Explore the Rare Book Room Collections at NYC’s Academy of Medicine Library

Exterior of the New York Academy of MedicineA skeleton drawing inside a historic bookInsiders looking inside a historic bookAnatomical figurinesA wide view of the rare book room at the New York Academy of MedicineGeorge Washington's dentures

Untapped New York Insiders are invited to take part in an intimate lunchtime tour of the beautiful Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine’s historical library. Inside the Rare Book Room, guests will see milestone anatomical illustrations, surgical texts, historical artifacts, and books on a range of topics, including alchemy, cookery, botany, natural history, and New York city history. Texts and ephemera inside the collection date back to as late as the 15th century! The experience will be led by Arlene Shaner, the Historical Collections Librarian at the New York Academy of Medicine. The Academy Library began with only a three-volume set in January 1847 and was originally intended only for the use of the Medical College of the University of New York City Fellows. By the time the Library opened its doors to the general public in October 1878, the collection had grown to over 6,000 volumes. Over the centuries, the library has continued to grow thanks to personal and institutional gifts, including contributions from the collections of the Medical Journal Association, the Society of the New York Hospital, and the medical books of the New York Public Library. There are now around 32,000 rare books dating mostly from the 15th through the 18th centuries, as well as manuscripts, archives, pamphlets, ephemera, visual materials, and secondary references about the history of medicine and the history of books and printing in the library’s collection.


If you’re already an Insider, you will be able to register for this tour on this page if you are logged in to your account when registration opens on 12/24 at 12 PM EST.

If you’re not an Insider yet, join today and register for this tour on this page when tickets go live on 12/24 at 12 PM EST.

If you don't see a "Book Now" button on this page, it means you are not logged in as an Insider and/or registration has not opened yet.


Tickets are limited to one per member unless the member is an Explorer level member and can bring a guest. Tickets are non-transferable and your membership must be active when the tour takes place. Each booking will be verified to ensure each guest is a member. Please be courteous of your fellow Insiders – if you are no longer able to make a tour but have ticket(s), let us know at [email protected] we can release those spots to other members. We hope you are as excited as we are about this experience and hope you can join us!

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  • Registration opens Tuesday, December 24th at 12PM EST
  • Date: Friday, January 10th at 12:00PM-1:30PM
  • Capacity: 18 Guests, Spots allocated on a first come first serve basis
  • Meeting Location: The New York Academy of Medicine 1216 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029 Enter at 103rd Street. The closest subway is the 4,5,6 at 103rd Street
  • Gain access to the Rare Book room inside New York's Academy of Medicine
  • Explore highlights of the rare book room collection such as rare medical ephemera and historic texts