3.16 Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine
The Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine provides students with a health sciences library, the resources of an advanced biomedical informatics center, extensive contemporary collections, and extraordinary rare books and special materials (housed in the Center for the History of Medicine). The Library’s website provides a gateway to Countway’s rich array of programs, services, and resources.
Special features of the Countway include:
- An extensive collection of online resources;
- A large, comfortable, quiet reading room;
- Individual study carrels;
- Public computers and internet connections, including wireless networking and circulating laptops, e-readers and iPads;
- Scanning of paper to digital formats with delivery via USB drive or e-mail;
- Electronic and videoconference classrooms for hands-on training;
- Rare books, special collections and exhibits on the history of medicine; and
- The Warren Anatomical Museum and a large portrait gallery.
Electronic Access to the Countway and Other Harvard Libraries
The Countway Library website provides access to biomedical journals, textbooks, databases, and websites that have been selected by expert librarians. Remote access to these resources is available with a Harvard University PIN or HMS eCommons login.
Electronic resources available include:
PubMed (MEDLINE) with links to full text articles
Science Citation Index
AccessMedicine and AccessSurgery
Clinical Pharmacology and Micromedex
Cold Spring Harbor Protocols, Springer Protocols, and Current Protocols
Numerous mobile phone resources (hms.harvard.libguides.com/mobile)
HOLLIS Online Catalogue
Books, journals, and other materials owned by the Harvard Libraries, including 45,000 electronic journals, over 200,000 electronic books, and hundreds of databases, can be accessed through HOLLIS, the Harvard online library catalog. HOLLIS is accessible via the Countway website. Follow the Get It button in the HOLLIS catalog to request items located at other Harvard libraries and beyond.
If Countway does not have an article or book, students may submit a request to our interlibrary loan service at nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.eresource:illiamed. If this is your first time using the service, you will need to follow the instructions to set up an account. Be sure to indicate that you are a student. To learn more about this service visit www.countway.harvard.edu/ill.
Physical Access to the Library
Access to the Countway Library, located at 10 Shattuck Street, requires a Harvard or affiliated hospital ID. Visitors are asked to register at the guard’s desk.
Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Saturday 12:00 noon–8:00 p.m.
Sunday 12:00 noon–11:00 p.m.
For holiday hours, check the Countway website (https://www.countway.harvard.edu) or call 617-432-4888. Reference hours are from Noon - 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Studying at the Countway
Countway offers study space from the third floor down to L2. Study carrels overhanging the central atrium and private alcoves on the third floor provide work areas for individuals, laptop connectivity, and quiet. The computer classroom on L2 has 18 MACs and PCs loaded with many software applications and is open for study whenever a class is not in session. The large meeting rooms on the fifth floor are available to student groups and can be scheduled through the room scheduling office at 617-432-2020. The Finland Room on 3 and group study rooms on L1 are available on a first-come basis.
Classes and Training
Countway librarians teach hands-on workshops, lectures and demonstrations in information management, bioinformatics, database searching, and records management. Online tutorials and customized, on-demand workshops are also available. See the Countway website for a current schedule and registration. Special tours, focused orientations, and training sessions may also be arranged by calling 617-432-2134.
- Current journals are housed in the Russell Reading Room on the first floor.
- Bound journals from 1986+ are housed on L1. Older journals are on L2.
- Current books (1960-present) are shelved on the 3rd floor
- Materials in The Center for the History of Medicine, on L2, can be accessed in the Center’s reading room, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Circulation and Privileges
- Books circulate for 4 weeks with up to 5 renewals.
- Renew via the HOLLIS catalogue with a Harvard PIN, by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), or by calling 617 432-2136.
- Recalls by other library patrons may change the due date of your book, though a minimum borrowing period of 2 weeks remains effective. Look for notices in your e-mail.
- The course and permanent reserve collection contains core medical textbooks, items selected by faculty, and Board Exam review materials. Pick these up at the Circulation Desk for in-house use or overnight checkout (available from two hours before closing and due one hour after opening the next day).
- Library materials awaiting pickup are on the Hold Shelf at the Circulation Desk.
- Overdue fines are 50 cents per day up to a maximum $28 per item. Failure to respond to a recall request will result in fines of $2 per day. A replacement fee of $120 and a $35 processing fee will be added to the overdue fine if a book is lost. Replacement copies of lost books may be accepted at the discretion of Library staff. A $35 fee will be charged for processing of the replacement copy.
Windows and Mac workstations are located throughout the library and provide access to all of Countway’s web-based resources as well as the full suite of Microsoft Office software. Laptops are available from the Circulation Desk for loan while in the library. Several laptops contain special software applications such as STATA, SAS, and Area Resource File for statistical analysis and public health research. The Library is wired for both wireless and Ethernet connectivity throughout the building. Free printing is available for HMS students at computers on the north side of L1; color printing is available on the 2nd floor for 25 cents per page.
Self-service copy/scan machines are located on floors L2 through 3. Scanners are available on the 1st floor and L2. Crimson Cash (See Section 8.07) from the user’s Harvard ID may be used to make copies, or copy cards may be purchased from a vending machine on the first floor. The copy machines can also scan materials for e-mail delivery.
Countway Center for the History of Medicine and Warren Anatomical Museum
The Countway Center for the History of Medicine contains one of the most renowned historical collections in the health sciences in the world. Virtually all of the great works in the history of medicine can be found here. Particular strengths are in medical incunabula – books printed before 1501, with over 800 volumes. The Center for the History of Medicine's collection of archives and manuscripts is the largest collection of its kind in the United States. The collection includes the personal and professional records of physicians from the medieval and Renaissance periods through the twentieth century.
The Center’s Warren Anatomical Museum began as the 19th-century teaching collection of Dr. John Collins Warren (1778-1856), a founder of Harvard Medical School. The Museum's present collection contains approximately 13,000 items. Selections from the collection, including the well known skull of Phineas Gage and the tamping iron that shot through it, are on display throughout the library. The Museum is open to the public. To learn more about the Warren Anatomical Museum, its policies and holdings see (https://www.countway.harvard.edu/menuNavigation/chom/warren.html).
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