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Sherwin B. Nuland papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 1113

Scope and Contents

Writings, correspondence, photographs, research files, family papers, patient records, awards, and other papers by or related to Sherwin Nuland.


  • circa 1940s-2014


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Boxes 113-120 (Audiovisual material): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Box 121 (Electronic media): Restricted fragile material. Access copies of digital files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Box 122 (Patient records): Restricted until 2105. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Box 123 (Student records): Restricted until 2088. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Conditions Governing Use

The Sherwin B. Nuland Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Sarah Nuland, 2016.

2019 acquisition: Gift of Sarah Nuland, 2019.


Organized into nine series: I. Correspondence, 1970-2013. II. Writings, 1970-2014. III. Appearance files, 1970-2014. IV. Subject files, 1950-2009. V. Personal papers, 1940-2009. VI. Audiovisual materials, 1980-1999. VII. Digital media, 1996-2013. VIII. Restricted papers, 1966-2005, IX. 2019 acquisition, 2006-2010.


120.33 Linear Feet (124 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The Sherwin B. Nuland Papers, which span from 1940 to 2014, contain correspondence, writings, audiovisual materials, electronic media, and other papers related to Sherwin B. Nuland's life and work.

Sherwin B. Nuland

Sherwin B. "Shep" Nuland (1930-2014) was a surgeon, educator, and author. Born in the Bronx, New York, he received his bachelor's degree from New York University in 1951 and went on to study medicine at Yale University. Nuland graduated from Yale in 1955 and worked as a surgeon at Yale-New Haven hospital from 1962-1992. Nuland was also a clinical professor at Yale, teaching from 1962-1991. Over the course of his career, Dr. Nuland researched the history of medicine and the cultural history of death and suffering. Nuland's research produced numerous magazine articles for publications including" The New Republic," as well as several books including “Doctors: The Biography of Medicine” (1988), “The Uncertain Art” (2008), and his most well-known work, "How We Die," which won the National Book Award in 1994 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction in 1995. Dr. Nuland died of prostate cancer.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization.

Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Sherwin B. Nuland Papers
by Rosemary K. J. Davis
June 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.