Grafe, Melissa

Melissa Grafe

John R. Bumstead Librarian for Medical History, Head of the Medical Historical Library
Medical Library, Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney
Liaison to: 

Program in the History of Science and Medicine

  • Serve as your single point of contact to all things library
  • Tailor an instruction session for you or your class, incorporating the Medical Historical Library's special collections.
  • Receive your suggestions for new purchases – books, journals, databases, videos, and any other type of material.  Purchase special collections for the Medical Historical Library.
  • Help you search for information in any of the Medical Library’s and University Library's many databases.
  • Identify special collections in the Medical Historical Library based on your research topic, and help to provide physical and/or online access.
  • Discuss the process for gifts and donations to the Medical Historical Library.
  • Organize exhibitions within the Medical Library using Medical Historical Library collections.
  • Manage the Medical Historical Library and help coordinate daily operations.
  • Assist in Cushing Center tours and operations.

Contact me for:

  • Any research question relating to topics in the history of medicine.
  • Discovering online historical materials.
  • Understanding and using bibliographic citation management systems such as Zotero.
  • Creating and refining search strategies to find information on your research topics in databases such as History of Science, Technology, and Medicine.
  • Donations to the Medical Historical Library.
  • Staging exhibitions in the Medical Library.
  • Digitizing Medical Historical Library collections.
  • CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) postdoctoral fellow, Lehigh University, 2009-2010
  • Ph.D, Johns Hopkins University, 2009
  • BA, Ursinus College, 1999
  • Medical Heritage Library, Steering Committee Chair
  • American Association for the History of Medicine
  • Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences
  • Affiliate, Program in the History of Science and Medicine, Yale University
Selected Publications:
  • "Finding 19th and Early 20th Century Materials
    Online," MLA News, 55, no. 6 (June/July 2015): 1.
  • Co-authored with Denise Hersey, Sarah Calhoun, Gwyneth Crowley, and Jana Krentz, a paper on "Understanding the Research Practices of Humanities Doctoral Students at Yale University" 2015.  Available at:
  • Book Review of: Jeanne E. Abrams, Revolutionary Medicine: The Founding Fathers and Mothers in Sickness and in Health. By Jeanne E. Abrams, (2013), in Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 45, no. 1 (Summer 2014): 85-86.
  • Book review of: Elaine G. Breslaw.  Lotions, Potions, Pills, and Magic: Health Care in Early America, (2012), in Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 68, no. 4 (2013).
  • Co-authored with Daniel Dollar, Julie Linden, and Greg Eow, “Distinctive Collections: The Space Between ‘General’ and ‘Special’ Collections and Implications for Collection Development,” Accentuate the Positive: Charleston Conference Proceedings 2012. Edited by Beth Bernhardt, Leah Hinds, and Katina Strauch. West Lafayette, Ind: Purdue University Press, 2013.
  • Co-authored The History of Atlantic Science: Collective Reflections from the 2009 Harvard Seminar on Atlantic History…with members of the 2009 Harvard International Seminar in the History of the Atlantic World in “Itineraries of Atlantic Science -New Questions, ­New Approaches, ”Atlantic Studies, 7, no. 4 (2010): 493-509.
  • Dissertation: “Making "Medical Hall":  Dr. John Archer, medical practice, and apprenticeship in early America, 1769-1820,” Johns Hopkins University, 2009.
Selected Presentations:
  • “Collaborations between Subject Liaisons and Special Collections Staff,” Reference, Instruction and Outreach Committee Forum with Sarah Calhoun, Elizabeth Frengel, Bill Landis, and David Gary, Yale University Library, October 2014.   
  • “Omeka: Piloting a Web Platform for Digital Exhibitions at Yale,” SCOPA Presentation with Francesca Livermore, Yale University Library, October 2014.
  • “Bones in the Archives: Medical and Health Special Collections at Yale,” SCOPA Presentation with Bill Landis, Yale University Library, July 2014.
  • “Maximizing the Medical Heritage Library’s Usefulness for Research: New Content, New Tools.”  Co-presenter at the American Association for the History of Medicine, 2013, in Atlanta.
  • “Give Back the Head: Learning Medicine in Early America.” Presentation for the Beaumont Club, Yale University, January, 2013.
  • “Building a Medical Practice: Smallpox, Inoculation, and Community, 1775-1783”- American Historical Association, Boston, 2011.
  • “Making a Medical Practice: the Business of Medicine in Early America”-Lehigh University, November 2009.
  •  “‘An Almost Infallible Remedy’: Seneka Snakeroot, Medical Practice, and the Circulation of Knowledge in the Atlantic World”- International Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World, 1500-1825, Harvard University, August 2009.
  • ‘“To Medicine and Attendance’: the shape of medical practice in Maryland, 1769-1820,”-American Association for the History of Medicine, April 2008.

Read the Yale Medicine article, "How an 18th- century doctor enticed a librarian to study the history of medicine" on my work and research.