were manufactured by the leaders in the field including Tiemann, Sklar, Kny-Scheerer, Haslam, American Optical Co., Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company, and Sandborn Company. Instruments for a variety of specialties include orthopedics, ophthalmology, urology, obstetrics, gynecology, surgery and gastroenterology.

Archival Collections

LSUHSC-S Archives

Holdings of the Archival Collections document the history of LSU Health Shreveport, as well as the history of medicine in Shreveport and Louisiana. Correspondence, reports, publications, photographs, slides, newspaper clippings, realia, and other primary source materials from LSU Health Shreveport physicians, professors, and administrators, as well as local physicians, provide a personal perspective. A growing collection of digital images of materials from the Archives are a part of the Louisiana Digital Library.

LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport Archives
The LSU Health Shreveport Archives contains a myriad of materials related to the institution's history.  This story began in 1876 with the founding of the Shreveport Charity Hospital, located at the corner of Pierre Avenue and Ford Street. In 1889, the hospital was relocated to Texas Avenue and Murphy Street, where it remained until 1953. Following a move to its current location on Kings Highway, the hospital was renamed Confederate Memorial Medical Center(CMMC). In 1965, the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport was established and became affiliated with the CMMC. Further changes occurred in 1978 when the CMMC was renamed Louisiana State University Medical Center Hospital and in 1999, the entire complex was renamed Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

Due to a recent name change, the institution is now known as LSU Health Shreveport.

The LSU Health Shreveport Archives consists of more than 400 cubic feet of materials including correspondence, publications, newspaper clippings, reports, photographs, slides, audiovisual materials, artifacts and related memorabilia that document the story of this important medical institution. A very personal touch is provided by audio-taped interviews with physicians and administrators who were instrumental in the formation of the medical school.

Digitized materials from the Archives can be accessed in the online collections below.

  • LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport Newspaper Collection 
    This collection of newspaper clippings documents significant events in the history of LSU Health Shreveport with the primary focus being the establishment of the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport. Nearly 1,700 clippings from the Shreveport Times and the Shreveport Journal date from the 1960s through the 1980s. Digital images of these clippings can be accessed through the Louisiana Digital Library.
  • LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport Photograph Collection 
    This collection of nearly 3,000 photographs documents the people, facilities, and events that were significant to the growth and development of the LSU Health Shreveport. With several name changes over the years (Shreveport Charity Hospital, Confederate Memorial Medical Center, and LSU Medical Center, LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport), this multi-campus health care and educational institution has a 140-year history.

    Photographs in this collection are primarily the work of Gordon W. Maxcy, a registered biomedical photographer whose 34-year career began in 1948 at the Shreveport Charity Hospital. During his career he was responsible for photographing employees and hospital events and documenting the daily life at the hospital, nursing school, and medical school. Also included in this collection are historic photographs of the Shreveport Charity Hospital and staff from the late 1800s and the early 1900s taken by Burch Enos Grabill and William "Bill" Grabill, father and son owners of Grabill Studio in Shreveport. These photographs can be accessed through the Louisiana Digital Library
  • LSU Health Shreveport Audiovisual Collection
    This collection contains important events in the history of LSU Health Shreveport that were captured on film, as well as recorded interviews of key figures in the development of the School of Medicine. These audiovisual clips represent full length film reels, Umatic tapes, VHS tapes, and cassette tapes located in the LSU Health Shreveport Health Sciences Library Archives that were digitized and transferred to DVD and CD.
  • Yearbooks and Commencement Programs 
    This collection focuses on the activities of students in the Schools of Medicine, Graduate Studies and Allied Health Professions. Included are the university's yearbooks and commencement programs dating from 1973. This collection can be accessed through the Internet Archive.

Manuscript Collections

Included in the Archival Collections are the personal papers and related memorabilia of a number of prominent local physicians and educators. These materials help to document the history of medicine and medical education in northwest Louisiana.

John C. McDonald, M.D. John C. McDonald, M.D. Archive -Dr. McDonald is the former Chancellor and Dean of the LSU Health Shreveport and contributed to the pioneering efforts of transplantation and organ sharing. McDonald came to LSUHSC-S in 1977 as chairman of the Surgery Department, where he served for 23 years until assuming the chancellorship in 2000. He retired from the Health Sciences Center in January 2009, after 32 years of distinguished service.

His retirement years were short-lived, however. On December 31, 2011, Dr. McDonald passed away at 81 years of age. A memorial service was held at LSU Health Shreveport on January 5, 2012. Remarkable, humble, exceptional, caring, extraordinary, loyal, honest, and kind are but a few of the words used by colleagues to describe John Clifton McDonald. The wisdom of this educator, surgeon, scientist, and administrator will be missed by both LSU Health Shreveport and the greater Shreveport community. A website,, is a celebration of the life and work of this extraordinary surgeon, researcher, educator, and administrator.


W.R. Mathews, M.D. W.R. Mathews, M.D. Pathology and Autopsy Collection - Dr. W.R. Mathews, known affectionately as "The Boss," was hired in 1931 as the chief pathologist of the Shreveport Charity Hospital. During his more than 40 years of service, Mathews had a profound influence on hundreds of medical students, interns, residents, and others who trained at the Shreveport institution. Dr. Mathews retired in 1973 as Emeritus Professor. The Mathews Collection consists of 15,000 4" x 3" glass lantern slides and 7,000 2" x 2" slides, as well as the accompanying written records that document the content of the slides.


Dr. Joe E. Holoubek and Dr. Alice Baker Holoubek Dr. Joe E. Holoubek and Dr. Alice Baker Holoubek Collection - This husband and wife team practiced medicine in Shreveport for four decades, beginning in the late 1940s. Dr. Joe Holoubek was chair of the committee that successfully brought a medical school to Shreveport and served as a visiting member of the school's faculty. The Holoubek Collection contains documents relating to their medical practice, complete with five doctors' bags containing instruments, medicines and medical supplies that document the house call-era during which they practiced.


Finding Aids

A finding aid is a document that contains detailed information about a specific collection of papers or records within an archive. This tool assists users in gaining access to and understanding the materials. A list of available finding aids for the Archival Collections follows: 

Joe E. Holoubek, M.D. and Alice Baker Holoubek, M.D. Collection


For more information

Library Administration Office