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Hahnemann Medical College and the History of Homeopathic Medicine

The Hahnemann Collection reflects the history of the institution and its mission, from the early 1800s into the late 1900s.

Hahnemann University’s long history began in 1848 with the founding of the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania. The institution evolved in many ways, eventually becoming Hahnemann University and, later, the Drexel University College of Medicine. In the mid- to late-twentieth century, with the decline of homeopathy, Hahnemann re-invented itself as a nationally known academic medical center with prominence in cardiac surgery and cardiology, oncology, transplantation, training of non-physician health professionals, community health, and community mental health. This expertise led to many firsts for Hahnemann, including international advances in cardiac surgery.

The collections reflect the history of the institution as a medical school and hospital, with materials dating from the 16th century to the present, and an emphasis on institutional records. College and Hospital records date from the early 1800s, including the North American Academy of the Homeopathic Healing Arts (Allentown, PA, 1835), and related organizations such as the Hahnemann Alumni Association, Nurses' Alumnae Association, Hahnemann Hospital Association, various affiliated institutes and hospitals, and several early homeopathic societies.

The history of homeopathy in the United States can be researched through records of the schools, homeopathic organizations and businesses, and the papers of homeopathic practitioners and students. Because of the formative role played by the school in teaching the system of homeopathic medicine, the early records in particular reflect the history of homeopathy in the United States.

The institution’s post-homeopathy period of academic and scientific growth is reflected in both college and hospital records.

Collection descriptions

Search and browse collection abstracts and finding aid descriptions.

Search digital materials on early homeopathy history in our digital collections database, or see below for highlights. 

The Hahnemann collection highlights include:

  • Records of the college and hospital from their founding, including Hahnemann University Academic Affairs records
  • Early medical student theses, class notes and yearbooks.
  • Papers and memorabilia of founder Constantine Hering [Digital collection
  • Hering's renowned collection on Paracelsus [1932 Catalog listing PDF]
  • Works of homeopathic historian Thomas Bradford, including his 35-volume biographical scrapbooks on American homeopaths [Digital collection
  • Irena Koprowska collection on American Cancer Society-Veterans Administration lung cancer screening study, (1958-1964)
  • Hahnemann University photograph collection [Digital collection]
  • Medical instruments and early homeopathic medicine cases
  • Papers of modern pioneers in heart surgery and cardiology including Charles Bailey and William Likoff
  • Historical reference collection on homeopathy
  • Primary and secondary sources in the history of medicine, such as William Hunter's Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus (1774), Jenner's Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccine…cowpox (1800), and a 1632 edition of Vesalius' Epitome.