• A
  • |
  • A
  • Text size

Historical AMA Documents

Historical records of enduring value 

The core of our collection consists of important documents from the AMA Board of Trustees, House of Delegates, councils, committees and sections that provide a complete record of AMA policy on professional issues from its very beginning to the present. A significant amount of this material is now available on the AMA Digital Archives, including the Transactions of the AMA (1846-1882) and the AMA House of Delegates Proceedings.

Members of the American Medical Association have access to the AMA Archives as one of the many benefits of AMA membership.  Members enjoy access to more than 50 historical collections for research, and pay no use fees and no fees to photocopy small amounts of archival materials.


Historical health fraud and alternative medicine

The nation's finest collection on medical quackery is the result of nearly seventy years of activity by the AMA's Department of Investigation. The collection contains close to 1,000 boxes of advertising pamphlets, letters, product containers, and actual equipment relating to more than 3,500 practitioners, products, and businesses that the AMA investigated between 1906 and 1975. Frequently used to compare present and past quackery practices, the collection has provided vital information for countless books, papers, and documents.

Access to the Historical Health Fraud Collection is provided at no charge to AMA members. This is the only AMA Archive collection that is open to collegiate and historical researchers from the public. Public access to this collection will be provided according to an established fee schedule and policy.  The Guide to the Historical Health Fraud and Alternative Medicine Collection can be found on the AMA Digital Archives, under Historical Monographs. 


Photographs, memorabilia, and other artifacts

Used for AMA Archives exhibits at the Annual and other selected meetings, this collection contains photographs, posters, and artifacts that tell the story of the AMA and American Medicine. Artifacts range from founder Nathan Davis's microscope and 19th century surgical kits to member badges worn at Annual Meetings.

The extensive photograph collection records medical events and AMA activities from the late 19th century until the present and is highly utilized by members, medical societies and AMA staff researchers for videos, documentaries, slide presentations, publication illustrations and exhibits.

Photos are only available to members and medical societies. Use policies and reproduction fees apply.


Rare AMA books and publications

Extensive collection of historically significant AMA publications including Rare books such as Nathan Davis's 1855 History of the American Medical Association, an 1898 report by Walter Reed on typhoid fever in US military camps during the Spanish-American War, the 1910 landmark Medical Education in the United States and Canada by Abraham Flexner, Nostrums and Quackery, and Percival’s Medical Ethics.  A selection of these titles can be found on our Digital Archive.