Health Sciences

Collection Selector

photo of Kate Silfen

Kate Silfen

Health Sciences Librarian

Mugar Memorial Library

General Purpose of the Collection

This collection supports the health sciences interests on campus, although the primary users are the students and faculty of the College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College. The collection includes major bibliographical and reference sources as well as many general and specialized journals. There is special emphasis on collecting material about areas of current interest. In addition to commercially published monographs, the library also acquires reports of government agencies, universities, and associations. There are many specialized areas within the health sciences and the library attempts to maintain a representative collection of materials about these many sub-specialities, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and drugs. The collection at Mugar Memorial Library complements the collection of biological and biomedical materials held at the Science and Engineering Library.

Sargent College consists of four distinct departments: Health Sciences; Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences; Occupational Therapy; and Physical Therapy and Athletic Training. These departments offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of specialized areas. The College offers a BS in Athletic Training; Health Science; Human Physiology (pre-med); Nutritional Science; and Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. Advanced degrees the college offers are an MS, an MS/DI, and a Didactic Program in Dietetics/Master of Science and Dietetic Internship (DPD/MS+DI) in Nutrition; an MS and PhD in Applied Anatomy and Physiology; a BS/MS, an MS, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS), an MS/PhD, and a PhD in Speech-Language Pathology; a PhD in Audiology; a BS/MSOT (Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Studies and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy) and an MSOT; a BS/DPT, transitional DPT (tDPT), and DPT in Physical Therapy; and a Doctor of Science (ScD) in Rehabilitation Sciences. With the BU School of Public Health, Sargent College also offers a minor in public health and an accelerated BS/MPH. Through the University’s distance education program, the college offers a post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) and a tDPT. Centers connected with Sargent that might also make use of the library collection are the Research Centers (the Center for Enhancing Activity and Participation among Persons with Arthritis, the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, the Center for Neurorehabilitation, and the Hearing Research Center) and the Sargent College Clinical Centers. Other schools and departments at Boston University that offer health sciences related courses are Sociology, Education, Engineering, Social Work, and Metropolitan College.

Scope of Coverage

Languages collected (primary and selective) or excluded
Only English language publications are collected in this subject area, although gift books in other languages may be considered.
Geographical areas covered by the collections in terms of intellectual content, publication sources, or both, and specific areas excluded, as appropriate
There are no limitations on geographical areas covered, although the emphasis is on materials published in and about the United States and Europe.
Chronological periods covered by the collection in terms of intellectual content, movements or schools, and specific periods excluded, as appropriate
There are no limitations in terms of chronological periods covered.
Chronological periods collected in terms of publication dates, and specific periods excluded, as appropriate
There are no limitations in terms of publications dates covered, although most materials collected are current.

All materials collected by Health Sciences in the following Library of Congress classifications are found in Mugar Memorial Library.

General Subject Boundaries and Library Locations


  • RC 435-571 : Psychiatry
  • RM 1-671.5 : Therapeutics. Pharmacology
  • RM 695-733 : Physical Medicine. Physical Therapy
  • RM 735-735.7 : Occupational therapy. Rehabilitation

Collected Selectively:

  • QP 351-495 : Neurophysiology and Neuropsychology
  • R 5-864 : Medicine (General)
  • RA 1-418.5 : Medicine and the state
  • RA 421-790.53 : Public health. Hygiene. Preventive medicine
  • RA 790.6-790.95 : Mental Health as a profession
  • RA 960-1000.5 : Medical Centers. Hospitals. Dispensaries. Clinics

  • RF 1-547 : Otorhinolaryngology
  • RM 736-893 : Physical medicine. Physical therapy
  • RM 930-931 : Rehabilitation therapy
  • TX 340-840 : Nutrition

Collected Very Selectively:

  • QM 1-549 : Human Anatomy
  • QP 901-981 : Experimental pharmacology
  • RA 791-954 : Medical geography. Climatology. Meteorology
  • RA 1190-1270 : Toxicology. Poisons
  • RB 1-214 : Pathology
  • RC 31-429 : Internal medicine
  • RC 581-1245 : Specialities of internal medicine
  • RD 1-811 : Surgery
  • RE 1-994 : Ophthalmology
  • RG1-991 : Gynecology and obstetrics
  • RJ 1-507 : Pediatrics
  • RL 1-803 : Dermatology
  • RS 1-441 : Pharmacy and materia medica
  • RT 1-120 : Nursing
  • RX 1-681 : Homeopathy
  • RZ 201-999 : Other systems of medicine
  • Z 6658-6677 : Medicine. Bibliography
  • Z 8001-8999 : Personal Bibliography

Not Collected:

  • RA 1001-1171 : Forensic medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
  • RK 1-715 : Dentistry
  • RV 1-431 : Botanic, Thomsonian, and eclectic medicine

Related subjects and Interdisciplinary Relationships

African Studies
The African Studies library will acquire works for Mugar Memorial Library related to public health in Africa, in collaboration with the Alumni Medical Library and the Health Sciences Bibliographer.
The Anthropology Selector selectively acquires materials on medical anthropology and social medicine.
Materials on the health and biology of non-humans are collected by Biology, while Health Sciences collects materials on the health and biology of humans.
Health Sciences very selectively acquires materials on the health aspects of toxicology and poisons, while Chemistry selects in other areas of the RA 1190-1270 range.
Health Sciences selectively acquires materials on recreation for the handicapped and aged while Education covers other aspects of recreation and leisure. The Education and Health Sciences selectors consult about materials on health education programs, AIDS education in schools, students as AIDS victims, drug education in the schools, education regarding environmental effects on health, education of the physically disabled, and learning disabilities.
Materials related to the aged that are not specifically medically oriented are collected by Gerontology while Health Sciences covers medical treatment of geriatric patients. Long term care is covered by Health Sciences if it involves physical and medical care, and by Gerontology if it is social work oriented.
Health Sciences is responsible for collecting materials on health care institutions, although Management may acquire some material on health care costs and the management of health care institutions.
Physics collects very selectively in R 895-920 (Medical physics. Medical radiology. Nuclear medicine) and RM 845-862 (Radiotherapy). Health Sciences does not collect in those ranges.
Health Sciences covers most of the R classifications, but Psychology may acquire materials on art therapy, group psychotherapy, and psychoanalysis.
Social Work
Materials related to community mental health and marital and family therapy may be collected by Social Work or Psychology.

Types of Materials

Books, periodicals, and reference materials, including bibliographies, encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and indexes and abstracts.
Collected Selectively
Conference proceedings, government documents, microforms, and electronic resources.
Not Collected
Textbooks, juvenile literature, and popular literature.

Other On-Campus or Local Resources

The Boston University Alumni Medical Library is the most important resource for health sciences material at Boston University. They have a broad collection of books and journals which are available to students and faculty from the main campus.